The Quran's eternal values must be separate from the cultural accidents of the place an time of its birth.
Satbir Singh Bedi | 23 Mar 2015
For me, there are two types of Muslims; the Dara Shikoh type who stand for reformation of Islam and the Aurangzeb type who are ultra conservative.
For the world at large, the only viable strategy for containing the threat posed by the Aurangzeb type of Muslims is to side with the dissidents and reformers represented by Dara Shikoh type of Muslims and to help them to do two things: first, identify and repudiate those parts of Muhammad's legacy that summon Muslims to intolerance and war, and second, persuade the great majority of believersthe Dara Shikoh type of Muslimsto accept this change.
Muhammad should not be seen as infallible, let alone as a source of divine writ. He should be seen as a historical figure who united the Arab tribes in a premodern context that cannot be replicated in the 21st century. And although Islam maintains that the Quran is the literal word of Allah, it is, in historical reality, a book that was shaped by human hands. Large parts of the Quran simply reflect the tribal values of the 7th-century Arabian context from which it emerged. The Quran's eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.