This post is brought to you by a bewildering conversation I had a while ago in which an XY tried to mansplain to me that his interpretation of a specific verse pertaining to women is not unjust because it is from God, and therefore [what is from God] cannot unjust. (Read: His interpretation is from God. That’s the blasphemous, sinful basis of his claim. Says Qur’an 3:78–79: and who say, “This is from God,” the while it is not from God: and thus do they tell a lie about God.)
After explaining where he had erred in his fallacious argument and how it had caused his misinterpretation of the verse, he naturally pulled one of these, and then declared my interpretation “interesting.”
What I found mind-blowing, and what I continuously find mind-blowing, is that men will argue that something is just and impartial “because it is from God” despite the fact that they really don’t believe it is just.
This is obvious, because on several occasions when I’ve debated over exegesis, they’ve attempted to ravel their losing argument into a pretty bow with something like “See? You used the Qur’an itself to liberate women! So we don’t need feminism.”
LOL so you knew your interpretation was oppressive this whole time, while you were trying to convince me it was “just” because the words are from God. I will decide what women need, and whether we need feminism, so please stfu. I don’t need a man to convince me that God’s words are just.
This mentality—in which men define what is just not by the reason that God has given them to employ, but through what they mistake as faith, while simultaneously confusing their own interpretations with the dictations of God—is blasphemous. We were created with reason specifically for this purpose.
Have We not given xir two eyes,
and a tongue and a pair of lips,
and shown xir the two highways (of good and evil)?
But xie would not try to ascend the steep uphill road.
Denying yourself the use of reason is to reject a device of God. We are commanded over and over not to proceed without knowledge or reason. Failing to employ our reason is a sin:
“The things that my Lord
hath indeed forbidden are:
whether open or secret; sins
and trespasses against truth or reason:..”
So when you truly feel that an interpretation is oppressive, and yet you continue to assert that it is not because you incorrectly believe that it’s a valid interpretation ordained by God, and then you sigh in relief when you realize it doesn’t say what you thought it said because surprise! you actually thought your interpretation was oppressive the whole time! it’s a dead giveaway that you’re (1) full of shit (2) attributing your own interpretation to God and (3) being entirely disingenuous about how oppressive an interpretation is / not employing reason in deciphering justice.
Say (O Prophet): “This is my way:
Resting upon conscious insight
accessible to reason,
I am calling (you all) unto God –
I and they who follow me.”
Behold, God enjoins justice,
and the doing of good and
generosity towards (one’s) fellow-humans,
and God forbids all that is shameful
and all that runs counter to reason,
as well as envy; (and) God exhorts you
(repeatedly) so that you might
bear (all this) in mind.
A sinner in Hell-fire will
say: “Had we but listened
or used our intelligence,
we should not (now) be among
the Companions of the Blazing Fire!”
3 thoughts on “Rejecting Your Sense of Justice is Rejecting a Device of God”
Love this post. I am so glad I found your blog, Nahida.
I just love this blog so much. I have read the Qur’an 4-5 times in Arabic, and silly as this is, never read it in a language that I understand. Comments by people like the conversation you discuss above has further discouraged me from engaging. My jummah attendance has also plummeted. Over the years, I have become more and more distant from the source of my faith (going instead mostly by my sense of justice), but your writing is a wonderful encouragement for me to get off my complacent ass. Thank you for what you do, by which I mean the example, not the preaching.
Salaam alaikum. Thank you so much for this. I’m a new Muslim and it’s so frustrating to me that many of the Muslims I’ve met see feminism as a threat rather than as an allied struggle. It’s damaging all around. So thanks for the general inspiration in that direction. I love this post especially and am reading it in dialogue with my (poorly documented) discussion of reason and atheism: http://caitieandjason.blogspot.com/2012/03/muslims-and-atheists-for-justice-in.html