Real or Myth


Jahanshah Rashidian
by Jahanshah Rashidian

Nabuwat or the prophecy of Muhammad is one the five pillars of Islam and in fact the requisite one. It is to believe in the prophecy of Muhammad "Muhammad-al- Rrassul-Allah."   

The sources of information about the personal life of Muhammad are reduced to the Koran, "Sirah" (biography of the Prophet), and some parts of the Hadiths which are considered as "Sahih" (reliable). However these give us sufficient information to pass a general judgment on the prophet of Islam and his alleged prophecy.   

Nothing will be wrong if we suppose that Muhammad is a person with all social and cultural norms of his time. However, almost 100 “surahs” (verses) of the Koran attempt to confirm the claim of Nabuwat and as if all these surahs were not enough, Islamic scholars have additionally narrated different sayings over different periods and circumstances to endorse the belief on Nabuwat, but his prophecy has never been proved or unquestionably accepted by some famous scholars like Ibn Sina, Farabi, and Razi.  

Before the alleged Nabuwat, according to many resources, Muhammad was a reliable caravan-businessman (Muhammad-al- amin), working for his belated wealthy wife, Khadijah, as her caravan leader. Later, as a self-appointed prophet in Mecca, he showed a messiah attitude-sage-- a poetic man with peculiar but harmless personality traits. After 10 years of prophecy, he was forced to leave his hometown, Mecca, and his migration--"Hijrat"-- to Medina in 622, an event which had a far-reaching effect upon Islamic History. Without Hijrat, like several alleged prophets of his time, his fame of prophecy could have faded out right after his death in Mecca and the subcontinent of Arabia would not know about him.  

In Medina, he declared that God had sent him to mankind till the Day of Judgment, so Medina became a military field of Muhammad’s ambitions. As “Swords-prophet” of Allah, he suddenly turned to his very personal ambitions, he misused the Allah-commanded rules and the existing traditional norms of society; he went so far to violate ethical rules of his own religion to achieve his whims. As such, he had the privilege of having more wives than was permitted under his own Islamic law. He even had the controversial right to marry his daughter-in-law, Zainab--she had to divorce the Prophet's adopted son (Zaid) to marry Muhammad. As a husband, he had the advantage to arbitrarily treat his wives as he liked.    

In his financial exploits, he allowed himself the right to rob caravans (for which other robbers would have been beheaded), or to impose humiliating "Jizya" (taxes charged from non-Muslims) on "Dhimmis" (subjugated Christian and Jewish minorities living in the early Islamic community). He ordered the confiscation of lands and properties from "Dhimmis", his enemies. He openly claimed that "the spoils of war, including the widows of killed enemies, were made lawful unto me".  He gave orders to murder many “infidels”.   

According to Ali Dashti, while Muhammad surrounded Mecca in 632, a compromise of capitulation was achieved: Muhammad accepted a peaceful capitulation of Mecca; in exchange for a general amnesty for the population, though excluding certain individuals like Ibn Abdullah, who was one of Muhammad's early companions and wrote down manuscripts of the Koran for him. He was executed because of having publicly declared the man-made origin of the Koran.   

Although Muhammad accepted the peace treaty, on his return from Mecca to Medina, he attacked a group of Bedouins en route and so the treaty was voided.  Apologetic historians said people of Mecca received Muhammad with opened arms, as Persians did under “despotic” Sassanids. Many similar sayings by scholars like those of Ali Dashti leave us evidences at hand to raise a simple but taboo question to how such a person could be divine, let alone Nabuwat.  

Two dynasties of Islamic Golden Age, Omayyad and Abbasid established an Islamic empire containing a vast part of the then glob,  thanks to their jihadi swordsmen. Iran was one of their first preys fallen under Caliph Omar and continued to be occupied under Othman, Ali, and several more caliphs. Massacred, enslaved, and long humiliated, Iran was officially occupied by Muslims during two centuries, and then Iran fell in the hands of Iranian Muslim dynasties.    

Today, thanks to political Islam, by present day Iranians are living under the rule of an Islamic regime. After the current acts of  stoning, misogynistic crimes, amputation, religious persecution and many other barbaric acts , all committed by the name of Islam, the people of Iran are becoming more curious to find out about the real version of Islam and especially the historical process in which Iran became Muslim. The people of Iran, as the 14-century-long victims of Islam, have now right to cast serious doubts on anything related to islam, including the core pillar of Islam, the Nabuwat. Today an increasing part of Iranians cast doubt or do not believe in Nabuwat. Was Mount of Hira, near Mecca, Muhammad’s first rendez-vous with God's angel all about a tale? Iranians are in conditions to ask themselves such timely questions.


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Myth of Islam's fast growth

by Faramarz_Fateh on

My dear cyber friend and Islamic Scholar Capt_Ayhab claims that  "it is a known statistics that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions. Question I have, is this growth being accomplished by Prophet Mohammad's sword again?"

Islam's growth is mainly due to the fact that most Islamic countries are third world and poor.  In these nations, parents produce way more than 1 or 2 off springs.  So, the AVERAGE size of a typical Muslim family is 5.5 where as it is 2.7 for Christians and less for religions of eastern and south eastern Asia.

Growth of Islam is not due to recent conversions because people find Islam better than other religions or no religion. 

Islam also has the highest growth rate amongst prisoners in the U.S.  




Jahanshah Rashidian

5 or 3 Pillars

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

You may find The 'Five Pillars' of Islam as the foundation of Islam in some articles in Internet as following:

  • Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;
  • Establishment of the daily prayers;
  • Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;
  • Self-purification through fasting; and
  • The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.  

However the number and interpretation of them is not my purpose. I do not give any hoot if they are 5 or 3. I want the end of such a system which forces its teachings and laws upon people.


Chapters in Multi-Volume Books

by Anvar on

Dear * capt_ayhab*

You ask: Isn’t Baha'u’llah the promised Messiah[Mahdi] as opposed to a prophet?
The accurate and straightforward answer to that question is NO.

However, out of my respect for you (and other potential readers), I’d like to take the scenic route to get to the same answer.  I hope you won’t mind all the extra words even though you already know the answer.

I am certainly not a religious scholar either, so do not think of anything I express on this site as authoritative.  Just sharing personal understandings.

Also, I emphasize on ideas and concepts.  Arguments over semantic nuances of certain terms are beyond the scope of a few posts here and there.  I have witnessed scholars, much more knowledgeable than I, endlessly debate issues like:
Son of God or Prophet or Messenger or …
Nabii or Rasoul (prophet or messenger-apostle)
Khatem al-Nabieen or Khatam al-Nabieen (seal or finger-ring - ‘negin’ of prophets)
And so on….

Baha’is believe in the concept of Progressivity of Revelations.  It simply means that God reveals His will to humanity through successive Manifestations, based on humanity’s conditions, needs, and capacities (to comprehend).
(This example doesn’t really do any justice to the breadth of this concept, but just to give an idea; Christianity: Love Thy Neighbor, Islam: Love Thy Country, Baha’i: Love Thy World)

In many religions there is a promise of continuity that instills particular beliefs in the corresponding adherents.  In Judaism, they expect the Messiah.  In Christianity, they expect the Second Coming, and in Islam, as you mentioned, they expect the Mahdi (Sunni: To Appear – Shia: To Re-Appear).  Similar promises/expectations also exist in Zoroastrianism (Shah Bahram), Hinduism (Kalki Avatar), Buddhism (Maitreya Buddha), etc.  (again, let’s focus on the concept and not the names)   

Baha’is believe that these Return Promises are symbolic and not literal.  Meaning that it is the Spirit and the Word of the God that comes back and not the specific person or prophet.  In other words, the coming of new Manifestations and Fulfillments of prior promises as opposed to the appearing of the persons of Jesus or the Hidden Imam.

There is also a cyclic concept based on human history and social evolution.  The Prophetic Cycle began with Adam and ended with Muhammad.  Now, the next cycle has begun.

Sayyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi - The Bab (Gate), declared himself to be the return of Mahdi and foretold of the imminent coming of the Glory of God (new manifestation).

Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri - Baha’u’llah (Glory of God) is the fulfillment of the Return Promises made in the Prophetic Cycle.  The Return of Word of God revealing more of the Same Truth to a more evolved/advanced humanity in the new era.

Babis are followers of the Bab and Baha’is are the followers of Baha’u’llah.

In a sense Muhammad is the last prophet of the previous cycle.  Bab and Baha’u’llah are the beginning prophets in the new cycle.  

Think of humanity as multi-volume books.  Islam is like the last chapter of the first volume, Babi and Baha’i faiths are the beginning chapters of the second volume.

In the future, when human conditions dictate, God will send other Prophets/Messengers to bring new ‘religions’ and write the next chapters in the book of humanity.

I hope this has made some sense.  Obviously, it is not practical to fit all there is to share in a post.



A Few Tenets

by Anvar on

*capt_ayhab* - I trust the external and independent sources of information have vindicated those of us who previously stated there were five pillars.  

Thank you very much for the nice follow up about the pillars, principles, and articles of religion according to particular sects.  I’m going to bookmark it for personal use.

Allow me to share basic tenets of Baha’i Faith:

-  Oneness of God
-  Oneness of Mankind
-  Common Foundation of All Religions
-  Independent Investigation of Truth
-  Harmony of Science and Religion
-  Equality of Women and Men
-  Elimination of Prejudice of All Kinds
-  Universal Education
-  Universal Peace
-  Universal Auxiliary Language
-  Spiritual Solutions to Economic Problems
-  Elimination of Extremes of Wealth and Poverty


Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

Mr. capt_ayhab

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

No offense to the Sunni or Orthodox Muslims but my interest was in the Shi'a sect.

Yes, I am aware of the reasons for the split between the Sunni and Shi'a. It was included in my education but I must have been absent the day they discussed the difference between the Pillars and Principles.

No, I have not gotten it yet but my son Julio says he will hold my hand during the procedure to help me be brave. :o) I thought that it was a very sweet gesture on his part.



by jamshid on

"Imagine if other religions were allowed to advertise their own ideology freely in Iran. Imagine if Sunnis, sufis, Christian or Zoroastriasn were allowed to open up new centers, mosques, temples, churches in Iran...I  think Islam of velayteh faghih would be run to the ground by the competition even amongst the uneducated."

Well said. Islam of velayate faghih would be run to the ground, and as importantly, Iranian Islamic leaders and scholars would be forced to reform their views (as Christianity did.)

One reason we still have an abonination called "tozihol masaael" and other fossilized Islamic views is that the mollahs and Islamic scholars never had to compete at scholar and philosophical levels. They didn't have to compete because they never was a competition. There never was a competition because the competetion was always eliminated by means of severe persecution.

This had made our Islamic scholars lazy and fossilized. Excluding Dr. Shariati (whose views I don't agree with), there hasn't been any other modern Islamic scholars. This has been Islam's main problem.


JR and Mr. Anvar: thank you

by vildemose on

JR and Mr. Anvar: thank you for your responses.

Mr. Anvar: I couldn't agree more with your sentiment and I've always wondered about the same thing. If Iran was a free society and Islam  was so genetically embded in our DNA as some would like us to believe, then other religions such as Bahia, Christianity, Buddism, should not present a threat to Islam .

Imagine if other religions were allowed to advertise their own ideology freely in Iran. Imagine if Sunnis, sufis, Christian or Zoroastriasn were allowed to open up new centers, mosques, temples, churches in Iran...I  think Islam of velayteh faghih would be run to the ground by the competition even amongst the uneducated.



by timothyfloyd on



Question for Mr. Anvar

by capt_ayhab on

I hope you will excuse my ignorance about your faith, but could you answer one question that one of your comments raised in my mind.

In you comment to Mr. Mammad you stated[ Of all the religions and people in the world, only Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet.]

At the expense my admitted ignorance of your faith, my understanding was that Baha'ullah[pbuh] is believed to be the promised Messiah[Mahdi] as opposed to a prophet. 

Could you kindly share your knowledge with me?




Mr. Anvar

by capt_ayhab on

Thanks kindly for your informative comment and reply. I by no means claim to be any sort of scholar, however my understanding is that the various sect of Islam have adopted different views and duties to be the pillars of their specific sec.

As I have always believed, there are 3 main pillars[osuole din] and 2 secondary pillars[froue din] that Iranian shi'a's believe in. They are as i mentioned earlier Touhid, Noubovat, maAd. being the three main pillars[osoule din] and adal and Imamat being the secondary[foroue din].

Now different sects have different duties and essential practices that they consider to be pillars;

Five Pillars

Shahādah - Profession of faith
Salāt - Prayers
Zakāh - Paying of alms (giving to the poor)
Sawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca

Six articles of belief (Sunni)

Tawhīd - Oneness
Prophets and Messengers in Islam
Islamic holy books
The Last Judgment

Principles of the Religion (Twelver)

Tawhīd - Oneness
‘Adalah - Justice
Nubuwwah - Prophethood
Imāmah - Leadership
Qiyamah - Day of Judgement

Practices of the Religion (Twelver)

Salāt - Prayers
Sawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Zakāh - Tithes
Khums - One-fifth tax
Jihad - Struggle
Commanding what is just
Forbidding what is evil
Tawallā' - Loving the Ahl al-Bayt
Tabarrá - Disassociating Ahl al-Bayt's enemies

Seven Pillars (Ismaili)

Walāyah - Guardianship
Tawhid - Oneness of God
Salāt - Prayers
Zakāh - Purifying religious dues
Sawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Jihad - Struggle


Please note that the original 3 main pillars are shared by all Muslims.






*vildemose* - If I may cut in…

by Anvar on

You stated: “We should all feel free to criticize any religion, creed, ideology and so on in a secular and democratic society without fear of being persecuted or harm to our being.”

I totally agree with you as long as, all religions, creeds, and ideologies are first allowed to fully present themselves in a free marketplace of ideas.  To criticize those who’ve never been given a fair chance to freely express themselves, is reprehensible and emanates only from a cowardly and insecure position.

Case in point:  The Baha’i Faith was originated in Persia over a century and a half ago.  It has consistently and systematically been eliminated from all facets of the Iranian culture and academia.  There are practically no mentions of this product of Iran in any of the history, religion, or even philosophy books or classes in Iran.  The powers to be want to make believe that it has never happened!  At the same time, anti-Baha’i books (and lectures) have been allowed to flourish.  That has given the vast majority of the Iranians a disfigured and skewed impression of this faith.


Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Vilemouse

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

I am not qualified to concretely answer your question. Apart from news and articles, I have no time  to read books in Farsi now.

But to start the debate let me say that the atheist books I had read at most, as I was a teen in Iran, were from Haladj and later I read from Ali Mirfetros and finally when I lived in France, I read and still read 23 Saal from Ali Dashti. Of course, their Writings were banned under the Shah too. 

Atheist writings at the beginning of 20th century were inspired by Marxism too, especially in political milieus in the West, described by “Religion is opiate of people!”

In Islamic and dictatorial countries where open debate was impossible, political struggles turned into to clandestine or military struggle as a form of political organisation, retiring to the countryside and basing themselves on the most religious peasantry, rather than the urban working class.

Left in Islamic countries gradually lost its typical atheism and in some cases in Iran sided with radical Islam. Visions of a better society then became far away from anti religious poise of the early 20th century of Marxism. Other utopians like "left" Muslims attempted to contribute to Islam a Marxist sense of social justice. They were called by the Shah “Marxist Islamists”, and the nickname is still used by some critics of these two political ideologies.

I am sure there are people in this site who know better about the subject and read atheist works of Iranian authors of the last two centuries.


In Addition to My Vague Memories… (0/3/5)

by Anvar on

*Mammad* and *capt_ayhab* - Thank you gentlemen for your comments addressed to me.

In addition to my initial shock, I would frankly be embarrassed if indeed I got none of the 3 (or 5) Pillars correct!

In addition to my vague memories of voluntary and ‘encouraged’ years of studying Islam, I also have these sources (and more) that corroborate exactly my prior statements on the number and the contents of the Pillars of Islam:

(In the interest of saving space, I’m reprinting very little of the text but can include more if need be)

Britannica Encyclopedia of World Religions
Pg. 520
The five pillars. During the earliest decades after the death of the Prophet,…” “…were singled out to serve as anchoring points for the community’s life…”

The Brill Dictionary of Religion
Pg. 1016, Pg. 1187, more…
"In the early age of Islam, the battle or war later classified as the ‘small jihad’ counted as the obligation and duty of every Muslim, and as a fundamental bolster of the order of belief and faith: it formed a sixth in addition to the five pillars of Islam still recognized today. Today, only radical groups only maintain it…”

Above, somewhat supports * Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez*‘s earlier statement: “there should be a sixth pillar: Jihad”

Perhaps, the most relevant or important source, is the following statement from Grand Ayatollah Sistani, whom I believe is the highest ranking (or very top), Marja Taqlid who stated:
Zakat is one of the five pillars on which Islam is built.

Of course, if you gentlemen do not recognize his authority or validity, then who am I to argue?  : )

I want you to know that, in discussing this particular topic, I have no other interest but to have correct information for myself.  0, 3, or 5, whatever the case may be, would not be applicable to me personally. 

External sources will especially be appreciated.

*Mammad* - Not that it should matter, but let me first state that I am an Iranian Baha’i so that there won’t be any misunderstandings.

Before I came upon this blog, in an earlier comment to *Mr. Rashidian*, you wrote:
“I do not even know what you mean when you say, "Today, an increasing number of Iranians cast doubt or do not believe in Nabowwat." As far as I know, from a religious point of view, only the Bahais do not believe in it (and they make a tiny minority). The rest of Iranians either believe in Islam and, therefore, Nabowwat, or not believe in it at all.”

I understand that Iran is the context of the above paragraph, but since in a comment to *Jamshid* you broadened your conversation to also include Western Europe, Latin America, etc.; I think it’d be interesting to take another look at the above paragraph with a global perspective.  Just as a matter of interest and not to argue any points.

Of all the religions in the world (including Iran), only Islam and the Baha’i Faith believe that Muhammad (pbuh) was a true prophet of God.  (Ironically, Baha’is are the only minority group not recognized in the IRI constitution.  All others that reject Islam are recognized! – yes, I know – people of the book…)

Of all the religions and people in the world, only Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet.  It seems like, in this case, Baha’is are with the majority and Muslims in minority.  There are far more people who do not believe in the concept of a last-prophet than those who do.

Lastly, (not that it really matters whether it’s factual or not) when I stated (citing a source) that the Baha’i Faith is the second most widespread religion (after Christianity) in the world, you simply stated: “They are also not the second widespread religion.”  Frankly, I felt like I was in the primary school!  Not that I don’t respect your opinion, but that was just it.  An opinion; and its basis is unclear to me.  I do, however, appreciate you taking the time to share and explain your opinion on the issue of pillars and principles.




by Mammad on

Even the most ardent supporters and followers of Dr. Shariati (and I count myself among them) agree that he made many mistakes. If you read the recent article that I wrote about him and posted on, you will see the following towards the end of the article.


Thirty two years after his death, Dr. Shariati remains an influential figure. Times have changed and, certainly, some of his ideas are no longer applicable to the present situation in Iran. There are also scholars who believe that Dr. Shariati erred in some of his writings about Islam, which is certainly possible, given the volume of the work [close to 30,000 pages] that he produced in his short life [of 44 yerars]. But, Dr. Shariati’s thinking about how a religious government works remains totally valid and relevant today. Here is how he described a religious regime [from his collection of work]:


A religious regime is one in which, instead of the political figures, religious figures take up the political and governmental positions. In other words, a religious regime means the rule of the clerics. One natural consequence of such a regime is dictatorship, because the cleric views himself as God’s representative who carries out His orders on earth and, therefore, the people do not have any right to express their opinion, or criticize and oppose him. A religious leader considers himself automatically a leader [of the state] due to being a cleric and religious scholar, not due to the people’s vote, view, and approval. Thus, he is also a ruler without any responsibility [for whatever he does], and this [thinking] is the mother of the dictatorship by one person [over the masses] and, because he considers himself the shadow and representative of God [on earth], he also rules over people’s lives and belongings. He allows no doubt in any oppression and repression that he commits, because he sees God’s approval [satisfaction] in it [in what he does, rather than seeking people's approval]. Aside from this, he also does not recognize any rights, even the right to live, for the opposition and followers of other religions, because he considers them as the target of God’s wrath, deviated from the true path, unclean, and an enemy of [his] religion’s path, and views their oppression as God’s justice. 

The similarities between Dr. Shariati’s description of a religious government and what the hard-line clerics and their supporters advocate in Iran are striking. It is no wonder that most clerics intensely disliked Dr. Shariati.


So, as you also pointed out, he was an Islamic intellectual and had many excellent ideas.

What some people fail to do is to put Shariati in the context of his time and era. What could be applicable then does not necessarily imply that it is also applicable now, and vice versa.





Kaveh Parsa

by Mammad on

No, I did not mean invasion for Iran is good. I never ever support any action of that sort against Iran - invasion, sanctions, bombing, and interference in its internal affairs.

All I was saying was stating the conditions of Iran before Islam came to Iran. I did not even say whether Islam was good or bad for Iran. I just said, before Islam came to Iran, the mollahs of that era, namely, Mou'badaan, were hand-in-hand with the kings and instrumental in oppressing people.


I am happy to see that you do find Muslims that react to criticism the way a rational person must (I do not claim to be one, as that is not for me to decide). But, I must also tell you that not only is the number of such Muslims not small, but that in fact there are so many of them. I agree with most of the things that you said in your comments.





by jamshid on

"I reject mixing of politics and governance, but not, for example, having Islamic political parties."

The problem with Islamic parties is that it mixes religion with politics. I believe this to be wrong for the same reason than mixing religion with government is. Religion is a private spiritual concept that must stay at home or in religious gatherings.

The fact that it relgious parties are practiced in some European country does not change my mind. Besides, we have to admit that we Iranians are far from having the democratic mentality of these European nations. An Islamic party could eventually lead to another religious dictatorship.

You wrote about Dr. Shariati. I have read some of his work. Twice. The first time was when I was 18 or 19. I was very impressed. I honestly thought that I had found the holly grail. The books I read back then were titled "eslaam shenaassi", "tarikhe adyaan" and "aari in chenin bood ey baraadar" and a few jozvehs. 

I read them again about a decade later. By that age, I had already lost my faith in Islam and I wasn't even sure if there is a God or not. Additionally, I had strong negative feelings about having been deceived during the revolution.

So as you can see, I was a different  person with a different way of thinking. I was no longer a young man thristing for guidance, or a sponge that would absorb any teachings. I had developed a very critical and awared mind.

When I re-read those books, my reaction was quite different than the first time. I still have my handwritten notes on the margin of many parts of these three books.

These notes were memos to myself pointing out Shariati's use of sophistry and fallacy. The more I read the second time, the more I could identify these sophistries and his clever playing with words.

Here are some examples why Shariati was wrong: 

* Dr. Shariati believes that the invading Arabs made Iran a better place by destroying the social classes, freeing Iranians from the Sassanid aristocrats and feudals dictatorship, allowing universal education and other positive things.

But what about the establishement of Arab "ashraafi" class, the Arab dictatorship, the fall of Iranians status to that of a second degree citizen, and the killings, rapings and lootings committed by the Arabs? He never spoke of these historic facts.

* Dr. Shariati also talks about "Islamic sciences" which is non-sense. There is no such thing as Islamic or Jewish or Bahai sciences. Religion and science are two different things.

* Dr. Shariati cleverly strings words and sentences together and leads the reader to discover the existence of "a science that is not committed to humanity", and with yet more clever words leads the reader to believe that this uncommitted science is a "captialist's slave"!

* Dr. Shariati opposes women liberation as defined in Western societes, and prefers the "actual and true" values that Islam provides for women. He believes that Prophet Mohamads' wives set the best examples for women rights!

Such is the destiny of Iran: To have a baadieh neshin woman of a desert tribe from 1400 years ago as a role model for our women of 21 century!

* Dr. Shariati believes that a man without a "maktab" is a useless being.

* Dr. Shariati believes that a country with technology but without a "spiritual maktab" is bound to become captialists' slave! He then goes on and describe what that "spiritual maktab" should be, a mumbo jumbo that to date I still can't figure out.

Using a lot of big words, Dr. Shariati elevates Hossein to a revolutionary. Hossein was not a revolutionary.

* Dr. Shariati believes that because we are a religious society, our sciences should be based on Islam.

* Dr. Shariati believes that Mohammad's mission was ONLY to deliver God's message, that he was not responsible for people's spiritual progress, that his mission began and ended with revelation of the rightous path. He failed to speak about Mohammad "imposing" his religions onto others by force.

* Another non-sense that Dr. Shariati preached was that Islam is the only social religion that gives emphasis to "people". (Say what again?) He preached this using "big, complicated and juicy" words that made the naive person say wow! But when you get to the details, you'll realize it was nothing more than clever use of words and sophistry.

* Using elaborate wordings, Dr. Shariati elevate Haj pilgrimage to things such as "rebellion against evil", "representation of creation" and other similar sexy concepts.

* On hazrate Ali, Dr. Shariati believes that using his sword, Ali liberated man and brought justice to them. He did so using his sword! Furthermore, Shariati justifies Ali's use of sword as a necessary mean to save Islam from the threat of Romans and Persians.

This should not be a surprise coming from a scholar that praises a dirty traitor called Salmane Farsi with all sorts of kind words.

The above critics does not mean that everything Shariati wrote or said was wrong. Far from it. He had many intelligent ideas too. His dicussion of how the masses were buried in old traditions and how the new intellectuals were detached from the masses, and how this was causing a dangerous gap between the two factions of the soceity were very valid, as we can see for oursevles today.

He indirectly criticized the mollahs and encouraged people to read Koran for themselves rather than listen to some idiot mollah who claims to be an expert. There are other examples.

The reason why I have not engaged you with Shariati's work in the past is that his books and my notes are in a storage space far from where I live, and I'll need them in order to have any serious discussion with you.



by capt_ayhab on

Since we all feel that it is our God given right, bestowed upon us by the US constitution, supported and backed by will power of nation of US or European country that we live in, lets start BESTOWING same LOGICAL criticism to all the known religions.

After all none of us want to be seen and considered as being big fat lying hypocrite DO WE?

So, hence forth, all the freedom fighting force who have found the religion AS A WHOLE to be the reason as to why we as human beings are so incapable of handling our problems, gather around so we can BASH the living day light out of them, and lets not just single out one little Arab prophet called Mohammad.

oppppssssssss... I just realized, ALL of them prophets, starting with husky Moses, to blond haired blue eyed hunk of a man called Jesus of Nazareth, to the sword wielding risho Arab called Mohammad, are from same neighborhood.

What do you know?



Ms. Alvarez

by capt_ayhab on

Thanks for asking, the 5 pillars you are referring are of Shi'a sect, and not shared by rest of the either sunni or orthodox Muslims.

BTW, did we get the t----o finally? ;-o)



Jamshid jan: Thank you. We

by vildemose on

Jamshid jan: Thank you. We should all feel free to criticize any religion, creed, ideology and so on in a secular and democratic society without fear of being persecuted or harm to our being.

 If others can't logically defend what they stand for then it's their own shortcoming not the critics. At least, that is what we are taught in a secular and democratic societies.



by jamshid on

I didn't quite understand the first sentence that you addressed to me. If you meant that the usual response of some moslems to critisism of Islam is, "you are a hatemonger Islam hater...", then we are in agreement.

What these moslems fail to understand is that it is not "hate" that drives some Iranians to criticize Islam. It is a passion for revelation of truth, over long time established frauds. This has nothing to do with hatred, and everything to do with a quest for the truth.

Historically, these bright individuals were crushed and many were killed by fanatic moslems who were influenced by mollahs. This is not an attribute of only Islam. Christians had done the same, sometimes worst than what mollahs had done. It is an attribute of most religions of the world.

Sadly, in the 21st century, this behavior is continuing in our own country. I dare anyone to criticize Islam in a public gathering in Iran. We all know what will happen to this individual.

However, here in the West and in the cyber world, we are safe from persecution. With so many Iranians in the Western countries, many books, articles and other writings that criticize Islam have flourished. Although most of these never find their way to the people who live in Iran, but many times they do.

This is the first time in our country's history (at least since Safavids) that this phenomena has taken place so widely. Not having any past experience, many fanatic moslems who also live in the West do not know how to confront this issue. The only methods they know, persecution, is not availabe to them here in the West.

So they rely on other methods. They usually start by calling the critic a "hate monger" or "an Islam hater". They then proceed to point out that the majority of Iranians are practicing moslems, and therefore the ciritic is "offending" his own people. This is normally followed by calling the critic an "anti-Iranian" who is "out of touch" with the realities of Iran, and who is determined to "destroy" the culture of his people.

I must admit that there are other type of moslems too. These moslems calmly reply to the critic and actually counter the ciritic's argument using logic and historical facts, and never revert to personal attacks. They don't mind the criticism at all. However, they are so terriblely few in numbers.

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

Re: Mr. capt_ayhab

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

I must say that I am confused now. I clearly was taught that there are five pillars of Islam as stated in the following link:




by Kaveh Parsa on

you said:

.....Why was it that a great empire, such as that of Saasaanian, was easily overthrown by Arab nomads? Because the kings had lost the support of the people. They had lost the support due to corruption, repression, and oppression, and their most important supporters in this were Mou'badaan............

and then go on to say:

.....Mou'badaan were just as terrible as the terrible mollahs of today.

Does that mean you would advocate/mitigate a foreign invasion, should one take place today. My presumption is that like me you wouldn't; so my question is how do you square the circle for yourself? a foreign invasion is a foreign invasion, is it not?




Mr. Anvar

by capt_ayhab on

You stated[

To the best of my understanding (as a non-Muslim), there are 5 Pillars in Islam and not 3:

1- Bearing Witness (There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet)
2- Daily Prayers (Five times)
3- Paying Zakat (Giving alms)
4- Fasting (During month of Ramadan)
5- Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj – at least once in adult’s life if it can be afforded)]

With all due respect, non of the 5 items you listed are pillars of Islam. As Mr. Mohammad pointed out, there are only 3 pillars that all Muslims believe in which it makes them Muslim, They are:

Towhid[Single God], Noubowat[Prophecy of Mohammad] and MaAd[ day of reckoning].

All but Noubowat are recognized by all the monotheistic religions of the world.




Mr. hass

by capt_ayhab on

You bring up a fundamental point. But sadly Mr. Rashidians purpose is not to look at the subject constructively, but to demonize the person, being Prophet Mohammad. 

Having doubts and question anything that APPEARS to be fact is nature of any logical human being. Most every progressive religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, encourage followers to seek truth about what they believe in.

Many points that Mr. Rashidian brings forth are his interpretations and many , sadly, are untrue. Prophet was a human being just like us, perhaps one difference and that he was well ahead of his time, as were Jesus Christ and Moses. This is why their ideologies have stood the test of time. For instance he claims that and I quote[Today an increasing part of Iranians cast doubt or do not believe in Nabuwat.] Nabuwat merely says that Prophet Mohammad is the last one to succeed all the prophets. It not is intended to place Mohammad in any higher position than ordinary human being.

What he fail to set forth is the proof of this claim. He fails to provide the proof, when it is a known statistics that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions. Question I have, is this growth being accomplished by Prophet Mohammad's sword again?

Same can not be said about what IR has made of Islam. IR, by politicizing and enacting laws that were made for bunch of nomad Arabs of 1400 years ago has made a mockery out of the whole belief system.  Many if not all of those backward and harsh laws  are still practiced by many fundamentalist and religious zealots are not applicable to this day and age. 

With all that said, When I started to read Mr. Rashidian's thread, I stopped after the first paragraph when I read and I quote[ Nabuwat or the prophecy of Muhammad is one the five pillars of Islam and in fact the requisite one.]

This demonstrated the lack of substance in the whole blog, since there are only three pillars to Islam and not five. What he might be referring to are the two additional requirement that are only observed by Shi'a sect, namely Adal[Justice] and Imamat[believing in Imams].

Or when he states[He even had the controversial right to marry his daughter-in-law, Zainab--she had to divorce the Prophet's adopted son (Zaid) to marry Muhammad.]

Again the statement lacks the truth. According to Ibn Kathir, Zaynab came from a noble Arab family and she wanted to marry a man with high social status. However, Mohammad wanted her to marry Zayd ibn Harith, a former slave that had adopted as son. Zaynab was unhappy marrying a former slave and refused to marry him.

Muhammad provided dowry for Zaynab on Zayd's behalf , however, the marriage  was not a success. According to Ibn Kathir (translated by Gemeiah), Zayd asked the Prophet's permission to divorce Zaynab more than once, and although he was counseled to hold onto his wife and to fear Allah, in the end the divorce took place. It is noteworthy to point out that Prophet Mohammad was criticized by many historians for marrying Zaynab. But this does not make the man evil by any stretch of imagination or does it?



JR: I have a few

by vildemose on


I have a few questions from you if you don't mind...

Has there ever been a period of time in the past 200 years  in Iran's history where Iranian scholars, writers, poets have not been under the influence of Islamic clergies? Has there ever been a period in Iran where you could objectively investigate, research Iran's history without fear of retaliation by the clergies and their minions?


"Self-Appointed" Prophet?

by hass on

So Mohammad was a "self-appointed" Prophet where as Abraham was appointed by, what, a burning bush? They're all "self-appointed"! If you think Mohammad was naughty, look at Saul, Samuel or David.


Some people would like us

by vildemose on

Some people would like us to believe that those foreigners who invaded Iran did it out of benevolence or those who were subjected to their conquest didn't really mind it. I don't believe any nation whether ME or European or Native American will ever see it that way. To think that Iranians welcomed their foreign invaders with open arms is deranged and defies logic. It reminds me of Bush and Cheney Cabal who made us believe that the Iraqis will embrace American troops with flowers...

Genocide by the provisions of the convention of the United Nations in Dec. 1948 is defined as:

"any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, and includes five types of criminal actions: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Lyman Legters
"The American Genocide"


Has there ever been a

by vildemose on

Has there ever been a comparison study done in the way Islam is taught and received in Iran versus how Islam is practiced, taught (content) to those in Other Islamic countries?

I'm asking this because my Arab Shia and Sunni friends display completely different understanding of Islam than Persians.

Jahanshah Rashidian


by Jahanshah Rashidian on

As repeatedly confessed, I beleive in no religion at all. I agree with you, there in no solid historical evidence for the existence of "prophets" like Moses or even Jeseus.

Trinity is a naive fable, the history that "Abraham heard God calling him to a new land (Israel) where his descendents would be a great nation" must be another man-made tale.

But we are now facinig a politicised Islam in Iran. It is an aggressor, whatever its religious or ideological belief be.


Rashidian, ALL "prophets" are...

by Ostaad on

"self-appointed". Why are you harping on Mohammad alone for such attribute?

You said you are not Islamophobic, then why are you singling out Eslam's prophet for proclaiming he was God's messenger? Can you name any other Abrahamic prophet who acted differently?