Brussels Terror Attack: Due to Western Ignorance of Evil Theological Systems – Part II
By Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
In an earlier article published under the title “Brussels Terror Attack: Due to Western Misperceptions – Part I” (https://megalommatiscomments.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/brussels-terror-attack-due-to-western-misperceptions-part-i/), I highlighted the Western ignorance of the Muslim World and more specifically of the fact that the extremist way of life, mindset and belief are approved and shared by many hundreds of millions of Muslims in countries other than the evil cradle of Salafism / Wahhabism, i.e. Saudi Arabia; I called that dimension of Western misperception of the Islamic World ‘sociopolitical’. In the present article, I will expand on the historical – theological dimension of the problem.
WESTERN MISPERCEPTION OF ISLAM – HISTORICAL / THEOLOGICAL DIMENSION
In fact, there is an even worse, overwhelming, and terrible deception imposed on all those in West who have no background in Islamic History, Islamic Philosophy, and Islamic Theology. It pertains to the use of the terms ‘Wahhabi’ and ‘Salafist’.
Several investigative analysts have already questioned a few important points, such the inextricable relationship between the Islamic terrorists’ ideology, i.e. Wahhabism, and Saudi Arabia’s official and totalitarian dogma, which is again Wahhabism.
It would look as if Saudi Arabia cultivated and exported the evilness of Wahhabism, and this is true indeed, but unfortunately, this conclusion covers only a tiny part of the problem. To understand the extent of the problem and why it does involve the greatest part of the Islamic World, one has to go back to History.
THEOLOGY vs. RELIGION
Meanwhile, one must manage to avoid traps that only help the terrorists continue their evildoing, because precisely these traps mislead the Western statesmen, military headquarters, academia, mass media, and public opinion in their evaluation of the present situation. The trap is that of accusing Islam itself as a religion of terror. Extensive historical research would easily and plainly prove the opposite, namely that the peak of the Islamic Civilization (and all the thousands of historically known Muslim polymaths, philosophers, erudite scholars, scientists, poets, artists, historians, authors, etc.) was totally devoid of any inclination toward violence, let alone terrorism.
Where does this trap hinge on?
The answer is simple; there is a subtle and yet enormous difference between two words that play here a determinant role: ‘Religion’ and ‘Theology’. All the religions – when systematized as dogma, doctrine and cult – are, usually, essentially transformed into theological systems that can be at times identified as very distant from the original religion.
Christianity offers many examples in this regard; the word ‘Trinity’ does not exist in the New Testament. Early Christians practiced Christianity without conceptualizing what later became the Trinity dogma of Christianity. It is only after St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia, wrote his lengthy theological treatise On the Holy Spirit (374 CE), which was accepted as doctrinal pillar of Christianity, that 4th century Christians were able at last to contextualize the third person of their religion.
Similar situations occurred in Islam, a religion that is based on one holy book, the Quran, and prophetic explanations and narratives usually called ‘traditions’ (Hadith in Arabic) that determine not only the aspects of spiritual life and human morality but also the details of socioeconomic life. In this regard, theological systematization and recorded application of the Islamic Jurisprudence ended up to an interminable typolatry (“the worship of the types of the religion”) very similar to what Jesus accused the Pharisees of (“Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”; Matthew 23:24). This attitude was proven unable to hinder the free development of Philosophy, Letters, Arts, Sciences, and Spirituality in the first six – seven centuries of the Islamic Era, but when the Islamic Civilization collapsed, typolatry prevailed overwhelmingly bringing forth putrefaction.
THREE THEOLOGICAL LAYERS THAT COMPOSE TODAY’S ISLAM
If you go to the Wikipedia, you will read that the terms Salafi and Wahhabi are almost synonymous and that Wahhabi means the follower of Muhammad Ibn Abdulwahhab (18th c.); they are categorized as Sunni, even by people like Karen Armstrong, but this is very, very false.
1. Muhammad Ibn Abduwahhab adhered to the evil theological system of Ahmed ibn Taimiya (13-14th c.). Today’s Salafists or Wahhabis adhere to that system too.
2. Ahmed ibn Taimiya adhered to the evil theological-jurisprudential system of Ahmed ibn Hanbal (8-9th c.).
3. Now, Ahmed ibn Hanbal is – today – considered as the founder of one of the so-called four (4) schools of Islamic Sunni Jurisprudence (Fiqh – you have to pronounce both, -q and -h).
All the sheikhs and all the muftis of Islam will tell you today that the four schools of Sunni Jurisprudence are: Hanafi, Maliki, Shaffi’i, and Hanbali – all terms are established after the names of several theologians (in chronological order: Abu Hanifa, Malik ibn Anas, Al-Shafi‘i, ibn Hanbal) who lived in the 8th and the 9th c. Indicatively: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh
This is a shameful lie.
Certainly, in terms of present sociopolitical conditions, one can find followers of each of the above systems. If one consults existing maps closely, one will soon notice that Hanbalis are to be found – only – in Saudi Arabia!
The critical point, which is today concealed by both, the Muslim sheikhs or muftis and the politically correct Western academia, is that the Hanbalis were never truly accepted as genuine Muslims, civilized humans, and people of good faith by any Muslim in the 8-12th c., which was the peak of Islamic Civilization.
At those days, not one Islamic philosopher, erudite scholar, spiritual mystic, scientist, theologian, polymath, architect, artist or poet ever accepted Ahmed ibn Hanbal as an educated person, let alone as an accredited scholar and theologian. The true fact is that he was imprisoned as a barbaric and dangerous heretic and as an ignorant person, who would spread evilness and darkness among Muslims.
His followers were very few, vulgar, miserable, marginal, and disorderly elements. Across the (already then) vast Islamic World, the only location where they were accepted was the most uneducated, most uncivil, and most worthless part of the Islamic territories, namely the Arabian desert (they were not accepted then even in the Hedjaz, the Cordillera that spans from the South of today’s Jordan to the North of Yemen, i.e. where Mecca and Medina are located). One has to bear also in mind the fact that the Hedjaz, although important from a religious viewpoint (as a holy place where the Prophet of Islam lived), has never been in the Islamic Ages a recommended place for Letters, Sciences, Arts, Philosophy, and Imperial Prestige.
Ahmed ibn Taimiya lived outside Arabia and was a Hanbali, and as such he was imprisoned for felony, heresy, and barbarism. When he was free, in his speeches, he used to admonish his followers to attack personally all the Islamic philosophers, scientists, artists, architects, authors, poets and erudite scholars, because they all had absolute contempt and disdain for him, and his ignorance. Ibn Battuta, the illustrious traveler and author of Islamic Ages, describes that the villainous ibn Taimiya exhorted his followers to attack physically the followers of important Islamic philosophical systems who verbally disagreed with the nonsensical and immoral words that he used to utter. This behaviour prevailed among his followers after he died.
Taking into consideration that Ahmed ibn Taimiya was a Hanbali and that Hanbalis were an illegal group (and not an established and accepted school of Islamic Jurisprudence) at the time, one may ask how Ahmed ibn Taimiya managed to influence people in areas like Damascus where there were no Hanbali at all.
Ahmed ibn Taimiya was the ugly and perverse child of his time. During his life, the last Crusaders were kicked out of the Orient. However, the shock they had created was extremely negative and uniquely tremendous among Muslims, Christians, and Jews of the Orient. It was also the time when the epicenter of the Islamic Civilization, Baghdad, was destroyed by the Mongols. This generated a very negative attitude and aggravated introversion, which was at the antipodes of what the Islamic World had been for six centuries before the Crusades.
(to be continued)