Israel is in The Family of Abraham

Peace be upon you. I certainly hope that reading this article brings you closer to God. In case this article is read by anyone at war with Muslims, then whether or not you get peace is up to God and I agree with his decision for you, and whether or not you get closer to Him or further away, that is up to Him and I agree with his decision for you.

I believe in God, and in what was revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, And in what was given to Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. I do not make distinctions among them, and to Him I am submitted.

Jews are my brothers and sisters in the family of our father Abraham. My grandfather and grandmother on my mothers side were Jews. During WW2, they left Europe to avoid being killed by Nazis. If they had died there, I wouldn’t have come into the world. Now I’m alive and worshipping God. Praise be to Allah.

This article is about the Abrahamic covenant and the roles of The Children of Israel and those who follow Muhammad. We who follow Muhammad still have the current khilafah, even though it doesn’t have an official administrative head like in the days of ‘The Caliphate’. There are two senses of the word caliphate: 1) the political entity and 2) God’s representatives on earth. I favour number 2 as it is the spiritual and it is the essential and yet I long for number 1 because it is an ideal.

The time I live in is, in the sense of the political entity, post caliphate, even though the essential Islamic caliphate, the Ummah, has never been stronger. We are expanding every decade. We are expanding every day. People give shahada and Muslims set up houses of worship all the time. We go to Mecca every year and worship the Almighty. The adzan sounds. Alhamdulillah.

Yet in the politics, we have been packaged into these territories called nations. All the while, Mecca is the spiritual capital of the Islamic community. In history, the political head of the nation was in Madinah, then Baghdad, then Istanbul, and then for the last 100 years we haven’t had a universal Islamic political leadership.

At the end of WW1, we were categorised into these delineated territories, now called nations and operating as nations in the worldly sense. Some of these nations have implemented revelation-based governance to a greater or lesser extent, yet the great thing is that Allah sees us when we unite globally, like every Ramadhan. He said: Verily, this nation of yours is one nation. Thus, and his word being the truth, we are indeed one nation. There is no need to say otherwise.

While in the worldly domain, leaders were appointed from those territories. In some cases, like Syria, they were appointed according to the will of the Imperial powers, not the will of the Muslims. In fact, these leaders were often people who had not been able to rise under an Islamic regime, yet were willing to deals with disbelievers to gain power.

 

THE CONSEQUENCES

I believe that Syria and what we are suffering today is a result of that allegiance to the will of the Imperialists and the non-Muslim will for nation states. The people who are in power, the Assads, let’s say, have been there for decades, or from when the caliphate came down and the nations were formed. Syria was a province of the Uthmani Caliphate before that.

While a province of an Islamic Caliphate, Syria had deviated groups, just like any place often has them – Syria had the Alawites. They were not given power by the caliph because he knew they were not capable. Now they’re in power and oppressing people with their power.

Under an Islamic regime, they were known to be deviated. The caliphate was over them, and the Muslims were under the caliph, not under the deviants.

The leadership, that is the Islamic caliphate, would send them preachers and teachers to call them to leave their deviations and adopt right beliefs and practices.

They would just listen politely, not willing to accept remedial teachings. They retained their deviated ideas which had not come from Islam at all, but were from their forefathers pre-Islam.

Wherever it reaches, the call of Islam is heeded by some and not heeded by others. Old beliefs and practices are, due to human ignorance, mixed into the prophetic religion. So, instead of entering Islam fully, accepting it, and adopting it as a way of life, there may be a synthesis, and it’s an awful problem. Yet Allah calls us to enter fully into submission. He is our full service God. Full submission is obvious.

I believe is that wherever deviated ideas and practices are permitted to exist under the sharia, they must not exist as claims on Islamic teachings. Wherever the sharia permits them to exist, they must be labelled for whatever they are, such as Christian, Jewish, idolatrous, or whatever, and then they may be permitted to be practiced according to whatever Allah and the messenger permit.

 

IMPURE RELIGION LEADS TO OPPRESSION OR PUNISHMENT

So societies and communities often follow their whims or their material desires rather than their intellect. This happens even when they believe in a prophet, as we know from what Moses’s people did. Then, because of the weak relationship to God which results, these communities inevitably end up oppressing themselves or somebody else, or being punished by God directly.

I believe that that is what is happening in Syria and in a lot of other places. The actual people’s Muslim community there have wanted the deviants out for a long time. As far as I know, they have put up with them, or tried to remove them from power, for decades.

 

ISLAM INCLUDES A COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE

We have our system of government. Islam carries a political and economic system. Muhammad was authorised to establish God’s khilafah on earth. Jesus was a part of God’s khalifah, but he was not commissioned to establish a political kingdom on earth. In my opinion, he was part of a nation, Israel, although Israel had already been decommissioned.

He was sent to a nation who had already had a kingdom and had lost it. He was sent to Ancient Israel. His tribe was the Tribe of Israel. The Tribe of Israel came from Isaac, the son of Abraham.

Today, the Tribe of Israel is not squarely the nation of Israel that is situated around Jerusalem. The Tribe of Israel is partly still scattered in diaspora and partly gathered to the Holy Land by God for his purposes. As for the government of Israel that is sitting in the Holy Land.

I believe that the Israelites and Jews should be living as a protected minority under Muhammadian sharia, with rights to judge their cases by the Torah. Muhammad was their brother. He descended from the son of Abraham, Ishmael. Jews have always held prophecies that he would come. They are to know about Muhammad, but who among them really studies or really asks God if Muhammad is their brother from the sons of Abraham?

I believe that Christians should be thinking like that, too. They should think that they are Israelites who have received the reforms to Israel that Jesus brought, as Jesus was an Israelite.

From a religious point of view, ancient Israel was a great nation for some time. Ancient Israel then went bad through poor governance, a destiny predestined by God for his purposes. The wisdom of that rotting is now becoming clearer. Why did they rot their own nation? It was a lesson for us. Mankind has benefited from it. Mankind can better appreciate the consequences of disobedience to God. It teaches us to fear God.

 

MODERN ISRAEL

Modern Israel is an attempt to re-establish something that God already dismembered a long time ago (governance by Israel). He removed them from power a long time ago.

However, ingathering and governing are not the same. Jews and other Israelites are gathered, or being gathered, and that part is God’s promise. As for nation-building, I believe that it has been prohibited to them and permitted to their brothers in the family of Abraham, the followers of Muhammad.

Why? The answer is with God. He is The Most Wise. Which one of us doesn’t read the story of Joseph? Didn’t his family feud precede this one? Is not Allah the Wise? Did he not forgive his brothers who plotted against him? Did he not forgive them even though he was in power? Glory be to Allah, the Lord of Jacob and his son Joseph. Jacob was wise, was he not? Didn’t he have faith in God’s plan? He did.

There are many family feuds. The Jews and the Muslims are all in one family: the family of Abraham. Yet, the Jews had a blowout and God asked the Ishmaelites, that is Muhammad and his followers, to set up the help center. So that’s the reason they need to set up a political system. Without it, it’s not as easy to establish justice and show magnanimity.

Israelites are inheritors of the blowout in ancient Israel. They have resorted to financial forms of control and lobbying other governments for centuries, but have never returned to glory. With the diaspora, they were, or are, able to cool off, look back, and move on.

They had to cool off – that was the diaspora and for many of them it still is. U had to repent and be good to the host nation. Service always help us clean our hearts. They have to look back. Jesus was a teacher. His miracles were to convince them he was from God.

His criticisms were made so that they would reflect, and he carried merciful words and teachings that their hearts might change. The Most Merciful sent Jesus. The Most Gracious sent Jesus. The Most Exalted sent him.

They had to move on – that’s Muhammad and the last form of the sharia. That’s movement. You have to face Mecca now. It’s called a change in the Kiblah.

It is explained online as follows (http://www.al-islam.org/message/30.htm):

During the thirteen years of his prophetic mission in Mecca, Muhammad used to offer his prayers with his face towards ‘Baytul Maqdis’ (Jerusalem) and even after his migration to Madina, the Divine order was that ‘Baytul Maqdis’ would continue to be the ‘qiblah’. It was that while offering their prayers, the Muslims should turn their faces to the same direction of prayer to which the Jews turned theirs. This was in itself a sort of collaboration and a means of bringing the two groups – one old and the other new – nearer to each other.

But the Jews became panicky on account of the advancement of the Muslims, because their ever-increasing successes went to show that very soon the religion of Islam would spread to the entire Peninsula and the strength and influence of the Jews would come to an end. They, therefore, began indulging in obstructionist activities and hurt the Muslims and their dignified leader in many ways. They put forward the question of offering prayers facing ‘Baytul Maqdis’ and said: “Muhammad claims that his is an independent religion and his law supersedes all previous laws, but he does not yet have an independent ‘qiblah’ and offers his prayers facing the ‘qiblah’ of the Jews (‘qiblah’ meaning prayer direction)”.

This news disturbed the Prophet. He came out of his house at midnight and looked at the sky. He was awaiting revelation. An order was revealed to him as contained in the following verse:

Many a time We have seen you turn your face towards heaven. We will make you turn towards a ‘qiblah’ that will please you. (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:144)

There was a clear reason for it. The matter possessed an aspect of test. The intention was that the true believers and those who were not sincere in their faith should be identified and the Prophet should fully recognize such persons, because the second order, in obedience to which he turned his face towards Masjidul Haram (The Sacred Mosque), while performing prayers, was the sign of faith in the new religion and disobedience and delay was a sign of double-mindedness and hypocrisy. The Qur’an itself mentions this fact clearly in the following verse:

We decreed your former qiblah only in order that We might know the Prophet’s true adherents and those who were to disown him. It was indeed a hard test, but not for those whom Allah guided. (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:143).

To the Followers of Abraham: facing Mecca is a sign of being God’s people. You face the house of God set up by the father Abraham. It shows that one is still following Abraham.

Why? Why would God do this? He is wise. The Israelites took the calf, didn’t they? They already had one God, and they had his help, and then they went and did that. He then punished them and forgave them, and why did He do that? So they would know who their Lord was, and so they would be grateful to their Lord, and so they might become obedient to their Lord.

And then why this sovereignty shifting, from Israel to the Diaspora, to Muhammad? Why did they fail and then get kicked out, disgraced, split up and posted to the corners of the earth, and then given the chance to come back?

God teaches us. You transgress, and you are punished with the small punishment. It is the punishment in this world, and then you come back more obedient when you repent and the Lord forgives you.

Or else… You don’t repent. You remain disobedient, and you pay for that in the next world. You go to Hell. Glory be to God. Forgive me if there are any errors.

To the Israelites, and the followers of Jesus, and to all people: Enter Islam. God will forgive you your sins and reward you with Paradise.

Abdullah Reed

The Qur’an on Intercession

The Quranic statements on intercession are generally warnings against, rather than encouragements towards, an intercessorial eschatology.

 

NO INTERCESSION ON THE DAY OF RECOMPENSE

Qur’an 2:254

Believers, give away some of what We have provided for you before a Day arrives on which there is no trading, no close friendship and no intercession. It is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers.

The above verse states that there is no intercession on some day which is coming. I assume it means the Day of Recompense (Yaum id-Deen).

Many believers believe that Muhammad will act as an intercessor on that day, based on reports of the prophets statements which say that he claimed that he would be interceding on the Day of Recompense.

It is difficult for me to believe that these reports are accurate because they appear to contradict the above verse in the Qur’an, and other verses. At this point in time, I do not believe those hadith to be true, and Allah knows best if they are or not.

The following verse from the Qur’an gives me support for my view, and yet Allah knows best what the truth of the matter is. The following verse is not about the belief in judgement day intercession as such, but rather a warning that the prophet had to give the believers.

Qur’an 6:51

Give the warning to those who fear that they will be brought before their Lord: Except for Him, they will have no protector nor intercessor. Thus they may fear God.

I believe that in the above verse, the Master of The Day of Recompense has prepared the attendees of the day by revealing a great tip to us. The tip is:

If you want to be pious, hear that there is no intercession.

Qura’an 82:17-19

And what will make you know what The Day of Recompense is? Again, what will make you know what The Day or Recompense is? It is a day when no soul will avail another, and the command, that day, will be with Allah.

After these statements from the Master of the Day of Recompense, I cannot understand why people are ready to believe that Muhammad will intercede on their behalf on the Day of Recompense. It may be that I’m blind. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting the verses. If so, please correct me with polite and detailed explanations, so that I may be guided.

 

AUTHORITY TO EXPLAIN THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

These are not statements from unauthorised parties. The Master of The Day of Recompense has given us a certain amount of information regarding the program of events on the Day of Gathering. We can read this information in advance so we know how to prepare.

Where is the intercession by a prophet? I don’t know how I could agree to it after reading the above verses. Did Muhammad contradict himself? It’s not possible. One of the points of view must be wrong.

I want to be kind, not harsh, to the scholars of my brotherhood. My brothers in faith who have collected hadith, reported hadith, and analysed hadith are not my enemies. If they fight me over interpretation, they may end up as enemies, but there is no fight.

Discussions of the meanings of the Qur’an are are a source of difference among people of a faith – the believers. However, I don’t think we can fight over them. I think Allah would be displeased with us if we did.

 

CONCLUSION

My intellect cannot accept the hadith about Muhammad’s alleged intercession on the Day of Recompense. It appears to me to contradict the Book of God. If I’m wrong, I hope Allah will forgive me and guide me to a better understanding.

 

Abdullah Reed

The Ideal Language

Praise and thanks be to Allah. I can never thank Him enough or praise Him enough. I love him a great deal and I wish I was closer to Him. The name of this post is The Ideal Language. Admittedly its not the local solution, its the ideal that we dream of. But, so we don’t forget, what follows is a reminder of that ideal.

The world we live in is full of lies. It sickens our heart every day. This is not a perfect world. The ideal is not here, but its in another world. Its Heaven, and Heaven is waiting for us. Allah says: And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it as he ought to strive and he is a believer; as for these people, their striving shall surely be accepted.

What will you find there? The keepers of Heaven will say Peace be upon you! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein. Beautiful words of welcome, of course.

The description of Paradise which the pious have been promised is that in it are rivers of water, the taste and smell of which are stable, rivers of milk, the taste of which will remain unchanged, and rivers of wine that will be delicious to those who drink from it. And there will be rivers of clear, pure honey. For them will be every kind of fruit and forgiveness form their Lord.

How will people feel there? No sense of fatigue shall touch them, nor shall they ever be asked to leave. People will hear Peace be on you, a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful. What beautiful things people will hear in Paradise!

What will people say there? And they will say: All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit this land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the workers!

And what will they say to each other? We shall marry them to fair folk with wide, lovely eyes. They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security; no dirty, false, or evil talk shall they hear therein, nor lying.

I say praise and thanks be to Allah, The Most Gracious.

Abdullah Reed

Sketching Islamic Linguistics

Sketching Islamic Linguistics

 

Bismillahirahmaaniraheem

 

Dear reader, please read with your mind alert. If you’re Muslim, please pray to Allah for his help.


What is Islamic linguistics?

When you see “Bismillahirahmaaniraheem” in the front section of a book or on a wedding invitation, its an islamic use of language, so in my opinion its an example of applied Islamic linguistics.

Many people would call it something that Muslims do. Yes, we do. From a regular perspective, its just something that Muslims do. For a student of language usage, its an Islamic linguistic act.

When a believer says “Assalaamu alaykum” its Islamic and at the same time, its a linguistic prescription. Therefore, I believe its an Islamic linguistic prescription.

 

The Limits of the Sketch

The limits of Islamic linguistics are probably beyond what you can imagine. Try to visualise the mountains singing the praises of Allah along with David, and try to imagine the beauty of his voice.

Imagine a bird chatting with Solomon. The limits of the Islamic study of language are known only to the Almighty. He created languages and He knows best about them.

Noble reader, let us praise and thank Allah for blessing us with the stories of these two great men and their miraculous relationships with the natural world. Glory be to Allah, the Exalted, the Holy.

Let us remember that they were grateful to Allah for these favours, not proud. They knew that the relationship to nature is only a way of relating to Allah, and that it is not, in itself, either an original cause or a final result.

Imagine Jesus giving advice to his mother, the noble Mary. The Qur’an is a book of truth, and so with certainty in its truth, we can imagine or visualise the stories in the Qur’an. Let us praise Allah again!

What about the Day of Judgement: nobody will speak except for whom Allah permits. Glory be to Allah, Master of The Day of Judgement.

This gives us another limit. It is a limit of human speech, that we cannot speak except with Allah’s permission.

Within The Limits

If the above are some of the limits of the sketch, then what is within the limits? The centre of the sketch would seem to be our own daily lives and the language that we use in them, because I find that Islam is for the believing human being and Islam is not difficult or occult or highly theoretical; it is quite practical and the user is the believer.

This area of the sketch, the area within the limits, may be divided into further subdivisions. I choose to categorise them as: acquiring language, using language, and I suppose we should recognise losing language, although it seems that its not as interesting as a subject of study, compared to acquisition.

Knowledge of Language

Allah has blessed us with language and the evidence for this is in the Qur’an. The verses of the Qur’an show that we know language from an innate process. The fact that Jesus spoke as a baby also confirms that Allah is the creator of language and that it is innate.

The believer will have a certain amount of natural speech ability, and then he or she must work to improve upon that. Moses is a good example for us. A man of great faith, he called on his Lord for help when he felt insecure about his own linguistic skills (20:25-28).

I see the Qur’an that Allah may improve us through inspiration ot through teaching. Perhaps there are other ways as well. There probably are. Allah knows best. I don’t know much.

I want to make it clear again, that this essay is a short note, not a complete thesis. I think the qur’an has more about language than what I’ve mentioned so please don’t take this work as any kind of compendium.

Uses of Language

I think this area requires research and discussion, so that we can observe and describe our our speech, as believers who are targetting Allah’s pleasure. There are many books already about speaking to win the pleasure of Allah. I don’t know the names of their titles. I recommend the reader to find them and read them, though. I think they usually mention speaking with honesty, sincerity, clarity, beauty, and in a way that benefits people.

Then we have speaking to Allah through prayer, repentance, and seeking refuge. This is clearly different from the speech that we direct at other human beings.

Humility and submission would appear to be at the heart of this kind speech. Again, Allah knows best. I suggest the Qur’an as the reference; I don’t claim full knowledge of the subject.

As for the speech which we direct at other human beings, I’ve found many practical linguistic commands in the Qur’an. The following list is just what I remember at the moment.

I don’t know if a systematic description of all relevant verses, listed with extensive detail of theory and technique would be ideal for perfecting your speech or understanding languages.

That may be too technical. I find that experience is a good teacher, together with a complement of prayer before speaking, some rehearsal, some repentance, and getting feedback from those who hear you speak.

I think that short books are often more useful than long ones, and in this matter, a huge directory may do more harm than good because speech is not an isolated matter – it is always connected to and coloured by the message that is to be communicated, the audience, your natural abilities, the social environment you are in, and so forth.

Part of the beauty of the Qur’an is its simplicity and another part is the applicability. I think that if we take a too librarianistic approach to language, we may end up with a worse result than a diligent student who reads the Qur’an regularly, leads a right life, and acts as he is commanded to act. Allah knows best.

Examples of speech injunctions are: the command to say that which is good (17:53), the command to say what conforms with your behaviour (61:1-2), and many direct commands to speak, which are found throughout the Qur’an and begin with the Arabic word “Qul”.

The example of a good word, found in Surah 14, is a linguistic precept. The example of a good word is that of a good tree: it gives its fruit again and again.

Noble reader, please assist. Allah is the One who rewards. He will know it if your tongue moves to announce a single word with the intention of pleasing Him, or a whole sentence, or more than that or less. Praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Please forgive me if there are any errors. All goodness is from Allah.

Unimperialising English Slideshow

God bless you, in sha Allah.

The following presentation is intended to throw some light on the Islamic language policy problem.

The presentation is frank. However, it is designed to help Muslims to make changes, not to stimulate hate or resentment. Admittedly, this presentation is intended for the believers, and non-Muslims may not understand why Muslims need specific language policies. So, if you’re non-Muslim, please accept that we follow our book and we are commanded to be Islamic in everything we do.

Believers, I hope you find it helpful. Shall I tell you of a deal that will save you from a terrible torment? Its that you believe in Allah and his messenger, and you strive with your money and your life in the path of Allah. That would be better for you, if you only knew it.

Abdullah Reed

LanguagePolicy

English Lesson: He Is One God

Assalaamu alaykum, Muslim brothers and sisters.

This booklet is for Muslim English teachers. It teaches the translation of Surah Al-Ikhlas in English. The method is to use this booklet like a typical conversation class, that is, a thematic discussion, but the theme is tauhid and the class must be an all-Muslim class because it is teaching from a holy book.

I suggest you teach this lesson in a mosque if you can, and remember that you cannot force anyone to study it. English is not a fardu subject for Muslims. I’ve found it easier to teach this material if the students and relaxed and we take it slowly.

Please email me (sebastianreed@hotmail.com) if you have any suggestions or criticisms, or just post them here.

The booklet contains some Indonesian words. Indonesian words are found in pronunciation exercises and also in the key to the song at the end of the booklet. I use them because I teach in Indonesia. If you need to change them, go ahead.

He is One God booklet

Allah is the All-Knower

Some Jews still do the Daily Prayers

Assalaamu alykum

Peace be with you

Glory be to God. Look at this video: a very Jewish man explaining the daily prayers that he prays. For Muslims, this is very significant.

Some ignorant Muslims have said that there are no real Jews left and Jews are all bad and so forth, which is wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aHWASyMjwg

What about this next pic? Wikipedia says it is from a Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bukharan3.jpg

Abdullah

Welcome to this blog

Assalaamu alaykum

Peace be upon you

I’m honoured

Subhaanallah. The above text in Arabic says ‘Glory be to God’. It is pronounced ‘Subhaanallah’.

I hope you are comfortable and of course, I hope you get something out of reading the blog or using the links.

I would like to receive your comments and suggestions so that I can improve it. If there is something to be improved, debated, or discussed, please post a comment or email me.

Islam and Philosophy of Language

Peace be upon the reader, God willing

This is only a brief booklet. I hope it will help linguists, language teachers, and language users to know what language is for and to be grateful to God for language.

I’ve uploaded this document: Islam and Philosophy of Language.

Abdullah Reed

Institutionalised Ideologies

Peace be with the servants of God.


HOPING IT WILL BRING YOU PEACE..

I INVITE YOU TO READ ABOUT ISLAM


SOURCES OF ERROR AND PAIN AND THE LIKE


We see terrorism, honour killings, corrupt rule, and so forth coming out of societies of Muslims, so how do some Muslims deviate from the divine religion which is perfect? In this reading I mention the difference between human error and ideological error and how they affect us.

Human Error

Turning to human error first: some of the pain of this world is not caused by errors in people’s relationships to God, but simply failures to execute. I.e. a person understands correctly, but fails in action. Call it human error. In this situation, there is no ideological problem, as such.

If an action is sanctioned by Islam, then turmoil that springs from human error occurring in the execution of it could not be harmful to society at large. If human errors committed while acting upon Islamic commands caused society at large to suffer, then Islam would be harmful to the world.

Is that possible? No. Did Allah ask Muslims to be perfect? No. Would Allah make make us suffer just because of that? No. Allah said that He would grant peace to society run by Islam. Islam brings peace.

Ideological  Error

Ideological error causes suffering. That is because it is not from God. Allah doesn’t order us to write ideologies. He wrote ideology for us. He knows we err a little, but He would never direct us to an ideological error that caused millions to suffer. We do that. We misguide ourselves.

In fact, this is a point that we must note. The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. Let me make my point now that I want to get across, and the point of this article:

The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. If it was from God then it could not.

Allah reveals to human beings sufficient religion for a happy life, and societies who fail to accept the religion, or they change it, or they disabuse it in some way, they fail to reap the benefits of divine revelations and they misguide themselves in some way.

Making Error Into Ideological Error

Institutionalising an ideology will magnify the error. Looking at the behaviour of the people, we can see whether an idea has become an institution. Once a group of followers begin manifesting a particular behaviour or belief regularly, in significant number, then there is institutional regulation of some kind behind it. Usually it can also be observed written into creeds and laws.

Examples of Institutionalised Religion

Sunni Islam and Shia Islam are man-made forms of institutionalised religion. They are not found in revelation. The words ‘sunnah’ and ‘shi’a’ are found in the Qur’an, but never mentioned as religions, nor placed together with the word ‘Islam’. Each of these terms (Sunni and Shi’a) has a literal meaning.

The literal meaning is not the point here. Any idea could become an institution if linked to the word ‘Islam’, especially if people are enticed to believe in it. You could have Mango Islam or Macadamia Islam, even both, if you sanctified them enough.

This may sound crazy, but its actually not too far from reality. There are sects that sanctify their own ancestors and claim it is the real Islam, and others who sanctify leaders, particular days, particular scholars, particular verses of the Qur’an, and so on. Usually, each group claims that their ‘Islam’ is the right one.

All of that is idol worship. We know this from the Qur’an itself, which dismissed sectarianism as idolatrous and forbade us from institutionalising man-made ideologies.