A Koran Commentary
INTRODUCTION – TOWARD AN INTELLIGIBLE KORAN
Islam is a language unto itself. If you learn nothing else from this American’s treatment of the Koran, this singular perception shift is worth the price of all the pages that follow; for, the Koran is a testament revealed in the language of Islam with the specific role of guiding those who are willing to submit to Allah’s divine discernment of the difference between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong, between good and evil, between friend and foe until the end of time.
After well over a decade in constant study of the religion known as Islam, its holy texts, bios of its key personalities, the geographic and societal impact of its imperialist expansion, the thought of its classical scholars across its wide ranging sciences, and the modern conflicts and the terror nodes that plague the faith, what I can say for certain is I have embarked on a life long journey toward rendering an intelligible Koran for those western minds that seek to achieve a lasting peace in the decades ahead.
Muhammad’s Criterion is a necessary commentary on the Koran written by a non-Muslim with an express aim: to help others make sense of the bewildering holy text that serves as the central proof of Allah’s existence, as the central theophany of the religion of Islam. The commentary represents the first book length manuscript of a man who has spent a quarter of his life in pursuit of resolutions to the problems generated by the rise of Islamic Supremacism in our current information age.
By no means is Muhammad’s Criterion intended to be an exhaustive accounting or anything nearing a comprehensive appraisal of the Koran, of the prophet Muhammad’s life or the religion of Islam. Charting new avenues toward an intelligible Koran is my only province in the creation of this directed commentary on the sacred text of what is all but destined to be the world’s largest religion by 2060. This exercise in exegesis is geared to present a balanced appraisal of a uniquely Islamic concept referred to in Arabic as “al-Furqan” and often translated into English as “the Criterion”.
Containing Islam’s True Nature
Without doubt, Islam is one of the most controversial subjects in modern discourse and theory. The question of the day is whether Islam is a universal religion of peace or a militant political ideology. Regardless of whether the answer to that question is attainable, it is undeniable that as of the year 2017 over 30,000 deadly acts of terrorism have been carried out across the globe in the name of Islam since the dawn of the 21st century. Any way you slice it, that works out to about 5 deadly jihadi strikes a day. As a consequence of this startling reality, activist battle lines have been drawn in the pulp intellectual arena and two hardened sides have formed over the course of the last 15 years or so.
Remarkably, both sides of the debate are wrong. Islam is not a universal religion of peace and Islam is not a militant political ideology. Islam is a religious movement that seeks global liberation – an age in which man is not subject to the whims, wiles and treachery of other men and the laws of man, but instead is subject to only one master, Allah. Unfortunately, in order to achieve this ideal of social justice, Islam must build a new order in which Sharia is acknowledged by all of humanity as the only operative law of the land; that is, a global order wherein the word of Allah is all High. This drive to attain global supremacy is inherent in the teachings of the Koran, the holy text in which jihad is beheld as the instrument through which this revolutionary movement will bring humanity to everlasting peace and harmony through a time of trial, through blood and martyrdom. Naturally, non-Muslim societies will find this time of trial difficult; however, Muslims find solace in the fact that Islam is referred to by Allah as Din al-Fitra, the religion that is natural to man. As such, Muslims believe every human soul on the earth is born as a Muslim, yet newborn Muslim souls are often corrupted by the false teachings of their parents and their environment. To overcome the corrupting influences and teachings of Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist parents, the final solution is a global order in which Sharia governs all, wherein protected Dhimmi peoples are slowly bred out over time through intermarriages, via natural societal pressures, and through social advancement opportunities only available for those who submit to Islam. To be sure, there is no compulsion as it relates to religion in that framework, for Islam is the only religion that will be socially acceptable after the revolutionary movement has cleansed its way to an ideal state of liberated slaves; Sharia will reign supreme worldwide and the Dhimmi holdouts will be accommodated as protected subjects until a trumpet sounds and the Hour of Resurrection finds each human soul weighing the good and evil deeds of his life on the Mizan of Allah’s Merciful Judgment.
Sadly, western critics of Islam, though determined to stave off submission to the eventuality of a global caliphate, have failed to realize that the decision to treat Islam like Nazism or Communism is a reflexive product of fear rather than a reasoned assessment of Islam’s true nature. Islam is not a militant political ideology, it is a social justice movement born by a dizzying array of identity politics activists some whom are militant, many of whom are not. The closest western model to Islam is Progressivism, a social justice movement whose identity politics activists forward a freedom killing agenda that is designed to divide a secular state in the name of inclusion. The primary difference between the two constructs is that Islam’s social justice methodology and its identity politics activists seek to unite a religious community by way of exclusion. What is not understood by Islam’s critics is that exclusionary treatment and abasement of non-Muslims is considered by Muslims to be a defining characteristic of the religion’s merciful accommodation rather than a mark of dualism in its ideology. Only by sobering to this counterintuitive reality and grasping the key differences between a militant political ideology and a social justice movement can counter-jihadist theorists and anti-Islamization activists in the West hope to contain Islam’s true nature in the near term.
Political ideologies generate formulas that refine the nature of authority and power’s allocation. Social justice movements determine the level of redistribution and accommodations required to render a society fair and equitable. Islam, a revolutionary religious social justice movement of liberation, has no need to identify the nature of authority or debate the manner in which power is distributed because Allah is the only sovereign authority and obedience to Sharia Law is the implementation of His Word and Truth. To classify Islam a political ideology is a gross mischaracterization, considering the entire religion amounts to a refutation of jahiliyya legal systems in which man’s godless political ideologies and false teachings corrupt the earth by enslaving men to other men.
Properly met as the sacred text of a religion, the Koran spells out Abraham’s battle to liberate his tribe from the ignorance of the Taghut. The Arabic concept known as jahiliyya is a derivation of the word jahl, which translates to ignorance. In Koranic revelation, Abraham’s chief antagonist was King Nimrod of Babylon, who crossed the limits of truth and set his own supreme authority and power up as a rival to that of Allah. The word Taghut in the Koran refers to authorities and influences that “cross the limits” and lead men to worship false gods or set up idol partners with Allah in an act of pure rebellion. The Moses of the Koran meets a similar Taghut in the form of the Pharaoh of Egypt, and few in either the Christian or Jewish camp would deny that liberation was the focus of that traditional tale. For those who take time to register the parallels delineated in the Koranic text and related narrative accounts, the bulk of Muhammad’s mission is spent overcoming the injustices of a Taghut known in the collective Islamic memory as Abu Jahl, the Father of Ignorance. According to Islam, to liberate the true believers, Allah provided each of these Messengers with what is called al-Furqan, the Criterion, upon which the differences between submission and rebellion, between good and evil, between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong, and between friend and foe were to be measured by the community. In Islam, Muhammad’s Criterion, the guidance of al-Furqan, is the Koran, itself. It is not be surprising, then, that the jihadist terror organization ISIS named their primary media propaganda headquarters Al-Furqan to provide an air of religious legitimacy to the transnational terror attacks carried out in the name of Islam.
In the intellectual battle raging between Islam’s critics and her defenders, today, one of the most difficult realities to grasp is that Muslim activists do not respect the level of tolerance that characterizes permissive societies in Europe and the Americas. In fact, the tolerance that is on offer in the West is not seen as any sort of religious freedom for Muslims, but rather a mark of the same jahiliyya society that faced Muhammad in Mecca at the dawn of the faith in the early 7th century. That is, when Muhammad began his mission, Mecca was a tolerant society in which Jews, Christians, Magians and all manner of pagans worshiped, traded and congregated with relative ease in mixed company. 360 idols ringed the Ka’aba as a testament to this open society. However, the tolerant Meccan society roundly rejected the message of Islam and eventually sought to kill Muhammad after persecuting his band of followers and even boycotting the clans which supported the upstart claimant Prophet. As a revolutionary religious social justice movement of liberation from its outset, Islam has been at war with tolerant societies for fourteen hundred years precisely because Muslims have been conditioned by Al-Furqan to believe that jahiliyya societies are led by forces loyal to Satan that are willing to tolerate any and every persuasion under the sun except one which advocates that the word of Allah should be all high. It is for this reason that the social justice warriors and identity politics activists of Islam in the West, today, have advanced the notion and narrative of Islamophobia with such verve. The goal of Islam’s defenders and apologists on the Islamophobia front is not to increase the level of tolerance toward Islam in western society, since the freedom to worship is available in the West to all who seek to worship as their conscience demands. The true aim of these social justice activists is to earn accommodations from western governments for Islamic Law’s normalization.
Up til now, the most glaring coup Islam’s social justice activists have achieved in the West is the corruption of the concepts of toleration and accommodation. Defenders and apologists of Islam in the realm of western academia have bent over backward to prove that Islam is a tolerant faith by pointing to the teachings of the Koran which are similar to the Judaeo-Christian mores. However, there is no moral equivalence to the accommodation sought and practiced by Islam and the toleration advanced by any other faith. To cover over this glaring reality, Islam has found an unlikely ally to its revolutionary religious social justice movement of liberation in the accommodation hungry grievance mongering Progressive identity politics activists. One need only look to the issue of transgender bathrooms to realize the difference between tolerance and accommodation. What began as a silly progressive idea, the notion that men who identify as women should be able to use facilities designated for women to relieve themselves (and vice versa), has morphed into a civil rights call to arms in legislative halls and court dockets and has risen as a potential regulatory nightmare for businesses that serve the public as a consequence. It is one thing to have rights that guarantee and laws that deliver tolerance to transgender individuals and their lifestyle, it is an altogether different thing to accommodate that lifestyle by forcing the government to raise new taxes to pay for new building code regulations and new public service requirements for businesses across the nation to achieve that sought after toleration. The transgender bathroom accommodation issue is useful in that it highlights the fact that the entire purpose of a social justice accommodation is to force society to make room for behavior and lifestyles that deviate from the widely accepted norms and customs of a society, even if it makes the society less safe, even if those who disagree with the persuasion are forced to give up their rights in the process of accommodation.
Many critics of Islam are baffled by the fact that Muslims have allied with Progressive social justice warriors. It seems nonsensical because Islam is not in any way wedded to LGBTQ2I Rights or the aims of the feminist movement; however, when Islam is recast in the soft light of a social justice movement rather than in the strobes of a militant political ideology, it makes perfect sense. Islam’s pin stripe suit wearing advocates in CAIR and other lobbying organizations have realized that teaming up with Progressive identity politics activists represents the best way for Muslims to rise as a denigrated victim class in the West and thereby gain a healthy number of undo accommodations in the legal realm. The aims of the George Soros Open Society Institute which backs many of the wildest Progressive social justice initiatives in the arenas of Civil Rights and Human Rights via the ACLU are a perfect fit with the Muslim call for a world in which man made laws and borders fade in light of the supreme sovereign authority of Allah. In the Progressive wing of climate change activism, a new rung of overly zealous Eco warrior allies dedicated to fighting against western oil companies offer Muslim PR firms a new set of forums from which they can agitate against the rhetoric of right wing politicians. It is only with these unlikely alliances in full bloom that the primary accommodations sought by social justice activists of Islam can be achieved at the institutional level.
While rising as a class of victims, Muslims in the West are bolstered at the collegiate level by the radical insanity of Progressive social justice ideologues like Edward Said and Noam Chomsky, who have falsely claimed that virtually every problem of the Orient from Morocco to the Philippines is the result of two hundred years of racist imperialist gambits, and that all of the recent terrorist attacks on western targets by jihadists are the natural backlash to White Supremacist enslavement, colonization, subjugation and exploitation of the dark peoples of Africa and Asia. “Blame America First” rhetoric originates in our universities with thinkers like Said and Chomsky. For thirty to forty years, the dogma of their brand of thought has brainwashed wave after wave of high school educators and administrators as well as the malleable minds that graduate with degrees in mass media and journalism. The result has been multiculturalism run amok and an increasingly disarmed electorate. In America, for instance, the teachings of Said and Chomsky were married with the civil rights activism of Dr. King and Malcolm X to such an extent that the teachers’ unions launched a social justice “Unity through Diversity” campaign that has lasted for over a quarter of a century in our K-12 public schools.
For years, counter-jihadist theorists and anti-Islamization activists in the West have been at a loss to explain the affinity between Progressive minded leftists and the defenders and apologists of Islam. The relationship seems unnatural, it does not fit well with the claim that Islam is a political ideology; so, they answered the riddle with the “Red-Green Alliance” in which socialists and Islamists have found common cause as totalitarians. But, the truth is, this seemingly unnatural affinity between the diametrically opposed groups only makes sense when Islam is treated as a revolutionary religious social justice movement of liberation seeking undo accommodations from western Dhimmi politicians, who prove feckless each time they reflexively cower to perceived Muslim grievances behind delicately worded bromides about the peaceful nature of Islam or resort to politically correct methods of statecraft they believe will somehow answer the undeserved charge of Islamophobia and assure Muslims. What these effete politicians have not yet realized is that they are being groomed and trained to undermine the very values of tolerance and good will they believe they are defending with an endless stream of apologetic accommodations.
We are living in an age of accommodation, an age of Dhimmipolitik. Dhimmipolitik is the statecraft of ethically, economically, politically, diplomatically, or militarily submitting to the dictates of Sharia Law. It can also be defined as the tacit acceptance of the supremacy of Allah’s Rights over Individual Rights and National Sovereignty via policies of appeasement and surrender. For a decade, counter-jihadist theorists and anti-Islamization activists have waged an awareness campaign to expose the true nature of Islam, resorting ad nauseum to a Sun Tzu Art of War imperative to know thy enemy. Unfortunately, by defining Islam as a political ideology, they have failed to contain the advance of their foe precisely because they did not understand Islam’s true nature as a revolutionary religious social justice movement of liberation. With this dramatic perception shift, Freedom’s activists finally hold the key to the survival of their civilization. Containing Islam’s true nature will require our leadership in the West to realize that Dhimmipolitik is purely a function of accommodation. Thus, the best formula for countering jihad and Islamization in the West is a messaging campaign designed to promote tolerance for individual Muslims and simultaneously eliminate all accommodations for Islam, especially those found in the Sharia Compliant Finance industry and in the arena of Family Law.
Ask any Muslim and they will confirm the fact that they believe Islam is a complete way of life and that the Koran, the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad and corresponding laws of Sharia provide a comprehensive set of guidelines to shepherd all Muslims through the trials and travails of any and all eventualities that they are bound to face in this life. Luckily for the West, one of those eventualities is hardship. According to the unique Islamic juridicial principle of Darura, that which is deemed to be impermissible in Islam is made permissible in cases where necessity dictates the terms of a Muslim’s well being. That is, Muslims are not obligated to retain strict adherence to Sharia if necessity makes it impossible or if the terms of their existence do not allow observance. For instance, a Muslim, who lives in a country that does not recognize Sharia Compliant Finance as a legitimate banking option, by virtue of Sharia Law’s Darura principle, is allowed to enter into a conventional banking mortgage that is not Sharia compliant. Thus, the need for any accommodation by non-Muslim western governments toward Muslims as it regards the Islamic Finance Industry is unnecessary; indeed, it can only be harmful.
The Sharia Compliant Finance industry as well as the Islamic Banking and Insurance products developed under its umbrella are by far and away the most dangerous accommodations to Islam the West faces today. The industry is a completely invented fiction, whose primary modern advocate was the Brotherhood scion Maulana Maududi. The truth is, all attempts to harmonize Islamic Finance with western conventional banking are undo accommodations to Muslim clerics in non-Muslim countries. While the principle of Darura allows Muslims to live perfectly amiable lives in non-Muslim societies where SCF banking options are not available to them, the moment western governments accommodate the Islamic Finance Industry, Muslims are corralled by their clerics to utilize Islamic Banking options, which in turn allows them to teach their flock about the public duty in Islam known as the Hisba, a jihad trigger that is completely masked by accommodation. The institution of the Hisba commands all Muslims to enjoin good and forbid evil as an essential corrective mechanism to establish a just society. Hisba is the basis for the “Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” found in the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Hisba squads of ISIS have been the chief proponents of ritual mass murder in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Hezbollah is a derivative of the public duty, and as such is often read as Hisballah. The morality police of Iran and that of Egypt and Saudi Arabia find their justification in this institution. Worse, the primary manual in regard to the Hisba was penned by the 14th century Islamic Revivalist Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya. The institution teaches that the purpose of all authority in Islam is to ensure that the Word of Allah is all high. Therefore, in terms of Islamization and creeping Sharia, any attempts to appease Muslims by accommodating Islam with the alternative banking option of Sharia Compliant Finance completely undermines the aim of engendering tolerance because fundamentalist clerics will inevitably seize on the tool to generate closed enclaves where Sharia Zones are instituted and Hisba policing promoted to advance a rigid interpretation of Islamic Law. Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have already fallen into this trap of accommodation. The problems faced by these western nations after caving to accommodate Islamic economic options prove that rather than fostering an atmosphere conducive to assimilation, accommodating SCF virtually guarantees a radicalization of the revolutionary religious social justice movement of liberation, which takes the gesture as a signal to promote a closed community and to institute parallel legal systems through which Family Law and a host of other issues are adjudicated and arbitrated behind the veil.
Islamic Finance and Family Law are the primary avenues through which Sharia is normalized in the West; accommodations in these areas are precisely what allows homegrown jihadism to spawn and activate. Anyone intent on countering Islam’s true nature in this day and age, some fifteen years after the attacks on the American homeland on 9/11, must advance a simple acknowledgment of the aim of Islam’s social justice activists by saying two simple sentences in conjunction: “Know thy enemy. Her name is accommodation.” Yet, while it is relatively easy to mouth these magical words, understanding why they are so crucial in this fight many in this audience are to make in the coming years and decades requires a deeper understanding of Islamic theology than a resort to a discussion about why the verses of the Koran about Jihad are so troubling, or a roundabout where everyone sounds off about what they find disconcerting about the concept of dhimmitude. Defining and discussing the difference between Tolerance and Accommodation in the war of ideas requires a deeper reading of jahaliyya, it requires a fuller picture of what the hijrah entails in terms of oppression, it requires a less rigid conception of abrogation to gather a finer perspective on the concept of the Fitra as an annexing methodology, it requires a more nuanced take on the Hisba as the jihad trigger, and above all a contextual reading of the Koran as al-Furqan – that element wrought from Allah to rent in twain this world between those camps who are Muslims and those that are not. Ultimately, to achieve that healthy appreciation of the nature of tolerance and accommodation in the religion of Islam and thereby successfully translate the lessons, what is required is the acceptance of Muhammad as a Prophetic figure and the Koran as a work of both Prophecy and Guidance in the minds of Muslims.
Said more succinctly, the Koran is only an intelligible testament in terms of the story of Islam’s birth. That birth did not occur in a vacuum. According to Islamic thought, Muhammad didn’t wake up one day and start spouting the revelations of Allah and gain acceptance far and wide as an exemplary man of wisdom and charisma. The Islamic tradition highlights the fact that virtually no one believed him to be a prophet. For a decade, he had less than 200 followers who acknowledged him as a Prophet of Allah. Only after his community was battered and boycotted and after he lost his wealthy patroness of a wife and powerful protector of an uncle did he gain any prominence, and that only occurred after he was tapped to serve as a mediating chief of an outlying group of warring tribes in a city a couple weeks camel ride to the north. When he arrived in Yathrib, he was rejected as a prophet by many of the Jewish and Arab tribal leaders who had their own in-house prophets and viziers. Indeed, it wasn’t until after the battle of Badr that Muhammad was perceived as a Prophet by the tribes and people of Mecca and Yathrib. Yathrib did not change its name to Medina, or Madinat al-Nabi, the City of the Prophet, until well after the Battle of Badr. And even after that battle, he was forced to sign treaties with dozens of tribes who acknowledged him as a powerful new Arab leader but not necessarily as a prophet. He was also forced to purge the dissenting Jewish tribes of Yathrib who rejected his status as a Prophet before Islam was fully established and the Muslims arose as a religious group to be reckoned with and dealt with in terms of a tribute or jizyah protection tax. Upon inspection, virtually no one in Arabia saw Muhammad as a Prophet for some fourteen to sixteen years after his initial revelation of Sura 96. But, what is certain in the Islamic tradition is that the turning point in the perception of Muhammad as a Prophet of Allah was the Battle of Badr. With that context, it shouldn’t shock the western witness, then, that Allah refers to the Battle of Badr in the Koran as the “Day of the Criterion” or Yawm al-Furqan.
Recognizing Muhammad as Islam’s Prophet
The average critic of Islam has likely read the passages of the Koran relating to al-Furqan; but, due to the purpose of their striving they missed the context of the verses altogether in their rush to find Islam guilty of promoting jihad or espousing intolerance. Verse 8:39 is familiar to most in the audience. The Saheeh International version of the Koranic verse reads “And fight against them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion [i.e., worship], all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is seeing of what they do.” Most anti-Islamization activists in the West know this verse well, because they have plucked it out of context so many times, to prove that jihad is to be waged until the only religion left standing is Islam, that many of them can recite it by heart without a second thought to the fitnah, the persecution, the oppression it highlights. They may even have the follow on verse 8:40 memorized, which reads: “But if they turn away – then know that Allah is your protector Excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.” However, taking these verses out of the context of the Battle of Badr completely disregards the heightened importance of the Koranic revelation to Muslims around the world. The battle’s confirmation of Muhammad’s place as a Messenger, the confirmation of Allah’s station as the protector and patron of the believers, and the verification of the Criterion’s role in the episode is distinctly described in verse 8:41:
“And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our Servant on the day of criterion [i.e., decisive encounter] – the day when the two armies met [at Badr]. And Allah, over all things, is competent.”
Recognizing Muhammad as Islam’s Prophet was no easy task for Arabs at the birth of the faith. It took a miraculous victory in a bloody battle against enormous odds to cement Muhammad’s place as the Messenger of Allah’s Criterion. And, while it is not surprising that the Battle of Badr is referred to by Allah as yawm al-Furqan when the context of the story of Islam’s beginnings is discussed, what is surprising is how few western counter-jihadist theorists and anti-Islamization activists pay heed to the religious reality of the event in the Islamic tradition or to the religious nature of Muhammad’s mission in the minds of Muslims then and now. In the present western discourse about Radical Islam, the whole of Islam is reduced to a political ideology. Thought leaders like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, David Horowitz, Bill Warner, Andrew McCarthy and a host of others have pushed forward the notion of Islam as an intolerant political ideology that is incompatible with western values to the point in which the role of Prophecy in the Koran has disappeared. None deal with the concept of Islamic accommodation in their works, choosing instead to reduce all Islamic Thought to a core lust for the establishment of the Global Caliphate as displayed in the memos, writings and trappings of the Muslim Brotherhood. And furthermore, any scholars that push forward a discussion of Islam as a religious set of beliefs are almost immediately branded by these thought leaders as apologists for Islam if their findings and conclusions do not align with the Political Islam theory of everything Jihad.
Bill Warner, for instance, has actually reduced the discussion about the true nature of Islam to a statistical game in which religious Islam only accounts for 49% of the ideology found in the trilogy of the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith, while 51% deals with the Kafir, the infidel, and as such is political. His statistics are based on word counts and are of course absolutely ridiculous conjurings since they have no basis in reality, completely discount the importance of the commentary on the Hadith by each school of Islamic thought, and display a total lack of regard for the Tafsir interpretations of the Koran written by hundreds of Islamic scholars from late antiquity to the present, not to mention the wide arc of issues dealt with by Fiqh in the numerous schools of Sharia. The entirety of his offerings are the result of a man who has raised a hypothesis and manipulates data until it somehow proves the validity of his theory. The extraordinary level of mental gymnastics resorted to in this style of denial is both remarkable and unnecessary.
Let’s get real. It is absolutely absurd to create a computer algorithm to statistically prove that Islam tends to be an intolerant faith. That is like inventing an algorithm to prove that ice is cold. To be fair, those in the West who have defined Islam’s true nature as that of an intolerant political ideology make a large number of valid points so long as those points are considered starting points of inquiry. However, when these theories become the source of a dogmatic approach to Islam and Muslims, it is no longer helpful. To clarify further, those in the West, particularly those in the United States, who are ushering against Political Islam have chosen this avenue of approach for a specific reason: the U.S. Constitution’s establishment clause is clear that Congress shall make no law respecting religion. This singular fact is why they are pushing so hard to define Islam as a political ideology; so the American people have the right to self defense in the wake of Sharia’s push.
Aayan Hirsi Ali’s recent release The Challenge of Dawa is a testament to this reality as she calls on the Trump Administration to put a halt to the proselytizing activities of the radical Islamists that are co-opting Progressivism by non-violent means, even though the malicious and violent nature of their rhetoric is designed to drive non-violent Muslims to a more militaristic mindset. In her thesis, the call to Islam, or Dawa, is described as inextricably linked with the duty of Jihad; and, as such, Ali believes radicalizing speech, rather than violence, should be the starting point for government intervention. Ali’s central argument is more than compelling; however, her justification has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the reality that the United States is a tolerant society to the point where it does not have a natural defense against ideologies that preach hatred and incite violence but do not step over the line and commit acts of terror. It is toward The Challenge of Dawa and toward the challenge of the Hijra and numerous other Islamic concepts that are linked with jihad that the treatment of Islam as a revolutionary religious social justice movement of liberation rises as a solution to the numerous and debilitating self-induced blinders of Political Islam theory. The fundamental flaw in Aayan Hirsi Ali’s approach is her failure to recognize the role accommodation plays in the advance of Islamization. She, like many other activists on the front lines of the cultural war of ideas, today, suffers from self-induced tunnel vision in the arena of tolerance. By claiming Islam is an intolerant political ideology, without giving voice to the fact that Islam is an accommodating faith, the activists who challenge Political Islam unnecessarily back themselves into a corner.
The truth is that Islam is and has always been an accommodating faith. In 2009, Ali A. Allawi, in his book The Crisis of Islamic Civilization identified the historical reality of Islam’s accommodating nature with stunning precision:
“Mutual tolerance between the varieties of Islamic faith and practice and accommodation of the non-Muslim populations who lived alongside Muslims formed an important element of Islamic civilization. Necessarily, the lead had to come from the majority religious group – the Sunni orthodoxy in most cases – which acknowledged the legitimacy and rights of the minority groups. The operative word in Islam is accommodation, not tolerance. Accommodation is a permanent arrangement which implies the creation of a recognized and legitimate space for other religious and doctrinal groups. Toleration on the other hand assumes the supremacy of one over the other but allows the other to exist on sufferance. The Sunni-Shia relationship throughout most of Islamic history was one of accommodation rather than toleration, in spite of important theological differences.”
As a Muslim, Allawi’s insights should have cut through to the marrow of the problem; however, at the time of the book’s release, the accommodating approach of the progressive social justice warrior Barack Hussein Obama was on the mind of virtually every counter-jihad theorist and anti-Islamization activist in the West. However, while that chapter of the American story has closed to a large extent, the lessons of Allawi remain for those in the West intent on recognizing the fact that the Dhimmitude that was implemented by Muslims during Islam’s imperial expansion was primarily designed to provide the non-Muslims a level of accommodation, a recognized and legitimate space in which certain rights were granted. That Dhimmi formula has been described by the Political Islam theorists like Robert Spencer in the West as “The Myth of Islamic Tolerance.” However, this description of Dhimmitude does not in any way acknowledge the reality that accommodation was the order of the day. This recognition should in no way be misconstrued as a defense or apology for the practice of Dhimmitude; rather, it should bea confirmation that the level of toleration shown by Islam was due to its inherent supremacist formula in which toleration exists only on pain of sufferance.
A dramatic rethink of Islam is not only necessary for Political Islam theorists but also for all of those who have absorbed their logic as Gospel for the better part of two decades. At its core, Islam is a religion whose social justice essence is one of accommodation. The entirety of Muhammad’s prophetic career was a rejection of the tolerance of jahaliyya society and a call for the accommodation formulated in the Word of Allah. This book, Muhammad’s Criterion: A Koran Commentary, represents a first step toward rolling back the undo accommodations that have been gained by Islam’s social justice warriors and toward placing a check on all further accommodations sought through the victim methodology of Islamophobia and Dhimmipolitik.
Countering the true nature of Islam begins with the recognition that Muhammad’s teachings are in large measure considered to be prophetic by Muslims. So, before we dive in to the manner in which Muhammad instructed his followers on the life and times of Abraham to get at the root of the Islamic conception of jahiliyya, it is instructive to take a small slice of the Koran to demonstrate the prophetic nature revealed by the founder of Islam.
The Romans are Vanquished
Sura 30 of the Koran, entitled The Romans or Ar-Rum, is arguably the heart of the Koran. Verse 30:30 contains the only unadulterated reference to the Doctrine of the Fitra in the whole of the holy text and virtually the entirety of Islam’s religious ideology spawns from this single revelation. However, to gather a sense of the prophetic nature of the Koran before delving into religious doctrine, it is perhaps best to begin with Verses 30:2 through 30:4, which read as follows in the Maulana Muhammad Ali translation of the text:
“[30:2] The Romans are vanquished
[30:3] In a near land, and they, after their defeat, will gain victory
[30:4] Within nine years. Allah’s is the command before and after. And on that day the believers will rejoice”
Now, just a touch of background on Sura 30. According to the standard Muslim chronological accounts, Sura 30 was one of the last chapters revealed in Mecca before Muhammad embarked on his famous Hegira to Yathrib in the year 622. Most classic Islamic scholars place the date of this Sura in the year 620 or 621. The reason they placed this Sura in that time frame was due to the fact that the Persian empire sued for peace and paid off the Byzantine empire in the year 628 after decades of war. To place Muhammad’s prophecy any earlier than this, Muslim scholars surmised, would detract from the Prophet and the Koran’s infallibility. However, the more likely date of at least this segment is the year 614, a full six years before the standard chronologies.
The battle in which the Romans were vanquished was the defeat in Jerusalem in the year 614. News of the Persian dash across the Levant, their sacking of the Mediterranean port known at the time as Caesaria Palestinia and the subsequent occupation of Damascus would have been the most important news of the day for a society whose summer caravan were destined for Damascus and Jerusalem. News of the Byzantine defeat would have taken a month or two to arrive in Mecca and immediately, the trade arrangements that the city enjoyed would have to be renegotiated with the phylarchs of the Persian Chosroes II. It is more than likely that panic gripped the Meccan nobles. It was upon this stage that Muhammad arose as a Prophet to the Quraysh to offer sage advice in the form of a prophecy: “The Romans are vanquished in a near land, yet after this defeat, they will again be victorious in a few maybe nine years time. Thus sayeth Allah.”
What the classical Islamic scholars were unaware of was the fact that the Byzantine emperor, in the year 622, rose again to full height and declared a holy war on the Persians to regain the sacred relic known as the True Cross. The Emperor Heraclius raised and trained an army and marched toward the Anatolian city of Cappadocia. Within months, he had sacked the most sacred Persian Fire Temple in the region, recaptured the True Cross, and forced the Persian generals to recall their forward shock troops to defend the heart of Persia. Over the course of six years, the Byzantine Empire ground the Persian defenses to pulp and won the long war.
Whether or not Muhammad revealed verses 30:2 trough 30:4 in 614 or 620, the prophetic nature of the language would have bolstered his claim to be the Prophet of Allah in the eyes of the Arabs of his day. However, to give credence to the reality that the classic Islamic scholars were mistaken in their chronological reasoning, in the year 622, it is well documented in the Islamic Tradition that Muslims rejoiced when Muhammad made his way out of a trap and arrived in Yathrib. Western thinkers can blink these realities off as mere coincidence; but, it cannot be denied that Muslims believe Muhammad is a Prophet and that the Koran is a book of prophecy. The logic immediately flows, if Muhammad was right about the Romans then it stands to reason that he would be right about the Resurrection.
It is high time that western Political Islam theorists respected the prophetic nature of the Koran and the figure known as Muhammad. It is not apologist to recognize Islam is a religion or to say that the majority of Muslims are not violent. The key moving forward is to draw a clear delineation between what is tolerance and what is accommodation. In this effort to gather an intelligible Koran, in order to reassess and counter the true nature of Islam, urgency is required yet time is on our side.