Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Muslim Theologians to Surpass Orthodox Jews in Intellectual Honesty?

Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

Turkey is preparing to publish a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of Islam - and a controversial and radical modernisation of the religion.

The country's powerful Department of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad.

...

An adviser to the project, Felix Koerner, says some of the sayings - also known individually as "hadiths" - can be shown to have been invented hundreds of years after the Prophet Muhammad died, to serve the purposes of contemporary society.

...

"You can find messages which say 'that is what the Prophet ordered us to do'. But you can show historically how they came into being, as influences from other cultures, that were then projected onto Islamic tradition."


But ah, say the Muslim equivalents of the Gedolim, couldn't Mohammed have written the Hadiths so they just look like they were invented hundreds of years later? Eh?

On a side note, it's always funny to see other religions try to rationalize some of their holy texts the way Orthodox Judaism does with its:
Some messages ban women from traveling without their husband's permission... But this isn't a religious ban. It came about because it simply wasn't safe for a woman to travel alone.

Riiiight. And the Torah condones slavery because sometimes people just needed to be slaves.

9 comments:

Comrade Kevin said...

This is no doubt a reaction to militant Islam and the Islam-phobia that has been spread by a few misguided followers.

Had it been radical Jews crashing planes into buildings, then we'd see the same thing in Orthodox circles.

elishajan said...

It looks like they put their heads together and found a way to eliminate some of the ridiculous passages in their bible without it causing cognitive dissocense in their minds.

But doesn't Islam have a similar edict to OJ that everything written in the Koran is given from god? Therefore, passages cannot be eliminated or altered? How do they get around that one?

Jewish Atheist said...

elishajan:

The hadith is more analogous to Orthodox Judaism's "oral law" than to the Torah (i.e. the five books) itself.

Anonymous said...

>>Riiiight. And the Torah condones slavery because sometimes people just needed to be slaves.

Actually that is the Torah's understanding of the matter. Some people, Canaanim for instance- bnei Cham, have a harder time achieving spiritual success and can only do so by being in the domain of a God-fearing Yisrael. I know it's not PC, but like it or not that is the Torah hashkafa on the matter. (see the teachings of the Arizal, and his followers, on Parshas Mishpatim concerning avadim.

mnuez said...

Your headline compares apples and catheters.

These Turkish theologians are more like Reform Rabbis - not to mention that fact that many "Orthodox Jews" are cognizant and accepting of historical realities relating to midrashim.

mnuez

P.S. I'm really just nitpicking as a way of saying hi, I haven't been here in a while.

Hi! :-)

Jewish Atheist said...

Anonymous:

You're not making Orthodoxy look any better. :-)


mnuez:

Yeah, you're right. The headline should read "Some Muslim Theologians..." But that wouldn't be as much fun.

And hi! :-)

Lurker said...

But ah, say the Muslim equivalents of the Gedolim, couldn't Mohammed have written the Hadiths so they just look like they were invented hundreds of years later? Eh?

Actually, the "Muslim equivalents of the Gedolim" are much more likely to simply issue a fatwa calling for the killing of all participants in this kfiradik project...

Anonymous said...

Actually it indeed was very dangerous for women to travel outside their homes prior to Mohammed's time. You forget that pre-islamic society used to make a-ok to behead new born girls. Islam abolished that but there were still pagan arabs pissed on the new rules brought by islam giving women things like inheritance rights, vocal rights and so on....hence it was preferred women travel with companions for safety

Anonymous said...

"But ah, say the Muslim equivalents of the Gedolim, couldn't Mohammed have written the Hadiths so they just look like they were invented hundreds of years later? Eh?"

That's an assumption you are making that really is based on nothing more than your preconceived opposition to religion. Tell you what, go study the science of the hadith first, and see how it works, before you think about making such claims.

There is something called ijtehad in islam, which has been around since the beginning and basically deals with applying logic and rationality to religion. point is there is a difference between ethics and jurisprudence. ethics are ever lasting; jurispudence is for the day and the age, and applying and adapting islamic law to where-ever and whenever it is used. The jurispudence at the time asked women not to travel without companions because it was a dangerous and misogynistic society (beheading new born girls and what not), but today there is no need for that. A similar islamic law today would be something like forbidding drunk driving. Now do you get how it works?