There have been no controversial points between sectarians on the questions of God’s unity, compassion, omnipotence, the hereafter and fundamental creeds, exceptions being made of certain heretics in the minority who exalted Ali, son-in-law of Muhammad, or of the incarnation of God in sheikhs. Yet there has been a wide divergence of opinions between the religion propounded in the Quran and the religion preached by sectarians on the issue of God as the unique lawgiver. According to the Quran, the only lawgiver is God, and the Quran embraces the totality of God’s commandments to the believers. The sectarians, however, first dared to represent Muhammad as God’s assistant in the establishment of Islam, later adding the Prophet’s companions, then the sectarian imams and certain sheikhs who were to assume the garb of reference sources. They contributed to the creation of a religious code outside the scope of the Quran. This sounded a discordant note in terms of religious practices. Whether a given act was lawful or not depended on the approval or disapproval of an imam whose opinion was equated with the word of the Quran. For example, God forbade the drinking of blood, the eating of dead animals, adultery and homicide. The sectarian imams added to this list of prohibitions, the consumption of mussels, the chiseling of statues, men’s wearing gold trinkets. The majority of these were supposedly based on hadiths. Thus God’s authority to impose prohibitions was shared by mortals.
One of the great scandals that took place had to do with faith. Two groups of opponents emerged. According to one, the Quran was a product of creation, while for the other it was eternal. This clash of opinions gave rise to no inconsiderable antagonism between the parties. The Sunnis arrived at a conclusion, according to which the Quran had existed from eternity. The Sunni view that transformed the Quran, the only source of Islam, into one of the numerous reference sources of religion, that dared cancel Quranic verses claiming that on which they had been written were eaten by a goat, displayed its illogicality by attributing the Quran to eternal existence.
Irrelevant additions were made to Islam, those making the additions convinced that they were authorized to perfect it. Among such absurd contentions was, for instance, the question as to whether God’s compassion and grace had existed per se from eternity in God and with God or were created afterward.
Comments made in hadiths that gave the impression that God was not omnipotent caused problems for the various sects but the controversies were eventually ended.. The general public, followers of these sects, has certainly no idea of such hadiths, among which ‘God’s feeling the cold of His finger on the back of the Prophet’ and ‘God’s lighting up paradise by uncovering His calf’ are not only funny but also exceedingly preposterous. Such ‘religious’ considerations have provided the unbelievers with stuff for ridiculing the religion.
The interpolation in the religion of such concepts as ‘agony in the grave,’ and descriptions of hell and paradise outside the context of the Quran and the taking them for a part of the religion should be considered heretical approaches with respect to the hereafter. We must dispose of such unfounded creeds remaining outside the Quran.