Moroccan author Rachid Aylal said that Islamic heritage has become "like a grave, surrounded by flowers, with buried rot underneath." Those clinging to the heritage "have given us ISIS and people who accuse of heresy anyone who believes the Earth is round," he said. In an nterview posted on July 30 on Egyptian German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad's Internet show "Box of Islam," Aylal said that "the scientists of medicine, the physicists, the philosophers, the thinkers, the legal scholars, and all those who use their minds to contribute something to humanity… are the new prophets who discover the revelation of God in the universe." Aylal, whose book Sahih Al-Bukhari… The End of a Legend generated controversy in Morocco since its August 2017 release and was recently banned by a Moroccan court, said that it was necessary to deal with the Sunna as an historical text and to debate it through scientific historical methods.
Following are excerpts:
Moroccan Author Rachid Aylal: We should tell people what constitutes religion and what constitutes a myth. What has happened to Islamic heritage? In the words of a poet, it has become like a grave, surrounded by flowers, with buried rot underneath. We must dig up that grave and separate the flowers from the rot, of which there is much. They embellish that heritage with a bunch of nice parables, like "cleanliness is next to godliness" – even though they consider this hadith to be unreliable – or the story of a woman who entered Paradise because of a cat… Or rather, a man who entered Paradise for giving a dog water… These are very beautiful things. At the same time, there are racist texts – which they consider reliable – the rejection of which justifies beheading. If we deal with the Sunna, we must deal with it as an historical text, and debate it through scientific historical methods.
My deepest condolences for the death of Stephen Hawking. Humanity has lost this new prophet – one of the new prophets who carry the message of God to humanity as a whole, by digging up the secrets of the universe, thus benefiting humanity. Let me ask those clinging to [Islamic] heritage in what way they have benefited humanity. Ultimately, they have given us ISIS, and people who accuse of heresy anyone who believes the Earth is round. They have given us people who say that the moon is not in the skies, and people who say that Caliph Abu Bakr would read the Quran [with such zeal] that he would smell his liver roasting. All those people could save some money by reading Quran verses to meat in order to roast it. They have turned us into a laughing stock. That is why we are trying to restore the importance of the mind.
The sealing of prophecies has restored the importance of Man.
Hamed Abdel-Samad: So the prophets of this day and age are the scientists…
Rachid Aylal: Yes, the scientists of medicine, the physicists, the philosophers, the thinkers, the legal scholars, and all those who use their minds to contribute something to humanity. These are the new prophets who discover the revelation of God in the universe.