- Published on Monday, 08 August 2011 06:51
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 5338
Islam can never be as successful as Christianity (or rational atheism) because it is more strongly rooted in the primitive past. Commerce is handicapped because of a ban on "usury" - that is, interest - so Islamic banks make convoluted semantically modified returns on investment that are really interest but called something else (e.g. profit sharing). This makes them Sharia compliant banks. But most transactions do not involve such banks so the average Muslim loses out on being paid for the use of his money.
Another primitive practice involves measuring time and the seasons. Muhammad thought of the year as having lunar months which is only vaguely useful as a measure of time and impossible for farming. For Muslims, the calendar wasn't used primarily for planting or harvesting crops. Rather it was used for determining when Muslims could engage in fasting, pilgrimages, and most importantly, collective jihad. Since he hated Jews, he was not at all happy with farmers who followed the Jewish practice of using "intercalculation" which inserted an extra month in the year so that there were 13 months instead of 12. So he said:
"Intercalculating a month is an increase in unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another, [in order] to agree with the number that God has hallowed, and so profane what God has hallowed, and hallow what God has made profane... The number of months with Allah is twelve: [they were] in the Book of God on the day He created the heavens and the earth." (Al Tabari, Vol. IX, para. 1754, and Surahs 9:36 and 9:37)
This is further aggravated during Ramadan. Muhammad was an urban person and did not understand farming so the tribulations of farming during Ramadan were of no consequence.
The date of the fasting period of Ramadan is determined by the date when a religious cleric observes the new moon with the naked eye. In fact the crescent moon is important in Islam - you'll see it on flags and mosques. One consequence of this obsession with the moon is that Ramadan occurs on a different date each year. In 2011, it will start August 1 (providing the local imam has seen the new moon rising!) and ends on August 29. In 2010 it started on August 11.
All Muslims are expected to fast all day during Ramadan and eat only at night. This includes farmers who end up harvesting their crops at night by lamp-light.
Then of course Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day, every day:
- Between dawn and sunrise
- After true noon
- Between sunset and dusk
- Dusk till midnight
This interruption is in addition to "bio-breaks" so reduces how much work they can actually do in a day. On Fridays there is additional prayer time but then this might be comparable to Christians' Sundays. It doesn't help that these are not determined by a clock so can't be easily scheduled.
Imagine a business meeting around lunch time when the Muslim must leave and do his thing!
It's hard to see how any devout Muslim could get his productivity anywhere near that of a Christian or atheist. If Muslims want their economies to get to be about as good as those in the west, they will have to give up on these primitive practices. All they need to do is ignore the Qur'an!
Some material sourced from Ramadan: When time no longer mattered.