The Cost of Practicing Islam?
14 Dec, 2005
RECENTLY, there have been many writings trying to explain why Muslims in general tend to underachieve compared to others. It is ironic that Muslims own the largest oil reserves in the world but their countries remain underdeveloped.
You can read this article by Thierry Gattuso addressing the same issue. Apparently, the article was read by a Muslim intellectual who came up with the solution that more Islam is needed. You can read the comments of Ali Sina on the response of Muslims to the crisis in this article.
Muslims seem to behave like drug addicts who always need more of the same stuff to relieve their withdrawal symptoms. Muslims just cannot face the crisis head on and cure themselves from this seventh century ideology; instead, they ask for more. This stimulated me to write this essay about the price we are paying for practicing Islam and the price humanity has paid for keeping Islam alive for so long.
Although I am not an economist, I delved into this topic to highlight the sheer economic non-sense inherent in Islam. This analysis will remind us of some idea of what sort of money we are talking about, rather than being an accurate estimate of the price that the Muslims pay for practicing their faith. Mind you, in this analysis, I have not even taken into account the price we are paying for jihad because all the money in the world does not bring back one lost life. Mohammed ruled in Medina for only ten years, during which he fought over seventy aggressive wars! This tradition of Islamic warfare continued immediately after his death and has been continuing up to our time.
Units of Measurements
Let us first agree on how to calculate the cost and which currency to use. The easiest way is to avoid any national currency so that we do not have to do any conversions. I am going to use man-hours as a unit of measurements. Let us agree that a one man -hour is the work produced when a man works for one hour.
An average person works eight hours a day and five days a week. The rest of the time should be used for rest and family/ leisure activities which are as essential to life as work itself is, if not more. I am not a pure economist or a qualified engineer, but I am told that building a commercial aircraft is one of the most complicated engineering projects of our time because of the millions of components involved. Such a massive project apparently costs a staggering one million man-hours
The cost of reading the Quran
Reading is normally a very efficient utilisation of time. It is usually informative and educational and can be a relaxing and very enjoyable pastime activity. We may dislike or disagree with what we read, but we still consider the time spent in reading as useful because of the information obtained about the subject or even about the knowledge about the writer or publisher. However, it is unlikely that anyone will read the same book again and again, certainly not everyday, regardless of how interesting the book is.
The Arabs came across the Quran some 1400 years ago and they didn't like it. But when Mohammed seized power he forced it on them using his claim of divine authority. This is not at all similar to forcing the Red book on the Chinese, it is far worse. The Arabs, now called Muslims under Mohammed's Islamic regime, were forced to revere the book, read it everyday and brainwash their children with it.
A Muslim cannot allow his mind, for even one second, to think of the Quran as a boring book, full with absurdities, because of the intense fear built in his mind since childhood. Muslims have a built in internal system that automatically oppresses their minds and stops them from ever thinking of expressing their true feelings towards their religion. They are conditioned to believe that such bad thoughts are not theirs but from Satan, therefore, should be rejected outright.
Muslims are supposed to read the Quran on daily basis, and at least once in a year (in Ramadan) If only one tenth of Muslims (i.e., at least 100 million Muslims) read the Quran once in a year that means three billion man-hours are spent just to read the Quran once in a year. That is assuming a speed of twenty pages an hour for thirty days, and is enough to produce three thousands commercial jets! Come to think of this!!
Just think of how many tens of thousands of Muslims are engaged at this moment of time in debates trying to cover up the mistakes in the Quran and re-interpret its verses to defend its nonsense. Just ponder on what Muslims could do with those billions of man- hours by just ignoring a book that says things like the earth is flat and the sun orbits the earth.
annual cost of Reading the Quran is: three billion man-hours a year
The cost of prayers
An average Muslim will spend at least an hour a day to perform the five daily prayers. Men, who ideally should go to the mosque to perform their prayers, spend even more time. Islamic societies, like Saudi Arabia, where all men have to go to mosques for prayers, allocate about half an hour for each prayer during which all businesses must stop completely. More time is needed for special prayers like Friday and Eid prayers. This, what an Islamic government would enforce once in power in any Islamic country. If only one tenth of Muslims are keen worshipers, then we have more than two hundreds and fifty millions man- hours wasted just to perform the five daily prayers!
Multiply this number by 335 days (After subtracting Ramadan days, which is calculated separately) and we get a figure of 83.750.000.000
The annual cost of performing the prayers is: 83.750.000.000 man-hours a year
The cost of Hajj
About two million people perform hajj every year, a ritual which takes only few days to complete. However, in practice, it takes a Muslim an average of ten days to complete the ritual. The official Hajj holiday in Saudi Arabia is actually about two weeks. Actual Hajj is just around an hour's hard work, Simple calculations will give us a figure like 480 millions man-hours lost, assuming the two million people dedicated ten days each for the Hajj. The pilgrimage of course affects all Muslims everywhere and involves considerable preparations and extra financial demands.
And there are health and safety issues too. Saudi Arabia, being an oil rich country, is currently capable to provide some essential facilities for the pilgrimage. However, this remains far from enough. Every year we hear about the thousands who are killed and injured due to stampedes, illnesses and cross infections. It is a common knowledge that everybody that comes back from the Hajj usually comes back with a respiratory infection.
In every Islamic country, there are special government departments to organise the journey to the Hajj. This is more evident in Saudi Arabia which employs extra measures and deploys extra staff to deal with such a massive influx of people. Assuming the country has only five millions of employees who have to stop working for only ten days then four hundreds million man- hours are lost just in Saudi Arabia. Add this to above figure of 480 millions man- hours we get a total of 880 millions man-hours. Considering other Islamic countries losses then a one billion man-hours lost must be a very conservative estimate.
The annual cost of the Hajj is: one billion man-hours.
The cost of Ramadan fasting
Muslims in general like to consider Ramadan as a month dedicated for fasting and worshipping. Working hours in most Islamic countries are reduced substantially, as Muslims do not allow normal daily activities to affect the spiritual atmosphere.
Muslims start the working day late and finish early and spend the day hours in a state of physical and mental exhaustion, because of the state of hypoglycaemia secondary to their fasting. However, Muslims just love to deny this simple physiological fact, and try to convince themselves that fasting is good for health, and will produce a typical Islamic research that defies the academic standards and designed to produce results to prove their point.
During the evenings, Muslims suffer of dumping syndrome due to eating too much after fasting for too long. They may suffer of headaches and may feel unable to do their normal activities. Muslims will then be busy performing taraweeh prayers that take about an hour to complete. They will also perform other keyam prayers after midnight that takes another hour to complete.
Suhur is a meal taken very late at night, when the usual medical recommendation is not to eat before retiring to bed. But suhur is a meal that is recommended by Muhammad; therefore, Muslims will just eat it regardless of any medical advice. After that there is a fajr (morning) prayer, which needs to be performed before eventually retiring to bed in the early morning. Undoubtedly, this will reflect on the next day activities. In other words, it will be another day wasted.
It doesn't matter how many Muslims actually observe fasting, because the reduction in the working hours affects everyone. If only one fourth or one fifth of Muslims go to work, that is about two hundreds and fifty millions people. Working hours officially drop from eight to six hours during Ramadan that gives us about five hundreds millions man- hours lost every day. Multiply that by 30 and you get fifteen billions man-hours lost during the month of Ramadan alone! Now, calculate, how many jet aircrafts could be produced with this staggering number of man hours? And that is assuming the rest of the working hours are efficiently used which they are not.
The annual cost of fasting is: fifteen billions man-hours.
By adding all the above billions of wasted man-hours we get a figure of:
The intellectual cost
The above astronomical numbers are dwarfed compared to the tax Islam imposes on Muslim's intellectual activities. A true Muslim believes that science is about learning Quran and Hadith( Muhammad's sayings and deeds) they say in Arabic: alelmu aya aw hadith, which means just that. The Arabic word for Muslim clerics is ulama which mean scientists! Other sciences, like physics and maths, are considered to be only auxiliary.
It is the duty of Muslims to read the Quran as many times as possible, and preferably know it by heart. They also need to know its interpretation. After the Quran comes the hadith and sunna which Muslims are also expected to know in some details. Having done that, Muslims have to read the sirah, which is the life story of Muhammad, and the rest of Islamic history. For non-Arabs, we can add the time spent in mastering the Arabic language. A Muslim must know at least the basics of sharia law in order not to miss out in the race to paradise. Muslims must know what to say when they wake up in the morning, and what to say when they go to bed at night. They must know what duaa (prayers) to say at the beginning of a meal, or at the end of it. They need to know which duaa to say as they go to the toilet or step outside the house or when they travel. There is a duaa for every occasion.
Having completed all that, a Muslim is expected to keep up to date with current Islamic sciences and research. For example, they are expected to know about the therapeutic capabilities of reading the Quran and hadith and their applications to their daily lives. A very important Islamic science is called altebbu alnabawi meaning medicine according to the prophet. Muslims believe that just mentioning the word Allah is very soothing to the mind, while dipping both wings of a fly in one's food provides cure from illness. True Muslim doctors and intellectuals believe in these Islamic medicines more than they believe in their text books or man-made medicines, and will direct their scientific research to prove their point. They will manipulate scientific and medical research; in the same way they manipulate the Quranic interpretation, to produce results to their liking.
True Muslims must believe in Jinns (invincible creatures) as a very influential factor in causing illness and family crises to humans, and they are expected to learn from the Quran and sunna how to deal with these creatures. Muslims also believe in dreams and will read books and waste hours in front of televisions to learn about the interpretations of dreams according to the Quran and sunna. Dreams are believed to be messages from Allah (or may be from the Satan) which needs to be decoded! Almost every Middle Eastern television channel has dedicated programmes to educate people on how to interpret dreams or deal with jinns.
Having completed all those rituals and Islamic mumbo-jumbo, and Muslims still have some free and functioning brain cells, they may learn some other sciences. But true Muslims do not normally waste their time reading about other civilizations or religions, and those few who do, only do so for the purpose to learn how to attack it. True Muslims do not believe in music, photography, paintings, sculptures, performing arts or any fine arts. All these are sins!
It is a very sad fact that in a Muslim's library you can only find books related to Islam or, if there is still some room, the Islamic view of other cultures. You will not find a true Muslim reading about Hindu or Chinese cultures because they are, to Muslims, not even worth reading.
Let us put a dollar value to the man-hours wasted in Islamic activities. Assume an average wage of USD 10.00 per hour.
Now, multiply this average wage rate with the staggering figure of 102.75 billion man-hours.
Total annual cost of practicing Islam is incalculable! It is more than one trillion USD per year. Yeah, the Muslims are just throwing away more than a trillion dollars/year doing Islamic mumbo-jumbo! No wonder, worlds poorest countries are the Islamic nations!
It seems to me that Muslims underachieve because they do not have time!
Mumin Salih is a Middle Eastern ex-Muslim.