PICKTHAL: Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof....
Edip Yuksel (born 1957) is a Turkish-American of Kurdish descent and a former member of the United Submitters International. He is considered as one of the prime figures in the modern Islamic reform and Qur'an alone movements. Author of many books on the Qur'an and Islam, he has gained much attention through his works and speeches. Especially with his translation of the Qur'an into English which has been praised by many well-known scholars of Islam. His main aim, as is stated throughout his writings, is to spread an Islamic understanding that is rational, progressive and humanistic, which in his eyes can only be gained through only accepting the Qur'an as Divine authority. He is also a promoter of Theistic evolution, an understanding he gets from science and the Qur'an, instead of the traditional Islamic belief in Creationism.
Next to his activities on Islamic reform he is also a part-time legal researcher and a part-time community college instructor living in Tucson, Arizona. And he teaches classes at Accelerated Learning Laboratory; Turkish, Technology, and Math.
Ahmed Subhy Mansour is an exiled Egyptian Islamic cleric who founded a small Egyptian group that is neither Sunni nor Shiite, the Quranists. Ahmed Mansour was an advocate for democracy and human rights in Egypt for many years, during which time he was isolated and persecuted by religious extremists and by the regime, including having served time in prison for his liberal political, religious and social views.
Having graduated with honors from Al Azhar University of Cairo he later received his PhD with highest honors from Al Azhar. In May 1985, Dr. Mansour was discharged from his teaching and research position there due to his liberal views that were not acceptable to the religious authorities who controlled much of university policies and programs
Mansour sought and was granted political asylum in the United States in 2002. He has served as a visiting fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy and at the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.
Rashad Khalifa (November 19, 1935–January 31, 1990) was an Egyptian-American biochemist who founded United Submitters International. He was assassinated in 1990.
Khalifa immigrated to the United States in 1959, where he earned a Ph.D in biochemistry. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen, living in Tucson, Arizona. He founded the religious group called United Submitters International (USI), a group which considers itself to be the true Islam, but prefers not to use the terms "Muslim" or "Islam," instead using the English equivalents of the Arabic: "Submitter" or "Submission." Submitters believe Khalifa was a messenger of God and refer to him as God's messenger of the covenant as prophesied in the Quran and bible after which today's corrupted religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, will simply die out, and "Submission" will prevail.
Starting in 1969, Khalifa used computers to analyze the frequency of letters and words in the Qur'an. In 1974 he claimed that he discovered an intricate numerical pattern in the text of the Qur'an involving the number 19 mentioned in chapter 74 of the Qur'an.
One of the most controversial works of Khalifa (other than his claim to messengership) was the work “Quran, Hadith, and Islam” is which Khalifa decimates the current Islamic belief systems that are based on the Hadith and the Sunna.
Kassim Ahmad is Malaysia's foremost thinker and philosopher. He grabbed national headlines in the 1950s with his dissertation on the characters of Hang Tuah (Perwatakan Hang Tuah), the Malay literary classic. In it he challenged the traditional interpretation and made the hitherto hero Hang Tuah as nothing more than a palace hack, and elevated the anti-hero Hang Jebat as the true hero, willing to kill even the sultan in defence of honor and principles. Kassim was jailed for nearly five years under the ISA for daring to express openly his political views, an experience which he recounted in his book, Universiti Kedua (Second University). Kassim again shook the Malay world with his "Hadith: A Re-Examination" in which he challenges the infallibility of the purported words of Prophet Muhammad.
Muhammad Shahrour (born in 1938 in Damascus) is an Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Damascus who writes extensively about Islam. Shahrour was trained as an engineer in Syria, the former Soviet Union and Ireland.
Shahrour says that traditional scholarship on the Koran is unscientific. His interpretation of the Koran supports liberal political positions such as pluralism. He also says that the Koran must be read and understood in relation to ever changing social realities. Shahrour and a dozen or so like-minded intellectuals from across the Arab and Islamic worlds provoked bedlam when they presented their call for a reinterpretation of holy texts after a Cairo seminar entitled "Islam and Reform" in 2004.
Shahrour's first book has circulated throughout the Middle East and North Africa. His second and third books have been banned in many countries, but thousands of copies have been published, sold, and circulated under the table. At least thirteen books have been published attacking Shahrour's first book.
Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez (1903-1986) was a 20th century Muslim reformer. He is today most known for denying the authority and authenticity of some of the fabricated Hadiths which go against Quran and initiating the Tolu-e-Islam movement. He is also considered as a leading activist in the Pakistan movement.
He joined the Central Secretariat of the Government of India in 1927 and worked in the Home Dept, Establishment Division. He is also supposed to have come in contact with Allama Muhammad Iqbal whom he became inspired of. In 1938 Parwez started publishing monthly Tolu-e-Islam where he propagated his interpretation of the Qur'an. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947 he worked the Central Government and was also a counselor to Muhammed Ali Jinnah. Pervez took pre-mature retirement as assistant secretary in 1955 to focus more on the religious work.
His work and research produced many books on Qur'anic teachings, the most well known of them being Lughat-ul-Qur'an in four volumes, Mafhoom-ul-Qur'an in three volumes, Tabweeb-ul-Qur'an in three volumes, Nizam-e-Rabubiyyat, Islam A Challenge to Religion, Insaan Ne Kiya Socha (History of Human Thought), Tasawwaf Ki Haqiqat, Saleem Ke Naam in three volumes, Tahira Ke Naam, Qur'ani Faislay in five volumes and Shahkar-e-Risalat (the biography of the second Caliph Hazrat Omar). He delivered many lectures on Iqbal’s viewpoint of implementing the Qur'anic injunctions, which were later compiled and published as a presentation on Iqbal’s philosophy under the title "Iqbal aur Qur'an".