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From the Desk of Editor (16 Nov 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Did Islam Change Its Policies From Inclusivism Of Early Madina To Exclusivism And Intolerance Of Religious Minorities In Later Madina Days? Ask New Age Islam Readers



By Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam

16 November 2018

I am receiving calls from agitated readers of an original NewAgeIslam.com article published on 2 August, 2018, reproduced by Urdu daily Inqilab today, of course, without acknowledgement, as is the custom with Urdu Press in India. This was written by our regular columnist Mr. Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi and is titled: How Imran Khan Will Set Up Medina-Like Islamic Welfare State? The paragraph which is troubling readers is the following:

“Some would argue that Meccan Islamic principles, as compared to the Madinite period of Islam, was more pluralistic, peaceful and inclusivist, though under compulsive circumstances. However, the Islamic state in Madina witnessed an aggressive phase including Ghazwas (Islamic battles), enactment of blasphemy laws, extradition of Jews and Christians, abrogation of the peaceful verses of Qur'an such as La Ikraha Fid-Deen (“No coercion in matters of Religion”).”

I am being asked the following questions: How can a New Age Islam columnist say that verses such as La Ikraha fid Deen which are the fulcrum of moderate Islam were abrogated in the Islamic State of Madina, when the Prophet (saw) himself was running its affairs. Were blasphemy laws indeed enacted in Madina during the Prophet’s time, when New Age Islam has been maintaining that blasphemy laws have no basis in Islam? Does New Age Islam now believe in the Doctrine of Abrogation, when it has been almost for a decade saying that none of the verses in Quran has been abrogated, though some war-time verses may not be applicable to us today? What is the meaning of “compulsive circumstances” under which the pluralistic, peaceful and inclusivist verses of Quran were revealed at Makkah? Does this mean that Quran ordered Muslims to remain peaceful only because they had no other option? If these contradictions between inclusivist and xenophobic instructions of Quran arose during the Prophet’s time itself, how can you blame later Islamic theologians like Ibn-e-Taimiya as is your custom for the present-day confusion? If Prophet himself changed from being pluralist and inclusivist in Makkah and early Madina to being intolerant and xenophobic who later evicted all religious minorities from the land of Islam, what is wrong in Pakistan starting as a secular and pluralistic nation as propounded by Mohammad Ali Jinnah and then later turning intolerant of minorities?

I would simply like to ensure people who have called me to put these and similar questions that New Age Islam remains consistent in its approach, though we allow our columnists complete freedom of expression. Even in this case, I do not think Mr. Dehlavi holds the views expressed in the offending paragraph. He did start this paragraph with the words “some would argue.” It is possible to argue that this “some” includes him too, but I don’t think that would be correct. The tone and the tenor of the entire article gives a different view. As I understand, he is merely wondering if Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan would go by the early vision of Prophet’s Islamic State in Madina or by the later policies which are supposed to have abrogated the previous policies in the view of Islamic theologians followed by the terror ideologues of Pakistan. He seems to be merely seeking clarification as to which Madina model will Mr. Imran Khan follow: the early Madina model of Meesaq-e-Madina when multi-culturalism ruled or the policies of the time when “the Islamic state in Madina witnessed an aggressive phase including Ghazwas (Islamic battles), enactment of blasphemy laws, extradition of Jews and Christians, abrogation of the peaceful verses of Qur'an such as La Ikraha Fid-Deen (“No coercion in matters of Religion.”

In any case, NewAgeIslam.com has always believed in debate and discussion on a non-sectarian and neutral platform. Readers are welcome to express themselves on the contentious issues raised here. Primarily, what is agitating readers is that an author associated with New Age Islam for long is implying that Islam changed its policies from inclusivism and pluralism of Makkah and early Madina days to exclusivism and intolerance of religious minorities during the Prophet’s time in Madina itself. I invite all interested readers to put forward their views on the subject.

Related Articles:

How Imran Khan Will Set Up Medina-Like Islamic Welfare State?

http://www.newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/ghulam-rasool-dehlvi,-new-age-islam/how-imran-khan-will-set-up-medina-like-islamic-welfare-state?/d/116014

عمران خان کس طرح مدینہ جیسا ایک اسلامی ویلفیئر اسٹیٹ قائم کریں گے

http://www.newageislam.com/urdu-section/how-imran-khan-will-set-up-medina-like-islamic-welfare-state?--عمران-خان-کس-طرح-مدینہ-جیسا-ایک--اسلامی-ویلفیئر-اسٹیٹ--قائم-کریں-گے/d/116055

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/from-the-desk-of-editor/sultan-shahin,-founder-editor,-new-age-islam/did-islam-change-its-policies-from-inclusivism-of-early-madina-to-exclusivism-and-intolerance-of-religious-minorities-in-later-madina-days?-ask-new-age-islam-readers/d/116896

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   20


  • I see nothing that is exceptionable in the points that Hats Off has made and questions raised by him.

    Uncompromising monotheism and uncompromising polytheism are never comfortable with each other and the Prophet's public preaching did offend some people who felt threatened by the new religion and its egalitarianism. They did approach the Prophet for a compromise agreeing to worship Allah if he accepted that a couple of their deities were accepted as smaller gods with the power of intercession with Allah. This was rejected. There was therefore certainly conflict but it is important to keep in mind the following points:

    1. The Quran categorically prevents the Prophet and the Muslims from reviling other religions.

    2. It advises the Prophet and the Muslims to take the stand with those who reject Islam "To you be your religion and to me mine"

    3. It does not believe in compulsion in religion because "(2:256) ".... Truth stands out clear from Error...."

    4. There is a standing order in the Quran to accept peace whenever peace is offered.

    5. After the first battle of Badr, there is the offer that if they gave up persecution of the Muslims all past acts of persecution would be forgiven and the Muslims would return in peace and preach in peace.

    6. The Pagan leaders knew that if the Prophet was allowed to preach unhindered and in peace, all would accept Islam which is why they fought to the bitter end and lost everything.

    7. Those who had never fought or fought but without violating any treaty had the right to practice their religion and become jizya paying citizens. The Prophet did not wrong anyone.

    There is considerable hypocrisy among the latter/present day Muslims as well as intolerance. Islamic theology has been dominated by bigots and distorted through concocted ahadith.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/18/2018 5:44:48 AM



  • For Hats Off only those vignettes of history count that make Islam look bad, because they are the only ones that support his venomous agenda!


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/17/2018 12:28:47 PM



  • @Anynymous
    That Muslim should tell him that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Yes there are some so-called Muslims who misuse Islam for their terrorism activities such as suicide attacks, bombing, killing innocent civilians etc. All these activities, they do in the name of Islam but if we study Islam, Quran and Hadith properly in proper context, we will definitely find that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.

    By Urooj Fatma - 11/17/2018 8:01:24 AM



  • The last war aka Ghazwa of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took place in the 8th year of Hijra. This war is known in Islamic term as Ghazwa-e Tabuk.
    By Urooj Fatma - 11/17/2018 7:48:07 AM




  • By Anonymous - 11/17/2018 7:46:05 AM



  • A Muslim asks, "I’m Muslim, what should I do if someone says Islam is the religion of terrorism?
    By Anonymous - 11/17/2018 7:44:43 AM



  • @Urooj Fatma
    By Anonymous - 11/17/2018 7:40:14 AM



  • @Anonymous
    Surah Baqarah is the longest Surah. The Ayat 282 of Surah Baqarah (2:282) is the longest ayat of the Quran. This ayat is known as Ayat al-Mudainah (آية المداينة the verse of debiting, lending and borrowing etc). Muslims scholars discuss rules of debiting money in the light of this ayat.

    By Urooj Fatma - 11/17/2018 7:32:16 AM



  • Yes Terrorism has no religion. The fact of the matter is that when books of religions are misused for terrorism, some people say terrorism is the result of religions. However, if we study religions properly in proper context, we find that religions have nothing to do with terrorism.

    In today’s context, some handful “muslims”, misuse Islam for their terrorist activities, but if we study Islam, Quran and Hadith in proper context, we do not find anything to support the arguments of terrorists. Therefore we must say terrorism has no religion.

    By Urooj Fatma - 11/17/2018 7:31:12 AM



  • What is the thing, the longest Ayat, mentioned in the Quran?
    By Anonymous - 11/17/2018 5:59:45 AM



  • Has terrorism no religion? 
    By Anonymous - 11/17/2018 5:56:03 AM



  • historical precedence is established and is a matter of common agreement. all existing literature asserts that fact it was the prophet who started out asking the community to give up their ancestral religion.

    just imagine what will happen to anyone in an islamic country did that. what happened to the bahais? is there not a pattern here? what is happening to ghulam mirza's followers?

    the jews of the hejaz had every right to protect their religion by whatever it takes. after all today islam is doing exactly that. no proselytizing by other religions is allowed in any muslim community. why?

    but they demand that dawah be allowed everywhere. and all the four schools of islamic jurisprudence agree that restriction of dawah is a valid cause for calling for jihad. how tolerant is that?

    why is that so?

    can islam or muslims put up with anyone who will urge them to give up their ancestral religion? if the answer is no - why should others?

    that this denigration of previous religion persisted for so many years is proof that the prophet was not tolerant of the then existing religion because he was anxious to be accepted as a prophet - which the jews did not.

    tolerance is a two way street. it cannot be that any community put up with intolerance and denigration perpetually and then get blamed in return when they act.

    it is also a principle of law that the first one to start a conflict should bear the cost of reparations.

    By hats off! - 11/17/2018 4:29:58 AM



  • Yes hats off, there is no answer to what came first, the chicken or the egg?

    But, one might argue that, if tolerance is of universal goodness – as the immediate following article Only Tolerance Can Ensure the Survival of Humankind suggests – then thirteen years was not enough.

    However we agree, I hope, to disagree on historical events as seen by you and I!


    By Rashid Samnakay - 11/17/2018 2:39:02 AM



  • how exactly did the prophetic era start out?

    who was it that first raised questions about the pre-existing religion of the hejazis?

    the hejazis or the prophet?

    it was only 13 years (correct me if i am wrong about the number) or so after this constant denigration that the hejazis retaliate.

    13 years is quite a long time for putting up with any thing.

    By hats off! - 11/17/2018 12:05:50 AM



  • The issue of tolerance/intolerance and power-play in Makkah and Madinah must be analysed in terms the times of constant harassment, torment, economic sanctions and eventually exercise of military Power by the non-Muslim parties, particularly Jews in the conflict in the area of reference.


    The basic rule of law however – no compulsion – remained enforced during the Messenger's time as is proven, say in Egypt and Abyssinia with Christians.


    The later day Muslim on Muslim people's battles and conquest of lands was no different to today's and ancient battles of hegemony of nations with POWER. I believe that is the nature of mankind and Apostles tried to change it without achieving permanent success!


    By Rashid Samnakay - 11/16/2018 5:20:20 PM



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