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"O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful." [Noble Quran 9:119]

"If you obeyed most of those on earth they would mislead you far from Allah's way." [Noble Quran 6:116]

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Culture of spiritual beard originated from Jewish/Christian tradition

In the Noble Quran there are NO connections between spirituality, beards and long robes. The Quran gives us NO reasons to presume that our Prophet Muhammad (S) wore a long untrimmed beard. When it instructs believers to follow the Prophet, it does not refer to the physical appearance of the Prophet. Instead, the reference is to the Prophet's exemplary character. Yet, every Muslim cleric considers it mandatory to carry that 'exclusive priestly look' which many of them find a lot more important than righteous conduct.

Have you ever thought how this notion infiltrated into Islam after the death of the Prophet? Well, it was picked up by the 9th and 10th century Hadith writers directly from the orthodox Jewish and Christian traditions with plenty of evidence.

Christian concepts
The Bible states "You will not deface the figure of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27)
The exact nature of disfiguring the edges of the beard is debated by Christian "scholars." Some believe it forbade shaping the beard into a round or square shape that was popular in some ancient countries. The 'modern-orthodox' Christian perspective on beard is a bit more flexible saying that it is better for a man to have a beard than not to have one.

The following are a few (out of many) early Christian attitudes on men growing beards.

Sayings of St. Clement of Alxandria (c.195, E), 2.271, 2.275 and 2.276:
"The hair of the chin showed him to be a man."

"How womanly it is for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, and to arrange his hair at the mirror, shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them!…For God wished women to be smooth and to rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane. But He adorned man like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him as an attribute of manhood, with a hairy chest--a sign of strength and rule."

"This, then, is the mark of the man, the beard. By this, he is seen to be a man. It is older than Eve. It is the token of the superior nature….It is therefore unholy to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness.”

Saying of St. Cyprian 5.553 (Leviticus 19:27) "The beard must not be plucked. You will not deface the figure of your beard'."

Words of Apostolic Constitutions - 4th century collection of books on Christian discipline:
"Men may not destroy the hair of their beards and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the Law says, “You will not deface your beards.” For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men." Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c.390, E) 7.392. (1)

Jewish concepts
According to the orthodox Jewish culture, a Jewish man must grow a beard and payot (long hair at the temples). Throughout history the Jews have honored the beard as a mark of manhood. To this day, the orthodox Jews have little respect for clean-shaven men. During periods of mourning, the ancient Jews allowed their beards to go untrimmed. The practice was dervied from the notion of avoiding doing anything which could possibly result in a transgression of God’s commandments to the Jews. In that respect, religious Jews are precluded from cutting any hair growing around the jawbone.

Hadith concepts (unauthentic)
Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) said "Trim closely the moustache and grow the beard." - Reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501

Rasulullah (SallAllâhu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allâh" - Reported by Ibn Abbas (R.A.) in Tibrabi

Narrated ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "Cut the moustaches short and leave the beard" (Sahih al Bukhari)

Abu Hurayrah " reported that the ruler of Yemen, appointed by the Persian emperor Kisra, sent two envoys to the Messenger !. When they came into his presence, he noticed that they had shaved their beards and let their moustaches grow big. Hating their ugly appearance, he turned his face away and said, “Woe be to you, who told you to do so?” (Fiqh us-Sirah by al-Ghazali p. 359)]

The resemblance between the ideology of the false Hadith writers and that of the Jews and Christians is striking. One would literally need to be a retard not to observe it.

The Noble Quran
In stark contrast to all of the above, the Glorious Quran NEVER mentions a single word about the significance of beard in relation to one's Faith, ethics and conduct. In fact, God Almighty has firmly told the Muslims not to follow the practices of the Jews and Christians, implying only to adhere to the laws of the Quran.

"And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper." Noble Quran, Surah 2:120

"A party of the followers of the Book desire that they should lead you astray, and they lead not astray but themselves, and they do not perceive." Noble Quran, Surah 3:69

But despite the warnings in the Quran, our Muslim "scholars" / clerics to their own great risk have decided to accept and practice the teachings of the altered Jewish and Christian Bibles.

There's a verse in the Quran that describes a conversation between Moses and his brother, Aaron (peace be on them), after Moses returned to his people with the Ten Commandments and saw that they had reverted to idolatry which made him furious. The verse quotes Aaron as saying: "O son of my mother! Clutch not my beard nor my head!" (20:94). The 'ulemas' and Hadith adherents attempt to use this verse as a 'proof' that it is necessary for all prophets and men to grow beards. It doesn't require much intelligence to perceive that this concept is totally incorrect. The Quran does not, anywhere, associate Aaron's beard with his spirituality. Aaron's beard was either in keeping with the common social culture of that era or perhaps his personal choice. To think otherwise would be nothing beyond a conjecture or a blind guess only for the purpose of supporting the Hadith narrations.

We know for a fact that during the medieval era and earlier, it was a common social culture for men to grow beards .. more common than it is today. Even polytheists and atheists had beards. Very likely, Abu Lahab had a beard too. In fact, polytheist priests among Hindus and all Sikhs grow long beards uptil now.

As we have seen, there are numerous Ahadith stating the importance of beard in all sorts of strange ways. Some go to the extent of mentioning that men who don't grow beards will go to Hell. Different sects and scholars have varying opinions on growing, shortening and shaving the beards. The Shafis, Malikis, Hanafis and Hanibalis, all uphold their own detailed brands of nonsense. According to some beard is "obligatory" and shaving it is "haram." According to others it is "sunnah." Yet others say it is "mustahab" (preferred). The first opinion that says it is "obligatory" is the most popular one.

There are two points to remember.

(1) First, we have found absolutely no evidence from any other source except the highly controversial Hadith plagiarised from the altered Old and New Testaments that the Prophet Muhammad (S) ever even had a beard, let alone confirming its length. The Quran mentions NOTHING about the Prophet having a beard and neither does it instruct anyone to grow a beard in connection with piety. This notion among the Hadith traditionalists and story tellers about the Prophet having a long beard (which has even acquired the title of "Sunnah beard") is a similar fantasy as the illusionary image of Jesus (son of Virgin Mary) created by Westerners having blue eyes, blond hair and white skin.

(2) Secondly, even if the Prophet (S) did wear a beard, that would surely be his personal choice which is fine. But again, the Quran does not instruct anyone to immitate the Prophet's outward appearance. The Quran commands only to copy the Prophet's character - his compassion, kindness, sense of justice, perseverence (taqwa), humility etc. It's awfully unfortunate that majority of the Muslims today couldn't be bothered to acquire these great attributes of the Prophet (S) and instead they only waste time on unnecessary issues like beard, miswak, khimar and other irrelevant aspects invented by the imams.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Does the Quran refer to follow the man-written Hadith?

Is the Quranic commandment on obeying the Prophet (S), a reference to accepting the unconfirmed narrations attributed to him at random by so-called companions?

Here are some verses that are perpetually taken as a standard excuse for adhering to the extra-Quranic literature commonly known as "Hadith."

"And whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it)." 59:7

"Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." 3:31

"Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much." 33:21

First off, let's clear up the misunderstanding with regard to Verse 59:7. When Allah tells the people to take whatever the Prophet gives them and abstain from whatever he forbids them, the reference is NOT to the writings of the future Persian imams coming to Arabia from Bokhara and nearby regions. The inaccuracy of such an opinion by misinterpreting this verse out of context is so glaring that it almost sounds like a joke! The truth is, Verse 59:7 is a portion of a much larger Verse of Surah Al-Hashr. The theme of the entire Verse is the distribution of spoils of war which is intended for the needy and not for greedy. God Almighty tells the recipients of the spoils to accept humbly whatever is given to them as their share by the Messenger and abstain from whatever is not given to them.

Concerning Verses 3:31 and 33:21, these have NO connections with future man-written Hadiths either, and nor do these verses command us to follow those Hadiths. It must be understood that all Divine commandments in the Quran to obey the Prophet (S) are directed to the contemporaries of the Prophet, those who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet (S). So, does this mean that Allah's guidance was only for them? Not at all. Allah's guidance through the Prophet (S) was for entire humanity and for all times to come. We only need to logically analyse this point to understand the reality.

The era of the Prophet (S) was the beginning of Islam. Also, those who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet could see and meet him in person for advise and guidelines on Quranic dictates.

Most of those pagans and bedouins of this period who were fresh converts to Islam weren't educated. They could barely read or write and were dependent on the practical demonstrations by the Prophet for right spiritual and moral conduct. Thus, Allah tells them that ".. in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example .."

The next very important aspect is that the Quran was still in the process of being revealed during that era. The already revealed portions were written and carefully preserved but hadn't yet been compiled and circulated in the form of a Book as we find it at present. Thus, the new Muslims of Medinah could not have easy recourse to the Qruan as we have today. They could acquire authentic Quranic instructions only from the Prophet, directly and personally. Having said this, the Prophet's practical example for his contemporaries to follow was based strictly on the Quran and NOT on any other source. Needless to say, the man-written books of Bukhari etc. had not even emerged at that time. These unfounded narrations and compilations with the title of "Hadith" began their widespread destruction more than 150 years after the passing away of the Prophet (S).

The Prophet (S) passed away approximately 10 years after living in Medinah. By that time the Prophet's mission was successfully finished and the revelations of the Glorious Quran were completed. The compilation of the Divine Words had begun, and was officially completed under the supervision of the 2nd and 3rd righteous Caliphs approximately two decades after the Prophet's death.

Coming to our present situation, the Prophet (S) is no longer amongst us. Though his absense is hurtful and traumatizing beyond words, unfortunately we cannot bring him back. Therefore we cannot get the Quranic instructions from the Prophet in person as did his contemporaries. However, fortunately for us, that's not a problem at all. As ordained by Allah, The Almighty, the very source of the Prophet's instructions is very much available, intact, compiled and fully original. The Glorious Quran is in the midst of us, to be studied, understood and followed. Millions of copies have been published of the original in Arabic, and this publication will be a continuous process, God Willing. The original has also been translated into dozens of different languages, the publications of which will be a permanent process too.

Simply and logically put, if we want to follow the Prophet (S) we need to seek information from the Quran, from which the Prophet himself sought guidance and conveyed to his people during his lifetime. In the absense of the Prophet (S), the only method by which we can adhere to the Truth is to tightly grasp the Final Divine Message without any distractions from sectarian tales, slanderous gossips and impertinent narrations by controversial personalities.

Following the Quran is automatically an indication of following the Prophet, while following the man-written Hadith (or any other source) is no guarantee for following the Quran nor the Prophet.

God Almighty has made it ample clear in His Final Message that obedience to the Prophet (S) is subject to the Prophet's obedience to the Quran. Hence, He says in Surah Al-Haqqah (The Reality): "And if he had invented false sayings concerning Us, We assuredly had taken him by the right hand And then severed his life-artery, And not one of you could have held Us off from him." 69:44-47

The only true Sunnah can be obtained from no other source except the Glorious Quran. The man-written stories dubbed as "Hadiths" (which are basically the copy-cat versions of the altered Old and New Testaments), are only the "sunnah" of the persons who have narrated or written them. They have no relevance in the life of a true believer, just as they had no relevance in the life of the Prophet (S). But if we fail to be firm and allow ourselves to get carried away by the superficial rhetorics of other humans, we only end up hurting ourselves on the Day of Judgment. This was precisely the blunder made by the People of the Book. Let's not repeat history. If we refuse to deviate and remain stedfast, focused only on the Final Message, the "Criterion" (25:1), our soul will thank our mind for its wisdom on the Day of Judgment. That's definite.

Last but not least, the Noble Quran is a STANDALONE Book. It's completed and perfected, and independent of all human writings. It does NOT require any other piece of literature for its explanation. This has been confirmed by the Divine Power Himself in one of the last revelations of this Great Book. It was revealed to the beloved Final Messenger only weeks before his death.

"This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam. " 5:3