Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The end of Islam as we know it

The fasting month of Ramadan has come to an end and, along with other Muslims, I should be celebrating. But as every year, at least in Europe, the celebratory spirit is dampened by the confusion as to when it is time to stop fasting and when the day of Eid celebrations begins. Islam follows the lunar calendar in which months can be 29 or 30 days long. Traditionally, if the moon was not sighted physically with the naked eye, thirty days had to be completed. Thus, one could never be quite sure when important occasions, such as the start of end of fasting, would begin, until the evening before. Whilst adding to the excitement of key Islamic events throughout the year, this "unpredictability" is not very welcome in the modern industrial society where everything wants to be planned.

There is the added problem that the lunar cycle will not be the same for every place on earth, yet information travels instantly. It would be quite wrong, if relying on moon sightings, for Muslims on one side of the globe to start the month at the same time as those on the opposite side, but this is what often happens due to telephone and satellite TV communications. As a consequence, some countries have started to fix the calender rather than relying on moon sightings.

One such country is Saudi Arabia, the British-enthroned dynasty currently ruling over the two holy places of Makkah and Madinah. However, since the self-styled custodians of the holy places wish to be seen as strict adherents of traditional Islam, they are not honest about having fixed their dates in advance and pretend each year, that somebody has actually seen the moon. Since, when fixing the dates somebody must have confused the day the new moon is born with the day the nascent crescent can be seen, those Saudi moon sightings have consistently been too early and often at a time when it was physically as impossible to see the moon as it would be to watch the sun rise at midnight. This year, for example, the moon set well before sunrise on the day Saudi moon sighting reports after sunrise were announced.

Sadly, Muslims the world over have bought into the branding of Saudi Arabia as the custodians of the holy places and safeguards of traditional Islam, and thus follow them blindly. Many, of course, also go with where the money is, given that Saudi petrol dollars have paid for many a mosque around the world, strings attached, of course. A closer look at the political reality or a visit to US army bases in Saudi Arabia would quickly present a different picture: that of Saudi-America, the occupier of the holy places and instigator of distortion and corruption of the religion of Islam.

This corruption of traditional Islam goes a lot further than merely lying about the moon. It involves the banning of all Muslim cultural and poetic expressions as innovations, reducing Islam to a set of heartless rules Taliban-style, it includes fuelling the "clash of civilisations" between Islam and the West, and it features the subversion of Islam through so-called Islamic banking ventures in which forbidden interest and usury are renamed in order to make them palatable to an unsuspecting Muslim populace. In addition to halal banking, regulated by the Bank of England to which those banks guarantee to charge at least the base rate of interest, we now also have, regulated by the Financial Services Authority, halal mortgages at higher rates than from high street lenders and halal insurance products, with many such enterprises being run as side-lines by non-Muslim commercial banks or insurances paying a so-called Shariah Board to issue them with a certification of compliance with Islamic law.

Critical voices are few and have no forum, since all the major Muslim events and media are by now sponsored by one or the other bank or insurance company. Being a Muslim today simply means paying a little more for your mortgage, banking and insurance needs in order to placate your conscience, eating pre-stunned "halal" meat and poultry, buying Islamic designer wear and fashion goods and keeping out of politics lest you are accused of terrorist sympathis. And whilst new editions of the Qur'an with all references to Jihad removed would not be received with much accolade by Muslims for whom at least the Arabic text of the scripture is sacred, much of the same is achieved by new interpretations which reduce Jihad to a mere struggle against the evil inclinations of one's own sole.

Forget about the liberation of Palestine or the resistance in Iraq, the moderate modern Muslim keeps his faith private and obeys his government. Hence Hazel Blears, the secretary of state for Communities and Local Goverment, announced the British governments intention to set up a Muslim theology board in order to promote a "peaceful form of British Islam". Maybe, like the Sharia boards of the banks, they can turn the illegal occupation of Iraq and the British intervention in Afghanistan (and soon Pakistan) into a religious virtue for Muslims. And maybe they will have the authority to excommunicate unrepentant critics of this new form of Islam, like myself. So I better do celebrate the fact that for now I can still live Islam without first requiring a government certificate to practice, never mind what day the month will actually start.


At 1 October 2008 at 20:38, Blogger Adam O'Connell said...

Thanks for this blog, as I converted less than two years ago, I find it hard to be a good Muslim when there is so much false information around.

I was told by this Libyan 'acting imam' at the uni that Eid was on the 30th... I've always suspected him of being a (or brainwashed by) wahhabi... there were several red lights; he took us to Green Lane Mosque, said we should read up on Ibn Wahhab, and said Bilal Phillips was a great guy.

Hopefully the Saudi regime in Arabia will collapse as easily as the the Zionist regime in Palestine.

Oh, and Eid Mubarak! ;)

At 4 October 2008 at 03:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything you say is spot on, however I think Islam will be strengthened in time as Muslims start to wake up and the whole finance system of the west starts to unravel and implode. Allah swt is All-Powerful and Master of all Existence. His Plan is not known by us, but we know that Allah creates 'unpleasant' events and gives temporary power to human beings (good and evil), through which we get to learn more about Allah swt and ourselves. We must keep the knowledge of Islam alive, submit to it and keep spreading it, through this we will earn a badge of honour in the Sight of Allah, indeed it is Allah who Guides us towards the Truth and His Grace allows us to Submit...We should be Grateful to Him for this and He will only increase it, He always Gives more to the Grateful. Keep up the blog its not alone.


At 17 October 2008 at 20:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So I better do celebrate the fact that for now I can still live Islam without first requiring a government certificate to practice, never mind what day the month will actually start."

In the States those Muslims and Islamic organizations with the government seal of approval are most welcomed. One could see them at the Democratic convention, all pious and wearing hijab and saluting Obama and anti-freedom principles. It strikes one as curious that those who profess to follow The Book that is, fundamentally one of freedom, of, shall we say, libertarian principles, of understanding the right of self-defence, for Muslim and non-Muslim both, can take positions which are in DIRECT OPPOSITION to the very principles it contains and advocates.

May I be forgiven from sometimes thinking there are MUSLIMS and then there are Certified Kosher "Muslims" which the latter being in full good favor with the resident nations of which we speak.

The Creator has given to you, dear brother, and to me, the STRAIGHT PATH, it is all we need, whether we are hated or loved by those who are in power is immaterial. We stand for what is right.

Magna Carta wasn't a bad document but they don't like it nor do they abide by it today.

At 8 December 2008 at 16:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sadly, Muslims the world over have bought into the branding of Saudi Arabia as the custodians of the holy places and safeguards of traditional Islam, and thus follow them blindly."

No sir I haven't and nor do the great majority of Muslims.
I personally find it hilarious when the UK/Western John Hopkins -s/think types start blabbering that the cursed house of saud has power in the Ummah. They should try going to one of the halal meat shops or ask charity groups what they think of the cursed house of saud.

At 20 January 2009 at 02:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear brother Mustaqim,

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Bharakhathuhu.

Nothing happens unless it is sanctioned by Allah Subhana Wa Taala. All technologies that have occured recently were also sanctioned by Allah Subhana Wa Taala. The use of aircraft is permissible for travel. When should a believer using an aircraft offer the Maghreb prayer?

The words "moon overcast" appear in 1 hadith(s) in Bukhari translation.

(1) Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "The month (can be) 29 nights (i.e. days), and do not fast till you see the moon, and if the sky is overcast, then complete Sha'ban as thirty days." (Book #31, Hadith #131)

When the sky is overcast the moon cannot be sighted from the ground. When the sky is not overcast, we have the permission to sight the moon. What about using aircraft that takes us above the clouds and thus gives a clear sky?

A number of experts use statistics to prepare the visibility of the moon from different places on earth. These statistics are based on sighting by a person standing on ground. There are no statistics about sighting using the aircraft from many places on earth. I believe the Saudi government alone uses aircraft to sight the moon.

When we climb a stair and see the moon, we see it eventhough it has set for a person at a lower level.

Accordingly using an aircraft to sight the moon allows the sighting at times earlier for a rising moon, and later for a setting moon.

In view of the above, I do not see anything objectionable in the Saudi practice of sighting the moon using aircraft. All that needs to be ensured is the sighting is always done using aircraft.

While I agree with the practice of sighting the moon using aircraft, I do not agree with the so called 'Islamic Finance' or using machines to slaughter animals.

Allah Subhana Wa Taala knows best.

Was Salaam


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