(Posting on tafseer of Qur’an combining all the previous separate postings; by one NEB)
There is nothing wrong with Islam; there is everything right about Islam. What could be wrong is how some Muslims interpret Qur’anic verses of rules—that are fixed—with ijtihad or logic or critical thinking. So now we have the following, for example, as a result. That is, while homosexuality is forbidden and is a grave sin in Islam, some people (read: liberated or liberal Muslims) argue that it be acknowledged and accepted for reasons they, of course, can make up logically.
“Scott Kugle is a leading figure among the Muslim LGBT community and is deeply respected by them… He is just one of many Muslim dissenting voices who is challenging the status-quo in Islam. Irshad Manji, a Canadian Muslim lesbian, author and advocate for reform and a progressive interpretation of Islam, and feminists Amina Wudud and Kecia Ali, join the list of alternative interpreters” (https://omarshahid.co.uk/2012/11/29/muslim-and-gay-islam-begins-to-confront-the-issue-the-times/).
‘Amazingly’, when they are given a chance to talk about this in a forum, an audience is willing to gather and listen to them as if they were real ulema recognized for their capacity and authority in Qur’anic verse interpretation. Who is silly? I think, while those liberal Muslims have their every right to interpret the already-fixed Qur’anic verses to their heart’s content, the informed audience at least has every right NOT to have to listen to them, let alone agree with them. They can walk out.
By category, some Qur’anic verses are rules; others are signs or warnings; others are stories teaching moral lessons; still others are good news. When it comes to interpretation and re-interpretation of these verses of different categories, caution has to be closely taken and attention paid. Verses of rules give little even no room for ijtihad or logic or critical thinking. You listen to them and obey them as such (Sami’na wa Ato’na). Verses of signs and warnings allow informed critical thinking; for this, learning from ulema or scholars with authority is an advantage. Verses of stories and good news render philosophy and conscience.
When it comes to Qur’anic verses rendering rules, the attitude Allah the One God teaches us to have is ‘We listen and we obey’. There is no other interpretation but what is stated. It’s plain and simple: No ijtihad or logic or critical thinking is needed. If, for example, Allah the One God maintains that homosexuality is damned and is a grave sin, then it is fixed. It is forever so. Allah the One God allows us to think and to think critically only when it concerns verses suggesting signs and warnings.
When, for example, Allah the One God says that the Jews, etc. are not happy with Muslims and Islam and will do everything they can to make Muslims convert and leave their already-perfect Islam religion, He means for us Muslims to have to think and to think critically as to what it really means. It is, here, therefore, that we layman Muslims have to learn and to resort to ulema and scholars with capacity and authority to guide us to best understand its underlying meaning and message. It would be misleading to interpret it in our own way down to, for instance, the fact that we have to kill Jews for no apparent reason whenever and wherever we meet them.
If breaking a unanimously-understood-to-be-fixed Qur’anic rule and committing a (grave) sin with still a conscience of apparently doing so due to rebellion or own independent interpretation or ijtihad or logic or (critical) thinking is still ‘allowed’ in some way, it must be that you do it by yourself and for yourself, which, in any way, will not inflict others. It’s your own (mis)understanding. It’s your own fault. It’s your own mistake. It’s your own sin. You do not make others suffer because of that. One carries one’s own consequences of (mis)conducts, so it goes.
It would be different if you advocate it to others and for them to believe it your way and do it too. This will bring harm not only to yourself but also more so to others. Now THIS is what many liberally educated young change agent Muslims do. They speak in forums where a lot more other youths are present and listen and nod in agreement. THIS is dangerous… https://omarshahid.co.uk/2012/11/29/muslim-and-gay-islam-begins-to-confront-the-issue-the-times/.
One good example here of a figure who understands the nature of Qur’anic verses commanding fixed rules to listen to and to obey—but he has to break one anyway while still knowing the consequences to his own self (here more like it than standard ‘himself’) and, therefore, not advocating it to others is this then-famous actor W. D. Mochtar, who is in this scene arguing about his drinking habits to Dangdut singer and actor Rhoma Irama, who plays a known devout Muslim, who sings to earn a living. W. D. Mochtar knows precisely that drinking is forbidden and is a sin and that he will never advocate it otherwise to others. He drinks it himself and faces the consequences himself too.
Interestingly, he can critically and smartly confront Rhoma Irama with his singing. He maintains that Rhoma Irama does not sing to himself. He sings to his huge fans. He continues to say that—as such—while singing is still in a gray area between halal (allowed) and haram (forbidden), Rhoma Irama’s singing surely opens wide doors for evil deeds like earthly pride, dirty dancing, drinking, and free sex. He posits that THIS is more dangerous. This leaves Rhoma Irama dumbfounded. Just brilliant! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuoICMulQKA.
If some Muslims believe that they have the right from Allah the One God to kill others of different religions even their own brothers and sisters in faith with no apparent cause, it is very likely that they have a problem with interpreting a particular Qur’anic verse of signs or warnings. Their misled and misleading interpretation is their own fault. It’s their own mistake. It’s their own sin. They lack learning. They believe in their own narrow-minded ijtihad. As for Islam itself, it remains paramount forever and ever. There is nothing wrong with it. In short, there could be something wrong with some Muslims trying to interpret by themselves its verses of differing meanings and messages that must actually be taken with great above care https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1eI7itIaJU.