The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Taqiya and naskh

Back in 2011 the admins at CEMB put out a video: taqiya plays a minor role in Islam and naskh is now deprecated. I'm taking CEMB seriously because they are a "council of EX muslims", so profess no (explicit) motive to defend that faith which they have already rejected. (We'll get to that...)

But I think CEMB're (mostly) wrong. Both concepts taqiya and naskh were hot issues back when.

In Throne of Glass I mooted that taqiya was known - and controversial - in the earliest years of the Arab faith. Q. 3:28 introduced the term in context of wala', the mechanism by which a gentile foreigner might join an Arab tribe and/or become Muslim. In those days a Muslim might even become a Christian's mawla. The context seems to be that Islam was then neither strong nor well-defined: a wala' might be contracted-upon due to fear. As for examples of such fear: well, everyone remembered Aaron, when he dealt with the golden-calf mess. This Biblical story *did* make it to the Qur'an, at sura 20. [In this light I'll admit at page 41 I could have stood to improve my use of terms.]

But again - controversial. The Kharijite sects (excepting Ibadis) rejected any justification for shutting their mouths. Some Kufans even shunned sura 20 and refused to copy it. We are not told why; but Suyuti's Itqan chapter 18 does tell us that they did it, and - beyond sura 7 correcting some unrelated mistakes elsewhere - objection to taqiya is the best I could come up with. (Usually, though, the Qur'an employs the root of taqiya / taqwa in the context of a Believer's fear of God: they are the muttaqun. And they don't lie.)

As for naskh, uh... I've seen a lot of that in the suras. And - as CEMB admits - so did the Qur'anic scholars. Sura 28 made a play against exactly sura 20 (and sura 27); sura 9 limited and near-rejected Abraham's prayer for his father. I can honestly say that I couldn't even have started this project if not for the obvious and repeated quotes and deliberate manipulations of sura B against sura A. The CEMB editors - I'm sorry to say this - hedge this by saying that the Muslims' own scholars didn't always know the order of transmission. But when we're dealing with sura 4 quoting sura 6 or sura 39 quoting sura 6 or suras 9 and 60 quoting sura 19 - I'm sorry again, but a child could see it. The later suras' composers WANTED us to see them quoting, and fine-tuning, and sometimes refuting, rival qurra'.

Circling back to taqiya: to the extent we assume that a doctrine of jihad exists in Islam, then we know that the jihad-part of Islam contains a doctrine of politics: this, to influence non-Muslim populations. I certainly saw some jihad-by-the-lie among the Mormons I've met. So when I see the jihad verses in the Qur'an, I know that dissimulation is - literally - the least the devout Muslim can do to propagate his faith's interests. I can concede it's not in accordance to sura 3's (narrow) argument. It is surely arguable that lying for political gain differs qualitatively from taqiya to save your life and that of your people. But still: we're dealing with crooks on the one hand and with cravens on the other. So what do we non-Arabophones call such an act? [UPDATE 3 - see UPDATE 3 below.]

I've been rambling too long so I'll sum up. CEMB is picking nits with taqiya. And they're wrong about naskh.

I appreciate what CEMB as a forum has done for me so far. I think, though, that not all its administrators had - in 2011 - thought through what their late religion implies.

I get the sense that the CEMB ex-Muslims worry that never-Muslim activists are covering for outright racists, who would want them gone even if they were devout Catholics. Another Arabic word comes to mind: asabiya. It's a legitimate worry. But the same worry is had on our side. And, I still have to point out: if we're talking people like Wilders and Geller, the lands in question, Holland and Israel, do belong to those of Holland and Israel. (Spencer, being an Anatolian expat, is rather outside this debate. As am I, in many ways.)

UPDATE: ... I've been reminded that, likewise, CEMB's land is theirs: I got a warning. But I'd been a jerk, as usual; other peoples' comment-boards aren't like this work-in-progress blog, so when I fuck up over there, it's not like tweaking stuff over here. So I accept it was my fault - I did apologise, which apology the mubin warner has accepted. (There I go again.) But - yeah, I might not be long for the site. Pity, this. It's generally a good site but then, I never really did belong there since I was never a Muslim and since I have some asabiyat of mine own. I am taking a self-imposed suspension.

UPDATE 2: Throne of Glass is down for maintenance. It is not repudiated. I stand by every argument in it. If you got version 1 (and I know you didn't get "version 1.5"), you're fine. But I've been doing some pretty heavy research and I can see where the arguments can be strengthened. A "1.6" seems in order.

UPDATE 3: 1.6 1.7. And now I have an answer for what to call jihad-by-the-lie: anything but "taqiya".

UPDATE 4 (7/5): Here's a better term: Muda’rat. Now that I know, I'm going through my history and fixing where I was using "taqiya" improperly. I count nine posts prior to this one where I use the term. There turns out to be a sharp distinction between the types of posts, and when I posted them.

The marker-post is the devil-dictionary. This nods to Ambrose: unfair, by design. I'd noted that use of "taqiyya" for many years but I first floated that in a non-Shi'a discussion in 2006. On return from hiatus, I felt free to fling this and this and this. These posts now use scare-quotes and link to the dictionary.

I did better in my Shi'a posts. This post as early as 2004 used the term properly and had a relevant link. This one needed a link and so did this. This one had a link but to a polemic. My footnoting may have been off but at least I didn't have to retract or explain anything.

Apparently I'd started out okay, took a blow to the head between 2004 and 2006, self-diagnosed in 2011 and cured myself in 2014.

posted by Zimri on 18:49 | link | 0 comments

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