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Op-Ed Add comments

By Jacob Thomas

12  Julu 2009

I couldn’t believe my eyes! How would any Arab intellectual dare to write a serious article with this shocking title: “So That Islam Might Not Die” حتى لا يموت الإسلام “Hatta la Yamutu’l Islam? I read it on the last day of May, 2009, on the Kuwaiti website,


The writer manifested a great concern about under-development in the Islamic world, and attributed it to the Muslims’ inability to break from their traditional interpretation of the Qur’an. In order to cope with the challenges of modernity, he called on Muslims to adopt an enlightened hermeneutic of the Qur’an, a prescription that is actually quite revolutionary. He went on to claim that unless such a step is taken, Islam will not survive! It was this strong conviction that made him choose this title for his article!

Here are excerpts translated from the author’s essay:

“This is my concluding article in a series that dealt with the subject of development. To achieve this goal requires an open mind and liberation from those fixed and fanciful positions that offered ready-made solutions to all types of human problems. We must acknowledge that traditional Islam, with its totalitarian worldview is standing in the way of progress and development. A genuine and serious reformation can only take place by adopting a complete separation between Allah and Muhammad; Allah is an absolute and unchanging Being, while the Prophet is not. It is true that Muhammad was the primary founder of the Islamic Umma, but as a human being, he acted within the cultural and political contexts of his day. Therefore, all the texts which the Prophet brought, including the Qur’an, are purely historical texts, and as such, cannot be considered absolutely authentic or accurate.


“Our problem does not reside in a belief in the existence of God. A person may be a believer and free at the same time. The real problem is that belief in a person or a group of people who claim to be representatives of Allah. This faith must be rejected before any genuine reform can take place. Take for example, Protestant Christianity. It confesses the divinity of Christ and at the same time, it does not acknowledge any person that acts as his representative on earth. This has enabled Protestants to worship Christ according to their convictions, while at the same time leaving earthly matters to be dealt with in a secular fashion. We conclude that a separation of religion from politics is the sine qua non, for the rise of a progressive and non-totalitarian religion.

“To sum up my thesis; it would be difficult and unthinkable for Muslims to reject or abandon their religion in order to achieve progress and development. The best solution for their predicament is to strip Islam of all its totalitarian impulses.”

It is refreshing to read articles by Muslim intellectuals who are very eager to see Islam delivered from the shackles of its attachment to those rigid and irrational elements of their religious heritage. The only way for Arab nations to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century is to break loose from their traditional Qur’anic hermeneutics.

But what struck me the most about this author’s essay was his view of the Qur’an itself. As he put it, “Therefore, all the texts which the Prophet brought, including the Qur’an, are purely historical texts, and as such, cannot be considered absolutely authentic or accurate.”


For anyone who is familiar with Arabic, and the history of Islamic theology, these words sound extremely radical, even revolutionary. Notice how he formulated his view of the Qur’an, not as a book that descended upon Muhammad, but as a book that the Prophet brought, and which is on a par with the other sacred texts of Islam, such as the Hadiths! The writer has gone beyond the views of the Mu’tazilites of the 9th century who denied the eternal nature of the Qur’an, and stressed its historical nature. He suggested a hermeneutic that would allow for a “higher criticism” of the Qur’an, for the development of a kinder and more compassionate Islam!

At this point I realize that a Westerner reading my translation of this article may not be struck by its full impact. But to read it in Arabic is nothing less than feeling the full impact of a proposal that would shatter a foundational tenet of Islam, namely that Muhammad was the recipient of the very words of Allah. For an orthodox Muslim, whether Sunni or Shi’ite, the author’s prescription is unthinkable and amounts to kufr, i.e. utter blasphemy.

In the final analysis, the dilemma for Islam can only be solved by Muslims.

Non-Muslims can study and reflect on the history and challenges that have faced Islam across the last fourteen centuries. We cannot but sympathize with the author and appreciate his “modest proposal” for Islam’s survival in our globalized world. He is absolutely convinced that unless Muslims adopt a new and open-minded hermeneutics, their future remains in doubt.



The following is a transliteration of the author’s words about his view of the nature of the Qur’an.

Inna’l bidaya li-ay Islah Islami jad, hua al-fasl al-tam bayna’l Allah wa’l-Nabi. Fal’Allah mutlaq, baynama al-Nabi laysa kathalika. Innahu wala shak mu’assess al-Umma al-awwal, walakinnahu bashar, kana ya’malu dimna’l itari al-thaqafi wal-siyassi lizamanihi, wa-bittali fa-inna kaffat al-nusoos allati ja’a biha al-Nabi, bima feeha al-Qur’an, hiya nusoos tarikhiyya bahtat, wa-laysat nusoos sahihat bishaklen mutlaq.


.إن البداية لأي إصلاح إسلامي جاد هو الفصل التام بين الله والنبي، فالله مطلق بينما النبي ليس كذلك. انه ولا شك مؤسس الأمة الأول ولكنه بشر كان يعمل ضمن الإطار الثقافي والسياسي لزمانه وبالتالي فان كافة النصوص التي جاء بها النبي بما فيها القرآن هي نصوص تاريخية بحتة وليست نصوص صحيحة بشكل مطلق.

The link for the 31 May, 2009 article is:

Share with others to save the Humanity: PlugIM


written by Jacob Thomas

15 Responses to ““So That Islam Might Not Die” – “Hatta la Yamutu’l Islam””

1.                              1. redjupiter58 Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 9:41 am

You really have to read it in Arabic to appreciate the full impact what he is saying. Surprised he hasn’t been killed yet. in essence he is saying that to move forward, the Quran does not ready made solutions (imaginary he calls them) to humanity. A person cannot be worshipped. Europe and the Far East achieved this by utilising this separation, he also notes that in the Islamic world, when such a system came to life it has been destroyed. Worship the oneness of God and forget about the Quran and Mohammed who is just a messenger.


2.                              2. Jack Eliud Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 10:51 am

Development and progress have nothing to do with religion.Islam provides and sets a stage for development.Arab states are not capitalists states.The writer is simply advocating for capitalism where its “lets take everything for ourselves and damn everybody else.”

The authenticity and divine nature of Quran is something that every rational individual can see not unless you are born of a whore like this little minded writer.

Islam is there to stay whether you like it or not.

3.                              3. PramodCosmopolitan Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 11:40 am

Oh my god!!!

It has to be counted(the article) among one of the modern wonders of the world.
While it is permitted in the racist cult to hate and kill non-Muslims, criticism weather positive or negative of it’s BOOK OF EVIL and its Social Traditions is not allowed and the critic must be beheaded or stoned. How has the writer

And it is amazing that of the past 14 centuries nobody has ever raised his/her voice and survived.Most importantly the western world has been surprisingly
quite about it till the 9/11.why?

An average boy or girl in Europe or the west wakes up daily thinking of playing football,tennis or cricket

where as an average boy in most Muslim countries wakes up thinking playing with his A.K-47 or Kalashnikov
what about girls in Muslims countries well we all know.Girls and women are used as tools for the Followers of the Pedophile Mohammad.

This evil cult needs open criticism from all the corners of the world.
Look what they have done to the ancient civilizations such as
Mesopotamia(IRAQ) ,Persia(IRAN),Indus Valley(PAKISTAN),Egypt

All were ancient civilizations with significant contribution in shaping the modern world.
after the barbaric invasion of the Arabs see what happened to these countries.
They have become breeding ground for terrorists and fundamentalists interested only in destruction .

It is not a coincidence that these places are terrorist breeding grounds.The only
reason for this is ISLAM.which must not survive .Its survival means destruction
of the other civilizations.

People of the civilized world now must stand united to destroy ISLAM .I am not
favoring a genocide here.I am just advocating for the complete destruction of their texts which mentions non-Muslims as Pigs and monkeys .Rewrite them emphasizing on values such as peace(not violence),tolerance(not extremism),universal brotherhood(not Muslim brotherhood) and stop using women as tools ,stop acting as breeding machines and most importantly eliminating the term Jihad .

4.                              4. Raisin Head Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

#2 Islam is dying as we speak. No sane man or woman will remain inside of the evil expoused by Allah the Devil, the greatest Liar and his Messiah Prophet Muhammad. This is why Islam has remained dead for 1400 years and will never rise but continue to blow up people who invented medical advancements to save people from disease and the likes. Muslims lie like algebra is from India not Islam, until they stole it and claimed it as Islamic. Today we know how Islam lied and lies.

The Sex Jihad is in progress and infidels still are so kind that we feed them. Maybe we need to say to the Muslims, either you feed yourself or return back to Pakistan, India, Africa and other Islamic cesspools.
#3 Muslims will have to stop the killing otherwise they will be killed with respect as a non-Muslim can give. Non-Muslims have a right to live just as the Muslims do. Adam and Eve were not Islamic Muslims. Allah lied and said Pharaoh was a Muslim and he was God.LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. Sura 1:90.

5.                              5. farishta Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Very hopeful news for the good of Muslims.

Once again it exposes the Q U R A N for what it is.

Q uestionable
U tterings of a
R abid
A rab
N utcase

6.                              6. pathfinder Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Non-muslims should take quran and whereever there is mention of kufr, non-believer, jews, christians, idolator etc is there, replace it by Muslims.
Whereever ‘muslims’ is mentioned replace it by ‘rationalist’. Also replace ‘women’ with leftist or muslim apologist. Lo a new quran is formed.
Now follow it and let the muslims get a taste of there own medicine.
Islam is a bomb, stop muslim immigartion, with population explosion in muslim countries they will be killing each other. Let this bomb explode in muslim lands not in peaceful non-muslim lands. Oppurtunities are decreasing in muslim lands, and people are dumping there excess children in madrassa where they study quran and become terrorist. Terrorism will be there till there is quran.

Muslim cities also face a huge problem.Cities like dubai(concrete jungle) etc built on Sand and they have 20 times more population, then they can survive. Dubai like places will be gone within 30 years.

7.                              7. Ibn Kammuna Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Dear Jacob Thomas,
thank you for this article, and thanks to the author of the Arabic article – Muhammad shareeneh.
The author’s strategy is good actually. Putting Muhammad as a fallible figure is probably the first step for Arabs to stand back and look at his personality with a critical eye. The rest is really easy: Just read article by people like Sina, Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Khan, Shaikh..etc. After that, Muslims will leave Islam in droves. This will happen in my lifetime I believe.
thanks again to Jacob Thomas and Muhammad Shareeneh.

8.                              8. Marie Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 10:38 pm


Development and progress have nothing to do with religion.Islam provides and sets a stage for development.Arab states are not capitalists states.The writer is simply advocating for capitalism where its “lets take everything for ourselves and damn everybody else.”

I say:

In capitalism everyone must work hard to make money. Those that don’t work hard complain. Also if it weren’t for capitalism the oil rich arab countries would not be so wealthy.

9.                              9. Saleem Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

A very interesting article.

Good to see that more Muslims are waking up to fact that Islam is a fraud.
Abandoning Islam is the obvious move that Muslims should make.
Easier said than done indeed,
What with all its threats of physical violence for those who choose to do so.
Not to mention all Mohnut-cases “promises” of that Fiery Hell!…oow…scary.
Raising children in Islam should be considered deplorable.

10.                          10. Marie Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 10:45 pm

By the way if religion has nothing to do with human progress then why are Muslims still stuck in the stone age while most of the kafir world is making progress?

11.                          11. Raisin Head Says:
July 12th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Many black Muslims are leaving Islam after seeing the evil words spoken about them from allah and Muhammad and the other holy behind scholar. when I showed them the scholar from Saudi Arabia who called them infidel if they refused slavery they immediately left Islam. The word is gertting out and the word is also getting out to whites about being mamluks(white slaves)


12.                          12. Poma Says:
July 13th, 2009 at 6:29 am

Great Work Dear

13.                          13. kenmirzz Says:
July 13th, 2009 at 8:51 am

to Jack Eliud #2

You said: “The authenticity and divine nature of Quran is something that every rational individual can see not unless you are born of a whore like this little minded writer.
Islam is there to stay whether you like it or not.”

Can you analyze Suraa At Tahrim please? Then see from which point of view that the story is morally justified or superior? Study one more Suraa, Al-Masad, it’s divine curse, quite “beautiful”. Indeed, these two Suraa are a shame in Islam as they narrated events that possessed no ethical values at all. How can you rationally accept these garbage to be part of your holy Islamic doctrine?

In Suraa An Nisa’, it is stated that equality is the basis of polygamous marriage. However, Suraa At Tahrim elaborate on the inequality practiced by the “prophet” Muhammad with regards to his wife that cause them to rebel against him. Unless you walk the walk and talk the talk, you are an impostor hypocrite as in the case of Muhammad.

Humanity is but one family. :)

14.                          14. Moooo Says:
July 13th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

# 13 Forget to respond to this pathetic jackass elewd. he would run like all his big mouth brothers. Divine nature my ass.

15.                          15. jonc Says:
July 13th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Jack E wrote:
“Development and progress have nothing to do with religion.”
This may be true – there are certainly those who would argue that all religions stifle the free-thinking that is required for progress.
What is certainly true is that if, within a religion, there is a mind-set that says ‘here are all the answers, anything else or new is blashphemy’ or something similar then progress will not occur.

Jack E wrote:
“Islam provides and sets a stage for development.”
Pardon? In what way are Islamic states ‘developed’? The developments (certainly within the material sphere) are reliant on external (Western) knowledge and technology.
What developments are there in any other sphere? Human rights? Equality? Rule of law?

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