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Reading the Emergence of Islamic State

Reading the Emergence of Islamic State

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Published by Minas Monir

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Published by: Minas Monir on Nov 07, 2010
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Reading the Emergence of Islamic State Between Tradition and Modernity

Name: Mina Monir Gad Class: Eastern Christianity and Islam Prof. James Skedros


he is still writing in the same field and is protected by the government. The Traditional Approach The classic reading of Badr battle shows that the divine rights of the Prophet and his people are behind it. This produces a critical way to deal with the available materials that have always been considered only from the classic theological Islamic approach. This new academic approach rereads the events that led to the emergence of Islam within its historical. a new approach to academic scholarship started to appear in some countries like Egypt and Lebanon. He died in June 2010. The second is Nasr Hamed abu Zaid. Al Qimney is the most controversial one. Although this school emerged within the ijtihad school of reformers like Muhammad Abdo and Taha Hussain around the early to mid 20th century. miracles and even angelic support with eschatological promises for the Mujahedeen (the fighters) in paradise. a prominent liberal scholar who found the the rational trend of interpretation school. This is exactly the basic concept on which fiqh al-Jihad (the theology of jihad) relies upon. In order to compare the two approaches. Fouda was a political writer and thinker who supported the separation of the state and religious institution. he did great historical and contextual research on the first period of Islam. Nasr Hamid abu Zaid and Sayed al-Qimny. He had to escape to the Netherlands where he had the Ibn Rushd chair in Utrecht University and achieved great works in the field of understanding Quran using the critical approach. While the latter freely receives the different scholarly approaches. However. it has been developed more recently by three controversial scholars. Because of his approach he was considered as apostate Mortadd. Islamic famous writers always gave the conquests of the prophet a divine blessing accompanied by visions. After studying in the Jesuits school of philosophy in Beirut. to spread his word and his law. who is still alive. I will use the event of Badr battle to show the two different approaches. sociological and cultural context. Muhammad. His phd dissertation was rejected and was condemned of apostasy by court. He returned back to Egypt and he was threatened by Islamist groups who wear going to kill him if he did not declare his repentance publicly. the former is one of the most conservative Muslim countries and rejects such new approaches. and fight the infidels and polytheists Moshrekeen. They are Farag Fouda. Allah leads his people by his prophet.Introduction The classic Islamic understanding of the emergence of Islamic state has been preserved since the primitive Islamic community. the classic and modern. This illustrates the complexities of applying a critical approach in the Middle East to the study of Islamic history. He tried to advocate this using readings of the history of Islam and the nature of the Islamic state. and was assassinated by an Islamist group in June 1992. Recently. This provides a basis for a foundational myth that contributes to the understanding and 2 .

The first was written to investigate the religious. cit. Ibn Kathir. social and cultural factors 1 Al-Sira al-Halabyia. who won the highest Egyptian order of merit. the inspiring and miraculous story of Badr with its supernatural narration was the main source of power for the Muslim militants and efforts to establish the dominance and authority of the Muslim leadership. along with more than 70 jinns.10 6 Cf. asserts that the narratives concerning Badr should be de-mythologized . He called them saying Fight for your rights that your prophet was brought for. As mentioned in surat al baqara "Many a small army defeated a large army by GOD's leave. Until today. Dar al-Ma refa. This will lead to an understanding of how violence and battles are not part of Islamic Kalam .3 Yet Allah does not abandon his prophet and believers. Op. sent down?"5 Commentators and early historians circulated different supernatural testimonies in this battle to show how Allah was defending for them.´4 So the Muslim community is represented as a ³chosen people´. mentions the description of those angels and their turbans and role in the battle field according to the witnesses of Hadith. authored three controversial books: Rabb al-Zamaan (The Lord of Time). Sayed al-Qimny. for they (Quraysh) came with thei falsehood to extinguish the light of Allah. p. That s why Muslims celebrate in every 17th of Ramadan the memory of Badr battle.259-260 4 Surat al Baqara (2). Al-Anfal 9. the prominent interpreter. vol. The most important reference to Badr s victory can be found in Quran: (Remember) when you (Muhammad SAW) said to the believers. 1 Ibn Hisham precedes the story of Badr battle by retaining a night vision of bent Ataka. p. about the victory of Muhammad. verse 249 5 Surat Al-Imran (3). Muhammed was recorded by the author of al-Sira alHalabeya talking about seeing the leadership of Gabriel to the angels on the red horse to the battle. 1167 Ibid.III p. When the conflict between Quraysh and Muslims escalated.6 The stories had been used to encourage early Muslims in their Jihad because they believed that Allah was leading them into battle for the Muslim community.2 The situation is represented as a seemingly insurmountable challenge for Muslims. P. but these battles in fact happened due to political and social reasons. Beirut. Al-Hizb al Hashemy (The Hashemy Party)and Huroub Dawlat al-Rasoul ( Wars of the Prophet State).224 2 3 . 1179 3 Ibn Kathir. According to Ibn Kathir. Verse 124. Muhammad wanted to lead the battle with his Bani Hashim clan. a woman of Quraysh.implementation of the idea of Islamic state . "Is it not enough for you that your Lord (Allâh) should help you with three thousand angels. the number of Muslim fighters was around 310 persons while the polytheists were around 950 men. Also cf. Modern Scholarship Modern scholarship which tries to re-read and interpret Islam within its context and history. Al-Bedaya wa Al-Nehaya. GOD is with those who steadfastly persevere. In his commentary on that verse. Ibn Kathir.

8 Surat al-Baqara (2) verse 247 nd Al-Qemny. To complete his historical reading. as Saul was for the Israeli scribes. and has blessed him with an abundance in knowledge and in body. Al-Qemny sheds light on the cultural and social circumstances.103 7 4 .in the Arab peninsula that formed the language of Quraan. Al-Mala in order to be able to gather all the Arab scribes including the wealthy and strong Mecca elite. al-Qimney starts with the verse Their prophet said to them. the inevitable decision should be taken by Muhammad is to be part of this aristocracy. Omniscient. p. he is not even rich?" He said. Op.II p. Elaph road became Muhammad s target as he hears that Abu-Sophian s pilgrim holds the goods and money of Qurayesh on this road. "GOD has chosen him over you. I believe al-Qemny cleverly avoided attributing the original legendary stories to Muhammad and is companions to prove his theory of attributing these stories to secondary literature. 11 Thus. cit. 100-104 13 See Vol. GOD is Bounteous. after a long analysis in which Al-Qemny explains the social map of the Arab tribes.to project the Israel case on the new Israel of Muhammad.9 So. as Qimny explains in details. Muhammad again retains the Israel s projection on their case by reminding them. So. Sayed. 46-48 9 Ibid. ibid. even the divine inspiration which tries according to him. 2 edition. he finds that Muhammad cannot be Saul for Arabs because he is not part of the aristocracy because the money he had from his marriage from Khadija was not enough. Cairo 1996.8 However. The others examine the establishment of the Islamic Umma (the Islamic state). in the historical reading of this pivotal battle. explaining how Allah will secure their victory in the following verses. or as al-Qimney says. reducing it into the symbolic teaching by explaining how these stories were handled to us from secondary sources with redacted texts and weak Isnad(referencing). 59 12 Ibid. Madbouly al-Saghir.12 However. Al-Qemny tries to strip off the supernatural stories of the horrific angels off the Badr stories." They said. p. the divine inspiration via Muhammad reminds them of the story of Goliath and David. launch a political war against the Quraysh aristocracy in order to achieve the full unity under Muhammad by destroying this elite economically. Muhammad here becomes the divinely appointed leader of the new federal state gathering the scattered Arab tribes. 7 This verse comes in the context of the attempt to project the reality of the nation of Israel in Torah on the reality of the fragmented tribes of the Arab peninsula. While muslims are worried about the fact of being less than the polytheists. "GOD has appointed Taloot (Saul) to be your king. "How can he have kingship over us when we are more worthy of kingship than he. In a very interesting analysis.p." GOD grants His kingship to whomever He wills. 10 Surat al Baqara(2) verse 248-9 11 Al-Qemny. Huroub Dawlat al Rasoul.10 In this way Muhammad and Muslims.453 cited by al-Qemny himself. I believe that al-Qemny failed to explain some strong referenced testimonies to the companions of the prophet as in al Tabari13 and the previously mentioned texts in Quraan with interpretations of prominent scholars like Ibn Kathir. Sayed.

the ability to leave room for a critical examination leads to the ability to extract the theological proclamation from the historical and cultural accumulations. to be better than Amr Ibn el Aas. the Middle East understands very well the role of religion and ideology in moving the whole society on the level of practices and traditions. If the reading of practicing can be distinguished from the core of teaching. So. As for social development. 5 . who conquered Egypt. This will destroy the single minded conservative approach that still predominates in Middle Eastern scholarship on the meaning and practice of Islamic state. On al-Jazeera news channel. this will support the rights of citizenship by understanding the distinction between the Islamic teaching and law. He went on to say that the invasion of America to Iraq is not worse than the Arab invasion of Egypt. That explains why Coptic Christians supported Al-Qimny with his fight against the attacks targeting him.. 14 Al Ittijah al Mu akes tv show.14 Conclusion This rational and historical approach held by the modern scholars is a revolutionary project which may have great implications for Inter-faith dialogue.Al-Qemny s approach extends to explain historically the rest of wars and conquests since the Badr one is the holiest and most important one in the whole history of Islam. including undermining the rights of Christian minority who were categorized again as dhimmies. Feb. On this basis we can also see how this will affect the political scene around the world by providing the capacity for multiple understandings of Islamic law to generate different conceptions of Islam. al Jazeera Channel. al-Qemny appeared and criticized Amr Ibn al-Aas. That s why he dares to question and condemn the Fotohat since he stripped off the hallo of divine infallibility of Jihad. the first head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq after the fall of Saddam s regime. 7 2004. this will open the gate for more study that can bring the teaching into newer patterns and practices that can fit with modernity and avoid the fatal mistake of salafism that led to the very violent practicing by bringing the war and tribal mentality to the current world. social development and politics. For interfaith dialogue. considering Paul Bremer.

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