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Shouldn’t Someone Tell Foster Friess This?

Shouldn’t Someone Tell Foster Friess This?

Dr. Pasha

What a wonderful day it would be!

The day some forward-looking Muslims took it upon themselves and gave a gift of some of our literature to Mr. Foster Friess – a Republican mover and shaker.

And, lately, a Donald Trump donor?

Material selected from www.IslamicSolutions.Com, for example?

It is time you started doing some of these things, Muslims. For, that is what Islam is all about: reaching out to people! All kinds of people.

Especially to those people who give you any hint whatsoever that they may be in any way or sense, or to any level or degree, open-minded.

And the reason why, to me, Mr. Friess is a Person-of-Interest in this regard is that recently he spoke in a modest tone. And modesty is a hallmark of Islam.

And it is a telltale clue to basic human goodness and decency.

Mr. Friess said – if the media are to be believed – and I am paraphrasing here: 

A Muslim may have a hard time being a Federal Judge. And that is because he or she may have trouble dealing with the Constitution and being fully faithful to it. 

And that is because a Muslim may automatically lean in the direction of placing the Qur’an above the US Constitution.

And then, and this to me is the most important point in what Mr. Friess said, Mr. Friess predicated his comments on whether or not he (i.e. Mr. Friess) understood Islam correctly.

Allahu Akbar! 

Or should I say Hallelujah?

For me, either will work perfectly.

The point is what more does a Muslim want – more than a fellow human being putting on his or her thinking cap, and turning on the thinking machine inside their own heads?

What more does God Almighty want? 

Read the Qur’an and you will know that is all God wants – and expects – from you:

For you to be able to think freely – and fearlessly – and go where your independent and intrepid thought processes will take you.

No one, no system of human thought or behavior, no institution of any kind, religious or secular, offers you that kind of option – that kind of bottomline human behavior as it were.

That pretty much seems to be what God Almighty really wants from you, if you read the Qur’an with the care and diligence it deserves.

And, if you ask me, no human agency could set a higher or better or fairer standard than that.

Or a more accessible and a more fundamental or more universally applicable one for that matter.

So, think away, Mr. Friess: You may still find God – and discover truth. Whatever that truth maybe, and wherever it may be hiding.

And you may even come to the conclusion that God is where truth is. And truth is where you have any chance of finding God.

And you may even be left wondering if God himself is Truth.

Here now are the words of Mr. Friess, as quoted by the media, on whether or not a U.S. Muslim federal judge could be unbiased in some court decisions:

(“They {Muslims} have a different kind of worldview, and I believe, if I understand Islam correctly, they {Muslims} would prefer to have the Quran be the dominant guiding force for our country versus the Constitution,” Friess, founder of Friess Associates, said on Monday. “So that does make it difficult.”)

I added the italics for emphasis purposes. I also added parentheses to make sure the meaning was clear to all.

Now, let me assure Mr. Friess that no truer word could have been spoken in this regard. For, the Qur’an as God’s Very Own Word does trump everything else. No question about that.

It ought to, if it is indeed from God Almighty, don’t you think? This is a no-brainer, one would say.

Just, as many in the United States believe, the way the Bible is supposed to do.

But then there are several things everyone must understand very clearly. Let me enumerate them here to the extent I can.

First of all, this is more or less the theoretical or conceptual position. This is Islam in a test tube as it were.

That means this is a Muslim’s basic and irreducible Litmus Test. If they are Muslim, they are supposed to say yes to this proposition:

God’s Direct Word in the Qur’an above all human speech.

Yes or No?

But the challenge, more frequently than most think, is interpreting God’s Word in the Qur’an in the context and complexities of everyday human situations and predicaments.

And that means the availability of options and possibility of a range of variation in meaning and emphasis.

And this includes differences of views, opinions, approaches and outcomes among well-meaning reasonable human beings who meet the test of the required or baseline qualifications.

So, it isn’t as if every word in the Qur’an is a cut and dry affair, whose meaning and implications are somehow clear to all Muslims.

But if it is so clear to Muslims, so must it be clear to all non-Muslim readers of the Qur’an. Otherwise, it is simply mystery or magic.

And quite possibly mumbo-jumbo and gobbledygook.

And the Qur’an, everyone should know, prides itself on its clarity and inter-subjectivity and not on its mystical or abstruse nature.

And Islam is a system that is entirely free of all magic and mystery and conundrum – and scandalon of any kind.

Number two, while all Muslims must and would theoretically subscribe to the basic validity and inviolability of all things Qur’an, when it comes to practice, Muslims are nothing more nor less than “People” – just plain people.

Just like Christians – and all the other people in the world.

Some of them practice their “religion” more faithfully than some others. Just like Christians and all the others.

Otherwise, this world will be completely free from anyone who commits adultery; anyone who steals; anyone who kills; anyone who covets or bears false witness – and the rest of the stuff that the Bible is so clear and so emphatic about.

That means not everyone who claims to be a Christian personifies the Ten Commandments and other parts of the Law in his or her life.

Otherwise, all our jails will be empty and our correctional facilities simply turn into parks and public wilderness.

Nor would we have more people incarcerated than most other places on earth.

Third, to say Qur’an versus the US Constitution is misleading to say the least. A more appropriate way of phrasing this would be using the conjunction “and” and not the disjunction “Or.”

And that is because those who have a clearer understanding of the Qur’an and the Constitution can readily see the vast areas of overlap between the two.

As a result, it is not the Qur’an pitted against the US Constitution. But it is the American Constitution emerging in the latter days in history as an instrument of fulfilling the broader goals and purposes of the Qur’an.

And the chief among those divine purposes articulated in the Qur’an are the notions of fundamental human equality, basic fairness, universal justice and – jot this down in your notebook – supremacy of the law.

In fact, you will not be far off the mark if you were to call the Qur’an a spiritual and intellectual and cultural progenitor of the American Constitution – minus whatever discriminatory ideas and injustices may have been lying hidden or dormant in the folds of the American Constitution.

As a result, if you are committed to the broader goals of supremacy of law and universal liberty, fairness and justice for all, and if you, at the same time, also own an incorruptible moral fiber and judicial temperament, then you are exactly what the doctor ordered for the American Judicial System.

And if in addition to all this you also happen to be a Muslim, who truly fears God, and holds the Qur’an to be God’s Own Immortal and Timeless Word, then so much the better.

America could do no better than to hold on with hoops of steel to individuals who fit this description.

For, in that case, chances are you will make a far better federal judge and Supreme Court Justice than many others.

So, to sum it all up, the American Constitution is not an alternative to the Qur’an but an extension of it.

And America could do no better than to find truly God-fearing, Qur’an-Loving Muslims to be on its judiciary from the lowest to the highest levels.

And now finally, Mr. Friess – and all others – should ponder the following two Aayats or Passages from the Qur’an (my paraphrase) and ask if there is any system, other than the Qur’an, and Islam, that offers a clearer and more robust alternative for ensuring equity and fairness in the judicial process:

  1. O you who believe: Be champions of Allah and stand firm for justice for all.

    And do not let the hatred or enmity of a people prevent you from upholding justice.

    Be just! That will put you on the path to doing the right thing.

    And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is fully aware of what you are doing.

    (Qur’an: Chapter 5, Passage – Aayat 8.)

  2. O you who believe: Be champions of justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or against your own parents and relatives.

    Whether one is rich or poor, Allah will deal with both.

    So follow not your own personal inclinations, lest that keep you from being just.

    And if you in any way distort the process of justice, or withhold or corrupt testimony, then Allah is fully aware of what you do, and he will deal with you appropriately.

    (Qur’an: Chapter 4, Passage – Aayat 135.)

This shows how far ahead of the American Constitution the Qur’an really is when it comes to the notions of justice and fairness.

It also shows how hard the American Judicial System, as enshrined in our Constitution, and as it unfolded in practice over the past two centuries, has to work to catch up to the divine canons of justice and the integrity of the Judicial Process laid down in the Qur’an.

END