We — Zia Rehman, Shahab Ahmad, Nawab Ahmad — are three “former medical school (Pakistan) contacts” who after coming to the United States developed in time better friendships as well as agreement in the kind of Islamic Works that is required today.
In religious sphere, we are the students of the Quran and Islam, and our prime teachers are “self-study” and “critical analysis”. We have chosen those as our principal guides on the very teaching of the Quran, especially in the face of very shallow understanding of Islamic scholars today.
Recently, Br Amir Rafique has joined us and is volunteering his time in managing the web-site.
Each of us has eventually come to a common path for Islamic works on the challenges of our time. However each of us has his own history how he ultimately came to this path. In this regard, Dr Zia Rehman and Dr Shahab Ahmad have sent their following personal statements. By going through those statements, one can better understand our outlook as well as our journey for the Right Islamic Values.
PERSONAL STATEMENT BY ZIA REHMAN, M.D :
My story begins in the usual way. I started reading the Quran at a very early age like many other Muslim kids. Initially it was mindless reading and memorization of few Surahs (Quranic chapters) for prayers.
My first exposure to rationale and reason in Islam happened when I started reading Mualana Maududi; may God reward him for his works. Maududi’s literature gave me the desire to think over and ponder the Quran.
Despite my efforts into the Quran, Hadeeth, and other subjects, I was not finding the answers to many burning questions. Indeed when I look back, I can see now I did not even have the right questions.
On the other side, things in the society (in Pakistan) were not going right. I could clearly see corruption, dishonesty and immorality in our society, friends and families, distressingly among religious people including many followers of Maulana Maududi.
Then I moved to USA. I saw more responsibility, accountability, discipline, and most importantly, freedom of speech in this country. I was impressed. Then I started noticing serious flaws in the thought process of Muslim Immigrants here. Ironically I find Local Muslim Community Leaders in US more corrupt and dishonest than anywhere else in the world.
Then came the tragedy of September 11. We noticed the outrageous sabotage and mass-killing caused two problems in the world :
1. The West started hating Islam, Muslims and their way of thinking. A clash of civilization started. And the Modern World not only started portraying Muslims in the media as a threat to the Modern Society but also started examining Muslim ideology, faith and history. They came up with disturbing questions and serious allegations against Islam.
2. Muslim leadership around the world reacted to this animosity with a variety of dysfunctional behaviors. Some became hostile to the modern thought process; some chose passive aggressive behavior and started hiding behind conspiracy theories. Others became apologetic and mentally submitted to the idea that Islam is an old, irrelevant and impractical religion. They started incorporating many baseless ideas into Islam in order to make it acceptable to the modern world.
Over all, Muslim leaders and scholars could not answer the serious questions of the West. Instead, they chose to keep their followers in isolation and created a culture of rhetoric, sickening in-politics, and hypocrisy.
For me, this all changed when I started discussing these issues with Dr Nawab. He had a different way of looking at things. He has a different way to look at the Quran and the Sunnah too. His intellectual capability and critical thought process impressed us (Dr Shahab and me). Later on, his courage and perseverance was a guiding light for us because things were not simple and easy from there on. Rather those Muslim scholars and leaders whom we questioned, their team and their blind followers did their best to defame and ostracize us. It was God (we believe) who helped us survive their uncivil ploys and maneuvers, and sooner or later silence each of them in the “mass email dialogue arena.” By the grace of God, we dominated all along in technical argumentation.
However, once we zeroed in why Muslims are suffering, why we Muslims are a corrupt, unwise, and heedless mass of people divided by the various interpretations of the Quran and Hadeeth, we arrived at the conclusion that the root cause is that most Muslims follow their [religious] scholars, teachers, other guides, and Mosque Imams and officials, without any critical workout and questioning.
Dr Nawab devoted his time and effort to help us realize that the Quran is the Final Book of God and it is for each and every human on Earth. As a result, Almighty God has drafted it in a way that is easy to understand by all. And most importantly, you do not need to learn Arabic language to get the core guidance from it. Plus, by learning very little Arabic, you can clearly understand its guidance on all the issues you face.
Unfortunately most Muslims believe that the Quran is a very difficult book and you can understand it only by the interpretations of the “certified/Authentic Scholars”. Indeed this is what almost all Muslim scholars around the world are portraying to their fans to date.