Book Review: Inside the Gender Jihad

The Worst Book I Read this Summer

I know that this title is very ominous for the reader. However I had many choices to make regarding the worst book I could have read in one summer. It was either this or the medley of lukewarm wafflings by Tariq Ramadan.

Inside the Gender Jihad’s author, Amina Wadud, is yet another disgruntled laymen who rather than looking within at all the dryrot, simply must recast Islam for all that she sees without.

As per usual with religious relativists, she starts out by stating that Allah and Islam are ultimately unknowable. By doing this, there is no Ultimate Truth, only truths. There is no authority, just opinions, the best of which agrees with what one opines as right.

She states,

Neither their “Islam” nor my “Islam” has ultimate privilege. We are all part of a complex whole, in constant motion and manifestation throughout history of multifaceted but tally human constructions of “Islam.” Inside the Gender Islam, pp. 5-6

Besides the ecumenical ‘there are only ideas and opinions about Islam’ jargon, I could not even begin to dissect the flowery nothings written in this document that reads like mere yellow journalism.

I read carefully through the work, skimming through it the final and third time before writing this review that you read. Wadud proudly claims that she has studied Islam, but tells us nothing of her credentials, what she has memorised, who she has studied with and what foundational knowledge she has acquired.

We are merely left to read that she studied Islam and then subjected to all of her secular prowess and degrees/doctorates or sub-sciences that she learned in the university (as a point of note, a phD does not merit any qualification in the Revealed Law but just as Roman Candle fireworks bring awe from German shepherds so too do these measly scraps draw respect from some Muslims).

Further to this, she explains to us that she has never felt honour in Islam as mentioned in the Revelation (Inside the Gender Jihad, pp. 58-59). As our eyes scanned over the pages and the yawning began, I took my dosage of race-gender politics that I had to be subjected to and a quick but terse lesson in Black Power history with the patience of a young boy receiving his first vaccination.

Cataloguing her life from birth, her political radicalism and self-justification for undermining Muslim authority (Chapter 4: A New Hajar Paradigm), Amina Wadud takes us on an odyssey of bizarre self justifications that reach their crescendo in leading a Jumu`ah prayer of intermingled congregants, complete with mistakes in Arabic, tajwid errors that would nullify their prayer and all the fanfare you would need (Chapter 7: Stories from the Trenches).

The Conclusion of the work opens with a quote from that great chaste and scholarly reference point, Tina Turner. Later reference is made by her that continue to undermine the patriarchal family system, at one point referring to it as a prison for her mother when she was pampered by her father (ibid., pp. 256-257).

Although it was a labour of duty that carried me through this most sickening of reading endeavours, she made my work easier by closing on the most important note of the work: her indebtedness to Christian heretic Paul Tillich. She describes his effect upon her as “profound.” (ibid., pp. 258-259).

Anyone who does a careful study of Tillich and then cross-references Wadud will find that she is a late age carbon copy of this theological charlatan; the only difference being that Tillich had credentials in his religion by learning from reputable scholars and then deviated later. Wadud’s manifest error was not long after her beginning. Her stubborn refusal to step outside of the racial paradigm and into what Allah revealed made her the sole interpreter of revelation.

Her lack of finding female sources of knowledge in Islam (although the last volume of as-Suhub ul-Wabilah has a large number of them along with Ibn Sa`d’s Tabaqat and Ibn al-Jawzi’s Safat us-Safwah) is either dishonest (in which case she is hiding information that she would know is there) or compound ignorance and laziness (in which case this was already confirmed in her writing this book and those before this one).

The end result of the work leaves the reader with the following results:

1)      There is no way to know Islam at its’ core to know where the truth lies in the midst of all the voices who claim to speak for the religion.

2)      Christians, Buddhists and others are just as pious and godly as Muslims.

3)      Allah is in all of us and everywhere, in all places.

4)      A form of Islam specifically shaped from the African American experience can/should be built and brought forward.

5)      Islam’s foundational principles can be updated and those who do the updating may decide by their conscience.

I would not have even picked up this rage except for one fact: believers in English are reading it and bringing it to my attention. The believer who would read such swill is to keep a pen nearby to mark errors that are so many in number that volumes would be needed to address them.

This is just another reason why Muslims in the English speaking countries require true scholarship and not just academics. We’ve already seen what they can do.

A Blatant Example of Proof Texting

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Figure 1A: Muslim “thinkers” doing what appears to be group worship with the pope. The Mardin travesty is another rung in the latter of religious relativism.

I recently had the unfortunate opportunity of being subjected to the “Mardin Fatwa” and read its’ contents. The article and what it is being used to propagate is one of the worst forms of proof texting that one could commit.

It is normally the case that when people seek to lead a wide swath of people astray, they will even use the writings of those who are their opponents as if they had somehow become allies.

I would like to begin first by discussing the danger of proof texting. When looking in the Qur’an, Sunnah or the practice of the first three generations, one will find that when a scholar is confronted with an issue, he will seek to find the answer to the question in the Qu’ran, then the Sunnah, then the Consensus, then the practice of the first three generation and so forth.

This will continue until the point that if the answer is not found explicitly, he will result to the divinely sanctioned act of ijtihad.

Thus in the case of IV fertilisation the scholar will look for examples, explicit/implicit or analogous and proceed from there. He would not begin with the principle that it was impermissible/permissible unless there was some previous Consensus that justified such an approach. This principle of looking for the answer is exegesis.

Its’ evil twin is isogesis or proof texting; in the case of isogesis, someone will have already decided on a matter before approaching the texts. We will continue the example of IV fertilisation. Someone employing proof texting will already assume that the answer is negative.

He will then work back from that point, looking for texts to fit around his world view. The problem is the only way that the texts would render such a meaning would be if someone already approached the matter with the preconceived mind set.

I do not want to go any further but to introduce the reader to the blatant and crass example of proof texting found in the “Mardin Fatwa.” I will firstly quote the text in its’ full context and the intended meaning of the author.

Next, we will look at the proof texting of those involved and you will be able to see that the only way the text could be read in this fashion would be if you already had the notion as your position.

وسئل رحمه الله عن بلد ‏[‏ماردين‏]‏ هل هي بلد حرب أم بلد سلم‏؟‏ وهل يجب على المسلم المقيم بها الهجرة إلى بلاد الإسلام أم لا‏؟‏ وإذا وجبت عليه الهجرة ولم يهاجر، وساعد أعداء المسلمين بنفسه أو ماله، هل يأثم في ذلك‏؟‏ وهل يأثم من رماه بالنفاق وسبه به أم لا‏؟‏ فأجاب‏:‏ الحمد لله‏.‏ دماء المسلمين وأموالهم محرمة حيث كانوا في ‏[‏ماردين‏]‏ أو غيرها‏.‏ وإعانة الخارجين عن شريعة دين الإسلام محرمة، سواء كانوا أهل ‏[‏ماردين‏]‏، أو غيرهم‏.‏ والمقيم بها إن كان عاجزًا عن إقامة دينه، وجبت الهجرة عليه‏.‏ وإلا استحبت ولم تجب‏.

‏ ومساعدتهم لعدو المسلمين بالأنفس والأموال محرمة عليهم، ويجب عليهم الامتناع من ذلك، بأي طريق أمكنهم، من تغيب، أو تعريض، أو مصانعة‏.‏ فإذا لم يمكن إلا بالهجرة، تعينت‏.‏ ولا يحل سبهم عمومًا ورميهم بالنفاق، بل السب والرمي بالنفاق يقع على الصفات المذكورة في الكتاب والسنة، فيدخل فيها بعض      أهل ‏[‏ماردين‏]‏ وغيرهم‏.‏ وأما كونها دار حرب أو سلم، فهي مركبة‏:‏ فيها المعنيان، ليست بمنزلة دار السلم التي تجري عليها أحكام الإسلام، لكون جندها مسلمين‏.‏ ولا بمنزلة دار الحرب التي أهلها كفار، بل هي قسم ثالث يعامل المسلم فيها بما يستحقه، ويقاتل الخارج عن شريعة الإسلام بما يستحقه‏.‏

Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked about the city of Mardin.

Is this a land of war or a land of peace? Is it compulsory for the Muslim resident there to make hijrah to a land of Islam or not?

In the case that hijrah is compulsory for him and he does not do it and he helps the enemies of the Muslims with his person or his wealth, is he sinning in that matter? Is the one who would curse such a person or say he is guilty of nifaq committing a sin or not?

Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah her mercy on him, answered the following:

“Praise be to Allah, the blood and wealth of the Muslims is considered sacred whether they are in the city of Mardin or somewhere else. Assisting those rebelling against the Revealed Law of the Religion of Islam is not permissible, whether it is the people of Mardin or someone else besides them. The one that is a resident there and unable to manifest his religion is required to make hijrah while if he cannot it is praiseworthy but not compulsory.

 

Their assisting the enemies of the Muslims with themselves or their wealth is not permissible and it is compulsory for them to prevent that by any means possible for them, whether it be staying away, rejection or stratagem related to it;

So in the event that there is no other option but hijrah, then that one is obliged to do so; but it is not permissible for someone to curse them or accuse them of nifaq in totality. The reason for this is that cursing and nifaq are present in the Book and the Sunnah according to specifically mentioned principles. Some of the people of Mardin and others fall within that ruling.

As far as it being Dar ul-Harb or Dar ul-Islam, it has a plurality in which it possesses both rulings. It is not Dar ul-Islam in which the rulings of Islam are to be held over that city as its’ army are Muslims; but it is also not Dar ul-Harb in which its’ people are unbelievers. The city belongs to the third category. The Muslim is dealt with according to what he deserves and the one who rebels and goes out of the Revealed Law of Islam is fought according to what he deserves.”

Majmu`a Fatawa, vol.28, pp. 240-241.

This is the actual text of the fatwa. Imam Ibn Muflih, may Allah be pleased with him, who was a student of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, quoted the same statement from his teacher. However he also quoted in context regarding the discussion regarding Dar ul-Islam or Dar ul-Kufr. Look at what the Imam said,

“Every abode in which the laws of the Muslims are dominant over it is known as Dar ul-Islam; and if the laws of the unbelievers are dominant over a land, then it is Dar ul-Kufr and there is no other abode besides these mentioned. Shaikh Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah was asked about the city of Mardin: ‘Is it a Dar ul-Harb or a Dar ul-Islam?’

He replied, ‘There is a plurality and it possesses some of both rulings. It is not Dar ul-Islam in which the lows of Islam are over it although the army there is Muslim; but it is also not Dar ul-Harb in which the people are unbelievers. It belongs to a third category.

The Muslim is dealt with according to what he deserves and the one who has rebelled and gone out of the Revealed Law of Islam is dealt with according to what he deserves.’ The predominant position is the first one which was mentioned by Al-Qadi Abu Ya`la and the other companions in the school. And Allah knows best.” Al-Adab ush-Shar`iyyah wal-Minah il-Mar`iyyah, vol.1, pp. 191-192.

After looking at the full text of the ruling by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah and the understanding of one of his students, you should now read the “Mardin fatwa” proof texting which is available http://www.mardin-fatwa.com

The first thing one will notice is that the original fatwa is not read out in full nor the extracts quoting in their original context in the Arabic or the pidgin English that is being passed over to the believers of Muslim Orthodoxy.

A number of glaring errors have been made:

1. The fatwa was supposedly corrupted by Salafis and is a launching point for these groups that now infest the Muslim world. The corruption, supposedly in 1915 was reproduced by Ibn Qasim in his edition.

2. The most severe problem with this is that the outrages and pogroms launched by Salafiyyah were long before 1915 and the supposed corruption. The main books used for distortion after the Qur’an and Sunnah were the rulings in Majmu`a Fatawa for sure; but the Mardin statement was not adduced as evidence for that

3. Even if the statement was indeed corrupted, it would not change the ruling that was made by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah that the person going out/rebelling against the Revealed Law of Islam should be ‘dealt with’ which in other parts of his Majmu`a Fatawa is reference to fighting the person.

4. The fatwa contains a ruling inside of it that actual cancels the first part of this circus labelled as a conference in the first place. The whole point of trying to quote this statement out of context was to give legitimacy to calling the rest of the world a type of Dar ul-Islam and that Hijrah and many of the issues surrounding it are no longer relevant.

5. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah in his ruling states that the area cannot be called Dar ul-Harb as its’ people are believers and not unbelievers. This destroys the entire argument of the “Mardin fatwa” committee who are making petty distinctions about the verb used for what they thought was an unbeliever in the text.

6. No unbelievers are being referred to in the text. Read the entire ruling again.

7. Imam Ibn Muflih side-stepped the ruling and stated the mu`tamad of the Hanbali madhhab again. The ruling made by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah is not mu`tamad, rajih and is a qawl. One does not resort to these types of qawl when the mu`tamad and rajih is present and zahir.

Thus one would not look at the fatwa of Al-Qadi Abu Ya`ala the Elder in which he stated that the five prayers are only valid if prayed in congregation in the masjid when the mu`tamad is otherwise and is clearly available.

Finally, before closing this article I would like to reclaim one of the scholars of the madhhab from these so-called admirers (who only as recent as 1999 had called the Hanbali madhhab insignificant on the Zaytuna website and did not remove it after myself and others rebuked them for it numerous times.

It was finally moved in their site revamp some time later). It is these same smooth tongued people that have referred to the original and majority creed of the Muslims as ‘anthropomorphist,’ and the like, these same ones who have not studied comparative creed (these same geniuses only recently came to know of Imam as-Saffarini and the use of the word Athari, but even then wrongly mentioned it, thus continuing to wrongly propagate their false ideas and agenda. They were better off leaving the insulting article on the Zaytuna website).

I would like to leave the reader with the following points about this “Mardin fatwa” chicanery:

1)      These people need to study the madhhab properly if they want to understand it. They are either purposely lying in the quotes or being wilfully obtuse; in either capacity they are people of tribulation.

2)      If these people love Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, what on earth are they doing sitting in the middle of the city he mentioned 800 years ago and doing nothing? If you look at the actual text of the Mardin fatwa, maybe it applies to these people. Who is going out of the Revealed Law today and telling people to leave necessities of the religion?

3)      When Imam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote that ruling, he had already been to jail and fought in wars and such. The question is of those on the roster for the “Mardin fatwa,” what hardships have they suffered for Muslim Orthodoxy to prove that they mean business? None of them have been to jail, suffered severe hardship or pain of death for this religion. Indeed they have put the laity in that situation. Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah has told us, “Whenever the scholar follows the rule of the leader and leaves his knowledge in opposition to the Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger, then this person is an unbeliever who deserves to be punished in this life and the Hereafter. This rule can be applied as well to a group of scholars that quickly went to the Mongols out of fear of them. They sought to take benefit from the Mongols. These people made the excuse that some of the Mongols were stating the testimony of faith and that they are Muslims.” Majmu`a Fatawa, vol.35, pp. 371-373.

The said Imam said further, “Even if the scholar is captured, put behind bars and tortured in order to abandon what Allah is taught him from His Book, he is to be patient with his situation. If he leaves what he was taught and follows the ruler, then he is doomed by Allah.” Majmu`a Fatawa, vol.35, pp. 371-373.

These people command us as if they are our leaders but where are the leading. Ask yourself: what real sacrifices have they made like what the Imam mentioned?

4)      These government sponsored people would do well to study their own madhhab first before quoting someone else’s and making glaring errors. Didn’t their own Imam Al-Qurtubi, may Allah be pleased with him, tell these rebels, “The scholars have mentioned that whoever is an imam for an oppressive ruler, then prayer is not to be made behind him unless he reveals his excuse or the reason why or he repents from it.” Jami` ul-Ahkam il-Fiqhiyyah, vol.2, pp.225-227

5)      Why don’t they resist the cults? Imam Ibn Taymiyyah fought the cults (physically at times) and did not hold seminars. How do they admire him? Imam Ibn Kathir, the great Ash`ari and Shafi`ii, mentioned him destroying the Twelver Shi`a sites and taking some of the prisoners along with other scholars from the FOUR MADHHABS. Please see Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, vol.14, pp. 28-31. Why don’t they fight Salafiyyah?

6)      Imam Ibn Taymiyyah was uncompromising in his call for truth and even told the people to kill him if he was among the ranks of the unbelievers while warfare resulted. Is he not the same one who said, “If you see me among the Tatars, even if I have the Qur’an on my head, kill me!” Imam Ibn Kathir quoted this in Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, vol.14, pp. 18-21 Perhaps those at the table in Mardin would have had a hasty funeral atleast for their treachery.

7)      Why are these government scholars (yes some of them are scholars, but they were/are prime ministers as well) not following the example of another scholar: Shaikh Muhammad al-Ya`qubi? If these spokesmen for Islam are genuine, why don’t they take a risk? Allah preserved the aforementioned Shaikh who really was risking torture and the like, yet he did his job. How does cowardice justify longevity?

No more ecumenism. These people doing this need to be boycotted not congratulated. They do not deserve to be patted on the back unless it is with a closed fist in an iron glove. The matter must be dealt with in perspective!

At every turn, when these individuals speak, I advise you to read a few pages before the relevant quote, translate it, post the Arabic and you will find them wrong (whether wilfully/accidentally I cannot comment in every part as this is an unseen matter). It is time to stop looking for a vicar and a pope and to take responsibility.

These same people who claim Imams `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali and Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah as their alumni would not be allowed into their presence without being obliged to make tawbah in front of the people for their egregious proof texting.

If the reader doubts this, I would suggest directing fake Qadiris or supposed traditionalists to their doctrinal and purification works. If we will not take responsibility, how can be blame unbelievers for their distortions and the new Muslims for their confusion about authority in Islam?

And with Allah is every success,

brother in Islam,

al-Hajj Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali

A Hajj Journal-12/13 Dhul Hijjah

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Figure 1A: Tawaf ul-Wada`

I was up and out of bed early again and praising Allah for another opportunity to be alive again in this Sacred Land. I knew that my time was limited and if I lived to leave it the sadness would be great.

I often used to roam around at night and marvel at the calm that there was among believers. Among seven million people that I did not know, I had not an issue or problem with them and we prayed together.

In the United States on the west coast, I had watched people get murdered for wearing the wrong colour in the wrong neighbourhood and the cars would whiz by, lights off and in neutral with the shooters suited up.

The comparison could not be avoided. Seven million Muslims together, minimal issues with crime. Seven million unbelievers together: 700 dead every year in LA County alone. I’ll let the reader do the math.

Once again, it was down to myself, `Irfan, Saghir, Mumtaz, Khan Sahib and some other slaves of Allah that we were blessed to enjoy their company. We set out at 11am in order to try to make it to Masjid al-Khaif and pray Zuhr and then do the stoning one last time before departure.

The crowds were so massive the guards told us, “There is no way we’re going to let you go! The masjid will probably be doubly full as normal. No way!” So we had been rebuffed. It looks like Imam al-Buhuti’s ruling would be carried out.

Up the escalators we went at the site of the Jamarat all seven flights (there was some creaking but you have to do tawakkul as there is nothing else you can do).

Once we had reached the top floor and did our stonings, my jalabiyyah was ripped for the second time but I saw this as nothing but barakah for all the effort and trouble. So it got ripped, I thought. Better that gets ripped than a bleeding forehead or crushed skull.

Some people were praying Zuhr on the side but brother `Irfan and I thought better considering all the stones flecking from here and there that laser guided mini-missiles. “No buses here…Let’s walk and get the barakah.”

So it began. Along with millions of other people, honking, grinning, waving and asking for us to pray for them we walked the long strip to Al-Masjid ul-Haram.

Every time we made a turn we felt it as the crowd pulled in close and I watched brother `Irfan’s eyes almost pop out of his head and his glasses nearly come off. I must admit that I hid behind him and let him take most of the punishment from the crowd.

“Boy, I’m sure glad I have a shield in this sacred land,” I grinned at him. “I know what you’re doing,” he turned back and looked at me. We passed by one of the masjids on the way but the crowds were too great and the cliff too formidable so we walked on.

After passing one of the cliffs, we met some Nigerian sisters selling Shandi and other soft drinks at a bargain price of 10 riyals each. “Are you kidding! Give us five!” We bought them and drank them with relish and then continued our walk.

We had to make it through the Makkah tunnel and then we would be only yards from Al-Masjid ul-Haram. The fans used to keep oxygen through the tunnel hissed at us and thundered along the way.

Buses, ’77 Chevrolet Caprices lowered due to numerous occupants, Volvos, Jeeps, Winnebagos and all other manner of vehicle was in the tunnel with us. We stayed on either the left or the right and the centre was for all the vehicles.

`Irfan was busy taking snaps of the people and the festive atmosphere. We came out of the tunnel and an Afghani man at about 5’2’’ passed my way with a sparkling white `imamah and nice jalabiyyah. “Anta min?” “Masr.” I knew he was interested in what race I was and not that I came in on British Airways.

He mentioned that he was from Herat in Afghanistan. We had a few words in common but that was enough. I mentioned Imam Abu Isma`il al-Ansari and his face lit up quickly. “Sawa.’ Sawa.’ ” He kept telling me they were the same, the exact same. I think he means the city, I wondered.

“Madhhab. Sawa’.” Subhanallah, I thought. We had a Herati Hanbali here in the flesh. So they had reached that far. History books had told us that they had reached Jalalabad and some other provinces but that the madhhab still had a foothold there was interesting.

We traded a few more pleasantries and he was delighted when I confirmed my rite was the same as his own. He was turning in the other direction to go with his group and squeezed my hand affectionately before giving salam and disappearing into the crowd.

Another tunnel and we were yards from Al-Masjid ul-Haram. It was 2:45pm and we had made good time. The brothers were headed to the masjid to pray and then back to the hotel. I headed to the hotel and would combine and shorten and then crash out for a while.

I lay back on the bed and thought about my next obligation. It was now compulsory for me to do Tawaf ul-Wada`. If I lived to complete this the Hajj was finished for me in terms of all the rites being complete.

At 3:47am I did the final tawaf and looked at the people. As normal, Makkah was thunderously bright but the light was soft. I realised then that I did not have a right to be here, but Allah had given me the privilege.

As the clock hit 5:20am I had finished Tawaf al-Wada`. I stood gazing at the Noble House, 4,000 years of history facing me head on. Tomorrow we would be headed out to Madinah. This would be the last time I would gaze at the entire Sanctuary.

I respectfully backed away from her and continued to, only stopping to go up the steps and then continue on. I was able to hold myself from blubbering like a child but it was hard. I thought of how many people that I loved had not made it.

I remember brothers who fell on battlefields in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan and asked that Allah bless them. I thought particularly of Abul Hasan, the black-bearded brother who acted as an older brother to me after I had lost my own flesh and blood brother.

The story of his bravery from other brothers was legendary. A proud Maliki and unapologetic Ash`ari, his philosophical arguments made me laugh at times.

“Before looking at any matter, we always have to remember Shar`,” he would begin thoughtfully, stroking his beard and then taking a swig of goat milk. He had told me that I should make Hajj one day. If his statement had been du`aa, then I feel that Allah answered it.

My last night in Makkah I spent up talking to the other believers, laughing with Uwais at his numerous predicaments and napping in between discussions with the other Muslims. Makkah was every bit and more holy than I had envisaged. I wanted to leave as soon as possible. This was not as I did not like the city.

Rather, I had thus far not done anything egregious and so now that my rites were complete I did not want to be given a spare moment to do or say something stupid. Let me leave before I offend the holiness of the sanctuary, I pleaded in my heart. Now I would have to wait for that time to come.