As you all know ISIS is fast becoming THE face of modern Islamic jihadism. As with all things Islam ISIS’ has polarized both the Western and Islamic world. In the above video Ayad Jamal Al-Din speaks out about the ISIS threat and what he says, if true, is extraordinary frightening.
But there are a couple of very interesting aspects concerning Al-Din. First, the author of the story calls him an “authentic moderate Muslim.” How often have we heard that. The Imam of the masjid which Alton Alexander Nolen attended was labeled by the MSM as a moderate. Yet, days after such a declaration he was caught on tape calling for jihad against the West. Every day Imams or masjids who have been declared moderate have turned out to be a normally Islamic who want to jihad against the West. But we are assured Al-Din is not like them.
So, lets assume that Al-Din is an authentic moderate Muslim. Is it possible to define such a being? Actually, Al-Din can help us do that. First, Al-Din claims ISIS ideology is based on a certain ideology which he later describes as fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and claims the interpretations ISIS is using is accepted by both Sunni and Shiite. Al-Din claims to be Shiite but seemingly rejects Shiite jurisprudence which is the basis the Shiite version of Islam. In reality, this so-called moderate Muslim is distancing himself from fiqh which is considered to be a part of the bedrock of Islamic interpretation and society. What he is saying is that ISIS is properly standing on Islamic jurisprudence.
Also, notice Al-Din calls fiqh more dangerous than nuclear technology. I am assuming, since Al-Din did not explain his remark, that he means fiqh is more dangerous than nuclear technology. He does have a point but it is rather odd for a so-called Shiite Muslim to make such an incendiary statement about this section of Shari’ ah. In fact, this so-called moderate Muslim is actually distancing himself from Shari’ ah.
Al-Din also argues Muslims must create a state based on man-made law, equality of all peoples and is free from Islamic law. What Al-Din proposes will not diminish the draw or power of ISIS. Rather, it will increase it. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood as well as all other jihadi groups are fighting against Al-Din’s very concept. These groups believe that Shari’ ah is not compatible with man-made law and eventually, man-made law in every country must submit to Islam. This sounds very much like taqiyya. Does Al-Din really believe what he is saying? Is he trying to create a situation which will increase the power of ISIS’ draw? Al-Din’s language seems to leave open the possibility that he is working for ISIS, not against it.
Al-Din argued that this civil society must accept the equality of all peoples. Of course, he does not elaborate on this very Western idea but it is religiously impossible. Al-Din rejects portions of Shari’ ah but he does not seem to reject the rest of Shari’ ah including the Qur’ an. An Nisa 4:34 states,
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great. (The Noble Qur’ an)
The word excel is translated superior meaning that a man is not equal to a woman. This means it is impossible for Muslims to live in a society which forbids them to do what Allah demands. Also, this ayat states that if the wife does not obey the husband has permission to beat her. The parenthetical statement is added by the translators of the Noble Qur’ an and does seem to be a bit oddly self-serving. Additionally, think about Al Tawbah 9:29-32. Muhammad demands that Muslims fight (physically) Jews and Christians until they submit to jazyah and be humiliated. No equality there.
One of the most interesting statements Al-Din makes is that the society must not be based on Islamic law or Shari’ ah. Again, Al-Din is a bit cryptic about what he believes Islamic law contains but both Sunni and Shiite agree that at the least it contains the Qur’ an and Sunnah. What is a bit fascinating is Al-Din’s distinction between fiqh and Islamic law. Nevertheless, is Al-Din saying a society of Muslims are not permitted to use the Qur’ an and Sunnah to guide the civil and political aspect of that society? Al-Din’s belief clearly flies in the face of the original Islamic society Mohammad set up in Madinah. This all sounds a bit odd to me. If what I have pointed out is true Al-Din is doing what no faithful Muslim would – rejecting all Islam as a way of society.
Finally, Al-Din argues against masjids as the center of society. His statement that there are mosques in America preparing Muslims to become ISIS is very frightening. I have no doubt that he believes his claim. We ought to as well. The events of Moore, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Canada and possibly today (10-23-14) in New York City provides some evidence of the Imam’s claim. What is interesting is Al-Din’s argument that mosques must not be allowed to be the center of the society he envisions will destroy the likes of ISIS. Al-Din’s mosqueless society also flies of Mohammad’s example. Every Islamic scholar who is willing to tell the truth about Mohammad’s masjid in Madinah discloses that Mohammad’s mosque was the center of Islamic society. It was at the mosque where Mohammad orchestrated all civil, religious, political and military (jihad) business for the newly formed Islamic state. What Al-Din is offering the Muslim world again flies in the face of Mohammad’s example which interestingly has nothing to do with fiqh.
So, what is an authentic moderate Muslim? Of course, many Muslims and Imams have been called authentically moderate and they have turned out to be faithful. A faithful Muslim is one who believes Islam is superior to all non-Islamic societies and Shari’ ah must be imposed world wide either by Da’ wah or jihad. But there is another type of authentic moderate Muslim. Al-Din’s example leads me to believe this form of an authentic moderate Muslim is in fact what the Qur’ an calls a hypocrite. He claims to be a Muslim but rejects Islamic law and most of its way of life. In other words, as in this case, what the author of the article would like the reader to do is too accept the interpretation of Islam by a hypocrite! This will not help us to defeat ISIS or encourage young Muslims to reject its lure! What the West and Al-Din seem to miss is the problem of groups like ISIS is not a matter of radicalization but of normalization. Whatever tactic(s) we take they must be able to deal with the ongoing normalization of Islamic jihad among the Muslim world.