Archive for June 4th, 2010

June 4th, 2010

Lack of Absolutes in Islam Fizzles Attacks on Ex-Muslim

Dissing is not cool even by worldly standard. “Worldly” is synonymous with “ungodly.” You know what I am talking about if you are a Christian. Muslims and some Christians are culpable of dissing Dr. Ergun Caner. There are discrepancies in his testimony; however, that does not justify some of the accusations levied against him. Review Christian articles or webcast and decide for yourself if they are justified. Both Muslims and some non-Muslims have erred in their push for the “truth.” Even Dr. Caner’s Christian brothers and sisters have failed to exercise restraint.

This entry is my final one on this matter unless of course the dissing continues. It deals with certain “absolutes” in Islam that Dr. Caner’s main detractor Mr. Mohammed Khan has capitalized on to label him as a “fake ex-Muslim.” Please feel free to challenge my explanation or any part of it.

In a letter addressed to Dr. Caner—available on multiple websites—dated August 2, 2009, Mr. Khan claimed, “I can assure you that EACH AND EVERY ERROR [sic] you have made is not due to “not following that particular tradition”, rather it is due to the fact that you were never a Muslim and do not know a single iota about Islam.” [Bold emphasis mine.] What a bold statement! I decided to analyze Mr. Khan’s letter because it contains most of his absolute statements. He has been learning about Islam from his attacks on Dr. Caner. He stumbled through his quest, fumbling Islamic teachings. Does that disqualify him as a Muslim? You be the judge. This definitely has been a good learning experience for him. Christians need to be careful because Mr. Khan is desperate. He continues in the letter:

“For your information, Ramadan is an Islamic calendar month which has up to 31 days and for you to say you were a Sunni Muslim and you fasted during Ramadan for 40 days is laughable, and this in itself is proof that you know NOTHING about Ramadan or fasting.” [Emphasis mine.] Did you read that right?

Mr. Khan claims that a lunar calendar month has “up to 31 days.” And you are reading this from a self-proclaimed devout Muslim who is attempting to prove Dr. Caner as a “fake ex-Muslim” based on about two mistakes he has made in hundreds of speeches he has given in regards to the fast during Ramadhan. Even a non-Muslim who has never heard of Islam would correct Mr. Khan’s error about how many days are in a lunar month. He wrote this letter and sent it on August 2, 2009, with this error and also posted it on his website. He copied and pasted links on Facebook countless times. Even Muslims who read it did not point out the error to him until I brought to his attention on April 28, 2010. [You can see the exchange on Ergun Caner’s Facebook fan page.] Please visit fake ex Muslims dot com and see for yourself the correction in “red.” If we label people based on errors they have made, then Mr. Khan has just proven himself a “fake Muslim” because it is haram (unlawful) to fast on Iddul Fitr, the 31st day of fasting which falls on a new month, Shawwal. Prophet Muhammad said, “No fasting is permissible on two days of ‘Id-al-Fitr, and ‘Id-al-Adha.”

He told a gullible audience on February 22, 2010, “The thing we need to understand is that I myself am not an Arab, neither am I a Turk–I am a Muslim. When it comes to certain Islamic phrases such as Salah, Shahadah, Sawm etc–there is no different way of saying these things amongst THE ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD–so for him to come out and say these things in the most bizarre of manners made me curious.” [Emphasis mine.] This blanket statement just shows how much Mr. Khan knows about Islam and Muslims outside of his Salafi bubble.

One participant did not let him get away with his generalizations and absolute statements. “Bizarre,” he calls how Dr. Caner did not pronounce certain Arabic terms. There was a very keen woman, Lydia, who pressed him on February 23, 2010, “As to terminology that ALL Muslims would use, a quick google search came up with this, “Muslims themselves use several terms to refer to Salah depending on their language or culture.” [Emphasis mine.] Wait a minute! What would Mr. Khan say? He fooled some Reformed and or Southern Baptist folks for a little over a day that Islamic terminologies were universal until Lydia noted something was not right. What did he do? He changed his story to the tune of… “Regarding your Google search–you are totally correct.” [Emphasis mine.] How come he did not present the whole truth from the outset?

Mr. Khan said in the letter, “I can assure you that not a Muslim on earth refers to their five daily prayers as their “Rakahs”, rather we call it “Salah.” I call this another absolute statement which is very easy to debunk using Lydia’s “google search.” Rakah is a set of bowings during Salah (the five daily prayers).” Muslims refer to Salah as imunz or namāz, which essentially is equivalent to referring to their five daily prayers as rakah because imunz or namāz come from “Indo-Aryan root namas meaning ‘to bow or prostrate.’” What is very ironic is Mr. Khan himself refers to the five daily prayers as moonz—he acknowledged when Lydia intervened but does not give Dr. Caner the benefit of the doubt that Rakah could be his family’s own way of referring to Salah.

He continued in the letter, “You mentioned in ONE CLIP that you believed in a Prophet called Baruch. There is no Prophet mentioned in the Qur’an or Hadith called Bahruch [sic]. Why did you make this up?” [Emphasis mine.] This is another absolute statement and Mr. Khan is learning on the job. There are 124,000 prophets in Islam and only 25 of them are mentioned by name in the Qur’an. What happened to the names of the 99.98 percent of these prophets?

When I was attending madrassa and I was learning names of prophets mentioned in the Qur’an, I used to recite different verses of the Qur’an that mention the prophets. Suratul A-Imran verse 84 states, “Say: We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and what was given to Musa and Isa and to the prophets from their Lord; we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.” [Emphasis Mine.] “Tribes” is asbat. These are the twelve tribes that descended from Yaqub (Jacob) and they are mentioned along with some of the prophets. Could it be possible that Dr. Caner employed the same tactic to memorize the names of the prophets when he was a Muslim, forgot and mispronounced asbat (not a prophet) in this interview as Bahruch? I bet Mr. Khan cannot name the 25 prophets. Most Muslims don’t even know all their names. He is making it an issue and some Christians are being duped by one mistake.

Mr. Khan continued, “Why does the picture of you in the so called Madrassa, have a girl standing next to you? Why is there a girl praying in the same line as you “in the mosque”? This does not happen anywhere [in Islam].” [Bracket mine.] There is a picture of Dr. Caner in madrassa and Mr. Khan cannot accept it because if he does that debunks his assertion that Dr. Caner was “never a Muslim.” He cannot even give him the benefit of the doubt the girl in the picture could be his half-sister, which in Islam is acceptable and cannot break tahara, which is necessary for reciting the Qur’an and also observing the salah or moonz as Mr. Khan privately calls it. This is yet another absolute statement that is not so absolute after all.

Most Islamic teachings and practices lack absolutes because they are based on the exemplary life of Prophet Muhammad who lived his life as he willed. Have you ever wondered why Muslims kill each other over their religious differences when they follow the same prophet who supposedly got revelations from only one source, Allah? (The Ahmadiyya Muslims are in the news again. 80 of them were killed on Friday last week in Pakistani during the Friday prayer.)

I tried to discuss with Mr. Khan on a blog about these absolutes and it did not take long that he cried foul and I was banned. I had brought to his attention how it was okay that Prophet Muhammad touched one of his wives—grounds to nullify a prayer—when he was praying but it did not nullify his prayer. Mr. Khan was touting these absolutes fooling gullible Christians and I was not given a chance to debunk his claims. Thankfully, a controversy, which drives my point home, rocked Saudi Arabia within a few days. Sheikh Ahmed al-Ghamdi—not to be confused with one the 9/11 hijackers—called for “easing the rules for prayer in mosques, and allowing men and women to mix freely.” This man is not your ordinary Muslim scholar. He is the head of muttawa, the Saudi religious police. He said, “Those who prohibit ikhtilat cling to weak ahadeeth, while the correct ahadeeth prove that mixing is permissible, contrary to what they claim.” There goes another absolute statement.

Dr. Caner has said a lot of things in hundreds of speeches he has given. Muslims look for opportunities to discredit ex-Muslims and even some Christians. He has given them a foothold and that should not widen the rift between Christians. It is a shame that even Christians mock Dr. Caner for mispronouncing Arabic terms or reciting “gibberish” while he converted to Christianity a few decades ago. People have no idea how much one can forget after leaving Islam. I am speaking from experience. If we use his recollection of verses from the Qur’an to justify our attacks, we are doomed. Mr. Khan has been a Muslim since birth and guess what? He says, “I myself can speak Pashto so I am familiar with some Persian and Arabic. I can read Arabic (not very well), but I did not spot any Arabic words either.” He cannot read Arabic well, which means Mr. Khan minimally understands Islam. His Arabic is probably worse than that of Dr. James White because Dr. White has a tutor. I bet it is worse than Dr. Caner’s because he could not correct Dr. Caner’s “gibberish” with his “prowess” of the Qur’an. Instead, he enlisted a recording.

Brethren, let us encourage a Muslim who comes to faith in Jesus Christ to read and memorize Bible verses. In the end, it is not his or her recollection of the Qur’an or the Hadith that matters, but “faith expressing itself through love.” Have a blessed day.