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"Chinese Whispers: The Birth of Islam" is a controversial and thought-provoking examination of the Islamic faith. The book presents a critical analysis of the hadith, the supposed sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, and challenges the authenticity and reliability of the hadith by using only the Qur'an as a reference. The author argues that the hadith have been used to justify oppressive Islamic rule and calls for a reexamination of these texts in light of his findings. Written for those seeking a critical perspective on the Islamic faith, this book challenges the reader to question their understanding of the religion.
Below is a quick preview of what readers will be presented with, directly sourced from the Qur'an itself:
THERE IS NO RELIGION IN THE QUR'AN:
Contrary to popular belief, the Qur'an is a standalone text as defined by God. The idea that the Qur'an and the religion of Islam are one and the same is not accurate. The Qur'an does not contain the so-called "five pillars" of Islam, and it does not prescribe religious dogma. It is important to note that the Qur'an critiques those who consider priests and rabbis to be equal to God:
"They have taken their rabbis and priests as lords instead of God, as well as the Messiah, son of Mary. Even as they were commanded to worship none but the One God. There is no god except He. Glory be to Him; High above what they associate with Him." (Qur'an 9:31)
WHAT IS ISLAM ACCORDING TO THE QUR'AN?
The Qur'an references the term "Islam" as an abstract noun that refers to the state of peace that comes from complete submission to God. It is as abstract as other concepts like "patience" or "purity". The Qur'an presents Islam as a spiritual state of mind rather than a specific religion for a certain group of people. According to the Qur'an, anyone who inclines towards truth; seeking the one true God is considered a believer.
Furthermore, God critiques the Christians and Jews (exactly what Muslims are doing today) for claiming that one must convert to their religion or face eternal damnation:
"And they say: None will enter the Garden save such as hold to Judaism, or are Christians. Those are their vain desires. Say thou: Bring your evidence, if you be truthful." (Qur'an 2:111)
HOW DO YOU "PRAY" WITHOUT THE HADITH?
The word "salat" which is commonly understood by Muslims as the five daily prayers, is in fact not a ritualistic prayer according to the Qur'an, but rather a simple duty or an act of submission to God. You can't find any details for a ritualistic daily prayer in the Qur'an because there aren't any. One can only find such contradictory details in the later volumes of hadith which arrive approximately 200 years later.
Asking how to pray is similar to asking how to love. God has given us the freedom to determine such simple concepts on our own. Unlike told by the religionists, the path to salvation is not limited or restrictive, it is in fact wide and expansive.
In conclusion, "Chinese Whispers: The Birth of Islam" is a compelling read that challenges readers to question the authenticity and reliability of the hadith and its role in shaping your faith in God. The book presents an authentic and original perspective on the Qur'an and its teachings, highlighting the fact that it is a standalone text and not synonymous with the religion of Islam. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking a critical perspective on the Islamic faith.