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Friday, December 6, 2013

FACTS: A Betrayal Of Islam

In spite of the ideological differences in the Sunni and the Shiites, I personally, I never thought of myself as anything but Muslim and I know many also share that sentiment. The fundamental belief is that there is only one God, Allah, then the Prophet, and the Qur’an There is no two Qur’an and there is no dispute in the leadership and Prophet-hood of Muhammad (s.a.w). Muslims also believe that there is no compulsion in religion, that is if you decide to look the other way, so be it. You will meet with the Almighty Creator. So, if we desire to follow the tenets of the religion and adhere strictly to what the Qur’an says without any doctrinal difference, then the ummah would be better because we will do exactly what the Qur’an and the hadiths teach; and we would not give another interpretation to Islam through our deviant behaviours.
In fact, what has characterised the Muslim world many years ago is the great diversity of what Muslims say and do under the banner of Islam. In the recent past, you hear questions like: are there versions of Islam that permits slaughtering, killing, maiming people and destroying state properties and shouting Allahu-Akbar for doing the act? Can one be both a good Muslim and overtly or covertly cause anguish, pain and sorrow to his other Muslims brethren?
I have said it here over and over again, that under the tenets of traditional Islam, it is forbidden to kill or commit suicide, it is prohibited to kill anyone who did not wage war against you; even in war front, you are not permitted to attack somebody who did not raise arm against you. You have to strictly distinguish between combatants and noncombatants in a declared war against you. But we have witnessed unparalleled pogrom in the history of this country where scores of people including Muslims have been massacred with the perpetrators shamelessly claiming responsibility. The terror knows no bounds, several Muslims had been victims of several attacks including the last bombing of the Air Force base in Maiduguri, several churches have been damaged. Yet we hear that it is an inspired ideology from God with the shouts of ‘God is great’. No one is safe, anyone could become the target of this terrorism. Often times Muslims are victims of their brother’s evil machinations in the name of Jihad. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this dreadful act. It is nothing but a betrayal of Islam. Allah is indeed watching.
The concept of Jihad has been so bastardised that it only connotes negative – killings and all forms of extremism. No body sees anything good in what is meant to be the basis for reverting people to Islam. We try to justify the slightest act of injustice and abuse to unleash terror in retaliation. We ignore the concept of sabr, (patience and perseverance) teaching in the Holy Qur’an
A Muslim facing humiliation and even threat of persecution does not necessarily have to turn to extremist or terrorist. During the Bosnia-Herzegovina war in the 90s, thousands of Muslim women and girls were raped, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were murdered, at least half a million became refugees, and 2,000 mosques were destroyed by Serbian forces; yet the Bosnian Muslims never turned to terrorism or extremism. Not one Church or Jewish synagogue was attacked in the Bosnian Muslim zone. Remember also, the early Muslims did not fight the pagans even when they were being persecuted and chased out of Makkah.
The early Muslims were persecuted, abused, maimed and killed but they migrated out of Makkah and eventually found solidarity and acceptance in Madinah. As a result of the quick spread of religion, the desperate polytheists decided to exterminate all the traces of Islam and so, waged war against them. It was then the revelation of the ‘slay them’ came up which many critics snip out of context when talking about Jihad. The verse cannot be quoted in isolation, from the verse preceding it. Rather, it is referring to those who waged war against the Muslims in order to stop the spread of Islam. All the wars fought by the earliest Muslims were not to compel the unbelievers to accept Islam, it was to establish religious freedom, to stop all religious persecution and to protect the Muslims. It is illogical to fold your arms watching your enemy kill you. Then the verses say:
Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.
And slaythem wherever you find them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, persecution is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (2:190-192).
The early Muslims did not fight any war other than for the purpose of defending themselves. All the verses that speak about fighting in the Qur’an in this context are defensive to stop the aggression. Unfortunately too, some misguided Muslims also use it to justify their meanly act.
Tolerance is the only basis for peace; in a society where tolerance is absent, peace will be non-existent. It may be difficult because of the ethnical, social and political dimension, but we have the religious moral duty to tolerate one and other in order to achieve peace. Consideration of other people’s feelings and giving them their due respect is one of the aspects of human rights which society must show towards the religions of other people and that is why the Quran says: La ikrah fi dini- there is no compulsion in religion.
Source: Vanguard