Saturday, January 3, 2009

Religious compulsion

Islam has been described as the “misunderstood religion” because all the good and kind words of the Qur’an have been misinterpreted and taken out of context either by the enemies of Islam or by semi-literate Muslims driven by ego and lust for power and recognition. For example, some anti-Muslim people use some verses of the Qur’an to refer to or stereotype Islam as a religion of intolerance like claiming Islam was spread by the spread. Specific verses of the Qur’an relate to the past; others pinpoint the present; while others solely discuss future aspects that are beyond human comprehension. For instance, the verse "Remember thy lord has inspired the angels with the message: Give firmness to the believers and instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Smite them above their necks and smite the fingertips of them" (Qur’an. Sura 8: 12) is in reference to the Battle of Badr-and does not surmise in any way some daily affair. The verse “"When the sacred months have passed, kill the idolaters wherever you find them" (Qur’an. Sura 9: 5) is in reference to the invasion of Muslims on all fronts by heavily armed idolaters in the city of Mecca. No one in his sane mind will stand like a log to wait to be smitten by an enemy. The defense of one’s life, property, and family is a requirement in human security and wellbeing. Moreover, all prophets and messengers sent by Allah had their own adversaries and that they were not immune from attacks, aggressions, vituperations, bodily injuries, imprecations and vilifications by men and women who renounced the rule of law.

The only verse, seemingly though, that appeases the hearts of the enemies of Islam, is the verse, “There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clear from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an. 2: 256)

The prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon him), has been most kindhearted to non-Muslims because of how he was concerned for their daily living conditions and how he warned Muslims against harming them in any manner whatsoever. He was known as “the trustworthy” not because he could be trusted with material goods but because even Allah Almighty trusted him and chose him among humankind as the best servant who could be entrusted to deliver His message in the best applicable manner. That is why Muhammad (PBUH) advised Muslims to be careful of how they deal with non-Muslims. This is a testimony to his kindheartedness as can be seen from his saying: "He who believes in God and the Last Day should honor his guest, should not harm his neighbor, should speak well or keep quiet." (Bukhari, Muslim) Advising Muslims against harming those who do not belong to the broader Islamic community, Muhammad had this to say: "Whoever hurts a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys God." (Bukhari)

It is senseless and absurd that people calling themselves Muslims have taken the law in to their own hands by making ludicrous decrees and causing havoc to a great many innocent populations by blowing up themselves in the name of Jihad and Islamic revivalism. Islam is a supranational religion that traverses boundaries and that it is being divinely driven by its creator and He knows best where it is headed to. If these mentally distorted men wish to elevate Islam to greater heights, then, the best application is through propagation and rigid missionary activities without harming any single soul. The human soul is sacred. Compulsion in religion is unacceptable. Those extremist Muslims who compel others, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are out of touch and need to repent for the good of their Hereafter. Allah has made Islam simple and easy for any willing soul. Furthermore, the occupants of hell are more than the occupants of paradise. Which means many among humankind will disbelieve in their creator and it is the promise of Allah that they will have their place in a raging hellfire reserved for them and their kindred. From the lines below the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) will be a witness against those Muslims who harmed non-Muslims under their sphere of influence. "Beware on the Day of Judgment; I shall myself be complainant against him who wrongs a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state or lays on him a responsibility greater than he can bear or deprives him of anything that belongs to him." (Al-Mawardi)

Islam means “peace” or “submission to the will of Allah” and must thus be preserved and observed in theory and practice. Ostracizing t people of color, practicing slavery, mistreating women and children, having bellyful when neighbors sleep on hungry stomachs, hoarding property, and killing without a just cause, adultery and fornication, backbiting and deceiving people is unacceptable in Islam. Waging sacrilegious wars and killing in the name of Islam, pirating and plundering have become common practices in today’s world. There is nothing better than having dialogues to solve conflicts and there is nothing better than reasoning. Those who consider themselves leaders must reason before undertaking actions that may have drastic consequences on others and on those they rule. The claim that it is a requirement to wage wars to overcome population is a dangerous mentality.

1 comment:

ndotoyangu said...

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