Iran frees al-Qabbanji
Shafaaq News, 10-3-2013
The Iraqi thinker, Ahmed al-Qubbanji has been set free by the Iranian authorities and will return to Iraq soon, a close source reported. They banned the Iraqi thinker from the entry to its lands, a source close to the cleric reported.
The reasons behind the arresting of al-Qubbanji are “his ideas which are not appealed by the Fundamentalists in Iran”, the source said.
According to media reports, an Iranian Intelligence official claimed on an Iranian radio station that Ahmed al-Qubbanji was suspected of “spying for Israel” but his family has dismissed the allegation.
“Shafaq News” was the first Iraqi agency to report the news about the arresting of Ahmed al-Qubbanji by the Iranian intelligence in Qum on Feb. 18, 2013.
Iraqi scholar says fundamentalists
are turning Muslims away from Islam
Hassan Hassan, The national, 25-8-2010
Fundamentalists have created a “silent apostasy” in the societies they rule. According to Sayyid Ahmed al Qabbanji, an Iraqi scholar, the fundamentalist view of Islam, because it focuses on Islam rather than Muslims, has produced only terrorism, intolerance and ignorance.
Fundamentalists’ interpretation of Islam and their practices have turned Muslims away from Islamic teachings, he said. “A large number of young people who live under the rule of fundamentalists have renounced their religion because fundamentalists forced religion on them.”
“Faith thrives on freedom and freedom is the basis of ethics. When a religious adherent is forced to give charity, then this charity means nothing and has no actual value.”
He said that fundamentalists had “planted the seeds of hypocrisy” among religious adherents by forcing religion on public life.
“Fundamentalists have made people hate freedom; they made freedom sound as though it is only for animals,” he said. He said religion promotes ethics, but that ethics are not its basis, contrary to the fundamentalist’s view of religion…
The Quran is not the basis of Islam
The basis of Islam, he said, is not the Quran and the Prophet’s traditions, as extremists think; the basis of Islam is the belief in God and love towards God’s creation.
The Shiite cleric said the former understanding of Islam would turn Islam into rules and regulations that deal with issues only relevant to societies that existed 14 centuries ago. “Believing in God never changes; it could only decrease or increase. Our understanding of religion is never perfect, it changes and develops.”
He said genuine Islam nurtures a genuine human being, while fundamentalist Islam creates a deformed human being, because each way has a different attitude towards the function of intellect.
“Genuine Muslims use intellect to seek the truth, while fundamentalists use it to store rules,” he said. “Extremists are dogmatic and they reject everything that contradicts the rules they stored in their brains.”
Ahmed al Qabbanji is a religious reformer. He studied in Al Houza religious schools in Najaf and Qom, and is the secretary general of the Liberal Islam Movement in Iraq.
The Qur’ān is a human text
Divinely inspired, but not God’s words
Sa’id Nashid (Almuslih.org)
Almuslih (Arabic for ‘The Reformer’) aims to maximize the exposure and distribution of journalism and analyses promoting progressive thought in the Arab Middle East and the Muslim world.
There is a pervasive error that needs to be corrected.. The error is not a temporary matter but rather one that is very fundamental and which Qur’ān studies have inherited – rational treatments included – whereby the results every time have been to the advantage of Salafist, fundamentalist thinking.
What is before us is an uncontested assumption that acts like a vicious circle that sends us back to a point of inertia following every effort at renewal. The assumption is inspired by a Qur’ānic verse that states literally or is understood literally as the following:
Say (unto them): All is from Allah. What is amiss with these people that they come not nigh to understand a happening? [Qur’ān IV,78]
Is the Qur’ān the word of God completely and entirely (‘All is from Allah’)?
We have to first ask this question: what is meant by the Qur’ān? Leaving aside reductionist tendencies be they spiritual or mundane, the Qur’ān makes reference to three distinct phenomena which may not be confused with each other:
1) The Divine Revelation – that is, forms of revelation which the Prophet sensed and represented either through the force of his imagination (as al-Fārābī, Ibn ʽArabī and Spinoza maintain), or through the heart and emotion (as the Iraqi religious reformer Ahmad al-Qubbanji maintains).
2) The Muhammadan Qur’ān – that is, the fruit of the Messenger’s efforts in interpreting the Revelation and translating the divine indications into human expression, starting from his consciousness, his culture, his character, his personality and his interpretative abilities.
3) The ‘Uthmānī Mushaf – the fruit of Muslims’ efforts to transform the Muhammadan Qur’ān by means of a primary phase from orally delivered verses dispersed among multiple mushafs and subsequently a secondary phase from multiple mushafs to one comprehensive mushaf… This effort lasted about half a century. We only possess copies that are late in date, altered and re-written.
The question then is:
where in all this is ‘the word of God’?
The relationship of the Qur’ān to God is on the lines of the relationship of bread to the farmer. That is, were it not for God the Qur’ān would not exist. But the Qur’ān is not the word of God, just as bread is not the creation of the farmer.
God is the producer of the raw material which is the Revelation, just as the farmer is the producer of the raw material which is the wheat. .. The Messenger is the one responsible for interpreting the Revelation and transforming it into words and expressions according to his personal vision.
We may deduce from this that the Qur’ān is the word of the Messenger Muhammad, his words which express his culture, his language, his personality, his environment and his era. .. We have before us an indisputably human text, or one that must be assumed to be so.
The Qur’ān is but copies of copies.. This means that we can say that the copy of the ‘Uthmānīc mushaf which has come down to us – with all its variant readings – is a matter of human, historical, inherited, earthly texts in all the semantic sense of these words.
It is clear that their primary source is divine inspiration, but after the Messenger turned the divine inspiration into a Muhammadan Qur’ān, and Muslims subsequently turned that into an ‘Uthmānīc mushaf, it became in both form and content a human text.