, by MUHAMMAD SIRAJUDDIN
The objective of Islam is to prevent (satanic or despotic) rule of man over man i.e. one group over another and to establish rule of (people within) the divine law. This objective is to be achieved through peaceful means like belief and Ibadah like Shahadah [declaration that there is none deserving worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Last Messenger], Salaah (prayer), Saum (fasting), Zakat (almsgiving), Hajj (once in life time), and Jihad (peaceful striving in the way of Allah) and detailed Shari’ah guidelines available for every field of human activity.
Islam and its tenants, in particular Jihad, is targeted and misinterpreted willingly by the detractors and enemies of Islam to mislead common people. In his Introduction to The Qur’ān, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan writes:
“Those who are introduced to the Qur’ān only through the media, generally have the impression that the Qur’ān is a book of Jihad and Jihad to them is an attempt to achieve one’s goal by means of violence. But this idea is based on a misunderstanding. Anyone who reads the Qur’ān for himself will easily appreciate that its message has nothing to do with violence. The Qur’ān is from the beginning to end, a book which promulgates peace and in no way countenances violence. It is true that Jihad is one of the teachings of the Qur’ān. But Jihad, taken in its correct sense, is the name of peaceful struggle rather than of any kind of violent action.
“The Qur’ānic concept of Jihad is expressed in the following verse, ‘Do greater Jihad (strive more strenuously) with the help of this [Qur’ān]’ (25:52). ‘Obviously, Qur’ān is not a weapon, but a book which gives an introduction to the divine ideology of peaceful struggle. The method of such a struggle, according to the Qur’ān, is to ‘speak a word to reach their very soul’ (4:63). ‘It is true that there are certain verses in the Qur’ān, which convey injunctions similar to the following, ”slay them wherever you find them”(2:191). Referring to such verses, there are some who attempt to give the impression that Islam is a religion of war and violence. This is totally untrue. Such verses relate, in a strict sense, to those who have unilaterally attacked the Muslims. The above verse does not convey the general command of Islam.”
All such verses in all divine scriptures (the Qur’ān being the latest and final version of them all) should be taken according to the context and in the true spirit. For instance, the Gita, the holy book of the Hindus, pertains to wisdom and moral values. Yet along with this is the exhortation of Krishna to Arjuna, encouraging him to fight (Bhagavad Gita, 3:30). This does not mean that believers in the Gita should wage wars all the time. Mahatma Gandhi, after all, derived the philosophy of non-violence from the same Gita. Similarly Jesus Christ said: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mathew.10:34) It would not be right to conclude that the religion preached by Christ was one of war and violence, for such utterances relate purely to particular occasions.
When Prophet Muhammad emigrated from Makkah to Madinah, the idolatrous tribes were aggressive towards him. But the Prophet always averted their attacks by the exercise of patience and the strategy of avoidance. However on certain occasions no other options existed, save that of defence. That is why the permanent status of the Prophet has been termed as “mercy for the mankind” (21:107). “Islam is a religion of peace in the fullest sense of the word. The Qur’ān calls its way “the path of peace” (5:16). It describes reconciliation as the best policy (4:128), and states that God abhors any disturbance of the peace (2:205). The concept of Islamic violence is so obviously unfounded that prima facie it stands rejected.
Zionists spreading lies saying Islam is spread by sword were brow-beaten with UN statistics telling that the Muslim population in the world more than doubled during the fifty years period from 1935 to 1985 even without any war between Muslims and Non-Muslims, or conversions at the point of knives.
Subsequently the same lobby invented an entirely new methodology of creating pretexts to attack, torture and kill innocent unarmed citizens in Muslim countries, young, old, women and even little children without any reason calling them terrorists, as also brought in a new terminology such as ‘Islamic Terrorism’, ‘Fight against terror’, ‘Rebels’ so on and so forth. With the passage of time it is getting clearer and clearer that these war mongers fear the spreading influence of Islam and Islamists and not any terrorism.
‘The fact that violence is not sustainable, in the present world, is sufficient indication that violence as a principle, is quiet alien to the scheme of things in Islam. Islam claims to be an eternal religion, and as such, could never afford to uphold any principle, which could not stand up to the test of time. Any attempt to bracket violence with Islam amounts, therefore, to casting doubt upon the very eternity of the Islamic religion. Islamic terrorism is a contradiction in terms, much like ”pacifist” terrorism. And the truth of the matter is that all the teachings of Islam are based, directly or indirectly, on the principle of peace.’
According to the Qur’ān there have been Allah’s messengers among all nations starting with Adam and ending with Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’ān enjoins man to believe in all of them and the divine scriptures they have brought and as also do not differentiate even between any. The Shari’ah of Prophet Muhammad however is the final version of divine scriptures and laws and will remain unchanged till the Day of Judgement as Allah the Exalted declares in the Qur’ān: “We are the revealers of this reminder (Qur’ān) and it is unto Us to guard it.”
Finally, let us look at a few verses of the Qur’ān on Tolerance, Pluralism, Secularism in Islam which are self-explanatory: ’Let there be no compulsion in religion’ (2:256); ’The Messenger believeth in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and so do believers. They all believe in God and His angels, His scriptures, and His messengers. They say, “we do not differentiate between any of His messengers. We hear and obey. Grant us Your forgiveness, Lord, to you we shall all return!’ (2:285); ’You have your religion and I have mine’(109:6).