Saturday, May 16, 2020

Foam of the sea

Thauban reported that the messenger of Allah said: "It is near that the nations will call one another against you just as the eaters call one another to their dishes." Somebody asked: "Is this because we will be few in numbers that day?" He said: "Nay, but that day you shall be numerous, but you will be like the foam of the sea, and Allah will take the fear of you away from your enemies and will place weakness into your hearts." Somebody asked: "What is this weakness?" He said: "The love of the world and the dislike of death." (Abu Daud) 

There can be little doubt that the prophet, peace be with him, was talking about us.
In verse 6 of Surah al-Hujurat, Allah admonishes us: Oh you believers, if a sinner comes to you with information, verify it before you afflict people in ignorance and then regret what you have done.”

We did not pay heed. We placed our trust in the sinners and took their word for the truth without further verification. We closed mosques, even the Kaabah, cancelled Friday prayers and Tarawih, and contemplated cancelling Hajj, because they told us that we were in grave danger and might die. The love of the world and dislike of death made us abandon our religion wholesale. Whereas this world is temporary and death is certain, lockdown or not, as the Qur’an tells us in verse 78 of Surah An-Nisa’: “Wherever you are death will reach you even if you were in fortified towers…”

According to official statistics just over 200 people have died with (not from) Covid-19 (292 in the whole of Saudi Arabia). That’s about 25 per week. During Hajj about 1700 people die of heat exhaustion or heat stroke (in a single week!), so based on those figures we should never have allowed Hajj in the first place, for such a large gathering in such a hot country is almost ten times more dangerous than the new Corona virus.

What has happened to our scholars? What has happened to our leaders? It has become evident that they are no different from the secular scientific advisers and political leaders and peddle the same untruths about the unprecedented dangers from a virus hyped up by media propaganda, by the very people whose news or information we were meant to verify, knowing from their track record that they are immoral and sinful. Our scholars and leaders can no longer be trusted to guide us.

Abu Hurairah reported that whilst the prophet, Allah blessed him and granted him peace, was talking, a Bedouin came to him and asked: "When will the hour come to pass?" He replied: "Wait for the hour when trust will be destroyed." He asked, how it would be destroyed, and he said: "Wait for the hour when the rule will be entrusted to those who don't deserve it." (Bukhari).

In verse 57 of Surah Hud, Allah warns: Then if you turn away, then I have already conveyed what I was sent to you with, and my Lord will replace you with another people and you will not harm Him at all, for my Lord is keeper of everything.” And in verse 38 of Surah Muhammad: “…and if you turn away He will replace you with a different people who will not be like you.”

We have experienced a Ramadan like no other in Muslim history where our mosques and the Kaabah have been placed into isolation. We are just over two months away from Hajj season. If the Muslims of today do not reclaim their heritage and God-given rights and over-rule those who have destroyed their trust, may Allah hasten His promise and raise amongst us people who will restore justice.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud narrated that the prophet Muhammad, peace be with him, said:
“If only one day of this world remained, Allah would lengthen that day till He raised up in it a man who belongs to my family, whose name is like my name and whose father's name is like my father's name, who will fill the earth with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny”. (Abu Daud)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Crown has no Clothes

By now, over a month into "lockdown", more people are beginning to speak out that the cure is worse than the disease. But hardly anybody seems to have figured out that the cure is in fact the disease. We have been made to surrender three fundamental human rights to governments who declared an unprecedented state of emergency world-wide on the recommendation of an unelected international body, the World Health Organisation: freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and, to a greater degree, freedom of speech. Because anything contradicting the official narrative is dismissed as harmful fake news and censored accordingly.

We have given up those freedoms out of the fear of dying of a disease we were told was as infectious and deadly as none before. To reinforce the message, we are bombarded with figures in an endless television "news" advertising campaign which sustains the largest ever social experiment conducted in modern history. And the economic fall-out of the exercise is such that people will doubtless die, lots of them. But as of today, 22 April, the global death toll of people who died "with the virus", i.e. in whose death the virus might have been at least a contributory cause (not people who have positively found to have died "of the virus") stands at 182,114. Looked at in isolation, this is, of course, a large amount of people, more than a medium-sized town. But this figure has to be looked at in relation to a world population of almost 8 billion (approx. 7,779,550,000 as of today). And today alone, with, as I am writing this, only three quarters of a twenty-four hour complete, a total of 130,000 people have died on the globe. When the day has completed, this number will have reached almost 175,000 individuals, in other words, almost as many as have died with (not of) Corona virus during more than the last quarter. The number of new births, by the way, is twice as much, so the world population is still steadily growing. gives a running count of what is going on in the world as far as statistics are concerned. 18 million people have already died this year, in the very same period during which 180,000 died of this dreadful virus. This means, the virus accounted for a mere 1% of deaths, the rest being attributable to other communicable diseases (4 million), cancer (2.5 million), smoking (1.5 million), alcohol (770,000), HIV (520,000), traffic accidents (420,000), suicide (330,000), malnutrition (300,000), malaria (300,000), seasonal flu (150,000) and mothers dying in child birth (95,000) to name just a few. In other words, the unprecedented virus has killed only about twice as many people as there were mothers dying during child birth, and only slightly more than the seasonal flu, but significantly less than traffic accidents, alcohol or smoking or even suicide. And these killed that many people every year, day in and day out, yet we didn't stop living or surrendered our freedoms. If there was an argument for banning people from leaving their homes, then traffic accidents would be a more powerful one than Covid 19. As an aside, there were more than 13 billion abortions world-wide this year, yet the world population, as already mentioned, continues to grow.

So how have we been so easily fooled into compliance? The power of advertising. Death written across TV screens and public monitors from early morning till late at night. Subliminal "Stay at home" messages everywhere we care to look. Fear, a powerful tool of control, being spread far and wide, and people, afraid to die, desperately looking for a cure to a disease that is hardly out there and a solution to an engineered problem. And, of course, before we were all put under house arrest, we were already conditioned and isolated, real friends replaced with facebook ones, social gatherings replaced with social media, everybody on their own with their smart phone, which they will now willingly allow to be used as a tracking device.

In Hans Christian Anderson's tale of The Emperor's New Clothes, the tailors' cunning trick only works because everybody in society has been conditioned not to challenge the established order and each, worried about themselves, goes along with the pretence. The same happens in this tale of deception and hype woven out of an imaginary plague visiting every house in the form of the evasive but ever-so persuasive Corona (Crown) virus. There are all the official news outlets singing from the same hymn sheet. There are politicians, professors and scientists preaching the danger of interacting with fellow human beings, and there is the co-opted opposition, which talks about lab-created viruses or even 5G-induced illness (and I am not belittling the dangers of 5G as another tracking and control tool), akin to somebody, in the fairy tale, who would challenge the tailors (or magicians) not by pointing out that they had not woven any cloth at all, but by protesting that the cloth they had woven was not of pure silk as they claimed, but of coarse cotton, that they cheated the Emperor knowingly in order to profit from their trade - thereby also perpetuating the myth.

And unlike Moses, who exposed the magicians' tricks for what they were, today's Muslims are also part of the fabric of the Dajjal (false messiah, anti-christ) society: they are pleased to point out that quarantine was an Islamic invention (and so it was, but to deal with, for example, the plague, not with a media-created threat), and so were vaccines (no need therefore, to probe into what they contain and whether they might be more powerful in reducing the growing world population through inadvertent but intentional sterilisation effects, provided they are accepted large-scale or can be made mandatory). Not a whisper from Muslim "leaders" when told to shut mosques, cancel Friday prayers, do without congregational Tarawih prayers this Ramadan and potentially forego the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The Kaabah has even been provided with a triple "face mask" in case it might get infected, pushing worshippers further and further back and away from it and towards the manifestations of the Bedouin complex of erecting tall buildings, which the prophet Muhammad spoke of as one of the signs of the last days, including what looks like the golden horn of the devil at the top of the Saudi version of the Big Ben clock tower, which was foretold to be elevated in the Najd, a tribute to Baal, the money god, the golden calf.

The man-made virus crisis may ease up (it is said to have peaked) and we will be told that it wasn't as bad as expected because "social distancing" worked so well. We will be sold tracking and vaccines by the same media which scared us half to death with this never-seen-before disease. The economic effects will last for years to come, many will die of starvation, unemployment and dependency on hand-outs will have risen, many small and medium-sized businesses will have gone to the wall, even some larger ones, creating more monopolies and concentrating more power in the hands of a few families running the banking system. Governments will have got even deeper into debt in order to help their wounded economies, and instead of issuing the necessary funds, they will borrow them from banks which, in turn, create them out of thin air. For this is another Emperor's New Clothes story, that banks lend out deposits. Who on earth has so much wealth that it is more than all the governments of the world, or rather, all the people of the world, can pay off in decades? The wealth does not exist. The money is created by book entry and backed up by an empty promise. And in the process, we have all been enslaved. For some time, some of us were bought out with a measure of luxury and entertainment. Now we are also imprisoned. The next phase, I guess, will be even less benign. Apologies for being bleak in outlook, but until somebody pulls the veneer of this charade and points at the emperor's nakedness, there is little hope for change. As for Muslims, we have plenty of preachers still, some more honest than others, but I don't see any leaders.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Down to Earth - Video series about Islamic concepts

Most textbooks on Islam tell us that Islam is a way of life. The briefest of reality checks will tell us that Muslims’ way of life is today shaped by a plethora of other influences with Islam as an add-on. This apparent discrepancy has renegaded the notion of true Islam into either the past as a praised but lost historic example from the days of the prophet and his companions or into the future as a utopian dream of a return to the golden age “when the Mahdi comes”. Neither offers much solace or hope for the Muslim struggling with the here and now.

In a previous book (Surrendering Islam, co-authored with David Livingstone whose more recent book Transhumanism is an important contribution to show how pagan religious ideas disproportionately shaped the politics of our age), I have shown how we arrived at this unfortunate state of affairs. As a historical treatise it examined the reasons for having lost our glorious past and is a tale of betrayal. But it does not show the way out. In the attempt to find solutions, serious rethinking is required, namely to deal with ideas or concepts.

Concepts are that which is conceived, initially in the mind, then put into practice; hence the term covers both abstract ideas and concrete plans or intentions. The prophetic saying that “Works are by intention” springs to mind. If the intention is all wrong, the works cannot bear fruit, no matter how diligently they are performed. This is exactly the problem of today’s Islamic reality. Without clear concepts about what Islam represents and aims for, all the effort at Islamic revival is at best misguided and at worst counter-productive.

Conceptual thinking might eventually lead us to a solution to Islam’s ineffectiveness vis-à-vis the dominant secular worldview by re-examining the deeper and wider meaning of Islam. Conceptualising Islam means to move away from the narrow constraints of mere practices and to discover the underlying purpose. Naturally, Islam being a divinely inspired, or rather ordained, way of life, not a man-made system, such a road of discovery must always be guided by the teachings of both the Qur’an and the prophet. Yet, at the same time, it must not get stuck in the environment in which the Qur’an was first taught. Early Muslim scholars well understood this need for adaptiveness. Sadly, most of today’s Muslim scholars are only apt at passing on knowledge, not wisdom.

In trying to re-establish Islam as a living concept, we need to deal with paradigms. The concept remains true, but the paradigms change. Paradigms are patterns or models of how things are, theoretical frameworks within which we operate. They are derived from concepts. One definition of paradigm is that of a framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology commonly accepted by members of a specific community. Both concepts and paradigms are therefore ways of making sense of the world around us. Concepts deal with the larger picture and paradigms with the interactions within a given framework. To benefit us, the two must agree, which is exactly the problem of why Islam does not “fit in” in the globalised society around us no matter how hard we try to adapt.

The key problem of Muslims today is that we are trying to hold on to an Islamic paradigm whilst having willingly surrendered to non-Islamic (secular) concepts. Examples for these are heliocentricity, relativism or evolution. We inertly resent some of their teachings, because they challenge the divine origin and destiny of all that is, and that is exactly what they intend to do. Yet we have become unable to assess their merits and shortcomings since we have accepted “science” as the benchmark of truth, adding a little bit of “Islamisation” at the frills, instead of measuring its claims against the yardstick of revelation.

Like Moses, we have grown up in the dazzling world of Pharaoh’s magicians. Like Moses, we are suspicious of its pronouncements. But unlike Moses, we are unable to challenge their magic since we try to compete with them or beat them at their own game rather than expose and diminish the falsehood of their imposing achievement. Modern-day magic is not conjured by sticks and ropes, it is conveyed through words and images. Words are powerful, be they those of revelation or those of deception. Yet the two are not equal – one swallows up the other. Beating the swindler at his own game, therefore, is impossible and merely turns us all into pretenders.

Conceptual thinking is what Allah gave Adam as a distinguishing gift over other creation. He taught man language in order to both comprehend and express concepts. The quest for meaning is thus ingrained and essential to human nature and where it is abandoned, man sinks to the level of or below that of the animal kingdom. Evolution teaches that man is part of the animal kingdom, stripping him of his dignity. Neither is he central to creation, being a mere accidental development from lower forms, nor is the earth he inhabits central, being a mere rock floating in space. The secular worldview permits worshipping God as a fiction of one’s imagination. What it cannot tolerate is to elevate Him to the absolute supremacy a believer is demanded to afford Him, because in the secular mind-set the existence or non-existence of God is non-consequential.

Truth is absolute and cannot be divided. The claim that there may be many truths is aberrant mind game defying basic logic. Whatever is true cannot, at the same time, be false, hence the opposite of an established truth cannot, at the same time, also be true. Relativism, therefore, is an erosion of truth. The common accusation hurled by secularists at believers is that they are fanatics. Yet, so are the secularists, as neither are prepared to compromise their religion. Either is only willing to tolerate the other as long as he doesn’t challenge their supremacy. Thus, the status quo is not only a result of ideas but also of power.

Power can be taken or given. Sometimes, power feels the need to be justified, at other times it views this as a weakness. However, power does not exist in a vacuum. It has both a source and a purpose. We need to understand where a given power is derived from and what it aims to achieve. Hence, simply wanting to usurp power in the hope that this will change everything is a fallacy. The path to empowerment is through education and, again, particularly through understanding concepts. Reviving those concepts should, I hope, lead to empowerment of us Muslims, first individually, then collectively. Entering battle unequipped is suicidal. Seeking a confrontation with the wrong opponent equally so. Knowledge is a source of power, and by that I mean knowledge of both the truth and how it has been covered up. Wisdom is the art of applying knowledge correctly within a given situation, taking account of all circumstances. Knowledge can be learned. Wisdom needs to be acquired through experience. Experience is gained from both success and failure. Too much success tends to make people careless, too much failure, on the other hand, despondent. The latter very much describes our present reality. After too many a lost battle, it becomes necessary to retreat, regroup and go back to the drawing board.

With a view to kick-starting this process I have recorded a series of short talks on Islamic concepts to be screened on my Youtube channel and called them “Down to Earth”. The first of those talks (episode 1: being grounded, staying focused) is available here. My hope is that it will move the discussion from the “niceties” of being a Muslim, to the substantial, and that this in turn might lead to a genuine revival of Islamic thought in the 21st century. Stay tuned.