Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Misconceptions feed fanatic view of Islam

At a recent speaking engagement in a church, I was asked the inevitable question that somehow always finds its way to the podium:  Why does Islam teach intolerance and militancy? I would have liked to ask the questioner, just to prove a point, if he still beat
his wife. I was, however, amused by the widespread assumption that Islam is inherently a violent religion and Muslims are a fanatic bunch. This and many other similar questions have been raised rather frequently in the post-9/11 climate in the
Western world.
These assumptions also include that Muslims keep their women under wraps, they
look down upon all other religions,  and they believe it is against their religion to have non-Muslim friends. These are legitimate questions and Muslims ought to address them not with a knee-jerk defensive response but with knowledge of their sacred text, the Qur'an, and understanding of their surroundings. The Qur'an is the compilation of divine revelations that Prophet Muhammad received over a period of many years from 612 to his death at age 63 in 632.  Most of the revelations came in response to a
particular need of the nascent  Muslim community, first in Mecca and then in Medina.
While certain passages are eternal, others are topical and dated. The latter were revealed to address a certain situation and their presence is only of historic significance and thus cannot be applied to current times. Of particular interest is one passage (5: 57-58) that when read without proper context appears to prohibit Muslims from having friends among non-Muslims. There are many xenophobic Muslims who still think
that this  injunction holds true today. They ignore the fact that it was directed toward those who were determined to wipe out the new religion at its inception. Had this injunction been meant for all times the world would have not seen the great flowering of the arts and sciences that happened through interaction of Islam with Christianity and Judaism in Spain under the Moors (711-1492) and in the Ottoman Empire under the Turks (1342-1924) and also with the Hindu religion in India during the Mughal period
(1508-1857). Another misconception still being perpetuated by many Muslims and non-Muslims is that the Qur'an condemns and rejects all other religions. There is an all-encompassing and clear declaration in the Qur'an that there is no compulsion in religion (2:256). This should have put to rest the controversy about the Afghan man who
converted to Christianity and any Muslim who chooses to  leave Islam for another religion.
Religion is a personal and private matter and the society or the state has no say in anyone's personal religious preference.  Perhaps Islam is more tolerant and accepting of other faiths than some of them are of Islam. Why then do such misunderstandings continue in the present? The fault lies squarely with the Muslims themselves. Instead of adopting a more reasoned approach toward their faith, many Muslims are comfortable in accepting centuries-old commentaries and explanations even
though they are repeatedly  reminded by the scripture to think and understand the world
around them. Saudi  Arabia is a good example where school textbooks still teach
superiority of Islam  over other religions and advise Muslims not to have non-Muslim friends. No  wonder such intolerance was the incubator for the self-righteous and xenophobic  beliefs of the 9/11 hijackers. There is an  interesting debate going on among the Muslims in the West. A  good many of them still believe in literal
interpretation of the sacred text and  are content in living in their comforting and
comfortable self-created cocoons.  Others with a more moderate and pluralistic attitude want to look at their faith and understand it according to the times we live in. This debate that is rather familiar to other religions is relatively new for Muslims. Time will tell whether Muslims will want to live in the soothing world of  the status quo or forge ahead as confident citizens of this world at ease and at  peace with themselves and
with the followers of other religions. Their faith will not diminish by being inclusive.
Learn Holy Quran because it will be a proof for us muslim on the Day of Judgment.
This is due to the statement of the Messenger: “And the Quran is a proof for you or against you.” [Muslim] so the deputy of every Muslim is to read quran and learn quran with tajweed so one of two things will occur with this proof, the Book of Allah. And this quran education will be in your favor, a proof for us on the Day when we will need every single good deed and learning quran along with doing quran memorization is one of it and to add more spread the quran teaching and spread the kids quran knowledge and listening to quran online and understand the quran tafseer , it will be something standing against us and follow the guidance of or prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and these good deeds will be a proof against us! Who could be saved from the terrors of that Day if Allah’s own Speech is against him?!?! Think carefully, so reading Arabic Quran and teaching our kids quran qaida with the tafseer of quran  and let the kids memorize quran dear Muslim brother or sister, about your position with the reading Quran! Are you neglecting it, contradicting it, being heedless of its orders and prohibitions, are you thinking deeply over it?! Will it be on your side on the Day of Judgment.? So learn quran recitation! O Allah! We ask you, by Your Glorious Speech and the rest of your beautiful Names and Attributes, to make the Quran a proof for us! So the Quran tutor should let his student know about these facts also,

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