Islamic Reform Is Impossible

How many times have you heard this, Islam just needs a reform. Well why does it need a reform? Well then it would ne nicer without that jihad business. So let’s just reform it.

Here’s the bad news, I’ll start off with it. It is impossible to reform Islam. What do you mean you can’t reform it? I wanna demonstrate that to you. It’s almost like a mathematical business.

But you say look, Christianity and Judaism were reformed, therefore Islam can be reformed. Well, not really. Let’s say that you’re gonna reform Islam by picking out the good and dropping what is bad, and you’re the one deciding what is good and bad. Well this Islam you’re gonna pick and choose from, what is it? It’s Quran, Sira, and Hadith, so therefore if you’re gonna reform Islam, you have to reform the Quran, the Sira, or the Hadith.

Let’s start with the Quran. What does it say about itself? Quran 3:7, “No one knows the true interpretation except Allah,” that’s the interpretation of the Quran, “but those firm in knowledge say “we believe in it, all of it is from our Lord.” So since every verse comes from Allah, who are you to pick and choose amongst it?

Here’s an example that you don’t even know how to pick and choose anyway. Quran 2:216, “Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. “But it is possible that you dislike a thing “which is good for you and that you love a thing “which is bad for you.”

So therefore you the person picking and choosing, Allah says you don’t know how to pick and choose anyway. Quran 11:1. “This is a book who verses are perfect.” So every verse is perfect, who are you to say they’re not?
Quran 5:3. “This day I perfected for you your religion “and completed my favor upon you “and have approved for you Islam as a religion.” Its religion is perfect. That includes Quran and Sunnah. What are you gonna do about that? How do you reform perfection? Look, Islam is perfect in its entirety and each individual part. Every verse, every sentence, every Hadith is perfect.

Muhammad is a perfect model for a human life. There’s 91 verses in the Quran which say so. So therefore his Sunnah is perfection. There’s not good Sunnah and bad Sunnah. It’s all Allah’s perfection.

But let’s say you’re so brilliant that you’re smarter than Allah, and you’re smarter than Muhammad, and you come up with this brilliant plan for reformation. So what, who do you go to? There’s no authoritative body to approve or disprove. You can’t go to Al-Azhar because they don’t have any real authority. They’re just a group of scholars issuing opinions. There is no central body that can issue changes in Islam, so your brilliant reformation plan doesn’t have anywhere to go, no one cares.

Now look, you say we need to reform Islam because it will make Islam whatever we mean by this, nice. So the part you want to remove is jihad. Now in Mecca there is no jihad, but in the Medina in Quran, 24% of it is about jihad. Bukhari’s Hadith, 21% are about jihad, and the Sira has life as 67%, 2/3.

This is not a verse or two, this is a systemic problem. It is a doctrine that you need to change, and you can’t change it with a sentence or a verse or two. Islam is not what a Muslim says, it’s what Muhammad says. So therefore you can’t go to ask some Muslim, well here’s what I think a reformation would be, and he would go, oh I think you’re right. There’s 1 1/2 billion Muslims, so which one are you gonna ask for to approve of your plan for reformation? Whereas when we quote Muhammad, it is objective.

Now look, we’ve all met nice pleasant Muslims, and so we say well look, if Muslims are nice, there is a nice Islam they’re following. No, they’re not following all of Islam. They’re just practicing the Islam that’s found in Mecca, not in Medina. Nice Muslims cannot condemn or say Medina is wrong, they just don’t practice it. But that’s not reforming, it’s just not doing what it says.

Now remember this too, Muhammad was a failure until he came up with jihad. His career, 13 years in Mecca preaching the religion of Islam, no jihad, but only 150 followers. About 10 a year. Then when he turned to jihad and politics, he was an overwhelming success. So the part that you might like to take out is the successful part.

Now let’s face another problem. Why are you trying to fix what is not broken? Islam is overwhelmingly successful in Europe, Brazil, Central America, United States, and Canada. They don’t need to fix anything, it’s working like a fine Swiss watch. Look ever notice something about these reformer people, they’re apologists for Islam, or they’re a member of an insignificant group of Muslims. They just simply don’t count.

So let’s go over it again. Quran is perfect, Sira is perfect, Hadith is perfect, can’t reform ’em. The doctrine is systemic, it’s not just a little bitty tweak here or there. There’s no body of authority that can approve any changes you make. And then it’s not broken, why fix it? So these are the reasons that Islam cannot be reformed, I don’t care how nice the person is who says it can be.

One Response

  1. anti-statist

    Very, very excellent presentation Dr. Warner!

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