To Clash or Not To Clash?
Will there be a confrontation between Islam and the West? Mr. Huntington's
clash of civilizations claims "yes", but the survey is "not convinced". It
is true that the world of Islam and the West have more in common with each
other than they do with the Confucian and Hindu ones, but in reality both
Mr. Huntington's and Mr. Beedham's comparisons are unhelpful in understanding
the reality of the matter. What Mr. Beedham's admits are important differences
(Westerners not believing that God dictated the Quran and Muslim's not believing
the Jesus is the son of God) are in fact irreconcilable differences, at least
from the Muslim stand point...
"And they say the Compassionate (i.e. Allah) has taken to Himself a son.
Certainly you utter a disastrous thing, whereby the heavens are almost torn
asunder, and the earth split open and the mountains crumbles to ruin, that
you ascribe to the Compassionate a son! When it is not befitting the majesty
of the Compassionate that He should choose a son. There is none in the heavens
or the earth but comes to the Compassionate as a slave"
[Noble Quran 19:88-93]
Islam does not regard Christians who claim that Jesus is God, or the Son of
God, as "monotheists" any more than Hindus who claim that Krishna is a "manifestation
of God" or Buddhists who claim that Buddha is God. All of this is disbelief
and polytheism. It is this that is the basis of conflict. It is a conflict
not only sanctioned, but ordered in the Quran:
"Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor the last day, nor forbid
that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge
not the religion of truth among the people of the Book , until they pay
the jizya (i.e. protection tax) with willing submission and feel themselves
[Noble Quran 9:29]
This is not a confrontation of civilizations, nor is it a clash of cultures.
Islam does not oppose the West, or anyone else, because of revenge over past
hostilities, out of a desire to restore injured pride or because of the desire
to amass their wealth and lands. The fight is for one purpose only and that
is to establish the religion of Islam in its totality, as the Prophet (peace
be upon him) explained when a man came to him and asked: "One of us fights
for booty, another for his tribe and another to be known as brave, which one
is fighting jihad?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "None of them.
Only the one who fights to make Allah's Word the highest is fighting jihad."
It is clear to any believer acquainted with Allah's Book (i.e. the Quran)
and His Prophet's Sunnah that jihad (i.e. struggling to the utmost of ones
ability) is an intrinsic part of faith, and a duty among the duties in Islam.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, as reported by Tariq bin Shihab: "He
who amongst you sees something evil should change it with his hand; and if
he is unable he should change it with his tongue; and if he is unable to do
that he should at least hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest form
of faith" (Reported in Sahih Muslim, No. 79).
Jihad has three characteristics. The first form is jihad of the heart, or
jihad of the self. This is the internal struggle to acquire the correct creed,
and to remove from one's self all doubts and misconceptions concerning this
creed, and also the commands and prohibitions enjoined on the believer. It
further more encompasses the purifying of the soul from base desires and acquiring
noble qualities. The second level is the jihad of the tongue. This is the
struggle against evil, and wrong beliefs and actions through preaching and
writing books and the like. This form of jihad is characterized by its use
against the deviants from among the Muslims, but also extends to the unbelievers.
The final form of jihad is that of the hand, or sword, where one expends life
and property. It is characterized by its use against unbelievers, but can
also be used against deviant groups under the authority of the Muslim ruler.
This jihad of the hand, often termed "Holy War", is further compartmentalized
into three stages. The first is that of it being forbidden, as it was in the
early days of Muhammad's prophethood. If the Muslims are weak, and fighting
is liable to cause only harm and no benefit, then they should desist. Such
is the case of those dwelling in non-Muslim lands. The second stage is that
of self-defense, or restricting the fight to
"those who fight you"
[Noble Quran 2:190]
and releasing the lands of the Muslims from the control of their enemies.
This is the condition of the Muslims today. The final stage is that of fighting
in order to open the path for establishing Allah's rule in the lands of the
unbelievers, as was done by the Prophet's companions and the Muslim rulers
"And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah when there are weak
and oppressed, old men, women and children whose cry is 'Oh Lord save us
from those who oppress, and send to one who will aid and send to us one
who will help!'"
[Noble Quran 4:75]
Thus one the Prophet's companions, Rab'ia ibn Amer, went to meet Rostrum,
the famous Persian general, at his request and the general offered camels,
and women and asked them to return to the desert. Rab'ia refused, and Rostrum
asked him why then were they fighting. Rab'ia replied: "We have come to take
mankind from the darkness to the light and from the worship of the false gods
to the worship of Allah, from the narrowness of this world the wide expanse
of this world and the next, and from the injustices of man made religions
to the justice of Islam."
So this Jihad is the peak of the matter and fulfilling it is part of fulfilling
the covenant with Allah, and abandoning it is the cause of humiliation and
defeat for the Muslims. As Allah said:
"If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and
will replace you by another people and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah
is able to do all things"
[Noble Quran 9:39]
and the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):
"When you deal in "al-ainiya" (i.e. become complacent and satisfied with a
domestic life) and hang on to the cows tails, and abandon jihad, then Allah
will permit your humiliation at the hands of your enemies and will not lift
it from you until you return to your religion."
So today we find Muslims leading a life as if they had no prophet, nor belief
in any Divine Message or Divine Revelation, nor expectation of any reckoning,
nor is fear of the hereafter. They resemble the pre-Islamic nations, against
whom they used to fight in the past. So they have turned on their heels as
apostates from Islam and have imitated the ignorant nations in their civilization,
in their social affairs, in their political systems, in their character and
in the pleasures of their lives. So Allah hated them and forsook them, as
He promised He would. He had warned them of this clearly in His Book, and
on the tongue of His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him): "Soon the nations
will gather to take from you the same way you invite others to share from
a feast!" A person asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): "Is that because
we are small in our numbers?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) answered: "No!
You will be many, like the foam on the sea, but you will be rubbish, like
the rubbish carried down by the flood water. And certainly Allah will remove
from the breasts of your enemies the fear of you and into your breasts He
will cast enervation." A person asked: "What is enervation?" The Prophet
(peace be upon him) replied: "It is love of life and fear of death." This has
come true exactly, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) predicted, and if there
is a "Revival of Islam", then that is because anyone with ears and eyes can
see how the Muslims are humiliated - their lands a feast for their enemies,
ruled by laws and ways nothing to do with that which Allah has revealed. The
solution to these problems has been given by the Prophet (peace be upon him)
himself one thousand four hundred years ago: "Return to your religion", enjoin
what Allah has enjoined and forbid what He has forbidden, prefer the next
life to this, and for the Muslims to once again struggle with their lives
and properties to bring themselves and others out of the oppression of man
made ways of life to the justice of that which has been revealed by the All-knowing
So the matter of conflict between Islam and the West is not at all as the
survey suggests, i.e. factors such as geography, past enmities, culture clash
and so on; nor is the Islamic Revival some search for identity, coupled with
some sort of inferiority complex. To the believer the conflict is one of truth
against falsehood, justice against oppression, the way to Paradise against
the way to Hellfire, the perfection of Allah's revealed way against the misguidance
of human ignorance. Furthermore, all of this should make it clear that there
is indeed an "insuperable reason why Muslims and Westerners cannot live peaceably
with each other" (p.5 c. 2). Mr. Beedham's survey, for all its optimism, has
made an oft-repeated mistake. He has judged the Muslims by his own standards,
believing they want, as do the West, to reach some sort of compromise. The
truth is that Islam teaches its followers to seek death on the battle field,
that dying whilst fighting jihad is one of the surest ways to paradise and
Allah's good pleasure. It is as Khalid bin Walid, whom the Prophet (peace
be upon him) called the 'Sword of Allah' and hero of every good Muslim child,
said in response to a Roman letter inviting him to surrender: "We have with
us people who love death as you love wine." It was Ronald Reagan who quite
rightly pointed out that: "How do you expect to defeat a people who believe
that when you kill them they go to a paradise filled with beautiful virgins
and rivers of wine?" Whether the believer sees the result in his or her life
time is irrelevant, for their duty is to carry on the jihad, and so be saved
from Allah's wrath in this life and the next.
The conflict will be there as long as there are those who stubbornly resist
submission to their Lord and Creator. If all of this seems intransigent and
fundamentalist that's because IT IS. With Islam you are dealing with absolutes.
This conflict, however, may not necessarily be a violent one, in the sense
of war, causing loss of life, limb and property. Islam does not necessarily
demand a change through violence if the end can be effectively achieved through
other means. So perhaps there is cause for the surveys optimism, but the solution
can only lie in a very different direction from what it suggests! Allah has
promised in His Book that if the Muslims fail to keep their covenant, and
fight against the foolish disbelief, then He will destroy them and
"replace them with a people who will love Him, and He will love them,
and they will be hard against the forces of disbelief and kind to the believers,
and unafraid of those who find fault"
[Noble Quran 5:54]
And Allah speaks the truth, and His promise comes true, and this has proven
so in the past, as when the Muslims left their religion, fought amongst each
other, and reveled in the delights of worldly life... then the calamity
of the Tartars fell upon them, destroying utterly the Muslim lands, and its
capital Baghdad. Yet from these same conquerors, Allah made them the defenders
and upholders of Islam, and from them to the Turks, who in their turn lapsed,
and so Allah destroyed them at the hands of the Europeans. Thus is situation
in which Muslims find themselves today. It is quite possible that history
will repeat itself, and that Islam will be given its strength again through
those who had formally tried to destroy it.
The whole issue of whether the West will accept Islam or not has been a topic
of debate amongst Muslim scholars and thinkers. It seems unlikely that there
will be any sort of military conquest of the Western world, at least in the
foreseeable future, but conquest is not always through arms. Indonesia and
Malaysia never saw invading Muslims armies. Islam "conquered" these lands
with a different weapon altogether . The weapon was Islam itself. The real
threat from the growth of "fundamentalism" to those in the Western, and other,
parts of the world who would like to see Islam far removed from influencing
the way they run their countries, is not of invading hoards of Muslim militants,
but rather the effect of a practical example of Islam in operation in the
form of a true Islamic state. Also the probability of these same "fundamentalist"
states utilizing their resources to inform the world of the reality of what
Islam is, as opposed to the lies and distortions it has been fed until now!
How likely, then, is it for this true Islamic state to materialize, and how
do people following a religion one thousand four hundred years old possibly
expect it to work in the twentieth century?
Important note to learn and read quran online