Document 11359

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
QUARTERLY
The
Messa g e
Also published on the Internet at the
web-address (URL):
www.aaiil.org/trinidad
Editors:
Nasir Ahmad, BA, LL.B
Imam Kalamazad Mohammed, BA, Dip. Ed.
December 2005
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Literary Trust, Trinidad and Tobago
In this Issue
Al Takwir – (The Folding Up)
Commentary by
Dr. Basharat Ahmad
Chapter 81
1
Death of Prophet Jesus (as)
– 30 verses from Holy Qur’an
by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
4
Poem
6
Beauties of Surah Fatihah
From the Founder
7
Talk – Prof. F. Ahmadi
8
Islam – The Religion of Peace
Shahid Aziz
11
A
Say: My prayer and my
sacrifice and my life and my
death are surely for Allah, the
Lord of the worlds.
No associate has He. And
this am I commanded, and I
am the first of those who
submit.
H.Q. 163-164.
Al-Takwir - (The Folding Up)
by Dr. Basharat Ahmad
(Translated by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed, BA, Dip. Ed.)
(Continued from Sept. 2005)
pregnant, and its value increased
Allah next deals with the obstacle
offered by long distances. Since the
world cannot be made to shrink, the
only way distances could be
shortened in a practical manner
would be to invent such speedy
means of transport that distances
would virtually contract: the shorter
the time of travel, the shorter the
distance, as it would appear to the
traveller.
So He says: “When the she-camels
are abandoned.” The word ‘ishar is
applied to a ten-month pregnant shecamel. It is a rule that a female cow
becomes more valuable when it is
nearing the time of delivery. For
instance, in our country, cows and
buffaloes become more valuable
when their time of delivery is near,
and they are held in greater
estimation. The reason is that there
is hope of an imminent offspring.
Similarly, when a she-camel was near
its term of pregnancy, it was called
‘ishar in Arabia, that is, ten-month
because there was an expectation of
a young camel being born. In
addition, a she-camel is faster and
sturdier in traversing long distances.
A special mention was made of the
transport by camel because it is a type
of mount that is used for riding and
carrying of loads in terrain where no
other means of transport or animal
can be very effective. In deserts and
dry mountain ranges, where there is
not even a trace of water, a camel can
go on for days on end without fodder
and drink. It has the stamina to cover
long distances whilst carrying heavy
loads, a stamina that is not matched
by any other animal. The Arabs could
only traverse the waterless and
verdure-less deserts and dry burntout mountain ranges by using the
camel, and this they did. Horses were
only useful in war. Accordingly, to
them, the camel was a thing of great
value and utility, their only way of
traversing difficult routes. Thus,
when we are told that a day would
come when the camel would become
PASS ON THE MESSAGE
1
redundant and no one would look for
pregnant she-camels, it is a clear
indication that such means of
transport, such as railways and road
transport, would be invented that
would not only be more effective
than the camel in transporting
passengers and goods, but that they
would also travel over those difficult
routes over which only the camels
were of any use in former days.
scholars) of these times. It was Hazrat
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Renewer
of the Faith of this age, who drew our
attention to this prophecy. At that
time, the Hijaz railway was under
construction, but due to the
revolution in Turkey, the project
stopped when the railway line
reached Madinah. Thereupon, certain
‘ulama of the Punjab started to dance
with joy, only because they thought
they had got a chance to prove Hazrat
Mirza wrong, not realising that their
stand, in fact, was against the Holy
Qur’an, itself, because it is the
Qur’an which says that there would
come into existence such transport as
would render camels redundant.
Their view was also against the Holy
Prophet who had prophesied: “The
she-camels will be abandoned and
will no longer be used.”
Another explanation is that the
roadways would be made so easy that
there would be no special need for
camels. Rather, these new modes of
transport would be able to travel on
those difficult routes where camels
used to go, and better and speedier
modes of transport would run on
these roads and save time. Thus, the
question of obstacles of the road and
long distances would no longer be
pertinent.
The only fault of Hazrat Mirza was
that he had lifted the veil from the
And so it has happened. Today, face of this prophecy after getting the
distance means nothing in the face news from Allah. But woe to the
of the fast-flying aircraft, railways jealousy and prejudice of those
and road transport, and even the most ‘ulama that, though their
arduous routes were made easy and interpretation was contrary to the
available to these vehicles and a Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, yet they
world-wide network of roads and danced with joy over the possibility
rails has made the use of camels of proving Hazrat Mirza Ghulam
obsolete. Now, who would go Ahmad to be in the wrong.
looking for a ten-month pregnant
she-camel? How great a saving of But Allah, the High, soon ended the
time and how easy the growth of joy of those adversaries and road
international communication and transport became a reality between
interaction, and how tremendously Jeddah and Makkah and Madinah
international trade has grown because and the she-camels became
of these new means of transport!
redundant. Now, instead of camel
caravans, the motor transport is used
This also applies to the Hijaz. on this route and there is a proposal
Nowadays, hajis (pilgrims) travel on for constructing a railway also, thus
road transport to go to perform the fulfilling the prophecies of the Holy
Pilgrimage, and camels have become Qur’an and the Hadith.
redundant there. Here, I will mention
an incident that betrays the mentality In short, it is obvious that by virtue
of the so-called ‘ulama (religious of the overcoming of the obstacles
2
posed by mountains, construction of
roads, and the invention of fastmoving transport, which makes the
covering of very great distances in a
matter of minutes, the interaction and
mingling of various nations have
increased, and modern civilisation
has also reached people living in
remote and far-off places and who,
because of their ignorance, were
classified as wild, jungle people. This
interaction and mingling was bound
to dispel their ignorance and wildness
and render them civilised and
cultured. Thus, culture and
civilisation could spread throughout
the world. So Allah, Most High,
refers to this very fact of the
elimination of ignorance and
wildness by saying: “And when the
wild ones (men and animals) are
gathered together.”
That is to say, the wild people who
used to live in jungles and mountains
like nomads would now come into
towns and cities to settle there, and
would partake of the benefits of every
aspect of culture and civilisation. Just
look at the savage people of Africa’s
jungles and see how they are coming
and settling down in towns. The same
applies to other countries. What was
Europe after all? Just a collection of
savage people. Observe how their
society has progressed today and then
ponder over the verse: “When the
wild ones are gathered together,” and
experience the joy of truth unfolded.
As the ignorance and savagery of
those jungle people gradually
disappeared, they kept progressing
through various stages of culture and
civilisation. But this civilising
process could not reach its climax
until all the countries and continents
were so connected that the whole
world would become like one city;
the commerce of one country would
readily reach another, and the people
of one country would visit other
countries, meet one another and, by
benefiting from one another’s
expertise in wisdom and knowledge,
arts and crafts, commerce and civic
organisation, develop and progress in
every field. So it was necessary, in
order to achieve this, that the obstacle
offered by the oceans be removed. So
Allah, Most High, says: “When the
seas will be filled-up” (or overcome).
their knowledge and ideas and from
mutual trade and commerce. The
result is that culture and civilisation
have reached their zenith.
burying her alive. I enticed her by
promising her wild berries growing
in the jungle. When I started to dig a
pit for burying her alive, some dust
The next two verses are: “And when would occasionally arise due to my
the one buried alive is asked, for what digging and would soil my clothes,
sin she was killed.” Allah, Most High, but each time she would keep dusting
says that as a result of this my clothes very lovingly with her
international interaction and scarf to remove the dust. At last,
intermingling, as well as the when I started to bury her, she kept
development of culture, civilisation, calling ‘Father, Father,’ but I turned
education and learning, the human a deaf ear to her pleadings, and came
intellect will evolve to such a level away after burying her.”
that a perception of the honour and On hearing this harrowing account,
rights of women will be engendered tears began to flow involuntarily
in the minds of people. In other from the Holy Prophet’s eyes.
words, culture and civilisation can Eventually, the spiritual power of the
only reach their full potential when loving heart of this gracious and
there is a realisation of the respect merciful personage accomplished a
and honour due to women and their purpose that could not be fully
rights are upheld.
achieved even by the mighty law of
That is, the rivers and the oceans that
separate continents and countries
would be “filled up” (their existence
would be of no consequence);
bridges over rivers and modern
transport over the seas would become
so common that the seas and rivers
would become like ordinary
highways.
A distinctive feature of savage and
Now, see how today, Asia and Africa, uncivilised people is that there is no
Europe and America, Australia and respect accorded to women in their
thousands of islands in the world society. Rather, they are considered
have become like one city. The sea is a source of shame and
no longer a barrier between them. embarrassment. That is why during
Rather, it serves as a highway and the days of ignorance in Arabia it was
travel over these sea lanes, as also considered a requisite of nobility and
through the airways, has become so honour that a female child should be
comfortable and swift, and there is put to death at its very birth. Such
such an armada of grand and was also the custom among the
comfortable ships and aircraft plying Rajputs in Hindustan/India and even
these lanes, that sea and air travel now, there occur odd incidents of this
have become more comfortable and nature among them. But in Arabia,
more luxurious than overland travel. things were much worse: they used
to bury their daughters alive.
“And when people will be joined
together,” says the next verse. How Once, a desert Arab presented
clearly this prophecy has been himself at the court of the Holy
fulfilled. Where in the world do you Prophet and narrated the details of
find people who do not travel abroad one such wrongdoing thus: “I had a
and intermingle with others? Now, little daughter who could not be
when distances have been obliterated buried alive at birth because of her
and all barriers removed, a whole mother’s love for her. She loved me
multitude of people are meeting with a lot and had grown up quite a bit
others and are benefiting from this when one day I took her to the
interaction, and from the sharing of wilderness with the intention of
3
the British in India.
It was the coming down of this very
verse that served as the turning point
that helped to wipe out this vile
custom of female infanticide from
Arabia with one stroke of the pen,
for when the Arabs heard that this
was a foul act that they would have
to answer for, in this world maybe,
but certainly in the court of the
Almighty God, even the stoutest of
Arab hearts began to tremble.
In reality, it was the inner purification
and spiritual munificence brought
about by the sanctified soul of
Muhammad (sas) that wrought this
miracle and made the proud and
arrogant heads of the entire nation of
A
Arabs bow before the divine edict.A
(To be continued.)
A
DEATH OF PROPHET JESUS (AS) – IV
Conclusive Proof Based on Thirty Verses of the Holy Qur’an
By Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam
[The following is a further excerpt from the book Izala-e Auham by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Mujaddid of the fourteenth century
(AH), Mahdi, and Promised Messiah, in which he gives arguments from the Holy Qur’an establishing the death of Prophet Jesus (as).
The first part appeared in the March 2005 issue, the second in the June 2005 issue and the third in the September 2005 issue.]
Spiritual elevation only after
physical death
it, and follow not (other) on it passes away — and there
ways, for they will lead you endures forever the person of thy
away from His way” (6:154). Lord, the Lord of glory and honour”
(55:26-27).
The Twenty-third Verse: “O soul
that art at rest, Return to thy Lord,
well-pleased, well-pleasing, so enter Divine Law of creation and
among My servants, And enter My consequential death ordained
Garden!” (89:27-30).
The Twenty-fourth Verse: “Allah is
He Who created you, then He
It is crystal clear from this verse that sustains you, then He causes you to
unless a person has experienced die, then brings you to life. Is there
death he cannot enter into the any of your associate-gods who does
company of those who have departed aught of it? Glory be to Him, and
this earthly sojourn. Moreover, a exalted be He above what they
detailed hadith about the Mi‘raj associate (with Him)!” (30:40).
(Ascension) in the Sahih al-Bukhari
verifies the fact that the Messiah, son In this verse, Allah, Most High,
of Mary, was present among the discloses His natural law stating that
group of former prophets. Therefore, there are only four outstanding events
in the face of this decisive and in the life of man: first, there is his
categorical evidence, we have no birth, then he receives his share of
choice but to accept the Messiah, son physical and spiritual nourishment
of Mary, as dead. We believe in the for his upbringing and the
Holy Qur’an and reject everything consummation of this life, then death
that contradicts it. Indeed, Muslims comes to him, after which he is raised
would do well to heed the exhortation to life again. It is evident from these
of the Holy Book given in the verses that there is no word indicating
following verses:
an exception here from this general
In other words, everything that is
present on earth and comes out of it
is subject to destruction. That is, with
every breath it travels towards decay.
The meaning is that every earthly
body follows a path leading towards
non-existence – a path, moreover,
that is inexorable. This is the impetus
that pushes a person from childhood
to youth and adulthood, thence to old
age, and finally to the grave, and no
one is exempt from this law of nature.
Allah, Most High, uses the present
participle faanin instead of the
present tense yafni to make us
comprehend that destruction (fana)
is not something that will take place
once sometime in the future, but
instead the chain of decay and
decomposition is a continuous one.
Nevertheless, our religious scholars
(maulvis) continue to entertain the
rule which can lead us to infer that belief that the Messiah, son of Mary,
1. “Follow what has been the incidents of the Messiah’s life are
revealed to you from your specially excluded despite the fact despite having a physical body
Lord and follow not besides from beginning to end it is the style which, according to this patent and
Him any guardians; little do and method of the Holy Qur’an that irrefutable evidence, is subject to the
relentless process of degeneration,
you mind!” (7:3).
when it mentions a particular has gone up to the heavens without
2. “O man, there has come to incident, and if a human being does
you indeed an admonition not fall under the ambit of that any change or alteration to his body
from your Lord and a healing circumstance, it immediately and without time having any
for what is in the breasts; and excludes him from the universal law, deleterious effect on him. This, in
a guidance and a mercy for or failing that, it explains the special spite of the fact that in this verse
Allah, Most High, has not excluded
the believers” (10:57).
circumstances of his case.
the Messiah from the status of an
3. “And (know) that this is My
path, the right one, so follow The Twenty-fifth Verse: “Everyone earthly human being
4
Entry into Heaven presupposes
physical death
The Twenty-sixth Verse: “Surely the
dutiful will be among Gardens and
rivers, in the seat of truth, with a most
Powerful King” (54:54-55).
Now, from the point of view of these
verses, it becomes quite obvious that
Allah, Most High, has made entry
into Heaven and occupation of a seat
of truth mutually contemporaneous.
That is, He has made coming into His
presence and reaching Paradise
interdependent. So if the verse, “I
shall raise you to Me (raafiu‘ka
ilaiyya) means that the Messiah has
been lifted towards Allah, then of a
certainty he has entered Paradise just
as another verse, “Return to thy Lord
(Irji‘i ilaa Rabbiki)” which has the
same meaning as: I shall raise you
to Me, is standing proof of this very
same point.
From this, we can see quite clearly
that these three events – being raised
towards Allah, Most High, joining
the company of those drawn close to
Him, and entering Paradise – all take
place at one and the same time. Thus,
these verses, also, establish
conclusively the death of Prophet
Jesus (as).….
The Twenty-seventh Verse: “Those
for whom the good has already gone
forth from Us, they will be kept far
off from it—they will not hear the
faintest sound of it and they will
abide in that which their souls
desire” (21:101-102).
The reference here is to Prophet Ezra
(as) and the Messiah, Prophet Jesus
(as) whose entry into Paradise is
substantiated by this verse which also
serves as an indisputable verification
of their death.
as follows: “Some people in my
community will live for sixty to
The Twenty-eighth Verse: seventy years and there will be few
“Wherever you are, death will who will exceed this age.”
overtake you, though you are in
towers, raised high. And if good It is undeniable that the Messiah, son
befalls them, they say: This is from of Mary, has been included in this
Allah; and if a misfortune befalls community. So how can such a
them, they say: This is from thee. Say: disparity exist between him and
All is from Allah. But what is the others in that other people will find
matter with these people that they it difficult to reach sixty or seventy
make no effort to understand years and his condition is such that
anything” (4:78).
he has lived for two thousand years
and even now he has still not died?
This verse, also, furnishes conclusive Instead, our religious leaders insist
proof that death and its that he will return to earth and live
accompaniment pursue an earthly for forty or forty-five years.
body no matter where it may be. This
is the law of the Almighty and here, The second hadith is taken from the
too, there is no indication of an Sahih Muslim and the narrator is
exception to the rule. Indeed, there Jabir, who says: “I heard the Holy
is not a single word in this verse that Prophet (sas) say, after taking an
puts the Messiah, son of Mary, oath, that in no part of the earth is
outside the ambit of this law. As a there any creature over whom a
result, this categorical statement hundred years will pass and he will
stands as incontestable proof of the still be found alive.”
death of Prophet Jesus (as).
The meaning of this hadith is that no
To be pursued by death means to created being on earth will live past
experience the ravages of time, as, one hundred years and saying that he
for example, weakness and old age is a prisoner of the earth is that he
or illnesses and calamities which lead may be excluded from the category
a person to death. And from this, no of heavenly beings. It is, of course,
created being is spared.
an accepted fact that the Messiah, son
of Mary, is not a heavenly being (by
Limited time period for all human creation) but an earthly one and
beings
belongs to all that exists on earth. The
The Twenty-ninth Verse: “And hadith does not mean that if a person
whatever the Messenger gives you, with an earthly body lives on earth,
accept it, and whatever he forbids he will die here, but if he should go
you, abstain (therefrom)” (59:7).
up to heaven (in his earthly body) he
will not suffer death if the Holy
In the light of this verse, we shall turn Qur’an has categorically ruled out the
our attention to what our Holy eventuality of an earthly body
Prophet (sas) has spoken in relation entering Paradise. Instead, the import
to this affair. From Mishkat al- of the hadith is that whoever is born
Masabih comes the first hadith on earth, having been created out of
which is narrated by Abu Hurairah earth, cannot live beyond a hundred
5
years.
The Thirtieth Verse: “Or thou have
a house of gold, or thou ascend into
heaven. And we will not believe in
thy ascending till thou bring down
to us a book we can read. Say: Glory
to my Lord! am I aught but a mortal
messenger?” (17:93).
It confirms the death of Prophet Jdsus
(as). This verse also makes it
abundantly clear that the unbelievers
asked the Holy Prophet (sas) for a
sign to prove his truth, namely by
ascending (physically) to Heaven.
He, however, replied that it was not
the habit of Allah, Most High, to
transport an earthly body to Paradise.
Now, if we should accept as true the
bodily ascension of Prophet Jesus
(as) to Heaven as true, then the Holy
Prophet’s response above would
become open to objection and
discrepancy and inconsistency will
certainly creep into the word of Allah,
Most High. Consequently, it is a
decisive and absolute fact that
Prophet Jesus (as) never ascended to
Heaven in his physical body but he
did so only after his death.
Indeed, I ask those who profess belief
in his physical elevation, whether
Prophets John (as), Adam (as), Idris
(as), Abraham (as) Joseph (as) and
others were carried up to Heaven or
not. If not, then how did it happen
that the Holy Prophet (sas) saw all
of them in Heaven on the night of
the Mi‘raj (Ascension)? If, on the
other hand, they were elevated to
Paradise, why then do they
unjustifiably give another meaning to
Prophet Jesus’ elevation? This is
rather amazing since the word
tawaffa (to die) which is a manifest
proof of death, is used everywhere
in relation to him and an example of
what ascension really means has also
been clearly manifested in that he
joined those deceased people who
had been elevated before him.
(Remember that the Holy Prophet
(sas) saw him with them on the night
of the Mi‘raj.) If it is denied that these
people were elevated before, then I
challenge them to explain how they
arrived in Paradise. After all, they had
to be elevated before they could enter
Heaven. Did they not read this verse
of the Holy Qur’an in relation to
Prophet Idris (as)? “And we raised
him to an elevated state” (19:57). Is
this not the ascension that the
Messiah explained? Is this not the
true meaning of being raised aloft?
Conclusion
We hope and pray that the
explanation of these verses will
eradicate the unfortunate error
concerning
Prophet
Jesus’
supposedly physical ascension to
Heaven from the minds of Muslims,
for in studiously clinging to this false
conception, they are unwittingly
upholding the Christian religion. As
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad,
Founder of the Ahmadiyya
Movement in Islam, has said: “If
Muslims were to declare with one
voice that Prophet Jesus (as) is dead,
Christianity will fall in the morning.”
Furthermore, if Muslims should
bolster the wrong tenets of any other
religion, how will the following
prophecy of the Holy Qur’an come
to pass: “He it is Who has sent His
Messenger with the guidance and the
Religion of Truth that He may make
it prevail over all religions, though
the polytheists are averse” (61:9)?
Finally, the promise of Allah, Most
6
High, has been fulfilled: “Nay, We
hurl the Truth against falsehood, so
it knocks out its brains, and lo! it
vanishes. And woe to you for what
you describe!” (21:18).
Har dam nishaan-e
tazah ka muhtaaj hai
bashar
Har dam nishaan-e tazah ka muhtaaj hai
bashar
Qisson ke mu‘jizaat ka hotaa hai kab asar
Kyonkar mile fasaanon se woh dilbar-e
azal
Gar ik nishaan ho miltaa hi sab zindagee
ka phal
Duniyaa kee hirs-o-aaz men yeh dil hain
mar gaye
Ghaflat men saaree ‘umr basar apnee kar
gaye
Ai sone waalo jaago ke waqt-e-bahaar hai
Ab dekho aake dar pe hamaare woh yaar
hai.
O man! There is always the need for fresh
signs
For the influence of miraculous stories is
temporary and superficial
How can we discover that Heavenly Beloved
through stories?
To witness even a single sign is to reap the
fruit of life
Man’s heart has died through greed and
avarice for this world
And his whole life has been wasted in
negligence
O sleeping ones, wake up for the season of
spring has come
Behold! The Celestial Friend is on our
doorsteps.A
From the Founder
THE BEAUTIES OF
SURAH FATIHAH
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
In the beginning of Surah Fatihah it
is said that Allah, Most High, is the
only Being Who possesses all
praiseworthy excellences and
combines in Himself all attributes
and is the only Being Who sustains
all the worlds and is the Source of
all mercies and grants everyone the
fruits of his labour. By enumerating
these attributes, Allah, Most High,
clearly sets forth that all power is in
His hand and all emanates from Him.
He has glorified His Being so highly
that He sets Himself forth as the
Disposer of all the affairs of this
world and the next, and the Cause of
all causes in relation to everything
and the Source of all benefit, pointing
out, at the same time, that
independently of Him and His mercy
the life and comfort and tranquillity
of no sentient being was possible.
Next, He instructed man in humility
in the words: “O Thou Fountainhead
of every benevolence, we worship
Thee alone and seek help from Thee
alone as we are altogether humble
and can do nothing on our own
without the favour of Thy help and
support.
Allah, the Sublime, has thus
furnished two incentives to prayer:
First, His Own glory and its
accompanying compassion, and
secondly, the humility and
unworthiness of man. These are the
two incentives that must be kept in
mind at the time of prayer by the
supplicants. Those who have tasted
some of the flavour of prayer know
well that without these two incentives
meets the eye and only that Being,
All-mercy, the Support of every
entity and the Remedy of every ill and
the Fountainhead of every grace
comes in sight, until, ultimately,
through it, a state of obliteration-inAllah takes shape at the advent of
which man is bereft of all inclination
towards any created being or towards
his ego, or towards his volition, and
is totally lost in the love of God and
through true perception his own
entity and the entity of all created
beings appears non-existent to him.
God has called this state, sirat-imustaqim (the right path), to seek
which He has taught the prayer:
“Guide us on the right path,”
meaning: Grant us the way of
obliteration and Unity and Divine
True worshippers appreciate well that love which the above verses signify
the concept of these two aspects is and cut us off totally from all others
essential for prayer; first, that Allah, than Thee.
the Glorious, has the power to grant
every kind of providence and Thus, in order to generate fervour in
sustenance and mercy and reward and prayer, God, the Sublime, has
that His perfect attributes are ever- provided such true incentives as
operative in their respective spheres, transport the supplicant from the state
and secondly, the conviction that man of ego to that of self-forgetfulness
can do nothing by himself without and negation. It should be
Divine help and support. Without remembered that Surah Fatihah is
doubt, both these concepts are such not just one of the ways of prayer for
that once they take hold of the mind guidance; in fact, as we have shown,
at the time of prayer, they transform it is the only effective way to induce
suddenly the whole attitude of man fervour in the heart for prayer and
so much so that a haughty one falls which appeals to human nature as
down crying and a conceited and truly responsive to its urge. The truth
hard-hearted one bursts into tears. of the matter is that as Allah has laid
This is the mechanism that quickens down laws in respect of other
an indifferent corpse. Through the matters, so has been set down a
realisation of these two factors, every particular way of prayer which
heart is drawn towards prayer. In comprises the incentives mentioned
brief, this is the spiritual means which in Surah Fatihah and unless these
turns the soul of man towards God two incentives are kept in mind, no
and gives him an insight into his own enthusiasm can at all be aroused in
weakness and the reality of Divine prayer. The natural attitude in prayer
help. It is by this means that man is is the one set down in Surah Fatihah.
transported to a state of self- This then is one of the beauties of
forgetfulness where no trace of his this surah, that it teaches prayer
own opaque existence remains and together with its incentives.A
A
only the Majesty of the One Being
no true prayer can be offered and
without them the fire of Divine love
can scarcely burst into flame. It is
evident that one who does not keep
in mind the glory and mercy and
perfect power of God can in no wise
turn to God, and that the soul of one
who would not confess his own
humbleness, helplessness and
destitution, can never bend down
before the Generous Lord. This is a
verity which does not call for any
deep philosophy to be fully grasped.
In fact, when the magnificence of
God and one’s own humility and
helplessness are borne in on one’s
mind, that particular condition itself
convinces one that it is the only
approach to true prayer.
7
assumed, therefore, that if people
achieve knowledge from the words
N LEPHANT AND IVE LIND
EN
of the Lord written in “ink” from a
HAT CAN
E EARN FROM HEM
certain “sea,” their assumption is
based on what they have taken. For
F. Ahmadi D
example, if they take “ink” from the
Gulf of Mexico, their perception may
The story about some men and an On the majority over minority
elephant is widely known, and it is It can also happen that four of them differ from those taking “ink” from
rich in values that can be drawn upon, have the same perception of the the gulf of Jakarta. Both can be true
especially
for
pluralistic elephant when they touch the same but their perceptions may differ.
communities.
parts, the elephant’s different feet, for Therefore, the first cannot say that the
example. When the fifth man latter is wrong because their
This is a story about five blind men happens to touch its tail and gets a perception is different, and neither
wanting to know what an elephant different perception from the other can the latter. In terms of religion,
looks like. Each of them touches four men, the situation becomes more therefore, the differences are getting
different parts of the body. One states complicated. He is against the other clearer because the same verse may
that an elephant is like a flat piece, four. Can we say that the four men be interpreted differently.
as he happens to touch its ear. The touching its feet representing the
other says it is like a snake, as he majority are justified and say that the In the case of the blind men, they can
touches its nose. The rest also minority, the man touching the tail is see and understand the correct picture
describe it differently, depending on incorrect? In this case, I think we all only after they are no longer blind.
which part they touch: its tusk, tail, agree that the perception of the On the truthfulness of a belief, people
and foot. Although they all make majority is considered correct and can find the truth only after they
mistakes in the description, each of that of the minority as wrong, and this return to their Lord when they die.
them describes it convincingly. Each is usually practised in our everyday This can be seen in the following
verses:
of them strongly believes in his life. (Of course, this is wrong.)
accuracy even though they make
“And We have revealed to
mistakes. This reflects what happens In the case of religion, we cannot
thee the Book with the truth,
with people. The question is: Can rationalise the majority over the
verifying that which is before
each of them be justified? Can one minority. When we look back in
it of the Book and a guardian
of them say that his description is history, we admit that all prophets
over it, so judge between
correct and the others’ are wrong?
started their own mission from a
them by what Allah has
minority group but that they were all
revealed, and follow not their
The answer can be as follows: That the bearer of truthfulness.
low desires (turning away)
each of them feels the accuracy of his
from the truth that has come
speculation of the description can be It can be distinctively seen that great
to thee. For every one of you
acceptable because each draws a differences may exist and each
We appointed a law and a
conclusion from his own experience. people cannot be said to be wrong.
way. And if Allah had pleased
His experience teaches him and Difference in opinion is becoming
He would have made you a
makes him believe convincingly in clearer when it deals with belief. In
single people, but that He
his truthfulness. However, if each Holy Qur’an it is stated: “Say: If the
might try you in what He
thinks that his is the only correct sea were ink for the word of my Lord,
gave you. So vie one with
judgment, I think all of us agree that the sea would surely be exhausted
another in virtuous deeds. To
his speculation cannot be justified. before the word of my Lord were
Allah you will all return, so
We cannot accept it. It is only after exhausted, though We brought the
He will inform you of that
they can witness with their eyes that like of it to add (thereto)” (18:109)
wherein you differed” (5:
they can have a clear picture of the
48).
elephant and understand the mistakes The above verse shows that Allah’s
they make.
wisdom is very abundant. It can be
A E
W
F
W L
B
M :
T
?
8
And:
“As for those who split up
their religion and became
sects, thou hast no concern
with them. Their affair is
only with Allah, and then
He will inform them of
what they did” (6: 160).
Thou art not a believer,
seeking the good of this
world’s life. But with Allah
there are abundant gains.
You too were such before,
then Allah conferred a benefit
on
you;
so
make
investigation. Surely Allah is
ever Aware of what you do”
(4: 94).
How to resolve the disparity
“Call to the way of thy Lord
with wisdom and goodly
With knowledge from the plentiful
exhortation, and argue with
“words” of Allah, we can assume that
them in the best manner…”
the differences of opinion that appear
(16:125).
in the context of faith must be greater
than those in the elephant story. In
order to solve the problem in faith Allah also guides us in exchanging
disagreement, the Holy Qur’an ideas. We should:
teaches us the following:
¾ Not be “rough, hard-hearted”
“And hold fast by the
and we should “…pardon them
covenant of Allah all together
and ask protection for them, and
and be not disunited. And
consult them in (important) matremember Allah’s favour to
ters...” (3: 158).
you when you were enemies, ¾ “… speak to them in effective
then He united your hearts so
words concerning themselves”
by His favour you became
(4:63).
brethren. …” (3: 102).
¾ Speak in gentle words (20: 43,
44).
“O you who believe, let not ¾ “…argue with them in the best
people laugh at people,
manner…” (16:125).
perchance they may be better ¾ “And argue not with the People
than they; nor let women
of the Book except by what is
(laugh) at women, perchance
best …” (29: 46).
they may be better than they.
Neither find fault with your Therefore, if we argue in the way of
own people …” (49: 11).
Allah, Most High, we should do it
“… avoid most of suspicion,
for surely suspicion in some
cases is sin; and spy not nor
let some of you backbite
others. Does one of you like
to eat the flesh of his dead
brother?” (49: 12).
“… and say not to any one
who offers you salutation,
by dialogue, argument, debating in
a good manner, giving good advice,
and by using good and polite
words. If we practise according to
how God leads us, we can definitely
create an ideal argument. Each of us
puts great effort in holding arguments
in the best way, the way as taught in
the above verse “… So vie one with
another in virtuous deeds” (5: 48),
9
and in the following verses:
¾ “There is no compulsion in reli¾
¾
¾
¾
gion…” (2:256).
“We have truly shown him the
way; he may be thankful or
unthankful” (76:3).
“And say: the Truth is from your
Lord; so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve…” (18:29).
“Clear proofs have indeed come
to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for his own good;
and whoever is blind, it is to his
own harm. And I am not a keeper
over you” (6:105).
“If you do good, you do good for
your own souls. And if you do
evil, it is for them …” (17):7).
The above verses clearly teach us that
we cannot force our own opinion to
others. Others are free to have
whatever they want because the way
and the consequences are clear.
There is no guidance from Allah,
Most High, to eliminate other people
physically or non-physically. We are
not taught to exile, isolate and
condemn others for being different
from us. We are also guided not to
think that we are the only people who
are right. Therefore, there is no
authority for a single individual or
even a group to claim that they are
the only one or group who are right.
This issue is important. To see how
important it is can be seen from the
world’s history as recorded in
following testimonies:
1. From the experiences of
Galileo Galilee (1564-1642):
Galileo had been jailed for
the rest of his life. The
mistake he made was only
that
he
supported
Copernicus’ theory that it is
the earth that moves around
the sun and not the contrary.
Supporting such an idea
meant he was against the
Church. Copernicus (14731543) had never been put into
prison because he was very
careful in proposing his
theory. It was only after 1543,
when he was on his dying
bed, that his theory was
published. Galileo published
his book in about 1632. This
brought him to jail. In 1638,
he was blind and no one
cured him because of the
Pope’s prohibition, and he
died in 1642. After a passage
of many years, we all now
know that it was he who was
correct. In this case, it was the
Church that should take the
blame.
2. From the Holy Prophet
Muhammad: Something that
we can learn from
Rasullullah can be seen in the
Hadith, for example, in
Musnad Ahmad, 3:15; Ibn
Hajar, Al-Ishabah, 1:484; AlIqd al-Farid, 2:403-404
(Jalaluddin Rakhmat), which
tells a story about a man who
claimed to be righteous. It is
told that one day the
Prophet’s disciples were
having a discussion about a
particular disciple who was
excellent in his deeds as well
as in his prayer. Then
Rasullullah came and asked
what they were discussing
and he was informed about
the man. After a while, the
man appeared. Knowing that
it was he whom the disciples
were
talking
about,
Rasullullah asked him
whether or not he was the
man who considered himself
to be a righteous person. The
man said, “Yes.” After a
while, the man asked
permission to go to the
mosque. Rasullullah then
said that on the man’s
forehead there was the touch
of Satan. Rasulullah then
asked who could kill him.
There was no one who
wanted to do it, but then Abu
Bakr said that he would do
it. He went to the mosque and
after a while returned and
said that he could not kill the
man because he was deeply
absorbed in praying.
Rasullullah then asked again
who could do it. Umar tried,
but failed. When Ali also
failed, because when he went
to the mosque, the man had
already left, they asked how
they could do it while he was
praying devotedly. They
asked Rasulullah why he had
asked them to do it and he
said that those who felt that
they were the only righteous
men were the people who
brought the seeds of
dissension in the future.
In my opinion, Rasullullah
must have known that the
man would not be killed
because there was no
teaching in Islam for
murdering other people who
performed religious duties
and only because he felt he
was the only virtuous person.
Rasullullah might warn them
about the conflicts that might
10
be brought upon by this kind
of man. Indeed, a man cannot
accuse other people of being
kafirs (unbelievers) when
they have already uttered the
Kalimah Shahadah, because
by uttering it they are
regarded as Muslims.
In Surah Al-Fatihah, which
we recite at least seventeen
times a day, it is stated
“Guide us on the right path”
(1:5). This shows that we are
instructed to ask guidance for
the right way of life. This also
shows that Allah wants all of
us to realise that we all are in
a position in which we lack
knowledge and must always
ask Allah to lead us.
3. From the Imams: We can also
learn from the world’s Imams
like Imam Hazrat Ghulam
Ahmad, Imam Hanbali,
Imam Shafi‘i and others.
Imam Shafi‘i once said: “My
opinion can be right, but it
can also be wrong, and so can
other people’s. They can be
right and can be wrong.” This
shows how he accepted
differences. It is recorded that
Imam Malik once refused the
idea of Harun Al-Rashid
when he had an idea of
making his mazhab to be the
nation’s mazhab. He said: “If
you insist on people
following your every
opinion, that will bring
danger in the future”
In conclusion, I thank you for your
patience in listening to me. May
God bless you all.
Wassalamualaikum Wr. Wb. A
Islam – The Religion of Peace
By Shahid Aziz
The two aspects of this topic, which
I want to consider today, are:
How should a Muslim treat or
interact with followers of other faiths
in the country where he lives? and
How should a Muslim nation interact
with other nations?
Sources
The sources that I intend to use to
support my thesis are:
1: The Holy Quran which Muslims
believe to be the directly revealed
word of Allah, preserved in exactly
the same words in which it was
revealed to the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (s).
2: The Hadith that is a collection of
the sayings and description of the
actions of the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (s).
3: The Arabic language in which the
Holy Quran was revealed.
Meaning of the word Islam
The name of our religion is Islam,
which means submission to Allah
and also peace. There cannot be
peace unless we submit to a higher
authority and that higher authority
treats every one equally. For example,
we have local councils and we find
that people tend to move to those
areas where these councils offer
people greater facilities. If a local
council provides better schools in its
area, house prices in those areas go
up because people want to move to
that area. This leads to resentment
and disharmony in the people who
cannot avail those facilities. So, there
will not be peace and harmony just
because we all submit to a higher
authority. Peace and harmony will
only prevail in a society if we are all
treated equally. And, just as a father
punishes a child for disobedience; the
higher authority also punishes those
who break the rules.
What does Allah tell us about other
nations?
In the Holy Quran Allah instructs
Muslim about how they must regard
other nations and their founders :
“And when his Lord tried Abraham
with certain commands he fulfilled
them. He said: Surely I will make thee
a leader of men. (Abraham) said:
And of my offspring? My covenant
does not include the wrongdoers,
said He.” (2:124)
Here we have the founder of another
religion, not only being recognised
by the Holy Quran, but, in response
to his prayer for his offspring, being
promised that the righteous amongst
his children would lead nations. Do
we have any other scripture in which
righteous of other religions are
promised leadership of mankind?
Further on, the Holy Quran instructs
Muslims how they are to regard the
founders of other religions: “(O
Muslims say) We believe in Allah and
(in) that which has been revealed to
us, and (in) that which was revealed
to Abraham, and Ishmael and Isaac
and Jacob and the tribes, and (in)
that which was given to Moses and
Jesus, and (in) that which was given
to the prophets from their Lord, we
do not make any distinction between
any of them and to Him do we
submit.” (2:136)
11
Here belief in founders of other
religions is made a matter of faith for
a Muslim. A Muslim is told to declare
that he believes that Allah guided
founders of all religions. You may say
that belief in other prophets was
made a part of Islam to spare the
feelings of the people of other
religions who lived in Arabia and
surrounding areas. What about
others? Allah specifically mentioned
founders of Christianity and the
Judaism because they had
communities in Arabia. But, having
done that Allah then sets out a general
statement saying “and in that which
was given to prophets from their Lord
. . .” Who then are these prophets?
They have to be different from the
ones already mentioned in the first
part of this verse and so this must
mean that a Muslim, to remain in the
faith of Islam, must believe that Allah
provided guidance for all humanity,
wherever it was located, not only
those who appear in, what is now
called, the Middle East.
The last verse quoted above also
instructs Muslims “do not make any
distinction between any of them”.
Here a Muslim is expressly forbidden
to say that any prophet, and this
includes the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (s), is superior or inferior
to any other prophet. This is not the
case with other religions. To the
contrary, followers of every other
religion say that their founder was
better than the founders of all other
religions.
Indeed, the Holy Quran even glorifies
all the prophets : “And peace on him
(Jesus)!” (19:15) “Peace be to
Abraham!” (37:109) “Peace be to
Moses and Aaron!” (37:120) “Peace
be to Elias!” (37:130) “Peace be to
Noah among the nations!” (37:79)
A Muslim recites the Holy Quran in
his five daily prayers. Thus every
time a Muslim prays and recites these
verses, he is praying for founders of
all other religions. How can this
charge then be true that Muslims hate
other religions or their followers?
What about the followers of other
religions?
You may say that the verses I have
quoted make no mention of the
followers of other religions. It is one
thing to venerate the founders of
other religions and a different matter
altogether to respect the followers of
those religions. Let us then return to
the Holy Quran and see if it has any
instructions for the Muslims in this
regard. “Surely those who believe,
and those who are Jews, and the
Christians, and the Sabians, whoever
believes in Allah and the Last Day
and does good, they have their
reward with their Lord, and there is
no fear for them, nor shall they
grieve.” (2:62)
“They are not all alike. Of the People
of the Book there is an upright party
who recite Allah’s messages in the
nighttime and they adore (Him). They
believe in Allah and the Last Day,
and they enjoin good and forbid evil
and vie one with another in good
deeds. And those are among the
righteous. And whatever good they
do, they will not be denied it. And
Allah knows those who keep their
duty.” (3:113-115)
So the Holy Quran tells Muslims to
recognise goodness wherever it may
be found. The reason that a Muslim
should appreciate goodness in all
nations is that Allah recognises
goodness in all creatures. He will
reward all those who do good deeds
regardless of their faith. Allah does
not discriminate between His
creatures. In simple and in clear terms
He tells us that whatever good any
one does He shall not deny them the
reward of that good. This is a far cry
from other religions. In some you
need to be born among the chosen
few to receive Allah’s blessings, in
others our efforts at being good and
at being righteous are wasteful
because we do not hold certain
doctrinal views. It is only the Holy
Scripture of Islam that declares that
good people, righteous people are to
be found in every nation and that
Allah will reward them all for their
deeds.
What about relations with nonMuslims in our day-to-day lives?
Is this mere theory? It’s all very well
to declare things as a matter of belief
but there is nothing practical here
about how Muslims should deal with
or treat their non-Muslim neighbours,
friends or colleagues.
“It is not righteousness that you turn
your faces towards the East and the
West, but righteous is the one who
believes in Allah, and the Last Day,
and the angels and the Book and the
prophets, and gives away wealth out
of love for Him to the near of kin and
the orphans and the needy and the
wayfarer and to those who ask and
to set slaves free and keeps up prayer
and pays the poor-rate; and the
performers of their promise when
they make a promise, and the patient
in distress and affliction and in the
time of conflict. These are they who
are truthful; and these are they who
keep their duty.” (2:177)
Notice that when Allah speaks of
12
charity He says that we should give
out our wealth to “the near of kin and
the orphans and the needy and the
wayfarer and to those who ask and
to set slaves free”. It does not say we
should give charity to our Muslim
relatives or Muslim orphans or
Muslim wayfarer or free Muslim
slaves. Remember when these verses
were being revealed all of Arabia had
not embraced Islam. Muslims had
non-Muslim relatives and friends and
neighbours. Therefore, for Allah not
to qualify the relatives and the needy
etc is significant. Its significance lies
in the fact that, in my view, Allah is
instructing the Muslims to have
regard only for a person’s need, not
for his or her religion or nationality
or colour. If Allah had wanted to
restrict Muslims’ charity to their
brothers in faith, it would have been
easy add that qualification. This
shows that here Allah is
Commanding Muslims not to
discriminate between the people of
different religions in this manner. The
words “and those who ask” support
this.
Does the duty to propagate Islam
not imply intolerance?
It is true that it is a religious duty of
every single Muslim to propagate
Islam. But this does not mean that a
Muslim is being intolerant towards
other people for the Holy Quran sets
out specific instructions about how
propagation is to be carried out.
“There is no compulsion in religion
– the right way is indeed clearly
distinct from error.” (2:256)
How can propagation of Islam make
one intolerant when Allah has clearly
told us that we are not to try and force
or coerce people into embracing
Islam? Indeed, the corollary of this
statement is also true and that is that
we should not force any one to
remain within the fold of Islam if
their conscience dictates otherwise.
Apart from it being a Divinely
bestowed right that every person
should be free to follow the path they
consider to be correct, it is also a
matter of common sense. If people
are forced to remain within the fold
of Islam when in their heart they do
not accept its truth then we will have
a party of hypocrites in our midst.
And they can cause greater damage
to Islam than any non-Muslim. This
is supported by another verse of the
Holy Quran, which is specifically
directed to the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (s). It says: “And We
have not appointed thee a keeper
over them, and thou art not placed
in charge of them.” (6:107)
Elsewhere the Holy Prophet is told
that his duty is to deliver the message
entrusted to him and no more.
Whether people choose to follow him
or not, it is up to them. History also
supports this. Muslims were asked to
invade Spain by a sect of Christians.
The reason they gave for this request
was that the rulers of Spain who
belonged to a different sect were
persecuting them and they had come
to seek help from Muslims because
they had heard that there was no
compulsion in Islam!
The Holy Quran also tells us how to
propagate Islam.
“Call to the way of thy Lord with
wisdom and goodly exhortation, and
argue with them in the best manner.
Surely thy Lord knows best him who
strays from His path, and He knows
best those who go aright.” (16:125)
So the propagation is to be carried
out by speaking to people in a
respectful manner and not by taunting
them or trying to humiliate them.
Again, it is a matter of common
sense, apart from being a Divine
Decree, that if we speak to people
nicely they are more likely to listen
to us. And the Holy Quran is
reminding us not to lose sight of
common sense when propagating
Islam. The following verse also
supports what I have just said.
“And abuse not those whom they call
upon besides Allah, lest, exceeding
the limits, they abuse Allah through
ignorance. Thus to every people have
We made their deeds fair-seeming;
then to their Lord is their return so
He will inform them of what they
did.” (6:108)
The greatest sin in Islam is to set up
Gods besides Allah. Yet, Muslims are
told that they are not even to abuse
them. These people are wrong, they
do not know what is right but they
believe what they do because to them
“We made their deeds fair-seeming”.
Every one believes as they do
because they think it is the right
religion and the correct path. No one
says I believe in this religion but it is
totally wrong. Allah also tells
Muslims that there is another reason
for not insulting these false deities.
The other party will respond by
abusing Allah and not knowing what
they are doing they would commit a
sin. It will also mean that the
Muslims who hear Allah being
abused will become enraged and a
conflict will ensue. A Muslim is to
leave everything to Allah and it is
Allah who will tell these people what
they believed or did was wrong.
13
What should a Muslim do, if the
message of Islam is rejected?
So, you, as a Muslim, do your duty.
You speak to non-Muslims nicely,
you do not abuse their Gods, you
explain to them why Islam is the right
course to follow. And despite all your
efforts your message is rejected.
What should you do? Should you
shout at this person? Should you
attack him? How Muslims should
react is, again, written in the Holy
Quran. It says: “And if they reject thee
— truly messengers before thee were
rejected. And to Allah are all affairs
returned.” (35:4) and “So turn away
from them.” (54:6)
These verses are addressed to the
Holy Prophet Muhammad (s)
himself. He is told that this has
always happened to prophets and he
should leave the eventual outcome in
the hands of Allah. Further than that,
Allah tells the Holy Prophet that if
the
disbelievers
become
argumentative and the discussion
becomes heated he should turn away
from these people. Muslims are also
told, in general terms, what to do if
an opponent becomes angry or
argumentative. He is told: “And
when they hear idle talk, they turn
aside from it and say: For us are our
deeds and for you your deeds. Peace
be to you! We desire not the ignorant.
Surely thou canst not guide whom
thou lovest, but Allah guides whom
He pleases; and He knows best those
who walk aright.” (28:55-56)
A Muslim is to remind the person that
we are all responsible and
accountable for our own deeds and
actions. He is to respond to abuse by
asking his opponent to go in peace
because the Muslim does not want
to be a cause of disharmony or
discord.
Does Islam forbid Muslims to
associate with people of other
religions?
Let us see what the Holy Quran says:
“Allah forbids you not respecting
those who fight you not for religion,
nor drive you forth from your homes,
that you show them kindness and deal
with them justly. Surely Allah loves
the doers of justice. Allah forbids you
only respecting those who fight you
for religion, and drive you forth from
your homes and help (others) in your
expulsion, that you make friends of
them; and whoever makes friends of
them, these are the wrongdoers.”
(60:8-9)
It seems to me that this instruction
says what governments, the world
over, have been practicing. Many
years ago I joined the British Civil
Service. Apart from being asked to
sign the Official Secrets Act I was
also asked to sign a declaration,
which stated that if I intend to travel
to certain countries such as the USSR
I shall obtain written permission. Is
the Holy Quran asking for anything
different? It is merely asking
Muslims not to reconcile themselves
with people who subjected them to
tyranny because, in Islam, tyranny is
worse than killing. I am sure that
other Western governments asked
their civil servants to sign similar
declarations. I am also sure that the
communist governments did the
same. Why is it wrong for Allah to
demand this of Muslims if it is not
wrong for the governments of this
world to do so?
What then is Jihad?
This is shown by what the Holy
Prophet Muhammad did and said. Dr
Leitner says: “When some people
applied to Muhammad for
In answering this I will not use a permission to join in a holy war
Muslim source. I will use quotations against those who were oppressing
from an article written by Dr Leitner, Muhammadans, he replied: ‘Your
who built the Woking Mosque, which true jihad is in endeavouring to serve
is near here. In his article titled your parents.’ ”
‘Misconceptions about Jihad’, he
says: “Etymologically the root is And further: “. . . returning
jahd, ‘he exerted himself’, and the cheerfully from a victorious war . . .
substantival infinitive that is formed the Prophet, . . . (said): ‘We have
from it means ‘utmost exertion’. Its returned from the small jihad, the
first use amongst Arabic authors war with the aggressors on the
refers to that particular exertion Muhammadan faith, to the great
which takes place under great jihad, the war with sin.’
difficulties, and, when applied to So both the Holy Quran and the
religious matters, it means an sunnah and hadith of our beloved
exertion under religious difficulties prophet Muhammad (s) tell us the
fighting is not the primary meaning
on behalf of the true religion.”
or purpose of making jihad a duty of
He then goes on to tell us what it every Muslim.
means when a Muslim is asked to
perform Jihad. “So that when people
say that jihad means the duty of the What about fighting?
Muhammadans to wage war against It is true that Islam does not believe
a non-Muhammadan government or in turning the other cheek. Neither
country and call this jihad (although does it preach unremitting war. The
it is possible to conceive that under Holy Quran says: “And be not slack
certain circumstances this use of the so as to cry for peace” (47:35) So a
word might be legitimate), they really Muslim, when faced by tyranny
talk nonsense, and cast an should not cower for peace like a
undeserved libel on a religion with coward. He should stand up and
defend his, and every one else’s right
which they are not acquainted.”
to freedom of religion and belief. The
Holy Quran tells the Holy Prophet
Yes, Jihad is a duty of every Muslim. Muhammad (s): “Fighting is
It is true that a Muslim must, enjoined on you, though it is disliked
throughout his life, constantly engage by you . . .” (2:216)
in Jihad. But Dr Leitner says that In this verse Allah is informing
“The Koran, when using the word Muhammad (s) that although he
jihad, seems preferentially to use it abhors violence, it is being made his
for war with sin: ‘Whoever wages duty to fight under certain conditions.
jihad in morality We will show him These conditions are also laid down
in the Holy Scripture: “Permission
the true way.’ ”
(to fight) is given to those on whom
14
war is made, because they are
oppressed. And surely Allah is Able
to assist them. Those who are driven
from their homes without a just cause
except that they say: Our Lord is
Allah. And if Allah did not repel some
people by others, cloisters, and
churches, and synagogues, and
mosques in which Allah’s name is
much remembered, would have been
pulled down. And surely Allah will
help him who helps Him. Surely Allah
is Strong, Mighty.” (22:39-40)
After this can any reasonable person
say that Islam is a violent religion?
Those who are oppressed and
subjected to violence, forced from
their homes simply because they
glorify Allah, are given permission
to defend themselves. Here Allah also
tells us what the consequences would
be if Muslims were not given
permission to fight - that, not only
mosques, but also other places of
religious worship would be pulled
down. So when a Muslim says the
he is duty bound to conduct jihad
under these circumstances, he is not
only talking about protecting
mosques but all religions and their
places of worship. Next a Muslim is
told how to fight: “And fight in the
way of Allah against those who fight
against you but be not aggressive.
Surely Allah loves not the aggressors.
And kill them wherever you find them,
and drive them out from where they
drove you out, and persecution is
worse than slaughter.” (2:190-191)
So the fighting undertaken by a
Muslim is not to be aggressive. As
we saw earlier, a Muslim must not
submit to tyranny and here the same
instruction is repeated. The reason for
giving permission to fight is that
persecution is worse than slaughter.
History bears this out. If people had
not given in to Hitler and they had
taken a stand earlier the
consequences may not have been as
grave. If Stalin had not been allowed
to get away with his tyranny and
oppression, the millions who lost
their lives need not have died.
afflictions, as Allah says: ‘And fight
them until there is no more afflictions’
’ (2.193) Ibn Umar said (to the man),
‘Do you know what is meant by
afflictions? . . . Muhammad used to
fight against the pagans, for a
Muslim was put to trial in his
religion. His fighting was not like
your fighting which is carried on for
What are the limits to fighting?
the sake of ruling.’ ” (Bukhair Volume
Despite the permission to fight and 9, Book 88, Number 215) All of this
being told that Muslims must not be is summarised in the words of Hazrat
aggressive, Muslims are told that Umar as he lay dying. “. . . Umar
fighting is to come to an end if: “And (after he was stabbed), instructed (his
fight them until there is no would-be-successor) saying, ‘I urge
persecution, and religion is only for him to take care of those nonAllah. But if they desist, then there Muslims who are under the
should be no hostility except against protection of Allah and His Apostle
the oppressors.” (2:193)
in that he should observe the
convention agreed upon with them,
So, if persecution stops or opponents and fight on their behalf (to secure
seek peace Muslims have to agree to their safety) and he should not overit. In another place, we find an even tax them beyond their capability.’ ”
more amazing statement: “And if (Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52,
they incline to peace, incline thou Number 287)
also to it, and trust in Allah. Surely
He is the Hearer, the Knower. And if Conclusion
they intend to deceive thee, then In conclusion I say to you that Islam
surely Allah is sufficient for thee.” commands its followers:
(8:61-62) So a Muslim is to agree to To Live peacefully with followers of
peace even if he suspects treachery other religions;
on the part of the opponents. The To propagate Islam while showing
Muslim is to put his trust in Allah respect for the feelings and beliefs of
because as He says elsewhere in the others;
Holy Quran:
Not to exercise force in matters of
“They plan and Allah plans but Allah religion;
is the best planner.”
Jihad is a never-ending struggle
History and hadith of the Holy against tyranny, oppression and evil;
Prophet (s) supports this And a Muslim is duty bound to fight
interpretation. The following incident only when freedom of the people is
is related in Bukhari, which is threatened.A
A
regarded as the most authentic
collection of the sayings of the Holy
Prophet (s) : “Abdullah bin Umar
came to us and . . . a man got up and
said to him, ‘. . . Narrate to us about
the battles during the time of the
A
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And the camels, We have made them of
the signs appointed by Allah for you –
for you therein is much good. So
mention the name of Allah on them
standing in a row. Then wheen they fall
down on their sides, eat of them and feed
the contented one and the beggar. thus
have We made them subservient to you
that you may be grateful.
Not their flesh, nor their blood, teaches
Allah, but to Him is acceptable
observance of duty on your part. Thus
has He made them subservient to you,
that you may magnify Allah for guiding
you aright. ANd give good news to those
who do good (to others).
(H.Q. 22:36-37)
16
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