By Asad Mufti
(Translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam)
9 June 2012
A Holland magazine recently reproduced a Wall Street Journal report with its editorial analysis. The said report claims that Muslims of the world are not citizens of any particular country. They are busy in conspiracies against their own countries of residence. According to the journal, Muslims are brothers of other Muslims wherever they are. The report says that countries must think twice before giving citizenship to any Muslim because even though he may be following customs and rituals of that country as a citizen, one day he will certainly come under the influence of militant teachings of Islam and follow this guideline of his religious book, Quran, “O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another. (Surah: 5:51)
It is a harsh reality that certain Ulema have, knowingly or unknowingly, done great damage to Islam. These Ulema are presenting Islam to non-Muslims, western countries and America as an intolerant and confrontational religion. We must bring basic changes in this attitude by reforming ourselves.
There are certain Ulema who do not understand “Islam” and claim to be close to Allah. They say there is no national identity in Islam. They say Islam is for the whole world. No one is an Arab or a non-Arab, a Kashmiri, Sindhi or a Baloch. Citizen of Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Germany, France, England or of any other nation have no individual or community religion. All are Muslim Ummah. No Muslim is bound to follow any national law. Muslims are only bound to follow God’s command.
These are the people who have instilled the fear of the Day of Judgement in the hearts of Muslim Ummah to misguide them.
We, whose individual lives are in no way guided by Islam, are ourselves responsible in presenting Islam’s wrong image by claiming that “Jews and Christians are our enemies”. Not only common Muslims but the educated class and so called Ulema and Masha’aikh are also responsible for this misrepresentation of Islam. In the given situation it will be out of place to request Ulema to reform themselves. These Ulema, Masha’aikh are quite unknown to the scholastic values.
Our downfall has started since the time these “thinkers of Islam” have started valuing high bands of their pyjamas (oonche Paainche) instead of high morals. With these high band pyjamas above their ankles and net caps they are getting close to Deen, as they claim, and far from the world.
Respect for other religions and pluralism is the most favoured subjects of discussion these days. Islam has also ordered explicitly to respect other religions.
A funeral was passing, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stood on his place with respect. Sahaba Keram (ra) informed him that it is a funeral of a Jew. Prophet (pbuh) asked, “Was he not a human being? As far as I am concerned it is enough to respect a man because he is a human being.”
We are living in 21st century and this century is different from other centuries in every respect. Requirements of this century are different. All of us, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and people belonging to all other religions or even atheists are working for mutual cooperation. This very contemporary awareness demands all of us, specially the Muslims, not to be each other’s enemy, even in the face of differences that we may be having. Whatever religion we may appear to be following, our greatest fault is that we do not really worship God; we worship our religion and use it for spreading enmity among ourselves. It is Muslims’ duty to have special love for Christians and Jewish faith and have a feeling of brotherhood. Time has come we accept that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) never differentiated among Prophet Moses (pbuh), Prophet Jesus Christ (pbuh) or any other prophet.
I am of the view that the followers of Islam do not reach the soul of Islam and this is the reason why Islam has got divided into two parts; one group is that of people who follow rituals and customs of the religion and the other ‘the Ulema and scholars’ who boast of having basic knowledge of religion.
According to me main reason of the misunderstandings between both the parties, Christian, Jews and Muslims, is the ignorance of their respective religions. We have either not tried to study them in their originality or we have studied them within our own mental framework. Hence we, the Muslims could not understand them.
As far as my knowledge goes no book during the last one thousand years has been written by any Muslim after Al-Beruni wrote “Al-Hind” which carries the objective that I too have behind writing this article, i.e., ‘interfaith dialogue. Al-Beruni clearly advocated the necessity of interfaith dialogue in his preface. (Al-Beruni ka Hindustan, P: 5)
There is no doubt that a large group of Muslims nursing militant and anti-democracy thoughts live in European countries. This cannot be ascribed to a reaction against the anti-Muslim European groups. In any case, one wrongdoing cannot be a justification of another wrong action. Discussions between Jews, Christians and Muslims are the need of the hour and it has already been started by the western countries.
“Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies” and “our religion teaches us to behave like brothers with the followers of other faith and to forgive the enemies” are two points of view which are discussed in interfaith discussions. Which one of the above two points is right? I request the readers to decide for themselves. Developed western countries and undeveloped Muslim countries both are in front of us and in this light; anyone can reach a correct judgement. For that matter, there is no point in not accepting that we are not going to get another chance of solving our problems with Jews and Christians if we did not befriend them today. As we all know, there is no tomorrow.
Kis Saleeque se Mata’ae Hosh Hum Khote Rahe
Gard Chehre per Jami Thi, Aaina Dhote Rahe
(How beautifully did we keep losing our intellect,
Dust was there on the face and we kept washing the Mirror)
Asad Mufti is an Amsterdam-based independent Urdu journalist.
Source: Urdu Daily Hindustan Express, New Delhi, June 9, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
@Mohd. Yunus! You have asked me a number of questions that I am
answering below one by one:
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:
It is a book of wisdom (10:1,
31:2, 43:4, 44:4).
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).
It guides humanity and brings
it ‘out of darkness into light’ – an idiomatic expression that connotes social,
moral and ethical reform;
Its mission was “to lift from
humanity the burdens and shackles that were upon them from before” (7:157).
It declares its own completion
and perfection before the close of the revelation (5:3).
It claims to be its own best
It asks you to seek the best
meaning in it (39:18,39:55).
Approach it with a pure heart
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Who is a True Muslim? Kindly define one?
This is answered in my exegetic work as
“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”
“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)’”
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.
"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.
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 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,
These verses show that Islam is an intolerant religion and a Muslims who reads Quran cannot respect a non muslim.
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
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.