Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam

Let’s go on to your next two books, the Koran and the Hadith. Can you tell me a little bit about them and why you chose them?

The Koran is supposed to be the words of God and the Hadith are the sayings and deeds of the prophet. The Koran has the basic commands; the Hadith or the Sunna, is a sort of manual. It is supposed to be a guideline of how to understand the Koran, because people say that it’s not explicit enough. The Hadith is a compilation of six volumes and they are called the Sahith Sitta – Sitta just means six and Sahith means authentic.

So what I did after September 11 was I analysed bin Laden’s words, his quotations, his explanations, and his mission statement which is: ‘We are at war with the West. They want to destroy Islam and we need to fight back.’ I know scripture, and when Islam is attacked you all become warriors, all of you. And so I wanted to know, ‘Am I a warrior of Islam now?’ Also, are all these things that bin Laden is saying really in the Koran and in the Hadith? And, to my shock, they were. A lot of people say they are taken out of context, but they are completely not taken out of context. They are in context. They only thing that is out of context is the fact that this very old book which was put together by – well, we don’t know who the authors are, but it’s definitely more than one author – is considered to be valid in the 21st century. That’s what’s out of context. Everything else is consistent with what that book says, what the founder of Islam, Mohammed, envisioned, how he practised in his lifetime, with his religion, and the legacy he left behind. And the question that I had to answer for myself was, did I want to belong to that, or not?

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January 20, 2011 Posted by | Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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