It was brought to my attention that Irshad Manji was on the Glenn Beck show recently speaking as if she were a Muslim. Sister Ruth has a post with a clip to the video interview on her site.
I commented that:
I am not one to criticize a person’s faith without proper evidence but from reading Manji’s website and the articles linked by her on it we can find out that of the 5 pillars of Islam she believes the following:
1. Declaration of Faith – Claims to believe in it but negates this belief with her negation of other pillars.
2. Ritual Prayer – Doesn’t believe she needs to follow the prayer described by Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. She believes in saying her own made-up prayer which she claims has more meaning.
3. Fasting – Claims to fast in Ramadan
4. Zakaah – (annual charity from one’s wealth) claims to give a portion of her wealth each year.
5. Hajj – (Pilgrimage) claims hajj is not obligatory for her as long as her female Christian partner is not allowed to join her in Makkah and Madinah.
All five pillars form the foundational core of a Muslim’s belief system without any pillar, a person’s Islam collapses, so what of a person that is missing three pillars? Such a person cannot be called a Muslim.
As Abu Eesa mentioned a better name for her would be Idhlal.
The best thing I can say about Manji is that on the question of homosexuality, she says she is not sure whether or not it is allowed in Islam. She would do well to read the articles by these brothers.
The Arabic language is a part of this religion. Manji freeely admits that she does not know Arabic and so one wonders how she intends to carry out her Project Ijtihad using an English translation of the Quran and hadeeth.
There was a time albeit (and alhamdulillah) short-lived after I accepted Islam, where I was in that convert super-learning mode and I thought like Manji that after reading an English translation of the Quran and hadeeth and some fatawa and articles in books and online that that made me competent to speak about Islam, its history, and its rulings, as if I were a mujtahid.
Then alhamdulillah, Allah the Mighty and Majestic guided me to people of knowledge and good companions and I learned just how little I knew and from that came humility, and re-assessing my intentions, and from that small pockets and openings in this knowledge of the deen were opened to me.
I think this is a peculiarly Western phenomenon of reading one book or article or listening to a lecture and to arrogantly think we are now competent to compete and debate with the scholars of the deen past and present and even with the Companions. And for some of the so-called progressive reformers their levels of arrogance and ignorance has led them to even try to compete with or reject outright Allah and His Messenger peace and blessings be upon him.
In the west, where talking heads with seemingly little or no real scholarship permeate on ubiquitous news shows just reading the newspaper and doing a quick search on Google is enough to sound as if you know what you are talking about even if you don’t know anything at all.
But Islam is not like that, the ulama, the real scholars (an example here) and people of knowledge are humble and careful in their manners and speech and the depth of their knowledge of the sciences of Islam is like an ocean compared to the few drops of knowledge of the average lay person.
A shout out to: Musings of a Muslim Mind