SOME BASIC POINTS ABOUT RELIGION ISLAM (part six)
Anyway, this should clarify my view as regard the miracles that have been reported in all religious scriptures including the quran. If such miracles were needed then, they are needed far more today than ever before as well as for everyone, for there are more people on the earth today than ever before and most of them are in exactly the same state of mind as regard knowledge as the people of those times. Either faith is possible without miracles or it is not? If it is, god was wrong in displaying miracles then but if it is not, he is wrong in not displaying his miracles now and he was wrong in not displaying it for everyone then and would be wrong for not doing the same for everyone now. Moreover the quran tells us that Allah‚€™s way of doing things was always the same and none will find it different ever. Anyway lets go back to how the quran uses insulting language towards its rejecters ie people like myself. If one reads the quran one will find that pagan gods are never left alone, for Allah throws one insult after another at them 22/73. Is it not the case that in the guise of Allah it is the tribal man himself who is taking the mickey out of everyone? It is so obvious that rather than Allah proving himself as god, he is trying his utmost to disprove the divinity of the idols. If one collects the verses for each, perhaps, there will be more verses in the quran that insult idols then those that put any arguments in favour of Allah. Do not get me wrong, I am all for freedom of expression but then we need to be fair in distributions of insults in all directions. Now the question, if one puts Allah in place of the idols, would it be alright for muslims? If not, why not?
Let me put it in an other way as well, was it possible for Allah to prove his divinity with out insulting anyone? If it was, why did he do it? If it was not then, why should muslims and their religion be treated any different ie their god, scripture, temples etc etc should also be insulted equally? Moreover, muslims should realise that if their Allah had to do things this way to prove his point then people are people they too will have to insult each others religions to prove their points. Although the quran gives licence to muslims to insult other people and their beliefs, the funny thing about all this is that these people read their scripture as a part of their prayer. Now imagine a muslim reading the quran in his prayers, saying, pagans are this and pagans are that, their idols are this and their idols are that, nonmuslims are this and nonmuslims are that instead of praising the lord. How does it sound? Does it sound logically right to read such a text as part of lord‚€™s prayer? Not to me, but if Allah likes it, the muslims like it and the nonmuslims are not bothered about it then I am just going to stay quite about it. If my muslim brothers and sisters are happy that when they stand to praise their lord, they swear at everyone else, I guess that should make me happy too, for muslims are normally a bunch of very sad people, so at least they found some fun in doing something in their life.
Let us now consider the inheritance verses in the quran. Please read 4/11.176 etc. First problem one will see here are the shares and the number of people amongst whom they are to be distributed. Allah says, give one third or two thirds or one sixth etc to this or that person. If you look at these numbers they are very awkward numbers. Why? Because you cannot cut things into so many exact parts to hand them to as many people. For example, when a father dies he could have any number of children male or female ie 3, 6, 7,9,11,13. Let say he leaves behind three sons with one million dollars to be distributed between them equally. The problem is we cannot divide one million dollars equally between three people. A small fraction of the amount remains undevisable. For practical purposes it is negligible but for divine truth it is a problem, because the work of god cannot be expected to be wrong even as little as the fraction I am talking about. If the man left behind six or seven sons the problem remains. So there is a real contradiction between the alleged commandment of Allah and the way he created the universe and us in it. According to the quran Allah created everything in precise measures so where is that precise measure now? There is no problem if the man had left behind three sons and three million dollars, for each would have got one million dollars.
11) The next problem in inheritance law is that the quran does not clarify the order in which shares should be taken nor if they should be taken at once and distributed. The problem is that if we take them all at once then they do not add up. Either the available estate exceeds the defined shares or that it fails to satisfy all the shareholders ie the available property falls short. On the other hand if we take shares in an orderly manner, the distant relatives end up getting shares that are smaller than the strangers‚€™ whereas the quranic context is clear that they should get bigger shares than strangers eg the close relative are to get bigger shares than the far relatives. In other words the fractions allotted as shares do not add up to make a whole. They either exceed or remain less than the whole. The next problem is that female children inherit half of what male children inherit of their fathers. Why this obvious inequality or justice? Some muslims explain that because females go and live with husbands who inherit from their fathers so they do not need equal share from their fathers. Others suggest that since brother is incharge in the fathers house so he looks after the sisters as well hence they do not need equal share. As I see it, it makes no sense whatsoever other than the fact that that is how it suited the tribal custom at the time. Parents were more interested in their sons than daughters. The reason that that was the case, was that men were stronger, and on their physical strength depended the security of their tribe so they were favoured more than daughters.
Even if we accept that women can be looked after by their families then the whole idea of giving any share of any sort to females makes no sense. The scenario then becomes like parents and small children or masters and slaves ie back to what the original tribal system was. Moreover, the better thing still would be that all people have equal share and then they pool together their resources for common spending purposes. I mean if sisters live with their brothers they can still spend their own money for their upkeep. They do not need to be the burden on their brothers. Moreover, a sister could have more than one brother, so what happens than? Because she will only be staying with one not all of them at the same time yet her other brothers will get same shares as the one who is responsible for the sister/s regardless whether she lives with them or not. Would they not start fighting over this issue of who spends what on the sister/s and so who gets what etc from their father? Also take the case of a woman who has no brothers at all, she still gets half of inheritance and the rest goes to other relatives, who are not responsible for her upkeep at all. There is yet other scenarios eg if two fathers die one wealthy one poor. The poor will have nothing much to leave behind but rich will have much to leave behind. May be children of poor man are good but children of wealthy man are bad. So the wealth is allowed to go into wrong hands by law, the while good people end up with nothing. Remember, I am talking about the perfection and fairness of the allegedly divine law regarding inheritance. The pointed out situations can arise, so what would the better solution be is the point for discussion . Another scenario is that children of two families (ie one rich the other poor) get married to each other. Rich boys marry poor girls and poor boys marry rich girls. Which pairs of children are given a better start as the law stands and is that fair? You can see that rich boys and their poor wives will end up better than their rich sisters and their poor husbands. What happens if rich marry rich and poor are forced to marry poor? Can we imagine the poverty gap that will result by this situation if the practice continues for sometime? So whichever way we look at inheritance law, it is tribal and unfair, for some children end up effectively better and the others worse.
I think daughters were less useful for their parents than the sons in ancient societies when it came to physical strength to keep a tribe in existence so they were given little or nothing at all. For example, you raise a daughter and when she is able to help the family she has to leave her family according to tribal custom, whereas son would stay and look after his parents all their life. Since the tribal system itself was unfair, its customs could not be fair, for that is how the evolution worked. It was instinctive behaviour based on little knowledge that brought about primitive human societies rather than any subtle thought and the quran is obviously product of that kind of society. I can come back in much more detail on all of these issues that I am raising but the best way will be to get most if not all the issues up first then start a well detailed discussion on as many of them as we want just to clarify them. If I raise issues and then fully discuss them as well, as we go along that makes the whole thing confusing.
Let us now turn to the quranic concept of universe. First of all, please be clear whether islam is a matter of faith in faith for you or a matter of proof, for you cannot have it both ways ie a bit of this and a bit of that as I clarified the issue in the beginning. You see, if you say that you believe by proof then we need to talk about the proof. This brings in science and that causes a serious problem. It means then you need to define proof, you need to have that proof and that you need to be able to prove it as well. As far as I am aware so far no muslim has been able to do so. The reason no muslim has been successful in this regards is, because science is about understanding the testimony of the witness and the physical evidences collected from the crime scene independent of each other. Let me explain a bit. Let say there was a crime committed. Say, somebody murdered somebody. Police interviews the witnesses and holds onto their statements. They also investigate the crime scene. They make sense of what the witnesses report and they also make sense of the physical evidences that have been collected from the crime scene. Now they match them to see if they make sense or need further investigation. In either case any contradictions or flaws within the statements of witnesses or within the collected evidences or in between both of them raise the issue of further investigations ie they are looking for a water tight case as far as they can ensure with no lose ends. They do not bend the statements of witness to suit the crime scene evidences nor they bend the evidences gathered from the crime scene to match with the statements of the witnesses. They are simply looking for corroboration between the two ie explanation of the physical facts by way of the sequence involved in the event that occurred as witnessed by the witnesses.
One needs to understand what the logic is. Logic is statements about sequence of physical things that happen from start to finish as in a flow chart. If an event is explained properly there would not be any flaws in sequence of physical facts as they happened nor would there be any contradiction between them. This is how logic is confirmed for its truth, for if a sequence is not logical, it would not work and so the event would remain unexplained. For example, the witness makes a statement that he saw the killer, take the gun out of his pocket then shoot the victim three times in the head killing him instantly. There is a flow of steps in the statements here which makes perfect sense logically. Had the witness stated that he saw the killer kill the victim by shooting him three times in the head then took his gun out of his pocket to shoot the victim, the whole sequence of events would have got muddled up and so would not have made logical sense. Also if the witness had said that victim was shot but actual wounds found on the body were of knife then again witness statement would not be logical explanation of the event. A true witness when explains an event by his statement, all the physical facts must fit in neatly step by step without any lose ends creating a water case. This is what is called the reliable testimony of a witness or proof. Since we are physical beings and can only sense or experience physical things therefore any proof as far as we are concerned has to be physical that confirms our logic. In physical world we make statements but their sequence or logic is confirmed by actual events or physical facts. Without such a confirmation or verification we will never know whether our logic is correct or not.
We only know our logic is correct or incorrect because the events in the real world confirm it or disprove it. This is why logic is all about real world and its sequence of physical events. So those who talk about unreal world and try and use logic to explain it and think their logic is correct are deluded. Why? Because they assume one thing then another thing and then yet another thing and so their this unending chain of assumptions remains unconfirmed therefore any such explanation is no explanation at all. This is why it is wrong for them to call it logical or factual. When we discuss logic and proof most people do not realise that they cannot use them in nonphysical related matters. For example, if a person claims that one man killed another man, we can prove or disprove the claim, for such an event is physical. However, if a person claims that one nonphysical being killed another physical being, we cannot prove the claim. Why not? Because as far as we are concerned such beings do not exist and therefore the claimant must be mistaken or mentally not right. The same will happen if a person claims that a nonphysical being killed a physical being. Such a thing would be unbelieveable, for it is totally beyond confirmation or science of proof and proving etc etc. Likewise if we want to prove religion or the scripture divine, we cannot for the reasons explained already.
Yet if we want to use the science to prove that the quran is word of god or that the universe is created by god then we need to do a bit of detective work as well. We need the original text of the quran as well as its original interpretation. We need to have the sense the quran gives us from itself independent of anything else about everything that we need to know. Next, we observe the universe and collect data as much as possible and interpret it independent of what the quran or any other scripture for that matter says. Finally we superimpose one on the other just to see if we have got what we are looking for ie a perfect match. Now my question to you dear brothers and sisters who are interested in this kind of discussion would be, have you done all this? I have already stated clearly that science cannot be used to prove religious truth but it can be used to falsify it and if it succeeds in that which I think it does, then the problem is solved. As made clear already from my point of view, we need to know full well whether we agree on such rules of discussion or not. If you do not then please be my guest and put forth rules that are as sensible as these and we will take it from there or failing that we can first argue about the rules themselves to get the correct rules as criterion to go by. If you do agree and can answer the questions raised then in this discussion I am going to raise questions about the quranic idea of creation of universe that we have from the original source to see whether it matches the idea of creation the way scientists understand it. In detail I will be discussing location of galaxies in our universe, location of their solar systems and location of our own solar system in our own galaxy.
I will further discuss the origin of human languages and species and show very clearly that the quranic concept of the universe and its contents is seriously wrong in present context because it is based on observations of a tribal man 1400 years back. Most muslims believe that the quran is for personal spiritual guidance and should be interpreted allegorically, symbolically or metaphorically. They are absolutely against mixing the quran and the science business. That does not mean to say that they are against science and technology, for each has its own place. However there are many educated muslims as well who believe that the quran is a scientific miracle. My view is that if one believes the quran to be for personal spiritual guidance then it cannot be scientific hence it should be interpreted metaphorically. However, if one believes it to be scientific and that it is to be imposed on everyone then one has to take it literally and not metaphorically. I have this view because I see this world as a real world and I see any other make belief world unreal or imaginary, for there is no proof available that could make a water tight case that there is such a world and that I am required to believe in it. In my view all alleged divine scriptures were written centuries later to explain the past and some people are silly enough in our time to tell us that these scriptures can tell us about our future as well beyond any means. What they do is, fiddle the actual texts or their original interpretations to make them say whatever they like, to make them relevant to whatever is going on today and that is cheating as I have explained. Our job is not to prove existence of god through make belief but to believe in god if there is evidence for existence of god and that that god demands that we believe in him. There is no need otherwise to go through all this trouble.
I do not believe in god because I do not need to, for I have not come across god myself nor has god come to me by any sure means. So why it matter that we should believe in something that does not require us to do so is beyond me unless there is somebody with some alternative motives or interests who has invented and organised religion to use it as a mechanism to control and exploit others to take advantage of them. Should we not find terms like preaching, dogma, indoctrination, missionary propaganda mission, conversion etc etc offensive? Do they not give us cause for concern that there may well be people with mindset of a controlling freaks at work here? We are all equal and perhaps some know more than others but that does not give anyone the right to look down on anyone else. So please think about relationship between terms like feudals, destitute, priests, religions, scriptures, exploitation, indoctrination, temples, religious schools, missionaries, dogmas, masters and slaves etc etc and if they were attributed to real people. Moreover as I was saying that people are used to making up stories and we know how hot is the fiction market. I mean we have factual writing as well as fictional writings and it is not that difficult to bridge them both by religious writing ie a sort of hybrid between the two. Let me explain it a bit. You see even science is not all self evident facts. What we do is look at real things as they are today ie we try and observe them the best we can. Why we do that? Just to see how they might have been in the past and how they might be in the future. For example, we observe the growth of a plant as it is just now in front of our very eyes. We jot down the data in all its needed aspects and we make a table of it. We keep doing this for as long as we deem it necessary. Say we are observing a plant to see how much it grows daily in its height. After some time we come to know what its daily growth rate is. Now we can imagine how tall it might have been few days before we began our observations. That is we are now filling in the missing gap by reason ie we are making up the thing ourselves by way of method we have invented. What we are doing is projecting the present information into the past with necessary amendments.
For example, if the plant grows 10cm each day and now after four days of observation it was observed 100cm tall then fours days back in time it would have been 60cm tall. Likewise we can project the data into the future and say, in another four days it will be 140cm tall. Of course, it could be blown away by the storm by next morning. This is science and fiction ie our creativity working together. I am calling it fiction because we have created a method to know things which otherwise we could not know. Likewise by observing how people live today, we can make reasonable guesses how they might have lived centuries back. These guesses sometimes become reality when by accident we stumble upon some ruins of ancient civilisations. Let me put it in another way. Let say, there was a murder. The victim was shot dead from outside the room. Now the way the crime scene is, we can guess from which direction the bullets might have been fired and which way they might have traveled to hit the victim. Maybe we will have bullet holes in the window glass showing entrance of bullets in the room and going in the direction of the victim. From there we can guess wherefrom they might have been fired. So science is all about making things up oneself and then verifying them for their accuracy or truth ie it is not one hundred percent word of a god. The only difference is that scientific guesses are based on physical facts and are for physical verification. Once confirmed those facts make sense and help us solve problems or find more facts and so the circle continues whereas religious explanations may not be based on observed facts at all to begin with and even if they were, they will not lead us to guesses about physical facts that could be physically verified nor lead us to find more physical facts and so that road is a dead end. So to think religion and science are one and the same thing or that they are two sides of the same coin is completely wrong. Yet if you like scientific explanations that is fine and if you like religious explanations that too is fine by me so long as we can live together in peace and harmony without any threat of dharma yudha from my hindu brothers and sisters, holy crusades from my christian brothers and sisters and of course of al-jihaad from my muslim brothers and sisters.
Now, coming to islamic context of science, it has nothing to do with the quran as a scientific miracle. Why? Because there is no verse in the quran that says, people, you should use its claims for scientific verifications. In fact there was no such concept of science at the time the quran was allegedly revealed. As for the prophet of islam, he never said to anyone to test the quranic truth by scientific methods and systems, he never did it himself and he never consented to anyone for testing the quranic truth in this way. Next we find no such evidence in the quranic tafaseer books of the time. It is therefore difficult for me to accept that the quran is a scientific miracle of our time that should be verified by scientific method. Had this been the case the quran ought to be full of scientific statements for verification purposes. Remember, it also ought to be very clear and precise, for science is all about precision and accuracy. You cannot claim vague statements as scientific claims nor verify them scientifically. Moreover the prophet himself ought to make as much noise as he could in telling people that the quran is a scientific miracle and how it should be tested for its scientific claims. You see if this thing was so important, would it be left to 21st century muslim scientists or would god or prophet be right in doing so? I mean, the responsibility rests with god to define the proof for us, give the proof to us, define the way of proving to us as well as to prove to us the heavenly revealed truth. If alleged god is silent, his alleged prophet is silent, the early muslims are silent then why are muslims of today making up such things on the go? Have they any alternative agenda for which they are conspiring against islam? So how right are those who claim to be muslims and believe the quran is a scientific miracle? Are these muslims of the mind that we will not catch them out when they will try to put the cart before the horse?
Even if I accept muslim claim that the quran is a scientific miracle to be verified by scientific method for sake of the argument, I will have problem with many verses of it. For example, I will have problem with the following verses of the quran. Here the quran is talking about creation of the universe and its definition or description etc etc. Please see verses like these in the whole of the quran 2/29,258, 3/133, 7/54, 10/3, 11/7, 13/2, 14/32, 15/14-17, 17/44, 92, 19/90, 21/30, 32, 22/15, 23/17, 86, 25/25, 45, 61, 26/187, 31/10, 32/4, 34/9, 36/38, 37/7, 39/5, 41/9-12, 43/9, 44/10, 45/5, 50/6,15,20, 38,44, 51/7,22,47, 52/5,9,44, 54/1,11, 50, 55/5, 33, 57/4,21, 65/12, 67/3,16, 71/11,15, 72/8, 78/12, 79/27, 85/1, 86/11, 88/18, 91/5 and ask yourselves, what are SAMAAWAAT that are always mentioned with ARD=earth? Word SAMAAWAAT is plural of word SMAA, which is translated as heaven=visible blue sky. The sky was thought of by the author of the quran as a solid structure just as the earth is. Why? Because the quran repeatedly states that a piece of sky can falls on the people below. The difference is that the earth is down below and is flat but sky is up high and dome like or semi-spherical. There are paths in the heavens just like there are paths on the earth. Where are these heavens? We are told the sun and the moon are within these heavens and that these heavens are the ones that are over the earth, one on top of the other. The stars are within the lowest heaven and the earth and that there is vast space between the two. The sun is said to be the only brightest light in the whole of this universe and like wise there is but one moon in the whole of this universe.
It is precisely the reason that Allah thinks he can make the night or the day permanent ie by keeping the sun down or up for ever. You see, even when Allah talks himself he talks about sun rising up high or going down whereas we know for a fact that the sun and all its planets are in line horizontally along x axis, not vertically along y axis. Stars are just little lamps as compared to the sun and the moon. They all have been created together in a single act of creation in six days from the beginning to the end. The universe is a unit that consists of seven skies and one earth and that skies are just like the earth ie solid in structures. All things are within these heavens and the earth including hell and paradise. There is nothing outside these heavens and the earth. The heavens have been raised high and the rain and food etc is sent down from the lowest heaven by way of angels etc. The lowest heaven is within the reach of jinns as well. There is no concept of sky as a nonsolid sphere that surround the earth as a globe. There is no concept of separate creations of things within the universe ie galaxies and solar systems etc etc in the quran. It is exactly the same concept as we see in the jewish scripture called Torah except that muslim god does not rest on the seventh day. I have only taken here a few verses just as a sample. See what sense the quran gives for location of the heavens in relation to the location of the earth?