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Islam and Pluralism (20 Jun 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   18


  • I was about to take leave of New Age Islam for some time on medical grounds, but again I find myself sitting on the computer. This reminds me of professor Joad’s book on philosophy where he had beautifully explained why Truth attracts man against falsehood. I guess this must be Truth compelling me to counter the attack of falsehood.

    What Muhammad Yunus sb has written is from the complete understanding of Islam as derived from the holy Quran and for any person of reason this should be extremely satisfying. However, if Mr. Muhammad Yunus sb thinks that he can satisfy his pseudonymous namesake, then I am afraid I beg to disagree on the authority of the holy Quran. The holy Quran has advised us to treat at least some cases as of those, whose hearts and minds have, as if, been sealed. I mean this is not an exception to the free-will theory but rather a manifestation (which mr mohd yunus seems to understand), because if you analyze the free-will theory such cases are expected to be in existence else hell would become God ordained ( a charge leveled by the clever mr yunus). Now mr yunus (or let’s say one such person) frets and fumes why of all persons should he be the one to fall in this category, then at least my advice to him is that he has a choice to believe, and a further choice to pray for belief, if belief is not coming forth; and if he still says ‘he can’t’, ‘he just can’t’ , then at least my responsibility is over.

    Mr Mubashir has given complete answer to Mr. Ramesh on his three questions. No further input is needed. The purpose to inform the public is served.

    Now there are some one liners of mr yunus, that need to attended to for the record.

    There may not be any Quranic basis for enmity with other communities, but Ahatih are full of the same. Ahadith have second place to Quran in authenticity. How Muslims can get rid off of this enmity? It is apparent from prevailing enmity in the society. No body can shut eyes from it. Muslims are not doing any thing wrong, the fuel is supplied by Ahadith, and their great scholars.

    Why should Muslims get rid of this enmity in the first place? Who gave you the authority to ask Muslims to back out? On the other hand, we have religious authority to fight back the aggressors.


    According to this article some Ulema don’t understand true Islam. Can those be pointed? Every body in Muslims level the same accusation on others .Who under stand the True Islam, Sunnies, Shias, Devebandis, brailvies, ahle-hadith, munkreen-e-hadith, Ahle Quran? If someone find True Islam, is it not going to be a one more sect. followers will be called "True Islamists".

    Look you are rightly confused. The difficulty comes not from the word Islam, but from the word true or truth. When you look for truth, you can only approximate but you can never reach it. Haven’t you heard, ‘follow a person seeking truth, but run away from the one who has found it’. So all those sects that you have named above have reached nearest to the truth occupying several nearest points, and all are nearly opposite to the kafir, who is at the opposite end. You can expect numerous types of kafirs too, because to reach the exact absolute kufr is also difficult, my dear.

    Who is a True Muslim? Kindly define one.

    Now my difficulty is I cannot define ‘true’ except by saying that it is hidden somewhere in the holy book Quran which is a word of Allah. For guidance, however Mr. Muhammad Yunus has given a very satisfactory exegetic description of what could be the nearest approximation of True Muslim. But Muslim I can define for you rather easily. The one who looks for truth in the holy Quran, finds the principles contained therein in accordance with his capacity to understand (even with help from well-wishers) and tries to implement these principles in his life. As a Muslim his reward is guaranteed in proportion to his sincerity and endeavour.

    Who will understand True Islam if not Ulema? Is it so difficult to understand Islam. though it is termed as Deen-e-fitrat, easy to follow. What if I dont understand True Islam as many Ulema don't? Am I bound to hell for eternity even if I am a sincere person.These are very fundamental and right questions. Please don't ask to keep me from asking questions. These may not be important for others but are for me.Why Allah is not helping?

    Part, I have replied and the remaining part I am afraid you will have to ask Allah when you meet Him.

    Are some of people bound to go to hell because Allah has created hell, and it will be filled by jins wa ins? After all it is Allah's creation and its Rizq is due on Allah. In science if I am unable to understand some theory, I need not to believe it.

    Yes dear friend I am afraid some are bound for hell because they have free-will and hell is there because some are bound and not vice-verse.

    There many persons who don't believe in Theory of Evolution. They are not bound for condemnation. In science, Questions are raised. A hypothesis is offered. Data is collected. If evidence is achieved, Hypothesis becomes theory or otherwise rejected.

    So, why everything must be science? Are you showing your knowledge of science? What is your argument?

    In theology it is contrary. Theory is established, Data is may be collected or may not be collected. If Data does not approve theory, Data is rejected. Some time Data is twisted to satisfy the theory.

    Yes and no. Theology is based on wahi - a direct message from God, the Creator. That is why bogus deities are required to be shunned.

    Am I Teaching you. Certainly not. You are highly educated and retired from reputed post. It is not in my dream to teach you. It is for those don't understand scientific method.
    Kindly, correct me if wrong.

    Yes you are trying to teach atheism through a rear route. But the reason why you are teaching is not valid even from the stand point of atheism else you would have addressed these questions to Hindus, Christians and Sikhs as well.

    Most of Muslims don’t give respect to non-muslims's funeral.
    1. First they don't participate in their funeral.
    2. They don't pray for them because it is useless to pray for them. They are going to hell due to their disbelief.
    3. When Muslims hear news of muslims's death they say
    Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon. If they hear news of non-Muslim's death they say fanaa fin naar.
    I have seen many Non-Muslims who give utmost respect to Muslim's funerals.

    Islam was the first religion to teach how to respect a dead body. Others have learnt from Islam in varying degrees. Hindus and parsis used to defile their dead bodies. Among Hindus organized rites for the dead are only for the VIPs. P’s have no proper system of disposal of dead, so one does not know how to participate. I have seen Muslims participating in all VIP funerals of Hindus. Among Muslims, the process is more organized and supported by the society so it is possible some Hindu family friends also join. If any on seeing a Hindu’s dead-body, a Muslim says anything which is not appropriate to the occasion then he commits a grave sin. So, what you are trying to argue is not very clear.

    Having this attitude towards non-Muslims we expect respect from others.

    You should mend your ways.

    I have seen many Muslims who says good words in presence of non-muslims, but turn to their true colour of hate in Muslim-only gatherings.

    Don’t do that in future. Good and believing Muslims don’t do that. Only fake ones do.

    Muslims want to take only. They are not ready to give. (By mohd yunus - 7/12/2012 10:32:14 AM

    With givers like you, Muslims can only afford to take hatred.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/16/2012 1:28:05 PM



  • @Mohd. Yunus! You have asked me a number of questions that I am answering below one by one:

    1.      So how do you understand the Qur'an?

    I think I have already answered this in an earlier comment as follows:

    "Take Yusuf Ali’s or any standard translation. Look up the verse 3:7. It asks you to focus only on those verses which you clearly understand and which relate to your living realities. Bear in mind these Qur’an’s rejoinders:  

    I.            It is a book of wisdom (10:1, 31:2, 43:4, 44:4).

    II.            It is made clear and distinct (12:1, 15:1, 16:64, 26:2, 27:1, 36:69, 43:2, 44:2)  with all kinds of illustrations (17:89, 18:54, 30:58, 39:27).

    III.            It guides humanity and brings it ‘out of darkness into light’ – an idiomatic expression that connotes social, moral and ethical reform; 

    IV.            Its mission was “to lift from humanity the burdens and shackles that were upon them from before” (7:157).

    V.            It declares its own completion and perfection before the close of the revelation (5:3).

    VI.            It claims to be its own best interpretation (25:33).

    VII.            It asks you to seek the best meaning in it (39:18,39:55).

    VIII.            Approach it with a pure heart (56:79)

     

    With this at the back of your mind, read any standard back to back, at least twice.

    A short cut would be to read my distillation of the juz ‘amm (Sura 78-114) posted on the website and all the Medinite verses.

    At the end of the exercise you have a fairly good idea of what the Qur’an expects of you.

    A still shorter way will be to read my articles, which is based on the interpretation of the Qur’an following the above regime. You will be able to cover different facets of the Qur’anic message from its own vocabulary and internal illustrations and cross references in a distilled and structured way as in a text book.  

    2.      Ahadith have second place to Quran in authenticity.  How Muslims can get rid off of this enmity? It is apparent from prevailing enmity in the society. No body can shut eyes from it.??

    This is answered as follows in p. 362/363 of my jointly authored book under Final note of Appeal for Muslims:

    It has been long overdue for Muslims to make an objective and honest assessment of their secondary theological literature, notably the Hadith sciences. There can be no doubt that they are essential to understanding how the Prophet and early Muslims complied with various Islamic rites and rituals, including Salat, Zakat and hajj. But the truth remains, their evolution is purely a construct of history, and accordingly they are conditioned and corrupted by a wide array of factors impacting across some two to three hundred years as analyzed earlier (Enc.4). Considering the canonized Hadith as we have in our hands today, on their face value as truths supplementing and complementing the Qur’an as many orthodox scholars advocate, or indirect inspiration as the classical theory of Islamic law suggests,5  may lead to the following, to the great detriment of the Muslim community:

    ·         The vast majority of Muslims, lay or educated, will have neither time, nor the necessary books, nor the scholarship to explore their expansive domains.

    ·         Different individuals, agencies, groups and states, will be able to pick conveniently from their theological sources to legitimize their views and deeds in the whole range of matters concerning their societies. Such matters could be of social, political or theological nature, or pertain to statecraft, educational curriculum and women’s status, for example. Likewise, they will be able to enter into polemics, and have their clerics pass fatwas against conflicting views on all such matters.

    ·         They will be questioning the completeness of the Qur’an as a font of guidance and divine criteria of right and wrong, despite its claim to be a book of wisdom that makes things clear with all kinds of illustrations and elaboration (Notes 7-10/Preface).

    ·         Their theologians will continue to nurture and perpetuate the thought process, scholastic disposition, and paradigms that were normative in the early centuries of Islam and characterize the Hadith literature, that is revered and taught by them, and thus keep those Muslims under their direct influence, intellectually rooted in that era, with grave consequences.

    ·         The modern Kharijites6 and Qaramites7 of Islam – the violent extremists, active in many countries of the world, will reduce Islam, in the eyes of the non-Muslims exposed to a patently biased media,8 to a cult of terrorism and suicide bombing, creating enormous difficulties for the common peace loving and law abiding Muslims settled in predominantly secular and non-Muslim societies.     

    3.      Who is a True Muslim? Kindly define one?

    This is answered in my exegetic work as follows:

    “The Qur’an uses the word Islam (root – SLM) in noun and verb forms with the connotation of orienting, submitting, surrendering, or committing oneself to God or to be at peace with God.2 The Qur’an further declares:

    “Indeed! Whoever commits (asslama) his whole being [lit., face] to God, and does good deeds - will get his reward from his Lord. There will be no fear upon them nor shall they grieve.” (2:112).

    “And who can be better in faith (din) than the one who orients (asslama) his whole being [Lit., face] to God, and does good deeds, and follows the way of Abraham, the upright one, and God took Abraham as a friend” (4:125).

    “And who is finer in speech than the one who invites to God, does good deeds and says: ‘I am of those who submit to God (muslimun)’” (41:33).

    In these verses, the Qur’an attributes the quality of doing good deeds to those who submit, or orient themselves to God (asslama, muslim). 

    Final comment. Access Amazon.com for the brief on my referenced book - Essential Message of Islam - and if the reviews appeal to you, order a copy to any Indian major bookstall that you can readily locate by Google Search.


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/16/2012 6:45:14 AM



  •  mohd yunus , Respected muhammad yunus (1) sahib
    There may not be any Quranic basis for enmity with other communities, but Ahatih are full of the same.
    Ahadith have second place to Quran in authenticity.  How Muslims can get rid off of this enmity? It is apparent from prevailing enmity in the society. No body can shut eyes from it.
    Muslims are not doing any thing wrong, the fuel is supplied by Ahadith, and their great scholars.
    According to this article some Ulema dont under stand true Islam. Can those be pointed? Every body in Muslims level the same accusation on others .
    Who under stand the True Islam, Sunnies, Shias, Devebandis, brailvies, ahle-hadith, munkreen-e-hadith, Ahle Quran? If someone find True Islam, is it not going to be a one more sect. followers will be called "True Islamists".
    Who is a True Muslim? Kindly define one. 
    Who will understand True Islam if not Ulema? Is it so difficult to understand Islam. though it is termed as Deen-e-fitrat, easy to follow. What if I dont understand True Islam as many Ulema don't? Am I bound to hell for eternity even if I am a sincere person.
    These are very fundamental and right questions. Please don't ask to keep me from asking questions. These may not be important for others but are for me.
    Why Allah is not helping? Are some of people bound to go to hell because Allah has created hell, and it will be filled by jins wa ins? After all it is Allah's creation and its Rizq is due on Allah.
    In science if  I am unable to understand some theory, I need not to believe it. There many persons who don't believe in Theory of Evolution. They are not bound for condemnation. In science:
    Questions are raised. A hypothesis is offered. Data is collected. If evidence is achieved, Hypothesis  becomes theory or otherwise rejected.
    In theology it is contrary. Theory is established, Data is may be collected or may not be collected. If  Data does not approve theory, Data is rejected. Some time Data is twisted to satisfy the theory.
    Am I Teaching you. Certainly not. You are highly educated and retired from reputed post. It is not in my dream to teach you. It is for those don't understand scientific method.
    Kindly, correct me if wrong.
    By mohd yunus - 7/16/2012 3:38:23 AM



  • Most of muslims dont give respect to non-muslims's funeral.
    1. First they don't participate in their funeral.
    2. They don't pray for them because it is useless to pray for them. They are going to hell due to their disbelief.
    3. When Muslims hear news of muslims's death they say Inna Lillahi  wa inna ilaihi rajioon. If they hear news of non-Muslim's death they say fanaa fin naar.

    I have seen many Non-Muslims who give utmost respect  to Muslim's funerals.

    Having this attitude towards non-Muslims we expect respect from others.
    I have seen many Muslims who says good words in presence of non-muslims, but turn to their true colour of hate in Muslim-only gatherings.
    Muslims want to take only. They are not ready to give.
    By mohd yunus - 7/12/2012 10:32:14 AM



  • Mr Ramesh wonders about the following:

    "a good article. A must read for all muslims. If muslims can follow the contents of the article we can have peaceful world. I request the author to comment on other verses of quran that incite hatred like,


    1. Non believers are enemies.

    2. Go in relentless pursuit of the enemies..

    3 . Idolators are the lowest of the creatures. etc.

    These verses show that Islam is an intolerant religion and a Muslims who reads Quran cannot respect a non muslim..."

    ----------------------

    1. Non believers are enemies.

    1400 years ago when Islam was taking root, it was being attacked overtly and covertly from those in the society having vested interests. They were warned about them. 

    2. Go in relentless pursuit of the enemies.

    Again that is what is done in a war. Not in times of peace.

    Those that do not have any hostile designs towards the Muslims are to be deal this way:

    60:8 As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably.


    3 . Idolators are the lowest of the creatures. etc.


    The Creator of the world is letting people know that those who worships idols besides God, for which He has given no permission, are like those creatures who do not use reason. Since Qur'an claims to be Word of God, God makes it His business to  state facts. That said, as long as idol worshipers are not hostile towards others, they are to be left alone as there is no compulsion in religion. The Qur'an asks such people to use their reason and avoid engaging in practices that end up harming their true inner selves and being exploited by priests for material gains.

    A Muslim has no hesitation in respecting a Non Muslim as long as the non Muslim is not hostile and does not treat them with disrespect. Please see the above quoted verse. 

    We also learn from the Qur'an that if Allah wanted, He would have created all following one way. He, however allows people to follow their ways and will let all know on the Day of Judgement who is on the right path (including Muslims). In the meantime, rather than engaging in conflict people are advised to compete with each other in good works.
    By Mubashir - 6/30/2012 8:44:12 PM



  • Mainstream media dictates controversy and animosity between religions, particularly between Islam and People of the Book. Unfortunately, many people are swayed by it,unknowing that most of the problems are instigated by political propaganda or non-practicing or misinformed individuals. It is high time to go through the life of the Prophet of Islam S.A.W because he is the best example of how to peruse relations with Jews and Christians. Not everything always ran smoothly and there were turbulent phases of disagreement (like the Battle of Khaybar), but God gave a comprehensive list of directives on which the Prophet showed great kindness towards them. 
    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi - 6/30/2012 10:04:02 AM



  • a good article. A must read for all muslims. If muslims can follow the contents of the article we can have peaceful world. I request the author to comment on other verses of quran that incite hatred like,

    1. Non believers are enemies.

    2. Go in relentless pursuit of the enemies..

    3 . Idolators are the lowest of the creatures. etc.

    These verses show that Islam is an intolerant religion and a Muslims who reads Quran cannot respect a non muslim.


    By ramesh - 6/30/2012 9:51:07 AM



  • Asad Mufti/Adeeb Neyazi/Denis George/Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi/Pankaj Udas: Kindly take a look at the following article that demonstrates on the strength that there is no Qur’anic basis to hate Christians and Jews or any community and concludes that there is no Qur’anic basis to prohibit the construction of churches, synagogues or any houses of pure worship in Muslim countries – an issue that concerns all minorities in the Muslim countries today and conceivably results from a deep fear of the Muslim theologians and leadership of their youth abandoning an exclusive, atavistic and globally trivialized faith to live more comfortably in the pluralistic and progressive society of the secular world without the tag of Islam branding them as anything but noble.
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 6/27/2012 9:12:17 AM



  • Good piece and thanks for publishing this, we need to continue to propagate articles on this topic, until all Muslims get it. That is our ulema from our past have duped us to believe that God is hateful to others... God ain't. God is not a villain and a bad guy. God is kind, merciful and just and wants his creation to get along and live in harmony. There are many ayats asking one to do that.
    We should not accept any translation of Quraan that makes good a villain of his own creation. Those translations reduce him to Rabbul Muslimeen from Aalameen. One has to find the truth on his or her own, what is dished out in the market has marketing feature in it, someone is having some gains in spreading falsities. This and at 59 other verses have been marketed to malign Muslims by the right wingers. Indeed, the right wing Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews and Buddhist make it their business to make the others look bad.
     In the middle ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders. Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews. The former was done in 1041 to protect the kings and the latter in 1924 to regain the lost Khilafat. Both groups resorted to mistranslating Quraan to produce fear against each other.

    In Circulation: Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51)

     There has been enormous amount of discussion on this verse. It is not a commandment, but an expression of human nature, that the birds of the same feather flock together. You do not associate with evil doers no matter who they are. Unfortunately, some Muslims have come to believe that "evil doers" are Jews or Christians, reinforced by the injustice meted out to the Palestinians or what happened in Bosnia and Crusades still linger on their minds as Holocaust will continue to linger on our psyche.

    They forget that Saddam Hussain was an evil doer killing thousands of Kurds, the Muslims in Sudan are evil doers killing millions, who are Muslims as well. Just as the many a Christians believe that everyone but them will go to hell, a segment of Muslims believe in that, both groups making a villain out of merciful God. God was clear in 43:18 that the best among us is the one who does good, and the purpose of diversity is for us to know each other.

    Misinterpretations like the above give value to the idea of Your God, his God and my God.
     Full article at: http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2010/09/q551-do-not-take-jews-or-christians-as.html


    By Mike Ghouse - 6/22/2012 2:23:55 PM



  • Good piece and thanks for publishing this, we need to continue to propagate articles on this topic, until all Muslims get it. That is our ulema from our past have duped us to believe that God is hateful to others... God ain't. God is not a villain and a bad guy. God is kind, merciful and just and wants his creation to get along and live in harmony. There are many ayahs asking one to do that.
    We should not accept any translation of Quran that makes good a villain of his own creation. Those translations reduce him to Rabbul Musclemen from Aalameen. One has to find the truth on his or her own, what is dished out in the market has marketing feature in it, someone is having some gains in spreading falsities. This and at 59 other verses have been marketed to malign Muslims by the right wingers. Indeed, the right wing Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews and Buddhist make it their business to make the others look bad.
    In the middle ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders. Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews. The former was done in 1041 to protect the kings and the latter in 1924 to regain the lost Khilafat. Both groups resorted to mistranslating Quran to produce fear against each other
    Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51
    There has been enormous amount of discussion on this verse. It is not a commandment, but an expression of human nature, that the birds of the same feather flock together. You do not associate with evildoers no matter who they are. Unfortunately, some Muslims have come to believe that "evil doers" are Jews or Christians, reinforced by the injustice meted out to the Palestinians or what happened in Bosnia and Crusades still linger on their minds as Holocaust will continue to linger on our psyche.
    They forget that Saddam Hussain was an evil doer killing thousands of Kurds; the Muslims in Sudan are evil doers killing millions, who are Muslims as well. Just as the many a Christians believe that everyone but them will go to hell, a segment of Muslims believe in that, both groups making a villain out of merciful God. God was clear in 43:18 that the best among us is the one who does good, and the purpose of diversity is for us to know each other
    Misinterpretations like the above give value to the idea of Your God, his God and my God
    Full article at: http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2010/09/q551-do-not-take-jews-or-christians-as.html

    By Mike Ghouse - 6/22/2012 2:06:59 PM



  • While  discussing  about  muslim  laws  on  a  social  site,  one  of  my  friend's  friend  started  arguing  that  Saudi  Arabia  is  better  than  India  (which  is  his  own  country),  in  this  this  and  this  way.  And  he  gave  reason  that  In  saudi  arab  there  are  death  penalties  for  so  many  crimes.  I  was  shocked,  I  just  thought  I  am  discussing  with  a  person  not  of  my  country,  but  of  a  arab.  I  think  these  people  are  doing  injustice  to  muslims  more  than  any  non-muslim.  


    By Pankaj Verma - 6/22/2012 7:36:20 AM



  • How  con  Islam  forbid  its  followers  to  befriend  Christians  and  Jews,  when  the  prophet  himself  allowed  Christians  to  perform  their  prayers  in  his  own  Masjid  (  Masjid  al-  Nabawi)  with  their  own  rituals  and  rites?  Actually,  problems  grow exponentially  when  we  take  the  Quranic  verses  out  of  the  Context! 

    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi - 6/22/2012 2:54:18 AM



  • abolish  ulama.  then  islam  free.

    By dennis george - 6/22/2012 2:39:37 AM



  • How  beautifully  did  we  keep  losing  our  intellect,

    Dust  was  there  on  the  face  and  we  kept  washing  the  Mirror

    Above  couplet  mirrors  Muslim  mentality  all  over  the  world.  Problem  does  not  lie  with  our  not  adhering  to  the  dictates  of  Quran,  problem  is  we  are  not  taught  Quran  as  a  necessary  subject  of  Humanity  Science.  We  are  made  to  recite  it  just  to  make  us  learn  how  to  offer  prayers,  of  Eidan.


    I  appreciate  New  Age  Islam's  endeavour  of  presenting  the  whole  spectrum  of  problems  Muslim  world  is  facing. 



    By Adeeb Neyazi - 6/22/2012 12:42:58 AM



  • Do You Want Allah Kareem to Love You? Then develop the following qualities! Allah loves Muhsineen (Good Doers) [2:195, 3:134, 3:148, 5:13, 5:93] Allah loves Tawwabeen (Those who turn to rightfulness) [2:222] Allah loves Mutahhareen (Those who keep their bodies free from filth) [2:222, 9:108] Allah loves Muttaqeen (Those who guard themselves against evil) [3:76, 9:4, 9:7] Allah loves Sabireen (Being Patient) [3:146] Allah loves Mutawakkileen (Those who put their trust in Allah) [3:159] Allah loves Muqsiteen (Those who act equitably and justly) [5:42, 49:9, 60:8]
    By Raihan Nezami - 6/21/2012 4:54:44 AM



  • The verse quoted by the writer especially its English rendition is of splendid appeal. I am in full agreement with the views of the writer and both the commentators. Quran does not come in the way of peace and friendship. Failure of diplomacy does.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 6/20/2012 1:04:31 PM



  • Geopolitical and territorial disputes must be treated as geopolitical and territorial disputes. Race and religion cannot be allowed to divide people. Univeral brotherhood of human beings is a fundamental tenet in Islam. No opportunity for a meaningful inter-faith dialogue must be missed.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 6/20/2012 12:13:45 PM



  • People have explained the quoted verse (5:51) in its historical context and credited the Qur’an for espousing pluralism and universalism – but as it happens with all good works they remain largely invisible in the media and never talked about – they are killed by silence . You feed a hundred people every day for a year – no one is bothered. You pick up a quarrel with a neighbour one day – the whole locality talks about it.

    Coming to the point, the following extract from a recently published duly approved exegetic work demonstrates that you are not alone in the mission of removing this deeprooted misconception about Islam and promoting inter-faith relations. “The verses 5:51, 5:55/56 are often cited in isolation and out of historical context to imply that for all times, the Muslims should not take the Jews and Christians as their friends or allies. But the Qur’anic pronouncements under 13.2/3 above, and its broader message on universal brotherhood of humanity (Ch. 9) rule out any such notion. Moreover, the Qur’an offers further illustrations to leave no ambiguity on this matter.1. In the context of the revelation, the Qur’an forbade the Muslims to ally with only those who fought against them for religion, and expelled them from their homelands, and helped (others) in their expulsion (60:9/Ch. 12.5).

    Accordingly, it did not forbid Muslims to be virtuous and just to those who did not fight against them for religion, nor drove them from their homelands (60:8/Ch. 12.5). 2. In its concluding phase, the Qur’an allows Muslim men to marry Christian and Jewish women (5:5/Ch. 32.3), and thus make them their benefactors or allies. (9:71/Ch. 33.6). Thus, any generalization of the noted Qur’anic verses to foment hatred against contemporary Christians and Jews will be tantamount to distorting the message of the Qur’an. To the critic however, this may sound apologetic, as it contradicts the ground reality of the present day Muslim world, where anti-Semitic sentiments run high. It may therefore be useful to clarify this by drawing on modern secular scholarship.

     Thus to quote Karen Armstrong:2“Anti-Semitism is a Christian vice. Hatred of the Jews became marked in the Muslim world after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. It is significant that Muslims were compelled to import anti-Jewish myths from Europe and translate into Arabic such virulently anti-Semitic texts as the Protocols of the elders of Zion, because they had no such tradition of their own. Because of this new hostility towards the Jewish people, some Muslims now quote the passages in the Qur’an that refer to Muhammad’s struggle with the three rebellious Jewish tribes to justify their prejudice.

    By taking these verses out of context, they have distorted both the message of the Qur’an and the attitude of the Prophet, who himself felt no such hatred of Judaism.”Ref. Ch, 13.4, ‘There is no Qur’anic basis to hate Christians and Jews or any community’ Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications Maryland, USA 2009, by Muhammad Yunus and Ashfaque Ullah Syed.


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 6/20/2012 7:47:41 AM