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Sir,

Salaam

I am basically an Atheist. 1 day, a Kazi told me to accept Islam. I mentioned - I will first go through Quran myself and then revert.

Wait, Before I proceed further, let me make a clear point about myself. I always try to keep my GK up to date and browse through news for around 3 hours a day - minimum. I firmly believe that "The theory which cannot be put into practice is of no use". Hence in my question, there will be practical scenarios along with theory and I expect you to give practical references as well in support of your claims.

My question can be disturbing to you, Sorry for that. But, please don't mind. I am here for constructive goal. Ultimately, we are all humans. If your answer can solve this problem, we can create a better world to live.

So, I decided to browse through Quran. Since, Quran is not to be studied without context, I took Tafsir Ibn Kathir with me.

I came through Quran 3:28. I was surprised to visit the same in the Tafsir.

3 28 mentioned that Muslims can befriend Non Muslims only when they feel threatened by them.

Tafsir commented on this in such a way:

In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.'' Allah said,

If we go by this verse practically, a Muslim befriends a non muslim in only outward sense but hates him inwardly.

So, my 1st Question is why is such a deception permitted in Islam ??? Such non muslims treat Muslims that way only ???  

Also, I also came to know about Quran which says - Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.

What? Are muslims so violent? Probably YES. They are. This is what great scholars have always commented.

"The sword of Mahomet, and the Coran are the most fatal enemies of civilization, liberty and truth which the world has yet known."
- Sir William Muir

"The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within."
- Prof Will Durant

"The Muslim conquests, down to the 16th century, were for the Hindus a pure struggle of life and death. Entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. Thus, the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e. Hindu slaughter. The Bahmani sultans (1347-1480) in central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 captives in a single day, and many more on other occasions. The conquest of the Vijayanagar empire in 1564 left the capital plus large areas of Karnataka depopulated. And so on."
-Koenrad Elst commenting on Indian history.

War was not the only outcome of Islam in India. The second outcome was partition of India. Yes, India today is 80% Hindu but the other parts are:
PAKISTAN - 0% Hindu
BANGLADESH - 7% Hindu
AFGHANISTAN - 1% Hindu

All of these were parts of India during Muslim invasion but after Muslim invasion, India is divided. India is not the only nation divided. Sudan too is divided due to Islamic conquest.

Even today, Muslims are dangerous. First 9/11 (USA), then 7/7 (UK), then 26/11 (India), then Boko Haram (Nigeria) and now, ISIS (Iraq).

So, my 2nd question is: How can Islam be a religion of peace when Muslims are not peaceful in any sense??  

Thirdly, Freedom of speech seems under threat due to Islam.

For example, Mansur Al Hallaj was torn into pieces for saying - Anal-Haq. Many journalists were murdered because they tried to reform. I heard from someone - the prophet himself murdered his critics as per Hadiths. (I haven't studied Hadiths myself and hence won't go in deep. You comment on that)

So, how is freedom of speech perceived in Islam  

I am sorry to disturb you but we need to save humanity. We need to prevent Muslims from creating havoc.

Please provide a solution to above mentioned 3 problems.

Let there be Peace everywhere.

Answer
Peace and blessings of God be on your brother and thank you for the question. Apologies, I could not revert to earlier.

I will try to answer these questions in parts. For ease of understanding I will quote a part of your question and provide the answer below it..

My question can be disturbing to you, Sorry for that. But, please don't mind. I am here for constructive goal. Ultimately, we are all humans. If your answer can solve this problem, we can create a better world to live.

So, I decided to browse through Quran. Since, Quran is not to be studied without context, I took Tafsir Ibn Kathir with me.

Answer:
My journey to understanding Islam was like yours. Though born and brought up in a fairly practicing muslim family, I always had questions about my faith until I reached a point of being where you are today. I was an atheist as well. So I totally understand the context of where you are coming from.

I would like to begin by a question which I am posing – what is the Quran? The Quran itself says it is a book of guidance. You can check the first 5 verses of Surah al Baqarah(second surah) in the Quran which you have.

It is NOT a book which is authored by a man. The author of the Quran is God Almighty himself. I am sure you would want to ask what makes me, make such a radical claim. How do I know its authored by God Himself?

Let me answer that to start with. The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed(peace be upon him) in the 7th century over a period of 23 years. The Quran gives a code of life which is to be followed by mankind as a whole; as the purpose of the revelation of the Quran like I stated earlier is guidance. However how do I know that the Quran is from God Himself and why should we take any guidance from the rules laid down for leading human life from it?

God proves in the Quran through the basis of scientific miracles that it is a book from Him. There are more than 6000 verses in the Quran out of which about 1000 contain verses about a diverse range of topics including science and scientific phenomena. These scientific phenomena could not or would not have been known at the time of the Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) as science had not advanced to that stage. In this context God begins many verses in the Quran with the words “O people of understanding”, which would mean once you verify these scientific verses then there is should be no doubt left in your mind that this is from God Himself. After that you should take guidance from the Quran and lead your life according to it. I will not go into the details of these verses, you can download a document on the same from https://www.scribd.com/doc/31774928/Manuscript. Please refer specifically to pages 17-20 in that. You can also read the book by Dr Maurice Bucaille titled, The bible, the Quran and Science.

Coming back to your question:
I came through Quran 3:28. I was surprised to visit the same in the Tafsir.

3 28 mentioned that Muslims can befriend Non Muslims only when they feel threatened by them.

Tafsir commented on this in such a way:

In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.'' Allah said,

If we go by this verse practically, a Muslim befriends a non muslim in only outward sense but hates him inwardly.
So, my 1st Question is why is such a deception permitted in Islam ??? Such non muslims treat Muslims that way only ???

Islam is about clarity and honesty. Every statement which you read about Islam should be taken in the wholesome perspective of whether such a thing would be in sync with Islamic principles. Deception is not allowed in Islam under any circumstances.

Regarding the verse in Question Quran 3:28. There are 2 points which I would like to emphasize..
1.   I do not know which translation of the Quran you are reading however the verse uses the plural word “Auliya” in the Arabic, which I believe is translated as a “friend” in English translation. The Arabic language works on the principle of root words and the root of the word “Auliya” is the word “wali” which should have been translated as a protector and not as a friend.

Keeping this context in mind, please consider the translation and a brief explanation from the tafseer of Nouman Ali Khan of the Bayinnah institute

Let not believers take disbelievers as protectors rather than believers..

The dynamics of the the time when the verse was revealed, were quite strange. The muslims were in a state of struggle with the non-believers. This verse has to be understood in that context. It was a dynamic community in medina at that time where there would be people who would revert to Islam each day, yet their best friends and family would remain non-muslims. The moment someone reverted to Islam did not mean you would forsake all your relationships which you would have held all your life. In this context the muslims were told not to take the non-muslims as “protectors specifically” over other muslims, however anything less than taking them as protectors was not forbidden. As it was a period of struggle, a non-muslim might have allegiances elsewhere to their armies and if taken as a protector might use the personal relationships to spy on the muslims, which would have harmed the community as a whole. Also, to give another perspective, the companions of the prophet (PBUH) had cordial friendship with the Jews and the Christians all their life.

The verse continues

And whoever does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence.

The ultimate protector for anyone in this world is God Almighty Himself. The style of this verse implies that there is a certain amount of disbelief in God’s protection, if you are taking another human as a protector and at that a non-believer who does not believe in God over and above someone who believes in Him. Also this verse does not singularly point out to a person; it’s being addressed to a collective audience. It is predominantly talking about relationships between communities. The context of the verse no-where refers to individual relationships like forbidding having good relationships with neighbours  or colleagues etc. The muslims as a whole are not supposed to think that non-believing community would be their protectors, their ultimate protector is God and then they have to be protectors of each other. Hence if you are taking non-believers specifically as protectors over muslims(practicing muslims) then know that you will not get anything from Allah. However the verse does not forbid getting into peace treaties on equal terms with the non-believers and does not forbid cordial relations with them and this is the precaution in prudence which is referred to here.

The specific statement by Abu Darda, I could not find it in the collection of hadith by Al Bukhari. Hence I do not know of its authenticity. Please provide me of the reference if you are aware of it.

2. Personally I have myself not read the Tafsir-ibn-Kathir, however I know it is a commentary which is held in very high regard, however in my humble personal opinion I prefer to read a commentary tafseer by some contemporary author.  The reason for this being three fold..

a.The Tafsir ibn Kathir was written somewhere in the 13th century. From a very practical perspective we can think about it as an era where we did not have knowledge on our finger tips. If I want to know something I turn to the internet and one search gives me all that I need to know about it and the entire knowledge of the world on that subject is at my finger tips for reference. The 13th century was not such an era, it was an era without desktop publishing, without the internet and if Ibn Kathir needed to find some reference he would have to search manually and undertake journeys for them. You would understand I am sure this would be a cumbersome task and there is only so much he could have done.

b.   Secondly there are subtelities which are lost in translation, as you are trying to translate divine words into human understanding. Hence something will always be lost in translation. Ibn Kathir explained the Quran into his tafseer where there might have been something lost and a greater loss would be when trying to translate his tafseer into English.

c.   Finally, the Quran is a very contemporary text with a contemporary meaning which have only fully been understood in the last century. Most of the scientific miracles mentioned in the Quran have only been proved in the last century. From this perspective I would say a more contemporary tafseer can explain the Quran better than an older text. However this does not belittle the amazing work that Ibn Kathir is supposed to have done. From my perspective I would like to have a more modern understanding. . May God forgive me if I am wrong her.



Also, I also came to know about Quran which says - Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.

What? Are muslims so violent? Probably YES. They are. This is what great scholars have always commented.

"The sword of Mahomet, and the Coran are the most fatal enemies of civilization, liberty and truth which the world has yet known."
- Sir William Muir

"The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within."
- Prof Will Durant

"The Muslim conquests, down to the 16th century, were for the Hindus a pure struggle of life and death. Entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. Thus, the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e. Hindu slaughter. The Bahmani sultans (1347-1480) in central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 captives in a single day, and many more on other occasions. The conquest of the Vijayanagar empire in 1564 left the capital plus large areas of Karnataka depopulated. And so on."
-Koenrad Elst commenting on Indian history.

War was not the only outcome of Islam in India. The second outcome was partition of India. Yes, India today is 80% Hindu but the other parts are:
PAKISTAN - 0% Hindu
BANGLADESH - 7% Hindu
AFGHANISTAN - 1% Hindu

All of these were parts of India during Muslim invasion but after Muslim invasion, India is divided. India is not the only nation divided. Sudan too is divided due to Islamic conquest.

Even today, Muslims are dangerous. First 9/11 (USA), then 7/7 (UK), then 26/11 (India), then Boko Haram (Nigeria) and now, ISIS (Iraq).

So, my 2nd question is: How can Islam be a religion of peace when Muslims are not peaceful in any sense??  

Answer
The verse you referred to is surah Al Baqarah verse number 191. However that is not the first verse in this context. The first verse of this context begins with verse number 190.

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

This verse was revealed in the historical context of the battle of Badr where a 1000 army had attacked the muslims who numbered 313.

The verse talks about fighting those who are already fighting you. This was the people who were already persecuting the muslims because of their belief in God and for accepting Islam. This started from something as small as ridicule in their belief, graduated to social boycott, torture and finally into full scale violence so much so that they had to leave the city of their birth and migrate to a different place after being kicked out of their homes. The only reason that the citizens of mecca were kicked out was because of what they believed in. After which they were attacked in their new city and the result was the battle of Badr.

In this verse, there is also condition which is being put that do not go overboard. Like when you see the people who are fighting you and you remember what they did to you, you might become emotional; you might feel justified in doing the same to them, EVEN THEN you are not supposed to do it. Because God does not love the transgressors. The non-believers may have transgressed against the Muslims but you are not supposed to do the same to them.

Then the next verse comes

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
In continuation when you are in battle, kill them wherever you find them. Also let me add a little bit of context to this. Here the meccan army which attacked the Muslims was well prepared for battle. The Muslims on the other hand were hardly prepared. Leave aside the numbers, they also did not have enough arms and weapons with them nor did they have any artillery which in those days were horses. This verse is also something like a pep talk to this ill prepared army to go ahead and fight because they expelled you. This verse is the one which is always quoted out of context. All you need to do is just go back to the previous one and see it in context.

Also the verse continues and there is a prophecy in this verse. That the Muslims will one day go back to the place where they were expelled from and that they will go back there without fighting. When the Muslims finally regained the city of Mecca, they did so without a fight. All they did was marched inside the city without a battle.

The word fitnah is of importance here – fitnah means where disobedience to God is made easier than obedience to Him. This is the world we live in today and God calls it worse than killing and murder.  This word is very important from the point of view of your question about Mansur Al Hallaj.

I would not like to comment on what the scholars you have quoted have said. For all of them I can give you an equal amount of scholars who have written for Islam. It’s the context brother which is important. Like that woman who wrote recently on Hindu scriptures. I read excerpts of her book online and I know how she has used them to suit what she wanted to prove. Does that make her right? ABSOLUTELY NOT. It just suits her purpose.

Also we have to make a clear distinction between Islam and Muslims, just because an invading army had muslim names does not make it an Islamic army. A simple fact that most people are unaware of in the army of Mohammed Ghazni which attacked the somnath temple 35% of the soldiers were hindus. I don’t think we can assume that they were fighting because they wanted to convert people to Islam.

Source: A lecture by Dr. Ram Punyani. You can watch it at the below link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7SYNYgdaOk

Secondly Muslims ruled India for a 1000 years, the very fact that 80% of the population of India are not muslims breaks the myth of the sword of Mohammed being the greatest risk to culture and civilization.

The only rule which Islam lays down in the Quran regarding killing an innocent man is Surah Al Maidah verse number 32 where God says

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.

The sin of killing a person without reason is as if to kill all the human beings and and whoever were to do that would answer God. If any muslims were involved in or caused 9/11, 7/7, 26/11 and innocents were killed then this is not Islam. It’s just what a person with a muslim name is doing.


Thirdly, Freedom of speech seems under threat due to Islam.
For example, Mansur Al Hallaj was torn into pieces for saying - Anal-Haq. Many journalists were murdered because they tried to reform. I heard from someone - the prophet himself murdered his critics as per Hadiths. (I haven't studied Hadiths myself and hence won't go in deep. You comment on that)

So, how is freedom of speech perceived in Islam  

My take on freedom of speech is “Your freedom of speech ends where my nose begins”.

Regarding Mansur Al Hallaj and his quote which can be translated as “ I am the truth” which gives the impression that he was claiming divinity or claiming to be God Almighty. In Islam, the greatest of sin is that of assigning partners to God or claim divinity in the case of Mansur Al Hallaj. The direct consequence of this is that you are causing fitnah(making disobedience easier than obedience as you are claiming to be God and you can now even change the words of the Quran and make disobedience easier for the people or you can change the religion as you deem fit) in the land, hence you are liable to be punished with death. This is from the point of view of history.

Whether he actually meant that or it was metaphorical is a separate debate.

Regarding the question of whether the prophet(pbuh) murdered any of his critics I am not aware of any such hadith. Please provide me the reference.
The Quran says that the prophet mohammed was sent as a “mercy to mankind”.
I know of specific hadiths where he(pbuh) forgave the killers of his uncle who had mutilated his body after his death in battle .

I am sorry to disturb you but we need to save humanity. We need to prevent Muslims from creating havoc.
I am not disturbed by any of your questions. Thank you for asking them. Indeed humanity needs to be saved from the fitnah it has got itself into and return to the obedience of God.

Please provide a solution to above mentioned 3 problems.

Let there be Peace everywhere.

Footnote: My efforts to answer your questions are only due to the grace of Almighty Allah(God) and whatever is right and good in them is due to Him. Whatever is wrong in them is due to my own faults and lack of knowledge and I pray that He forgives me for that.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be on you.


Muzaffar  

Comparative Islam

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Muzaffar

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I can answer questions about comparative religions on the beliefs of Islam and their comparison to religions like Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism. I can answer questions about the origination of the beliefs of various religions and what are the historical facts and data pertaining to such beliefs. I cannot answer questions about shariah or matters which require the opinion and ruling of a mufti.

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I have devoted 8 years of study to various religions of the world. Have penned down my thoughts in a book which can be downloaded for free at scribd http://www.scribd.com/doc/31774928/Manuscript or email me at havemorequestions@gmail.com and I will send you a free copy.

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I have a Bachelors degree in business administration and a masters in IT.

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