We have recently been questioning what difference, if any, exists between “Islam” and “Islamism”.” Islam” is often used to refer to a religion, the world’s second-largest. “Islamism” is often used to refer to a particular movement within Islam that adheres to and promotes a militant and/or fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. By “fundamentalist”, We, at least, refer to a movement that seeks to reform a movement by going back to the movement’s fundamental beliefs and sources, which in the case of Islam would be al-qur’aan (Islam’s sacred text), al-aHadiith (sayings of Muhammad, the prophet and ostensibly the founder of Islam, and others (early prominent Muslims (aS-SaHaabah) for Sunnis, certain descendents of Muhammad for Shiites)), as-sunnah (the example of Muhammad and others (early prominent Muslim for Sunnis, certain descendents of Muhammad for Shiites), and ash-sharii’ah (Islamic law as formlated by the four great a’immah/Imams for Sunnis, religious jurists (al-fuqahaa’) for Shiites). Islamist movements often include the Wahhabis, Salafis, Taliban, Deobandis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other various groups throughout the world of Muslim peoples. Some Sunnis even believe that these movements are outside the pale of Sunnism (and thereby their authenticity is questionable) because unlike what Sunnis have believed, there is no one true interpretation: there are four interpretations and all who follow them are rightfully Muslims. The Islamists’ tendency to takfiir (proclaiming others as non-Muslims) is particularly troublesome: like the Kharijites/al-khawaarij of before, each Islamist organization believes that all those who do not follow their standards (those who are heteroprax from their perspective) are non-Muslims.
Yet, We question this division. It is true that Islamists do not follow traditions and do not accept aspects of Islamic tradition that have been the norm for centuries, but the Islamists claim that these traditions and aspects were incorrect to begin with. The Islamists proclaim that Muslims have strayed from the True Path, and that they must reform their practice and traditions (in belief and practice) to conform to true Islam. Where do the Islamists get their touted true Islam? The traditional/fundamental sources of Islam mentioned above. Sunnis and Shiites also claim to be following the traditional/fundamental sources of Islam, but We must admit that the Islamists make a compelling case. They are fond of taking traditional beliefs and practices and contrast them with statements, exhortations, and commands from the Sources. They are also adept at justifying their practices and beliefs with the Sources. If the Islamists are so faithful to the Sources, does this not make true the Islamists’ claim that others are wrong and unfaithful to the Sources? What justification do the others have against the Islamists’ inconveniently well-supported claims?
wa naHnu a’lamuun.
*Enter the persona of al-Hajj Muhammad ‘Abdullah Saifuddin Fathullah al-Awashqi*
THE religion of Allaah, Islaam, was established by Allaah for all people to obey. Allaah is the supreme creator, and His Word is immutable and unassailable. His Word cannot change, and we mere humans, who were created to be but slaves to Almighty Allaah, can in no way go against His Will as revealed in Islam through the Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (peace and blessings upon him). Read the rest of this entry »
We have chosen the word “Muslihoon” for Our online identity. Let Us explain where We got this word from and why We chose it.
qaala-lilaahu-lislaam fi kitaabihi: wa idhaa qiila lahum [“]laa tufsiduu fi-larDi[,][“] qaaluu [“]innamaa naHnu muSliHuun[.][“] alaa innahum humu-lmufsiduun wa laaki(n) llaa yash’uruun[.] wa idhaa qiila lahum [“]aaminuu kamaa aamana-nnaasu[,][“] qaaluu [“]anu’minu kamaa aamana-ssufahaa’u[?][“] alaa innahum humu-ssufahaa’u wa laaki(n) llaa ya’lamuun[.] (ayaatu 11-13 fi suurati-lbaqarah)
The god of Islam said in his book: And when it is said to them, “Do not make mischief on the earth,” they said, “Indeed, we are muSliHuun.” Indeed, they are the mischief-makers but they perceive not. And when it is said to them, “Believe as the people believe,” they said, “Shall we believe as the fools do?” Indeed, they are the fools but they know not. (Verses 11-13, Suurat al-Baqarah, which is the 2nd surah of the Qur’aan.)
The word “muSliHuun” means “peace-maker” or one who makes things right.
We view this as a conversation between two peoples: extremists and normal people. To moderate Muslims, non-Muslims, and normal people, the extremists say that We ought not to create disturbances or turmoil or trials in this world. We, knowing what We’re doing, reply that We are trying to make or establish peace. But they turn and say that We are causing the troubles in the world, absolving themselves of all blame. Then they turn to Us and say that We ought to believe as the people–their people–believe. To their outrageous demand We respond, rhetorically, whether We should believe as fools believe. They turn and say that We are the fools, even though We do not know it. Ah, but We know. We know quite well who the fools and creators of unrest are.
Reversing the speakers, We say to the extremists not to create disturbances, but they reply saying they are just setting things right, in this case doing what they say is God’s will. Little do they know that they are the true disturbance-makers in the world. We also tell them to drop their foolish beliefs, to believe as normal people do, but they scoff in Our face and ask if We would have them believe as fools do. But We know who the real fools are.
It is from the first version, however, that We have derived Our nom de net. They may ask Us to stop spreading disbelief but We are just making or spreading peace. And so We are using their own texts against them, announcing to them Our rebellion and chastizing them for what they refuse to do. “They”, of course, are extremist Muslims, la’natullaah ‘alayhim.