Wasim Rizvi’s recent (March 2021) filing of a PIL in the Supreme Court of India seeking deletion of 26 verses of Quran which are obviously violent and hateful towards non-Muslims has created turmoil in Muslim community of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. While the majority group is aggressively against Wasim Rizvi, a small group is using this opportunity for seeking reforms in Islam. For information of the readers, these verses are 4:56, 4:89, 4:101, 5:14, 5:33, 5:51, 5:57, 8:12, 8:65, 8:69, 9:5, 9:14, 9:23, 9:28, 9:29, 9:37, 9:58, 9:111, 9:123, 21:98, 32:22, 33:61, 41:27, 41:28, 48:20, and 66:9. Readers may Google any verse to understand its content.
As we know, the Prophet-hood of Muhammad lasted for a little more than 22 years from AD 610 to AD 632. Quran was revealed to Muhammad during that period. Of this total period, the first 12 years was spent in Mecca and rest 10 years in Medina. Quran has 114 chapters (Surah) with 6236 verses (Ayat). About two-third of Quran was revealed in Mecca and rest one-third in Medina. It is interesting to note that out of those 26 litigious verses; only four were revealed in Mecca and rest 22 in Medina. These verses are spread over 10 chapters and chapter number nine (Surah Al-Tawbah) has highest number, that is 9, of contentious verses.
A Muslim is a person who submits exclusively before Allah. But a Muslim not only has to submit before Allah, he has to accept Muhammad as messenger of Allah too. Though Judaism, Christianity and Islam are collectively called Abrahamic Religions, Islam stands apart for its ‘Sunnah’. The word ‘Sunnah’ means doings or traditions of Muhammad.
In Islamic theology and teaching, Muhammad was the most ideal man who ever walked on earth and following his doings and traditions is obligatory on the part of all Muslims. The word ‘Muhammadan’ means follower of Muhammad, the Islamic Prophet. Thus an ‘Iman-dar’ (believer) has to be a ‘Muslim’, as well as, ‘Muhammadan’ also.
Barring aside the merry-go-round arguments of Islamic apologists, hatred and violence towards non-believers and critics, as well as, performing polygamy, pedophilia, killing of apostates and practice of ‘maal-e-ghanimat’ are very truly and historically parts of ‘Sunnah’ of Muhammad.
Those who are optimists about reforms in Islam have to ensure that Muslims, as a community, officially forgo the malevolent Sunnah of Muhammad and anti-Kafir and hateful verses of Quran, as both are ‘prescriptive’ to them in nature and essence irrespective of ‘context’ of those verses. But as Quran is revelation from Allah and Sunnah is obligatory, – reforming Islam will destroy it. When one will tamper with the soul of Islam by deleting some verses of Quran and rejecting some Sunnah, Islam will crumble down.
In Hindu epic Mahabharat, cousins killed cousins. But those killing are descriptive and allegorical to Hindus today. In other words, no Hindu will kill his cousin today for land issue by referring to Mahabharat. If at all he does, it will be a law and order problem only. But if a Muslim leaves Islam, his son or father can kill him for apostasy by referring to Quran or Sunnah and the killer will be honoured by the community.
Though most of the Muslims do not see the problem in their religion, a small proportion of them understand this ‘tight corner’ situation of Islam and feels scared of the void it will bring if Islam is reformed to be destroyed. The loss of credibility of their religion and loss of identity will be unbearably shameful for them.
Islam has been EXCLUSIVE all along. And this exclusiveness has been its ‘Achilles heel’ too. So majority Muslims today are over-protective of this ‘heel’. Increased symbolism like use of burqa and skull cap, keeping of beard, wearing pant or paijama above ankle, performing mass prayer in mosques and on roads, building of more mosques and madrasas signify this over-protectiveness. Regular terrorism across the world in the name of Islam and using of the word “Islamophobia” at the drop of hat are other protective endeavours on their part.
The bottom line is Islam is a violent, imperialistic, and Muslim-centric political cult in the guise of a religion. It has a strong similarity with Communism and many Communists in Western world and India are sympathetic to Islamic Jihad, which strangely appear ‘armed revolution of proletariat’ to them. What happened with erstwhile USSR and other Eastern European countries can happen to Islam too. But it can’t be reformed.
PS: This is not the first effort by any Indian to abolish the hateful verses of Quran. The famous “The Calcutta Quran Petition” of 1985 is available in public domain of cyber world and interested readers can visit that. Interestingly, BJP has condemned the said PIL of Wasim Rizvi.