1) HOW ISLAM CAME TO BEING & SURVIVED
2) ISLAMIC CONSTITUTION & CONCEPT OF ISLAMIC STATE BOTH FLAWED
1) HOW ISLAM CAME TO BEING & SURVIVED
As far as the quran, the hadith, islamic history books and Muhammad‚€˜s biographies are concerned, there are no straight forward explanations. Most muslims tell us that Muhammad was a true prophet who was expected because he was mentioned in the previous divine scriptures. This is not true because Muhammad was not a messenger of god and there is no such proof. To understand this story one has to take natural progression of humanity as basis and that I have explained elsewhere how people have been interacting with their environment and with each other. Religion as an individual thought is completely different from religion as an organised institution that is put in a place for a purpose of exploitation of one people by another. As a personal thought religion is about personal reflection on nature and its origin or purpose and that is how far it goes. Personal religion only matters for the people who think religiously other wise it matters not. It is not necessary that we all always think about life in religious sense if there are alternative ways to look at life and nature. Since the origin of humanity itself people have been exploiting each other. One group takes over for a time and then perhaps another. People have become divided between powerful and weak. The powerful people have been trying their best to exploit the weak and the weak have also been getting chances to pay back here and there. This is a cyclic thing and therefore it is always expected that when powerful people take their brutality to the maximum point which is always different it has maximum victims. These victims are ready to react to bring about a change. All they need is leader and a trigger to set the ball rolling. Likewise, in Arabia there were rich and powerful jews and christians who were using Arabian tribal chiefs to exploit their people. There were so many slaves and poor people that they were fed up with the situation. So they were looking for a Messiah ie a saviour.
Muhammad himself came from a poor family ie when he was born, no one would foster him because they thought they may not get paid well. He suffered various set backs in life eg his father died before his birth, his mother died when he was only a few years old and then his grandfather died who used to lookafter him. He left him in care of his son Abu Talib who was father of Ali the forth caliph of islamic empire or according to shias the first rightful successor of Muhammad. Abu Talib belonged to quraish tribe which got on well with jews who used to provide Arabs with work. Abu Talib used to work for jews and when Muhammad grew up he used to take Muhammad with him on trading journeys. Soon Muhammad became a successful trader himself while working for a jewish lady by name of Khadija, who was a widow. As he became more and more successful in running the business the lady became interested in him and sought marriage with him. She was 40 years of age and Muhammad was 25 years old. Since both wanted to make their lives successful taking advantage of each others advantageous qualities, it seems they joined forces, so marriage may well be a business partnership. Muhammad used his wife‚€™s wealth to win over poor people and when he saw that he was well though of by masses that may have created a new ambition in him about ruling the Arab world or at least his own tribes. You see as you grow up and interact with different people you learn new things and you come to harbour new ambitions and new conclusions as you move on. For example, this marriage was perhaps supposed to give jews more advantage over Arabs as Khadija would have liked but Muhammad later on began to think differently ie he slowly became his own man and turned against the very jews who initially supported him. So originally they planned together for years and executed the plan to their success. Muhammad used to think a lot in isolation about what was going on in his family and tribe as well as Arabia.
It seems he originally planned along with his wife and her cousin to play the divine messenger game to get noticed. This is why despite having good relations with his uncles and cousins etc he runs to his wife‚€™s cousin for help, which shows he had better relations with jews rather than Arabs. Perhaps Arab tribal chiefs refused him because of this, for he went to jews without consulting them. As he became accepted amongst the jews and poor of Arabia and tribal chiefs realised this, we are told they offered him a place amongst themselves. Now he had no need for it, for he realised he was getting there anyway. Muhammad was thus able to establish himself as a leading businessman then a leading spiritual leader and finally a leading political leader. It was a simple thing to do for him, for he sensed the situation of people and acted accordingly and so that led him to success. He enticed simple minded poor people (who were already disillusioned and all too willing to lend a helping hand to him) by way of sex and loot, so he was able to find many followers from amongst them and so he fulfilled his dream. People who were slaves and poor who couldn‚€™t afford a single woman for wife were now able to get their hands on few of their own or many rich and pretty woman of other tribes whom they destroyed in the process ie jews in particular. To understand story of Muhammad we need to see his background, his jewish connection, his Arab connection and how he changed from birth till his death and why. Moreover what was the background of the people who joined him and what was in it for him and them. We need to know what mechanisms he used to get from one point to another, how and why.
In the beginning, we are told, Muhammad did his preaching work in Makkah secretly but when he was confident enough with his supporters then he began to work openly. As I already said, islamic history is seriously flawed or muddled up, for people have been trying to project Islam as a truly divine religion and Muhammad as a true divine messenger. So they try and turn Muhammad into a victim of pagan hate and persecution in the path of god, which he was not, for he was known as the one trusted. Persecution of Muhammad and his followers by pagans on the basis of religion makes no sense because the jews and the christians were monotheist as well as missionaries yet pagans had no problem dealing with them. Moreover, Muhammad and his followers were free to go into other places of their liking eg Abesinia or Habsha. Likewise they went to Madina or Yathrib out of their own free will. No one expelled them from Makkah nor anyone persecuted them except for slaves amongst them, because they were property of individual people and no one liked losing his property as the system was at the time. The only trouble may be that Arab chiefs may have noticed Muhammad‚€™s desire to oust them out of leadership with help of powerful jewish tribes here and there. Torah and Gospels do insult pagan religions, their gods and idols etc just the same as the quran. These things did not upset Arab pagans why would preaching of Muhammad about the same thing? The only thing that would upset tribal chiefs would be sense of loss of their position or place in their society. The story that Muhammad was offered to be the chief of all tribal chiefs if he forgets faith in one god but he refused is a myth. Again to show Muhammad purer than pure and above all which he clearly wasn‚€˜t. If Muhammad could become chief of chiefs then he would have had the advantage of making changes in the society as he wanted much more easily. Only that he was not offered the opportunity that he was busy trying to get it. Pagan themselves did not mind how many gods one believed in including just one ie Allah. Presence of jews and christians in Arabia and marriage of Muhammad to a jewish women with approval of Muhammad‚€™s pagan tribe says a lot in this matter. It is time we really took apart the myth that has been created around Muhammad. Arab pagans were not like muslims who get upset with anyone who is critical of their religion. Muhammad‚€™s carry on about their idol gods did not make them think about killing of Muhammad and his followers as he did when he came to power.
Yet another way of looking at things is that originally Muhammad respected, worked and siding with jews and fought against his own people and perhaps that is why jews of Madina did not oppose his coming to Madina because they thought of him as their ally who was furthering their objectives like other Arab chiefs but this time with their ideology as well. But soon after coming to Madina when he got his foothold there he turned against jews as well. May be it was his wife‚€™s plan to make jews more powerful in the land through Muhammad but then Muhammad himself realised that he could became powerful himself, so he became ambitious for himself. However there came a time when difficulties arose but as usual people do think of solutions and they find them. If a plan is made carefully and one works according to it then one has a great chance of success. No one starts a struggle unprepared for eventualities. Most stories in the quran directly come from jewish scriptures which are translated into Arabic and modified to suit the situation. This is why his people accuse Muhammad of forgery through jews as regard to invention of the quran, and they are right. The clever bit was to reveal the quranic text bit by bit so that if people ask for something it could be provided if possible or avoided in a way that it remained a bit unnoticed. Of course, you can‚€™t fool people who are equally clever and those are the ones that ask for proof not the illiterate and simple minded masses.
As far as the muslims making up the stories about Muhammad and establishing them is concerned, they could have learned the techniques from hindus, parsees, jews, christians etc etc ie every one has been doing it. It is not any well guarded secret. If hindus and parsees or christians can create god or gods, make them come down and live with people etc etc. why couldn‚€™t muslims portray Muhammad as a divine messenger? It must have been easier because if people could believe in worse ideas than what Muhammad came up with then why couldn‚€™t they believe in his ideas? As far as the creation of the quran is concerned it seems it did exist to some degree in Muhammad‚€™s time but some of it may well have been modified later like other religious scriptures. There is disagreement amongst the scholars as to validity of the alleged divine scriptures as reasonable historical accounts. I think the scriptures are bound to contain some facts about some events that took place in their time but none of them can be verified unless there are independent alternative sources available..
The story of Jesus may be used as an example. We have christian account, jewish account, Roman account and muslim account about him, which muslims collected from various jewish and christian sects of the time who became extinct by now. Putting them side by side we can say their was a man called Jesus, who rose against Romans because of their exploitation of jews but he did not succeed much. The struggle he supported was not started by him but by some jews before him including John the Baptist. Again one will see that Romans used jewish chiefs as their instrument to exploit ordinary jews and this is why some jews were blamed for bringing death to Jesus. Perhaps Jesus played in Roman hands to further their cause against jews and brought Roman religion to jews. It maybe that Jesus became ambitious for himself and went against Romans but he lost trust of both in this game. It is because christians blame jews for death of Jesus that jews have been treated very badly by the christians. Anyway these very jews who were exploited by Romans used Arab chiefs to exploit Arabian people in time of Muhammad and thus the persecuted people of one time become the oppressors of another people at another time or place. As explained above this could be one of the reasons that Muhammad started this religion but the other reason may well be that from a very early age he might have harboured the ambition that one day he would become a ruler of his people, so he began to work towards it. This is possible because he comes from a strong Arab tribe that had been dealing with other tribes for generations.
Also he may have started with a simple ambition but because things worked in his favour he went for more and more. His attitude towards his own and other people may have been different at the start as compared to the end of his mission. He seems to lack the sense of helping people through creating opportunities for them. For example, after marrying his rich wife he gives away to the poor everything that she owned rather than helping them by expanding the business she owned so that it could provide people with jobs. It makes no sense to me that a rich man should reduce his business to nothing in order to help the poor and thus become poor himself too. It will make better sense if we interpret it in the sense that he paid his secret supporters for future raids he planned after they all left MAKKA for YATHRIB or MADINA. He basically planned to live a bandit‚€™s life but he got lucky and was able to establish a community by involving them in the process or game. As these bandits grew in numbers and strength they got more and more encouragement so they kept raiding larger and larger farther and farther tribes etc. Their slogan for other people was simple, accept our way of life and force others to do the same. If they refused they were destroyed and their women, children and property was taken over and divided between the bandit companions.
Rich Arab tribal leaders were particularly targeted in the beginning and thereafter the jewish tribal leaders. Whatever the real story may be behind success of Muhammad and islam it has nothing to do with god or faith in god because there is no proof of that whatsoever in islamic religious literature. The quran is not revealed by any god, Muhammad was never a prophet appointed by any god nor islam an appointed religion from any god for mankind to follow. It may have been used just as a trick or an excuse against a people to attack them. The people with whom Muhammad and his followers had some personal scores to settle. Since things went in their favour better than their expectations so they created a cult out of it that was spread worldwide through terrible wars and destruction in order to collect bounties . After all it is only successes at small scale along the way that encourage some people for bigger steps. Muhammad was only interested in supremacy of himself, his tribe and his people. So long he was supported by people he carried on when they begin to settle down he too began to lose courage.
2) ISLAMIC CONSTITUTION & CONCEPT OF ISLAMIC STATE BOTH FLAWED
One must realise the fact that there was never an islamic state ever in the world. Not because I say so but because there is no evidence for it. The islamic state the muslims wish to create is only an imagination and cannot become a reality because the idea is not capable of that. The example of an islamic state usually cited is of the state that was created by Muhammad but one has to ask, is it true? The answer is Muhammad never created any state he lived as a tribal man to begin with then as a bandit and so did his followers. There was no any kind of state constitution in time of Muhammad nor any regular army or police service. He ruled or led his people himself and never appointed any method of election or selection. The disputes and the wars between his followers after his death are an evidence for that. No person in the right mind can call such a system an example of islamic government in an islamic state. Even if we accept the theory of divine revelation, the main thing for a divine constitution is to be comprehensive ie it must lay down clearly in an orderly manner perfect and complete aims and objectives for ever because the world is always changing. It must state the offices of governing body, the roles, the powers, the rights and the responsibilities of its office holders as well as its citizens. The system must be fool proof, so that some people cannot take undue advantage of others through it. The system must have power balancing structure so that there is no longer need for power struggle between its people because of it. One must realise that legal rights do not mean a thing unless people in authority for their distribution are clearly told to give them to the citizens and the citizens are clearly told to take them of the office holders. Similarly putting obligation on people is useless unless there is mechanism to monitor people that they are fulfilling their responsibilities and that in case they do not there should be a faultfree mechanism to ensure accountability. The constitution must provide people with clear cut laws that are just and fair for all involved. One may say, well, this is much too much to ask for of an ancient book. But this is exactly the point I am making that old religious books cannot cope with present or future situations. However, if they are divine then they should prove their worth, shouldn‚€™t they?
Looking into the quran, one will not find any clear cut aims and objectives in an orderly manner and for ever. So when we give priority to one thing as oppose to another people start dividing into sects. Since governing offices are not stated clearly, when we devise them people begin to divide into sects. When we talk about roles, rights and responsibilities of office holders and citizens we become divided into sects because this is not clearly told in the quran. When it comes to laws, they too are not laid down clearly in an orderly manner so everyone starts dividing and fighting when we make laws ourselves. According to muslims, the quran is the final divine revelation forever. One has to ask if god needed to send prophets and laws in the past then why not in the future? Because future developments are at a much faster rate and are at a much wider scale therefore need for divine guidance is even more than ever before. If god was interested in guiding the less number of people in the past then why would he not be interested in guiding such a large population of people that exists today?
The divine revelation ought to tell us about the best possible ruling system for ever but the alleged divine scriptures do not. This is why people are divided about what the ruling system should be. Should islamic state be a kingdom ruled by a king? Should it be a republic ruled by a president? Should it be a parliamentary state ruled by a constitutional monarch and governed by a prime-minister or should it be a parliamentary state governed by a prime-minister with a constitutional president as its head of state? Or should it be a theocracy ruled by a clergy or should it be a some other kind of dictatorship? The purpose of law is said to be to allow people to live their lives peacefully and to stop people from fighting with each other and to solve people‚€™s problems whether civil or criminal should any arise among them. The problem with alleged divine laws is that they are static whereas the world is dynamic. For example, take criminal justice system, because the factors in criminal judicial system change throughout time and place for which the legal system is stated so the systems must change ie they must take into account changing technology, circumstances and situations. What I mean is that crime is now possible in ways that were previously unknown due to advances in technology and so is crime detection but if new ways of crime are not accepted as criminal or the crime detection methods are not accepted as evidences then sophisticated crimes will have to go undetected and unpunished.
The criminal laws also change ie what was legal in olden times is no longer acceptable legal. For example, a person had the right to have slaves, a man had the right to have sex with his slave girl, a husband had the right to force himself onto his wife, and a muslim had the right to kill a nonmuslim or an apostate etc etc. All these things are now internationally illegal under human rights declaration. Moreover a law must be fully balanced through and through in order for it to work for the benefit of the individual as well as the society at large. In other words it is very important that crime detection, required evidence for charging or prosecution of a criminal, detection of root causes of crime, punishment and its deterrent effect, and the benefit to the victim of the crime and the society at large are all well coordinated. Should any of such factors be even unbalanced never mind ignored the law will not work and the society will fall apart. However looking into the quran or any other alleged divine scripture for that matter, one can clearly see that such important points for regulating the society have been ignored or were not realised by the authors of the scriptures. One will see that a criminal is not brought to book because the punishment is too harsh which requires so many witnesses in order for an accused to be charged, prosecuted and convicted. This makes mockery of a justice system which fails justice because the crime is allowed to pass undetected.
What is the point of setting up harsh punishments for a crime if the required evidence is impossible or difficult to obtain? The harsh punishment then does not and cannot work as a deterrent if no one or a very small number of criminals is detected, prosecuted or convicted. Moreover victim support is necessary as well as avoidance of wrongful accusations and convictions. As there are a lot of hurdles in the way of a victim, the criminal is given every chance to escape justice at every step on the way to justice until conviction has been secured. For example, it is not necessary that every crime will be detected by some one in order to report it to the authorities. It is not necessary that some one would have sufficient number of witnesses to get the criminal charged or to bring the case to the court. It is not necessary that witnesses would not fall apart during crossexamination even though they are telling the truth. Only and only if all this is there the conviction will come about. This still leaves out the punishment which may well be too harsh for the criminal but it may not sufficiently benefit the actual victim of the crime. Also it may not address the problems which the criminal faces now are has faced already which forced him into this crime in the first place. Moreover what should happen after a criminal has been convicted, sentenced and has served the sentence, in order to rehabilitate the person so that he may become a useful member of the society.
Look at it this way that two very useful members of the same family end up fighting for some reason, one ends up dead and the other faces death penalty. Tell me if the family is not devastated and should we care. Likewise families make villages, cities, countries and the world ie the whole world is a very large family. We therefore must eliminate all the problems which cause fights and wars between people because otherwise we are losing or stand to lose too many intelligent people from amongst us and as a result we will slow down the human progress towards cooperation in peace for prosperity. All conflicts in the world can be divided into three groups, ignorance and wastage; undue greed and nonsense religious differences. The problem is that most people do not realise that no matter how many people there are in the world everyone is needed to unlock the potential for our development in this universe. There is such an amount of information we need to know that we are not enough to do it. It is short sightedness on our part that we can see no use for ourselves or each other and end up in petty quarrels between ourselves. We need to rise above this mess and see beyond ourselves. We must interact and co-operate positively in order to benefit widely. We can and we must eliminate illiteracy and poverty so that we do not let a very large population of the world go to waste. Once people are educated they will be able to earn their own living and would be able to contribute to the human society in many different ways as well as those who are well established by now.
We need people with ambitions, goals and visions in life so that progress could continue in the right direction which is peace in the world and prosperity for everyone ie a better living standard. Exclusion is no way to peace and progress but pain and destruction through each other. We do not need a god, a divine guidance or some magical messiah to unite us towards our goal rather we should be adult enough to realise where our benefits lie or what will bring destruction to us. Religious differences will begin to disappear as more and more people become educated and see the need for unity so that we could establish more and more objectives. Think it this way that a useful and productive small family can only achieve or establish small things or objectives whereas a useful large family can establish large things. One person is one and more are more, so the more and more ambitious and productive people come together the more powerful the human society will become and more it will be able to establish. We must not create or allow the creation of barriers between people so that we could unite in our objectives and work together to achieve them. No single person or people can claim credit for whatever has already been achieved by human beings through out times and places. Every civilization has contributed to our knowledge, skills and survival. Human race has survived all destructive forces so far but we must ensure it does so in the future too.