Saturday, January 1, 2011

I hate "BUT THAT WAS 1400 YEARS AGO" as an excuse to reject something clear in Islam

I really, really hate, actually, I disregard intellectually and totally don't mean to, another person's argument, when that other person tells me this famous line "but that was 1400 years ago" in response to an order they are rejecting in a Sahih hadith or the Qu'ran.

Really? That was 1400 years ago, now was it? Didn't the Qu'ran say, 1400 years ago, that when you say "la illah il Allah, Mohammdan adbu rasoolulah" then you have to believe also in the Qu'ran:
"This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion."-- [Qur'an 5:3]
and in everything there written, and follow what The Messenger gives one, and abstain from what he forbids one.

"Take what the messenger gives you and abstain from what he forbids you. " [Qur'an 59:7].

So obviously, whatever was written in the Qu'ran (albeit) in context, is as required of the Muslims, as it was then. 1400 years ago or not. And if the Messenger of Allah told us not to do something, well then, we shouldn't. If we do disregard the commands of Allah and/or his Messenger (it's one and the same, says the Qu'ran in many places, over and over and over): [], it is much the same as disregarding "la illah il Allah, Muhumad abdu rasoolulah"

Recently I engaged in a debate on a blog, non-specific to Islamic content, on a post about religious discrimination about Muslims in the USA, Tennesse specifically, where a Mosque to be built was protested and then vandalised. As is typical, a commentator remarked:

I wonder what would happen if they tried to build a church in Saudi Arabia? And I wonder what would happen if a Muslim there chose to convert to Christianity? I fear the backlash would be far more violent and extreme than a bit of vandalism and a lawsuit (which will probably fail).

To which I replied:

Anonymous: There WERE no Christians formally living in Saudi Arabia (which wasn't [then] under the rule of the Sauds) after the death of the Prophet Mohamed SAW. So if you want to blame any backlash on Christians in KSA, blame the Saudi govenment for importing cheap domestic workers of other religions than Islam THERE to need/require a Church under their rights in the first place. It wasn't supposed to be done in ISLAM at all. The lazy population as it has come to be were only supposed to have Muslim servants if any but hey, they said, we are lazy[,] we need [workers to do our work for us], let's break the Islamic law that says no non-musliums in KSA in the first place ourselves, and then punish THEM when they want to convert people or build churches.

And Saudi Arabia isn't based on religious freedom. Duh [k, I shouldn't have "duh\ed but most people who write about KSA know NOTHING about it].

But America is supposed to be, including Tennessee.

Mohamed sallalahi wa salaam said: "Expell the Jews and Christians from the Arabian pennisula" Sahih Al Bukhari.

This was carried out in a slow process under Umar, the second Caliph, where Jews and Christians were given big tracts of fertile land outside the Muslim holy lands and freedom to trade with the Muslims.

To which, I got a response I didn't really expect, and the parts I personally disagreed with, I will post here:

Their acceptance of foreign workers however is not a fault, and in the present time it would be extremely backward to resist this. What happened in your example was 1400 years ago and times have changed since then, thank God. Those that think we should be staying static, clinging to 1400 years ago are doing an injustice to Islam and preventing the natural development of humanity. If God didn't want us to move on from those times he might as well have wiped us all out then. Also, I think calling an entire nation lazy is a bit unfair.

Have you ever tried to warn someone of an innovation to laws of Allah to only have them come back at you with "driving a car, using a computer and talking on the phone is an innovation too, so what you are calling an innovation cannot possibly be valid?" "This is ALL 1400 hundred years ago nonsense."

As sis Jamilah posted on her blog , the innovations and changes to the laws of Allah we are talking about have to do with innovations on the religion, NOT on technological or even social changes.

So, I had to say in response to the argument "What happened in your example was 1400 years ago and times have changed since then, thank God. Those that think we should be staying static, clinging to 1400 years ago are doing an injustice to Islam and preventing the natural development of humanity" that when Muslims talk of women's rights, they say, look at what Islam says and the Prophet said and did, and that was pretty perfect 1400 years ago. What is DONE now by KSA to women today is NOT part of Islam, Muslim women like the one who wrote the comment I diagreed with and myself would both argue. "KSA would say, well, the world has changed, people are more evil now." The argument "What happened in your example was 1400 years ago" is doing the same corrupt thing, saying Islam was not perfect then, or the world requires something different than what Islam prescribes.

I am not the one saying women can't drive today, whereas they could 1400 years ago, following exactly what Islam prescribes, camels donkeys, what have you... And I will NEVER BE THE MISGUIDED ONE saying let us cause the problem that NEEDS one to break Shariah law (forbidding the import of non Muslims into the Arabian peninsula), need building of Pagan things or import of false doctrine into a place saved by Rasoolulah.

The Prophet Mohamed said pretty clearly, and the hadith is sahih: "Expell the Jews and Christians from the Arabian pennisula" Sahih Al Bukhari.

I am not saying we can't have cars, ect, ect... or have to live in mud houses, but Quran and Sunnah is pretty clear on what is halal and what isn't for a Muslim nation. Well, importing workers of Non-Muslim faith to live and work there, not in the Dhimmi culture, is also not part of Islam. It is not backwards for me to say that. I am repeating what the Prophet Mohamed SAW said.

Nor should it be offensive for me to say, not following this pure, easily understandable command from Rasuloolah, that those who wouldn't are lazy.

It was said, and not by myself: "I think calling an entire nation lazy is a bit unfair."

For KSA, there are MANY, MANY tasks, that the local population could fulfill, or even just the UNEMPLOYED WOMEN IN KSA, that would then lesson the foriegn non-muslim population. Cashiers, road maintenance, construction... But pride, and nationalism, plus greedy bosses who pay unfair wages, make these things off limits for Saudi society that suffers from a high unemployment rate. I call that lazy. Not on individuals, but on the cultural way of dealing with supply and demand of work.

It IS INCREDIBALY lazy. And I know alot of Saudis who'd call their culture lazy. Even themselves. I knew hundreds of Saudis, and only 1 who'd ever take a job doing manual labour (he's a guy) for a even a high salary. I lived with them for 5 years. Believe me.

If Saudi had followed the natural course of the law from Islam's Messenger, arguing about building Pagan things in KSA wouldn't even be an issue for our enemies to wave against us. In these cases, following the law of 1400 years ago, is a BETTER OPTION, then the ones available now.

The Messenger of Allah said: "Indeed, the most evil of matters in the religion are the newly invented ones, and every innovation in the religion is bid`ah, andevery bid`ah is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire."

I will quote sis Jamilah, who said "I feel true embarrassment for those who use the 'well you drive a car' argument to defend some innovation that they are attached to. May Allah swt guide them and protect them."


So I repeat.

If Saudi had followed the natural course of the law, this wouldn't have been needed. In these cases, following the law of 1400 years ago, is a BETTER OPTION, then the ones available now.

That's kind of the one little annoying thing about something that is a truth. It doesn't grow untrue, no matter how much time passes, or how long it is ignored.

Now, if you have been one of those using the, "But that was 1400 years ago" argument, I guess you could always be left to argue: "If God didn't want us to move on from those times he might as well have wiped us all out then."

No offence, and I really mean none. Islamic law and politics facsinate, and I find Saudi Arabia to be terribly hypocritical, because they keep what laws as they see fit, and break the ones that mean they have to treat people more fair and give more money to people less than them ect... but if using that end point in logic, as my non-Muslim father does, why don't you just take it all the way and ask why did God create us at ALL with the ability to choose right from wrong?

If you aren't a Muslim, Philosophers have argued this FOR centuries, and I am SURE you can find some resources to help you find your answers.

But if you are one those you proclaim "la illaha il Allah, Muhammadan abdu rasoolulah":

Islam says, it is because God wanted us to submit to Him. And to recognize the Prophet Mohamed as the Messenger of God.

And in this case, the Messenger of God told us to do something.

And we didn't.

It's as simple as that.

And to quote sis Nida from

"I recognize that there are many problems in our Muslim communities we should be addressing, however we have to start solving these issues by changing our selves - not changing Islam. We need to reform ourselves, not Islam."


Sumayyah said...

People are so stubbornly insisting on equating what muslims do with what Islam is about. We can discuss what muslims do, whether it's right or wrong, but to discuss Islam we need to have sound knowledge about the foundations of Islam: Quran and Sunnah, and this is something that not even many muslims have. The fact that someone is muslim doesn't mean that this person does all because Islam tells him/her to do it! If there are murderers and thieves in US, does it mean that killing and stealing are allowed there? C'mon, where is the logic? If we want to discuss Islam, let's first get proper knowledge and understanding of fiqh. Until then, we can only evaluate muslims' actions without ascribing them to islamic prescriptions if we still do not know what the teachings of Islam are.

Also: as you said, Islam is a perfect religion, for all times and places. Nothing gets outdated. If Prophet (saw) forbade us sth. then it is forever to be abstained from. And what he commanded, it's binding forever as well. If someone claims otherwise, then it is his choice, but he should not spread his alternative teachings lest he be judged for misleading others in addition to himself.

Gail said...

Assalaam waliekum.

I actually love that argument because then I say:

What Allah SWT Hated back then; He still hates in this day in age.

You have the right to say what you want about your own culture or country. You're the one who has to live in it.
Some people try to push their cultural standards on other cultures and that's very wrong.
Seriously, people should really take a good hard reflect of their own culture before criticizing another culture.

Women not being able to drive in the KSA or mandated to wear nothing but black is not an Islamic issue, it's a lapse in Islamic deen and responsibility. Instead of focusing on problems of maintaining a properly ran Islamic state, the government chooses to push petty, un-Islamic laws. This is nothing new and government has been doing it for years.

My response to the technology/innovation issue:
Innovation in technology is different from an innovation in Islam.
Tools are tests that Allah SWT has allowed Mankind to improve to make life easier whereas Islam is perfect and adding/subtracting to it is a bad thing.

A Muslim driving a car and talking on a cell phone, insha'allah, will not send them to the Hellfire as quick as decorating a Christmas tree. The first is a tool from Allah SWT and the latter is a misguidance in Islam (bidah).
May Allah SWT Guide the Muslims to success.

Muslima said...

Nice to see this addressed. It is absolutely true that that is no arguement. I mean "oh it was a long time ago so we don't need to?" OKay, Islam came a long time ago so we don't need to follow it? Lame logic...

On the other hand could you please point out where you found that "jews and christians" hadith? I've read Sahih Bukhari, have a family of Muslim scholars and have honestly never heard of that hadith and am perplexed by it, especially as Rasulullah p.b.u.h. had a Christian wife?

Thank you

nida said...

The way I see it, and often explain it to other people, is that Islam is an all encompassing religious tradition. There are two components to this tradition – the social and religious/spiritual.

Islam transformed and revolutionized an entire way of life not just a belief system. It provided people with guidance on practical issues, as well as deep spiritual affairs. Where as social issues progress and change over time, spirituality remains the same. Allah’s word and Wisdom (the Qur’an) is timeless, therefore His commands are universal; however, our own existence and human experience is temporal and evolving. Therefore, innovations in technology and the way we live our temporal lives may amend to our historical time periods, yet the way we practice our religion should always remain the same. Ultimately we have to marry the two in order to live a fulfilling and healthy life as Muslims. That means, even though we have buses and trains, we should avoid sitting next to strange men. We can utilize and benefit from the practical ‘innovations’ while at the same time practice proper Islamic etiquette and maintain our modesty.

PS: Thanks for linking back to my blog :)

Pixie said...

Gail and Nida: thank you for your uplifting and very good responses to the 1400 years ago argument.

Pixie said...

And wa alaikom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakto!!!!!

Pixie said...

Muslima, the history of this is that there are to be no non-Muslim households. Rasooluluah's household was obviously Muslim, and his wives, while not all Muslim, did not participate in Christian or Jewish households.

The expulsion did not include Southern Saudi Arabia, nor Eastern. Not the same as KSA today. It was enforced patiently, providing better means and lands for the Christians and Jews outside the lands considered holy places. No Christian or Jew was allowed to live here, they were only allowed to be visitors, or traders with the and to the Muslims. Not to establish households or permanent employment.

And it is from Sahih Bukhari. I left my copy in Canada, and in Oman, I have yet to find an English translation to get the book number from you, but I am not mistaken, because Mukhari is quoted by the Suadi Sheikh Ibn Baz in his fatwa against hiring non-Muslim housemaids. So keep looking since I can't help till I get another copy:)

In more detail... the mushrikeen are forbidden to reside in the Hijaz specifically, and it is Makkah, Madinah and what "walahah" (surrounds it???)... this is the madhhab of the jumhoor of scholars.

In the Hanafis opinion it is permissible except for the Masjid, and (it was narrated) that Imam Malik (said) (Malaki opinion) it is permissable for them to enter the Haram for trading, and al Shafi'i said: they don't enter the Haram except with the permission of the Imam for a maslaha (benefit\good\gain) of the Muslims.

Muslima said...

OH thank you, that makes sense to me. Thanks for explaining in full as per your usual high standards. Jazakillahukhairan.

Pixie said...

Muslima: I don't have very high standards, but if I as soon as I get the book # I will put it in the post:)

I live in a Ibadhi majority country, where the Ulema of jurists are Ibadhi, so I cannot easily reference Sunni ahadith, since the Ibadhi have their own ahadith books.

razeena said...

i love reading your blog pixie =) its like reading my own thoughts =) razeena