Defending Islam: Corpus juris must be seen as a whole; the cancer of Islamofacism

I’m suggesting the general formula of a new argument for defenders of Islam and religion in general. This is not only relevant to defense of Islam, but also to how we can accurately describe phenomena in general. Not an Islamic scholar, I will entrust the elaboration and further development of this argument to Islamic scholars and people interested in Islamic culture. One of the most significant mistakes made by people suffering from extremist thinking is to ignore the diversity within people that wear the same label, such as failing to distinguish between Mother Teresa and KKK and between Galileo and the Church. Islamophobes also tend to assume that all people who call themselves “Muslims” think in the same way as ISIS, which is not true. Related are the failure to distinguish between God and Church (or any religious institution), between cultural and theological definitions of religion, and between intellectual and lived corpus juris. (What are cultural and theological definitions and intellectual and lived corpus juris? See a previous post) Here, I’m adding more to the point about intellectual and lived corpus juris: Islamophobes and Islamofacists ignore that fact that the corpus juris functions as a whole. Continue reading

Correcting a significant mistake in Quran reading

This is one of the most common mistakes in Quran reading that is afflicting Muslims and non-Muslims alike: Having a presupposition of what “Islam” and “God” mean based on a superficial view of popular culture and mass media. Besides benefiting ourselves by deepening our understanding of God’s system, correcting this mistake will significantly weaken the arguments of Islamophobes and anti-theists. So Musilms, please pay attention! Continue reading

Has the West somehow derived the spirit of Hajj?

This year, once again, people from all over the world convene to discuss and appreciate ideas to unite the humanity and to make our futures sustainable. Here, as we all aim to address something so essential and common to all humanity, nationality, race, color, and political affiliation dissolve, and all humans unite. Welcome to Milan World Expo; “Feeding the planet, energy for life.”

It’s very common among new Quranists to rethink traditional Islamic rites, such as Hajj. Many of us consider Hajj as an international convention, not rituals. It’s also popular among Sunni Muslims to claim that the Hajj signifies the unity of humanity; no matter the nationality and race, everyone dresses the same way and does the same thing. However, the Hajj is also often reduced to nothing but rituals, and once the rituals lose meanings, they fail to serve the purpose of Hajj. Here, I shall demonstrate the purpose of Hajj once again, but I’ll not talk about rituals since in the Quran, things about Hajj are almost all about the spirit of unity and peace, not rituals. Please open your Quran while reading this article and read the verses surrounding the verses I’ve cited, not to take a verse out of context. Please look up the verses I cited on your own, since I often cite many verses at once. Continue reading

How to read the Quran according to the Quran

I still remember this time last year, I developed my approach to exegesis based on structure and textual coherence. A few months later, I questioned that approach, and tried to figure out a revision. I used to argue with structure and textual coherence, but I never managed to answer a question: Why can structure and textual coherence justify my argument? This winter, what I found is that, I didn’t really follow the Quran itself when working out the approach, and it’s very likely that most other Quranists also failed to do so. It doesn’t mean that the Quran is hard to read, since the instructions to how to use the Quran is pretty straightforward, but most people ignore them and don’t take them into practice. So how to read the Quran according to the Quran? This article will address this question in several interrelated parts, from the most obvious to the least obvious. This article will be expanded when more discoveries are made. Continue reading

What exists, but is ignored

We can’t be truly omniscient, for how do we know if we know everything? Something exists, but is often ignored. Take the Milky Way as an example. Now we know that the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, and so on… We don’t know quite a lot of this galaxy because of the dust blocking our views. But how did we know what we know about our galaxy? We view photographs of the galaxy in different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, showing different events going on (see the picture). Even if we get to take pictures about everything of the Milky Way, we’re still far from knowing everything about it. The Milky Way is perceived differently in different cultures, and in a single region, people’s perception of the Milky Way has changed over time. And some scholars are studying the history of the development of perceptions on the Milky Way, and the views of those scholars also change with time, forming another “discipline” called the history of the history of the Milky Way. How is the Milky Way represented in art, and the history of such representation? How does the Milky Way influence different species? And etc.

Milky Way along electromagnetic spectrum

Milky Way along electromagnetic spectrum

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Noncoding verses? The functions of repetitive passages about rejecters

Verses in the Quran claim that the Quran can only be produced by God, contains signs, guidance, and remedy, but just look at the Quran itself: there’re lots of repetitive passages—repeated over and over again—about how people reject the message and how God judges people. So where can what makes the Quran special go? Where can it go, as there isn’t much detail or many sets of rules? What’s more, even those super repetitive passages are called “signs.” So in what way are they “signs”? In this article, I’m suggesting some functions of those seemingly repetitive passages, beginning from the most apparent to the least apparent in each point I make.

“Junk” DNA, which is found to be not all junk Image credit: www.forbes.com

“Junk” DNA, which is found to be not all junk Image credit: http://www.forbes.com

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Reflections on my approach

The sea wave breaks on the rock, and sea breeze makes me chill in the mist. Where am I? Where am I standing in the ocean of thoughts? It’s been almost a year since I began to explore the structure of the Quran, and half a year since I started my current approach. Now I’m looking back at the path I’ve taken so far. Does my approach work? Me half a year ago must be very disappointed; it doesn’t work that well, and it should be revised. I haven’t posted for almost a month, and I have not progressed on the second part of the second wave of Islamic reform, since I’m stuck. Click here to see what my approach is. Continue reading

Accelerate! Structure and function of ALR Sequence (Chapters 10-15)

Note: The author has found the idea in this post problematic. This post is not deleted and kept as an archive.

The ALR sequence presents a process of exodus away from the status of being of rejecters. One question has troubled me for quite a while when I was reading the ALR sequence—the first verse of all chapters in the ALR sequence talks about the signs in the Book, but where’s the sign? Where can the sign go, as these chapters are repeating how people reject God’s message? I found one of the answers to the question, that the sign, or guidance, lies in the characteristics of God. Now I’m talking about another answer to this question—the sign lies in a trend within the ALR sequence.

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Me, my approach, and how I got here

Note: this author no longer holds one or more views in this post, but this post is kept as an archive.

About me

My name is Lambda Moses (pen name), and I’m an undergraduate student in UCLA. I haven’t decided my major yet. I was raised as an atheist by atheist parents in China, but I converted Sunni Islam in April 2010. My parents strongly opposed my conversion, and tried every means – including threatening to abandon me or not letting me to go to college – to drive me out of Islam. As they failed every means, and they knew that both Islam and Christianity believe in God, they converted Christianity in October 2011, hoping to let me worship the same God in a different and a more “acceptable” way. With the encounter of Christianity, I began to question Sunni Islam, especially the rituals, which are not so pronounced in Christianity. But I had problem with the Trinity, and I still didn’t want to give up the Quran, though I didn’t understand it. So I googled how to pray according to Quran alone. Then I hit Edip Yuksel, whose article “Manifesto for Islamic Reform” (http://www.19.org/578/manifesto-for-islamic-reform/) convinced me to give up Hadith.

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Chapter 2 and the Mentality of Monotheists

By Lambda Moses

All religions teach love, kindness, and charity, but most religions want followers to follow their authority as sheep. One thing special about the Quran, is that it encourages you to question and think on your own. This is why some people claim that Islam is not a religion, and this is why many Quranist scholars, like Edip Yuksel, also advocate critical thinking. In this article, I’m sharing my thought about how Chapter 2 lays down the foundation of the Monotheist’s mentality, of not self-righteous, not blind following, and actively seek the truth. You might find this article hard to follow and kind of messy, for my approach based on structure is not yet mature.

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