Redefining the Meaning of Terms
Another aspect I have come to notice throughout my research on the field of the current day western onslaught of various media outlets against Islam is the issue of inventing new terminology and giving new meanings to them. From among the terminologies used by people involved intentionally or otherwise, in the current onslaught of the Islamic religion are the following words
5. Islamo fascists
It is the efforts of the antagonists of Islam to redefine and reshape terminology to give a certain perception they wish people to see.
I’m forced to say that I do not bend to their will of their distortion of terminology
The definition of salafiyyah/salafi is and will always be the definition the orthodox Muslims gave it for 14 centuries
With regards to salafist, this is not the place to discuss it as it has been dealt with at length in the chapter concerning salafiyyah. Therefore, I will focus on others
Introduction: Importance of the Shareah expression and Islamic terminology
“the knowledge of the reality of things and correct perceptions are considered fundamental openings to the lessening or removal of difference of opinion. That is true because one rarely finds a difference of opinion except that behind it there is either a difference in perception, an unsound perception, or an ignorance concerning the reality of the thing concerning which there is a difference of opinion. Ibn Taymiyyah said ‘Many of the disputes of people are due to unclear words and ambigious meanings. It gets to the point that one can find two people arguing and disputing over a meaning of a word or denying its implication while, if each were asked the meaning of the words they are saying, they have no clear perception of them, not to speak of what the words actually indicate’.
People’s evaluation of thoughts or of others goes back to the perception. It is narrated from the statement of the early scholars, ‘the judgment concerning something is derived from how it is perceived’
Muslim scholars have paid great attention to Shariah terms and Islamic terminology. They have been keen on this point for a number of reasons, most important of which are
1. In order that those terms and wordings could not be relative terms, not specifically defined, used by every sect in a way that pleases them, according to what their whims desire and their false teachings lead them to. They tried to avoid this because this actually occurred in our Islamic history. The ahlu-sunnah were branded with contradictory, non-compatible tags. For example, those who denied the attributes called the ahlu-sunnah “anthropomorphist” while the actual anthropomorphist considered the ahlu-sunnah as being “mu’atillah” (deniers of the attributes). In reality, ahlu-sunnah is between both of these extremes, upon a straight path, that is not repudiated by their desires.
[Authors words: I add to what Dr. Abdur-Rahman al-Luwaihiq says in that in current times, the present day people of the sunnah, the salafis are being labeled and charged with being extreme in takfeer, by the modernists apologetic sympathizers to western thought along with sufis and ash’aris who charge them with the label of khawaarij and or takfeeris. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the actual khawaarij renegades of Islam, charging and calling these same salafis of ahlu-sunnah as murjia heretics and pagan supporters for the disbelieving rulers and that our religion (which is Islam) has been invented by the disbelievers calling them Saudi salafis]
2. In order that those shariah terms are not understood to mean the newly introduced understandings of a people or large sector of a population. [In other words] a group of people may begin to use a term in a specific way and then they note that such term appears in the shariah texts or in the words of a scholar. They therefore believe that the meaning of that term in those texts is the same as the meaning thathas become common among the people while in reality while in reality the shariah meaning is something different’
[Author’s note: I would like to pause right here and highlight some current realities that further validate the truth of what the shaykh speaks above
1. We have a current people redefining jihaad in Islam. It is mainly from the camp of disbelievers. That is because of their mass distortion of what jihaad actually is and their fierce onslaught of it and calling anyone who believes in it as a “jihaadist” then we have another group of people, who in the methodology of appeasement, give forth their meaning of jihaad, both groups distorting the actual nature, requisites, realities, and shariah perspectives on what jihad actually is rather than how both the disbelievers and their modernists sympathizers among the muslims perceive it to be
2. likewise, the idea of salafiyyah as “salafist” and then linking “salafist” with “jihadist” and all of these other “ists” that these disbelievers on the campaign trail against Islam are inventing that have no meaning in and of themselves, and are giving them meanings that in reality have no basis in any sense, Islamic, or otherwise.]
“Another aspect that highlights the importance of the shariah terms and Islamic terminology is that they have become tools in intellectual and cultural warfare. The enemy pays close attention to ideas or principles of the others in their ideological warfare. They then do their best to distort the true meanings of those principles and terms. This way they are able to conceal the truth about them.
this action of their centers on two main pivots:
First, the constantly bring up, in reference to the ideas or thoughts they oppose, reprehensible words and terms to drive the people away at the very sound of them-not to speak of keeping them from their true meanings or what they may contain of truth. This was one of the ways which the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wa sallam) was opposed. ‘One of the toughest strategies used by the enemies of the Messenger of Allah to drive people away from him was the use of offensive terms and demeaning expressions [used when referring to the prophet]. They would use terms that were reprehensible to the people and those who listened to them would be deceived and fooled, such that these reprehensible terms permeated their hearts and kept them away from the prophet. In fact this is the way of everyone who tries to befuddle the truth’ (he quotes Ibnul-Qayyim in Sawa’iq al-Mursalah on this quote)
If you were to look into the lives of the prophets, you will find that they were called insane, ignorant, misguided and so forth. All of this was done in order to mislead the people and make the messengers hated. An example of this strategy as a tool of ideological warfare can clearly be seen in the history of the Islamic sects. The other sects called the ahlu-sunnah wal jama’ah a number of names and terms in order to drive people away from it and its adherents
[Author’s note: Kind of like how they are now called incoherent and rigid traditionists by the progressives and modernists)
Second, another strategy they implement is to use terms and slogans that are clean and good and they take them as slogans of what their opponents dislike of them. They do this so that they can easily penetrate and spread their beliefs and thoughts without anyone fleeing from them or disliking what they say. An example of this nature from the history of ideological disputes in Islam concerns the word tawheed. “tawheed, which is in reality the affirmation of the attributes of perfection for Allah and negation of what is contrary to them, as well as worshipping Him alone without ascribing any partner to Him, was used as a term by the people of falsehood (he’s talking about the mutazilah) to mean a pure denial of the attributes. Then those people called others to “tawheed” and they were able to deceive those who did not know what they meant by the term tawheed
(that is tawheed according to the mutazilah which was that by stripping Allah of His Attributes, and making Him attribute less, they were thereby affirming tawheed, for affirming an attribute meant affirming another god along with Allah, therefore shirk. so that means, according to them, that stripping Allah from His attributes was true tawheed)
the author continues
An example from the contemporary ideological warfare is in relation to the Arabic word for secularism (al-‘almaniyya). In reality, secularists separate religion from life, but they clothe themselves in a garment of “science” and attach themselves to it to make easier for them to enter the Muslims lands
(that is because the Arabic word “al-Ilmaniyya refers to science and knowledge of sciences. But as the scholars have explained, secularists are the most ignorant of people, therefore they are called as in reality alamaaniyya i.e. worldliers or people who seek the life of this world alone as they are a people who do not care for the hereafter, whether atheist or not.)
I cease to cite the ending as my point is amply put forward. That is that
1. We see this clearly, how the disbelievers are redefining our religion from under our noses
2. How they redefine extremism with fundamentalism and they do so because of their own historical information
3. How they redefine a good Muslim as “moderate” when in reality the “moderate” Muslim they have in mind is not a Muslim at all. For example, in all of their talk shows, the moderate they bring forth to speak on behalf of Islam are none other than secularists or regressives (which they call themselves progressives).
When my Shaykh, Dr. Saiful-Islam Abdul-Ahad had a debate with Daniel Pipes, he asked Pipes what was his definition of a “moderate Muslim”
“one who does not take the Quran or the Sunnah (hadeeth or sayings of traditions from the prophet) as a source of guidance in all affairs“
my shaykh replied back,
“that’s not a Muslim at all“
and another example which is rooted in the shaykhs point on the second pivot, is the term the disbelievers like to use,
“freedom” mainly freedom of expression and choice
while this is their slogan, in reality we know that the freedom they are really defending is the freedom of heresy, corruption, fornication and adultery, alcohol, and the list goes on.
Again that stems from two different ideological thoughts, the world thought, and then the western thought
1. the world thought being that everyone pretty much knows that one reaps what they sow
2. the western thought is “we can say what we want without any repercussions”
I could continue with this but for time constraints I mainly point out that this is what is going on, they are redefining what a Muslim ought to be in their eyes, rather than how Allah and His Messenger cultivated them on how to be, simply because they view us as a threat to their societal de-evolution which again is called “the age of advancement and prosperity”
Therefore, I say it is absolute preposterousness to allow our terminology to be defined by the disbelievers, it is defined by us, just as we do not take the audacity to redefine what a Christian means or this, that, or the other.
Just because something can be found textually does not mean that is the correct understanding of the matter at hand, which means, we, have to correct, what the disbelievers mistook, and not stand by and allow them to say what they have to say and accept the premise of their argument
Allah says in the Quran how we must bear witness to the truth and speak out against falsehood.
If we know what the disbelievers say is falsehood and distortions, isn’t it a basic principle among us to change it, or are we just to allow for them to have a field day in redefining our terminology, and in the process, our values.
This reality is exactly what Allah was referring to when He says in His book that
“And they will never be pleased with you until you turn away from your deen (religion)”
The “good” Muslim that the antagonist of Islam are portraying as good in their media outlets and who they give the platform to, are none other than apostates or disbelievers in Islam to begin with. They are not even Muslims, and this is the Islam that they affirm and think should be the valid form of Islam and they render everything other than that, as radical, fascist, extremist, fundamentalist, and now terrorist.