Posted by musliminsuffer on September 1, 2010
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
There is a very general and very deep-rooted misconception that the Holy Qur’an preaches intolerance, and that Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) preached his faith with the sword in one hand and the Holy Qur’an in the other. Misrepresentation could go no further. The basic principle of Islam, a faith in One God Almighty, all the holy Books of the three Great Abrahamic religions and all of the Prophets of the world, is enough to give the lie to this allegation.
The great and liberal mind that preached not only love and respect for the founders of the great religions of the world, but much more than that-faith in them-could not shrink down to the narrowness of intolerance for those very religions. Tolerance is not in fact the word that can sufficiently indicate the breadth of the attitude of Islam to other religions. It preaches equal love for all, equal respect for all, and equal faith in all.
Again, intolerance could not be ascribed to a book which excludes compulsion from the sphere of religion altogether. “Let there be no compulsion in religion,” (2:256), it lays down in the clearest words. In fact, the Holy Qur’an is full of statements showing that belief in this or that religion is a person’s own concern, and that he is given the choice to adopt one way or another: that if he accepts truth, it is for his own good and that if he sticks to error, it is to his own detriment.
Given below are a few of these quotations:
“We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).” (76:3)
“…The Truth is from your Lord: let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject (it)…” (18:29)
“Now have come to you, from your Lord, proofs (to open your eyes): If any will see, it will be for (the good of) his own soul; if any will be blind, it will be to his own (harm)…” (6:104)
“If ye did well, ye did well for yourselves; if ye did evil, (ye did it) against yourselves….” (17:7).
The Muslims were allowed to fight indeed, but what was the object? Not to compel the unbelievers to accept Islam, for it was against all the broad principles in which they had been hitherto brought up. No, it was to establish religious freedom, to stop all religious persecution, to protect the houses of worship of all religions, mosques among them.
Here are a few quotations:
“…Had not Allah checked one set of people by means of another there would surely have been pulled won monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure….” (22:40)
“And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah” (2:193)
“And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere…” (8:39)
Under what conditions was the permission to fight given to the Muslims? Every student of Islamic history knows that the Holy Prophet and his companions were subjected to the severest persecutions as Islam began to gain ground at Mecca; over a hundred of them fled to Abyssinia, but persecution grew more relentless still. Ultimately the Muslims had to take refuge in Medina, but they were not left alone even there, and the sword was taken up by the enemy to annihilate Islam and the Muslims altogether.
The Holy Qur’an bears express testimony to this: “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged-and verily, Allah is Most Powerful for their aid-(they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right-(for no cause) except that they say, ‘Our Lord is Allah.’…” (22:39-40).
Later, the express condition was laid down: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.” (2:190). The Holy Qur’an, therefore, allowed fighting only to save a persecuted community from powerful oppressors, and hence the condition was laid down that fighting was to be stopped as soon as persecution ceased: “But if they cease, Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful. And fight them on no more until there is no more tumult or oppression…” (2:192-3).
If the enemy offered peace, peace was to be accepted, though the enemy’s intention may be only to deceive the Muslims: “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the One that heareth and knoweth (all things). Should they intend to deceive thee-verily Allah sufficeth thee: He it is that hath strengthened thee with His aid…” (8:61-2).
The Prophet made treaties of peace with his enemies; one such treaty brought about the famous truce of Hudaibiyyah, the terms of which were not only disadvantageous, but also humiliating to the Muslims. According to the terms of this treaty, if an unbeliever, being converted to Islam, went over the Muslims he was to be returned, but if Muslim went over to the unbelievers, he was not to be given back to the Muslims. This term of the treaty cuts at the root of all allegations of the use of force by the Holy Prophet. It also shows the strong conviction of the Holy Prophet that neither would Muslims go back to unbelief, nor would the new converts to Islam be deterred from embracing Islam because the Prophet gave them no shelter. And these expectations proved true, for while not a single Muslim deserted Islam, a large number came over to Islam, and being refused shelter at Medina formed a colony of their own in neutral territory.
It is a mistake to suppose that the conditions related above were abrogated at any time.
The condition to fight “with those who fight with you” remained in force to the last. The last expedition led by the Holy Prophet was the famous Tabuk expedition, and every historian of Islam knows that though the Holy Prophet had marched a very long distance to Tabuk at the head of an army of thirty thousand, yet when he found that the enemy did not fulfill the condition laid down above, he returned, and did not allow his troops to attack the enemy territory.
Nor is there a single direction in the latest revelation on this subject in Chapter 9, the immunity that goes against this condition. The opening verse of that chapter speaks expressly of “…pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances,” and then in verse 4 excepts from its purview “…those pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided anyone against you,” thus showing clearly that the “immunity” related only to such idolatrous tries as had first made agreements with the Muslims and then violating them, killed and persecuted the Muslims wherever they found them, as verse 10 says expressly: “In a believer they respect not the ties either of kinship or of covenant!” Such people are also spoken of in an earlier revelation: “They are those with whom thou didst make a covenant, but they break their covenant every time…” (8:56).
Further on, in chapter 9, the condition of the enemy attacking the Muslims first is plainly repeated: “Will you not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took to aggression by being the first (to assault) you?” So from the first to the last, the Holy Qur’an allowed fighting only against those who fought the Muslims first; it allowed expressly only fighting in defense without which the Muslims could not live, and it clearly forbade aggressive war.
The waging of war on unbelievers to compel them to accept Islam is a myth pure and simple, a thing unknown to the Holy Qur’an. It was the enemy that waged war on the Muslims to turn them away from their religion as the Holy Book so clearly asserts: “…Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can….” (2:217).
It is sometimes asserted that the Holy Qur’an forbids relations of friendship with the followers of other religions. How could a book which allows a man to have as his comrade in life, a woman, following another religion (5:5), say in the same breath that no friendly relations can be had with the followers of other religions? The loving relation of husband and wife is the friendliest of all relations, and when this is expressly permitted, there is not the least reason to suppose that other friendly relations are forbidden.
The fact is, that wherever there is a prohibition against making friends with other people, it relates only to the people who were at war with Muslims, and this is plainly stated in the Holy Qur’an: “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: For Allah loveth those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances) that do wrong.” (60: 8-9).
Another widely prevailing misconception may also be noted here. It is generally thought that the Qur’an provides a death sentence for those who desert the religion of Islam. Anyone who takes the trouble to read the Holy Qur’an will see that there is not the least ground for such a supposition. The Holy Qur’an speaks repeatedly of people going back to unbelief after believing, but never once does it say that they should be killed or punished.
I give here a few quotations:
“…And if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter…” (2:217)
“O ye who believe! If any from among you turn back from his faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him…” (5:54)
“But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith-never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray.” (3:90).
On the other hand, the Holy Qur’an speaks of a plan of the Jews to adopt Islam first and then desert it, thus creating the impression that Islam was not a religion worth having (3:71). Such a scheme could never have entered their heads while living at Medina where the government was Muslim if apostasy according to the Qur’anic law were punishable with death.
The misconception seems to have arisen from the fact that people who, after becoming apostates, joined the enemy and were treated as enemies, or where an apostate took the life of a Muslim he was put to death, not of course for changing his religion, but for committing a murder.
|global-right-path||On:||September 1, 2010 3:12 AM|
On Behalf Of “Dr. M. A. QAZI” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW