A Contract with Allah
03 Jan, 2005
Most of us, if not all, agree that there are many good Muslims around who believe in the same human values that are common to all nations and cultures and, at the same time, practice their religion with moderation and without jeopardising their relations with others. This kind of Muslims genuinely believes that Islam teaches peace, love and other good social values. Many ex-Muslims may have once belonged to this category, until they started to dig deep on Islamic knowledge and discover more about the untold secrets of Islam.
Those so-called good Muslims (described above), as well as many western apologists of Islam, ardently believe that there is no problem with Islam itself, but the real problem lies in its correct understanding and appropriate application. Some may wonder why we don't promote this good brand of Islam as an alternative to radical Islam. This essay will explain why this is only a wishful thinking as moderate Muslims can easily turn to radicalism.
The Islamic package comes in several stages: in the first stage, Muslims are introduced to a soft aspect of Islamic teachings which is purported to be in harmony with natural human, instincts like relations with parents and giving charities. Following today's fashion you may also add the emphasis on the myths of Quranic miracles which only exist in the minds of Islamic scholars. With this, also include some favourable quotations made by westerners for various reasons and in peculiar circumstances which is outside the scope of this essay. This is an introductory phase designed to establish allegiance to Allah, i.e. to Mohammed's teachings. This is always kept nicely polished and claimed as ranking high at the top of the Islamic package. Marketing Islam in this way reminds me of how shops in many Islamic countries sell big boxes of fruits and vegetables: the top layer contains the best selection while underneath the fruits may be rotten.
It is possible to preach a good brand of Islam and still be able to support the arguments with a number of moderate Quranic verses and Hadiths. Most Muslims follow such approach when they start practicing Da'awa (calling for Islam) and it is a recognized Islamic practice to use even financial incentives to tempt people to join in the fold of Islam. The Quran made it clear that such new comers (Al Muaalafat Kulubohom) who are still not sure of Islam are given Zakat money to help them to make their decision, which is the practice in Saudi Arabia today. It comes as a no surprise that many good Muslims see Islam from the moderate verse's and ahadith points of view and believe it to be a religion of peace and noble social values. They would usually produce the same set of moderate Quranic verses and hadiths in defence of their religion.
It is during this stage that a Muslim commits himself/herself to the absolute obedience and total submission to Allah, that is, to Mohammed's teachings--as if they sign a contract with Allah that becomes binding immediately. Once this stage is achieved and a Muslim signs the agreement with Allah, the rest is just a matter of reading the small print when other Islamic teachings about slavery, aggressive wars and treatment of others will come to light. Only then they realise there is more to true Islam than what they had initially learned.
Covenant of Allah
The Quran makes many references to this kind of agreement between Allah and Muslims using the word Ahd (Arabic for Covenant) this word can also be used to mean an agreement or contract in Arabic.
Read the following Quranic verses to see how Allah sees this covenant (Translations of Yusuf Ali)
Q.2:27 Those who break Allah's Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: these cause losses (only) to themselves.
Q.2:40 -and fulfil your Covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.
Q.16:91 Fulfil the Covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it -.
Q.16:95 Nor sell the Covenant of Allah for a miserable price: for with Allah is (a prize) far better for you, if ye only knew.
Q.13:20 Those who fulfil the Covenant of Allah and fail not in their plighted word;
Q.33:15 And yet they had already covenanted with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must (surely) be answered for.
Q.33:23 Among the Believers are men who have been true to their Covenant with Allah: of them some have completed their vow (to the extreme), and some (still) wait: but they have never changed (their determination) in the least:
Q.48:10 -.. and anyone who fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah, Allah will soon grant him a great Reward.
It appears from the above verses that the Quran is talking about a contract between Allah as the first party and Muslims as the second party, and it is very important that Muslims must fulfil their part of the contract in order that Allah fulfils His part. Let us have a look at some of its clauses.
According to this contract, the second party (Muslims) promises to pronounce The Shahada, which is the single most important pillar of Islam and makes the difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. The Shahada (in Arabic it means seeing or eye witnessing) is a statement made by a Muslim that he/she is a witness that Allah is God, and that Mohammed is his messenger. Considering that not a single Muslim has ever seen Mohammed in the last thirteen centuries you know what a big flat lie this is! It is amazing the number of Muslims who are willing to make such a wrong statement in front of God! The first part of the Shahada is also a self contradicting statement as it is about giving the name Allah to God. If Muslims really believe there is only one God then why he needs a name, especially a pagan name?
Also, according to this contract, the second party (Muslims) will commit themselves to a total trust in Mohammed's teachings without ever questioning them even when they seem so bizarre. Muslims are not committed to trust human minds unless they are in agreement with Mohammed's teachings, because, according to them human minds can be misleading. Islam (which means submission, not peace) demands total blind faith from its followers. Therefore, Muslims are expected to place their total trust in Mohammed's teachings, no matter how much absurd they might sound. When Mohammed says dip the fly in your food because there is cure in its wing then that must be true regardless of what science says. Muslim intellectuals devised various excuses to help their brains swallow such inedible nonsense, such as: saying 'who knows? May be in the future science will prove it right! Allah knows best'
In effect, Muslims accept to put their brains to rest as no more thinking is required. A Muslim's mind is mainly used to read and memorise the Quran, hadiths and other Islamic studies. Outside the Islamic field, a Muslim's mind can only be used to augment whatever information already exists in the Islamic library and must always come to the conclusions that are supportive to the Islamic ideology. Other conclusions will not be tolerated and may even be treated as crimes that might be punishable by death sentence.
In return for the above, Allah (the first party), promises victory to Muslims in this life, and Paradise in the next life. Allah is the tool used by Mohammed to discipline his followers and is still used for this purpose in our time. To avoid His severe punishment in life and after life Muslims are in constant fear of upsetting Allah, and there is no shortage of examples in the Quran of how Allah had punished those who disobeyed Him in the past. At certain stage, Allah nearly annihilated the entire human race from the face of earth. This is why when a committed Muslim is asked to become a suicide bomber he/she has no choice but to oblige-can a Muslim ever dare to disobey Allah?
Making of a radical Muslim from a good one
Good Muslims are good so long as they are still in full personal control of their minds. Even then, they are within the reach of the hands of radicalism. All it takes to make fundamentalists from good Muslims is to produce some of the radical verses or hadiths to show them how they are in breach of their contract with Allah and, by agreement; they will shut up and be convinced. The weakness of Muslims is: they agreed to surrender their minds' abilities to reason. They surrender their minds to a 7th century man whom they never met or seen-a man who painted for them a brutal picture of Allah which they are not allowed to dispute for one second.
Good Muslims are carriers of a deadly virus of cult; they feel healthy and appear healthy but are always vulnerable to develop the full blown disease. The very fact that they are good puts them under increased risk of giving up the controls of their minds to Mohammed's teachings to honour their contract with Allah. Once that happens, it is only a matter of time when they will be sucked into the black hole of radical Islam.
Mumin Salih is a Middle Eastern ex-Muslim.