ISLAM AND ITS RELEVANCE IN MODERN AGE
Dr. Badarul Islam
Adam Publishers & Distributors
1542, Pataudi House, Darya Ganj
Islam is not a newreligion rather it is culmination of earlier monotheistic religions like Judaism, and Christianity, etc. Islam, complete submission to God, is the one and only Faith consistently revealed by God to mankind from the very beginning.
The book under review Islam and Its Relevance in Modern Age by Dr Badarul Islam delves deep into the contemporary world and comes out with some explanations to dispel misconceptions mushrooming in the society about Islam and Muslims.
The Quran is the greatest gift of God to humanity. The purpose of its revelation is to guard the previous revelations and restore the Eternal Truth of God. It has been sent down to guide humanity towards straight path, to awaken human conscience, and to enlighten the succeeding generations.
The authenticity of the Quran and its contents is unquestionable, a quality which no other religious book enjoys. It will always be intact as Allah says, “We have without doubt sent down the message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption) (15:9)
Dr. Islam examines the trend that today we see people talking about human rights everywhere. We are also witnessing national and international organisations monitoring human rights and trying to contain their violation. The author clarifies that the Quran not only deals with guidance and instructions about the rights and duties of people, but in clear terms enjoins its followers to respect human rights and warns them against the consequences if these rights are violated. The Quran says, “Serve Allah and join not any partners with Him; and do good – to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are kin, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and what of our right hand possesses: for Allah loves not the vainglorious.” (4:36)
The Holy Quran invariably directs us about human rights and duties in different verses. One can find the mention of rights of parents, orphans, relatives, the poor and needy, wayfarers, neighbours, children and slaves in the following verses of the Holy Book: 2:83, 2:215, 4:36, 6:15, 17:23-24, 2:177, 17:26, 9:60, 2:36, 6:151.
Dr. Islam says that there is a misconception among the common people and even among intellectuals that the Quran does not elaborate on peace, and hence its followers are a ‘threat to world peace’. He terms the allegation as baseless as an in-depth study of the Quran and Sunnah clearly reveals a complete theory of peace. At the time of the revelation of the Quran, the world in general and Arabia in particular was badly in need of peace because humanity at that time was crushed under the burden of oppression and persecution. The first and foremost need of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) was to establish peace and promote law and order so that he could accomplish his Divine Mission. That is why we see that from the very beginning the Islamic movement has given peace priority and discernable importance. Allah says, “Peace! A word (of salutation) from a Lord Most Merciful.” (36:58) and “Do not make mischief on earth” (2:11).
Dr. Islam also tries to remove misconceptions about terrorism and jihad. He says that there is no consensus or unanimity over the meaning and application of the term terrorism. The same thing may be an act of terrorism while it may be an act of nationalism to someone else. To one it may be a religious duty while to some others it may be a crime. Because of various socio-religious and political backgrounds, arriving at an agreed definition of terrorism is difficult. He clarifies that the word ‘terrorism’ is derived from Latin word ‘terror’ which means to terrify or a horrible act to spread panic.
He says that Islam is the fountainhead of peace and love. Violence and Islam are opposed to each other as fire and water. Both cannot co-exist; where there is violence, there cannot be Islam there. The very meaning of the Arabic word ‘Islam’ is peace. Thus, Islam, as a religion, stands for peace, tolerance, co-existence and universal brotherhood. Whereas terrorism breeds violence, hatred and bloodshed.
Dr. Islam laments that the media equates terrorism with Jihad (armed struggle based on religious teachings). To them any terror activity in which there is a remote chance of involvement of Muslims is Jihad. Many a time such activities are carried out by some other groups to defame and malign Muslims and Islam and blame deliberately is put on Muslim individuals or organisations. It is not proper to accept the claim of any individual or organisation that their violent activity is Jihad. True Islamic Jihad is something different.
He clarifies that Jihad is utmost struggle to achieve some objective. Islamic jihad is straining and struggling in the way of God to attain His pleasure by promoting good and eradicating evil.
In the book he also invites those, who do not believe in the Creator to ponder over the creation of the universe. He says that the creation of mysterious universe compels us to accept the existence of a Creator – God; without Whom one cannot explain the universe and the systematic way in which it is being run.
The Quran also says, “Do they not look at the sky above them how We have made it? And adorned it and there are no flaws in it. And the earth We have spread it out and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth.” (50:6-7)
Thus, it is evident that God has not only created these things but also placed them in their best forms. This not only proves the existence of the Creator but also His Oneness. If there had been more than one Creator we would have never found this type of organisation, and coherence among them, i.e. the unity of design in diversity. (p.26)
Someone may argue that different gods can rule the sphere jointly, had it been so, this would have divided the universe in many parts with each one having his own rules and regulations. They could have also tried to dominate each other, resulting in chaos and confusion in the universe. But fortunately we do not find such a situation. Thus, we can conclude that the universe is the creation of One God who is none but God. (p.39)
The book is marked with lucidity of thought and clarity of expression. However, there are some minor errors. Spellings of some words and names vary at different places, i.e. on page No. 14 at one place Deen is written as Din. Spellings in the names of some prominent authors also differ at different pages, e.g. on page 16 Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi is written as Maududi Abul Ala, on page 72, A.A. Maududi and on page no 120, Maududi. I hope such spelling mistakes will be rectified in future editions.