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<br /> <b>Strict Standards</b>: Non-static method BP_Options::get() should not be called statically in <b>/home/absolut6/public_html/forums/bb-includes/backpress/functions.bp-options.php</b> on line <b>9</b><br /> Seeds of Islamic Fundamentalism « Absolute-Truth Forums

Absolute-Truth Forums » Truth Musings

Seeds of Islamic Fundamentalism

(1 post)
  1. Anonymous

    Compiled by Stephen Knapp

    We all know that most Muslims are not terrorists, nor do they want to quarrel with others. The majority of them simply want to worship God in their way and live a peaceful life. So why does there seem to be friction and difficulties that often involve Muslims? And why are there so many terrorists in the world who, indeed, call themselves followers of Islam? Where do we find the seeds of their motivation?

    As we uncover these verses in the Koran to see what it really says, bare in mind that these are not mistranslations into English as some people will suggest. All these verses are derived from "The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary" by 'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali, published by Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland, USA, in cooperation with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). So this edition of the Koran is approved and sanctioned by this Muslim organization. So there should be no argument that these verses mean something other than what they say as follows.

    The Koranic References for the Sword Against Non-Muslims
    Does the Koran itself give credence to strike against kafirs and infidels, those who are non-Muslims, or to conduct a holy war to protect and expand the faith? When we study the Koran, particular verses of it certainly seem to provide such viewpoints.

    The fact is that there are numerous ayats (verses) in the Koran that confirm the ways for Muslims to view and treat non-Muslims. For example: "O Prophet! Rouse the believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding." (Surah 8:65) "Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): 'I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them." (Surah 8:12) "Truly Allah loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure." (Surah 61:4) These verses certainly seem to give a harsh view of non-Muslims in the way it prescribes treatment of them.

    When it comes to the attitude that the Koran displays for those who are not Muslims, the verses make it clear what is to be done. This is not merely in a few sparse verses, as if we are misunderstanding what is being said, but in several. For example, in the following verses, perpetual war and divisiveness for the destruction of non-Muslims and their religion is recommended until the whole world becomes converted to Islam. "Say to the unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; But if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; But if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do." (8.38-39)

    Furthermore, if the Koran specifically relates a harsh view toward infidels, non-Muslims, then that would make it even easier for militant Muslims to feel there is little harm in ill-treating or even killing those who are participants of other religions. In this regard we find the following verses in the Koran:

    "Verily ye (unbelievers), and the (false) gods that ye worship besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! To it will ye (surely) come!" (Surah 21:98) "(The sentence will be:) Throw, throw into Hell every contumacious Rejector (of Allah)!; Who forbade what was good, transgressed all bounds, cast doubts and suspicions; who set up another god beside Allah: throw him into a severe penalty." (Surah 50:24) "Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks [cut off their heads]; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); But (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others, but those who are slain in the way of Allah [for the cause of Allah]--He will never let their deeds be lost. Soon He will guide them and improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden which He has announced for them." (Surah 47:4-6) "Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst creatures. Those who have faith and do righteous deeds--they are the best of creatures." (Surah 98:6 and 7) This last verse seems to refer directly to the Jews (People of the Book) and Hindus (polytheists) as future residents of hell.

    These verses seem to give justification to expanding the faith not necessarily with spiritual knowledge, or understanding and purity, but by what would be military strength under the Will of Allah. In light of recent discussions about what is or is not Islamic Jihad, referring to the holy war of Muslims overcoming evil, does this mean that there also should be war or the use of terror against non-Muslims? Are non-Muslims viewed as evil within the verses of the Koran? The following verses (Surah 9:5,6) sheds light on the Prophet's idea of what really is Jihad, and whether it includes war against the infidels: "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in ever stratagem (of war); But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful." So this would indicate that the Koran's version of the "Mercy of God" offers unbelievers the "choice" to convert to Islam or die.

    Even though the words of the Koran were written many years ago, and pertained to a different set of circumstances, they are still applied today with the same seriousness by many. When the Koran mentions that Muslims should "fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in ever stratagem (of war)," the idea seems to indicate the means to make the enemy live in a state of perpetual terror. Since Islam is also called "din-e-Ghalib," which means the religion of dominance by God's will, Muslim minorities in non-Islamic countries may feel that they can do everything possible to harass and harangue the host countries to practice their faith or culture, or to allow Muslims to have special privileges based on following their faith over and above abiding by the local national laws. The basis for this concept could also be justified within the Koran (Surah Anfal, 8:59-60) where it says: "Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly). They will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know." This seems to be saying that even if others die in the process, "whom ye may not know," Allah will judge whether they are believers or pagans--those who have accepted Gods other than Allah. And then the soldiers of Allah are assured that they will be properly recognized for whatever sacrifice they make to Him, as stated here in the remainder of the verse: "Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly."

    It is also said: "O ye who believe! Fight the Unbelievers who gird you about and let them find firmness [hardness] in you; and know that Allah is with those who fear Him." (Surah 9.123) "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among The People of the Book [the Jews], until they pay the Jizyah, and feel themselves subdued." (Surah 9.29) The Jizyah means to pay tribute or compensation, or the tax that was levied against those who did not accept Islam.

    So, it would seem that on the basis of the above verses, infidels and all non-Muslims may actually be fit to be subdued, crushed, or even exterminated, and that it could even be considered a favor to Allah to rid the world of them. After all, they are believed to be going to hell anyway. Furthermore, these verses also show that those who die for Allah or the cause of Islam will be recognized and even delivered to the garden of paradise. With the basis of verses like these, it is no wonder that it is not difficult to arouse young Muslims for the Islamic cause in the training camps of Al-Qaida, Taliban, and other militant and fundamentalist groups. It is inestimable how much bloodshed has already been shed throughout history because of this teaching. So it should not be surprising that the radical Islamic leader Abdullah Shah Mazhar recently got 5,000 volunteers to take the "oath of death" and commit themselves to suicide squads in attacks against the U.S. and other "infidel forces". The fact is that many Muslims feel that one day Islam will dominate the world, and there are those who are specifically working to bring that about as soon as possible, and sometimes in whatever way they feel works best.

    However, this is not new. Swami Vivekananda in a lecture in California in January of 1900 said regarding this aspect of Islam: "Every step forward was made with the sword--the Quran in one hand and the sword in the other: Take the Quran, or you must die; there is no alternative!"

    Mahatma Gandhi also spoke about this aspect of Islam. After the assassination of Swami Shraddhanand by a Muslim fanatic in December, 1926, he said: "Mussalmans have an ordeal to pass through. There can be no doubt that they are too free with the knife and the pistol. The sword is no emblem of Islam. But Islam was born in an environment where the sword was, and still remains, the supreme law. The message of Jesus has proved ineffective because the environment was unready to receive it. So with the message of the Prophet. The sword is yet too much in evidence among the Mussalmans. It must be sheathed if Islam is to be what it means--peace."
    Allah's Call For War, or Else
    In the mood for achieving dominance, as we have seen, many Islamic terrorists are ready to give up their lives for the cause. They engage in suicide attacks wherein it is part of the plan that they will give up their lives, often believing that by doing so they automatically go to heaven. So does the Koran justify this idea as well? In this respect we find the following verses:

    "Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord." (Surah 3:169) "O ye who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter." (Surah 9:38) So, herein we find the Koran practically encouraging the anticipation for reaching the next life, even if it means giving up your own for "the Cause of Allah."

    The odd thing is that the Koran advocates war against non-believers, at least according to the verses that have been listed herein, and now it also advocates punishment for those believers (Muslims) that do not fight against those unbelievers when they are called to do so. And those that do take up war will be rewarded into the Garden. The verse that clarifies this reads as such: "Say to the desert Arabs who lagged behind: 'Ye shall be summoned (to fight) against a people given to vehement war: then shall ye fight, or they shall submit. Then if ye show obedience, Allah will grant you a goodly reward, but if ye turn back as ye did before, He will punish you with a grievous penalty. No blame is there on the blind, nor is there blame on one ill (if he joins not the war): But he that obeys Allah and His Messenger--(Allah) will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow; And he who turns back (Allah) will punish him with a grievous penalty." (48:16-17)

    "O ye who believe! When ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day--unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)--he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell--an evil refuge (indeed)!" (8:15-16)
    Kill the Unbelievers
    The Koran goes on to order: "And slay them wherever ye catch them and turn them out from where they have turned you out; For tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith." (2:191) Let us point out that to "suppress faith" in this case means not only curbing Islam but to advocate faith in God by any other path.

    "And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail Justice and faith in Allah; But if they cease, let here be no hostility except to those who practice oppression." 2:193)

    "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposites sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter." (5:33)

    "Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers." (9:14)

    "O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque." (9:28)

    "O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, an evil refuge indeed." (9:73)

    "(Disdainfully) bending his side, in order to lead (men) astray from the Path of Allah: for him there is disgrace in this life, and on the Day of Judgement We shall make him taste the Penalty of burning (Fire)." (22.9)

    "So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them herewith with a great endeavor." (25:52)

    "And if any believe not in Allah and His Messenger, We have prepared for those who reject Allah a blazing Fire!" (48:13)

    "'Bring yet up', it shall be said, 'The wrong-doers and their wives, and the things they worshipped--Besides Allah, and lead them to the Way to the (Fierce) Fire!" (37:22-23)
    The Rewards and Punishments in the Koran
    What makes the idea of who is saved and who is worthy of hell more clear is that there are specific rewards given by Allah for the believers and punishments for the non-believers that are related in the Koran. Some of these are as follows:

    "As to the righteous (they will be) in a position of Security. Among gardens and springs. Dressed in fine silk and in rich brocade, they will face each other; Moreover, We shall join them to Companions with big, beautiful and lustrous eyes. There can they call for every kind of fruit in peace and security; Nor will they there taste death, except the first death; and He will preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire--As a bounty from thy Lord! That will be the supreme achievement! Verily, We have made this (Quran) easy, in thy tongue, in order that they may give heed." (44:43-58)

    "To Him will be your return--of all of you. The promise of Allah is true and sure. It is He who beginneth the process of creation, and repeateth it, that He may reward with justice those who believe and work righteousness; But those who reject Him will have draughts of boiling fluids, and a penalty grievous because they did reject him." (10:4)

    "These two antagonists dispute with each other about their Lord: But those who deny (their Lord)--For them will be cut out a garment of fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling water. With it will be scalded what is within their bodies as well as (their) skins. In addition there will be maces of iron (to punish) them. Every time they wish to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be forced back therein, and (it will be said), 'Taste ye the penalty of burning!" (22:19-22)

    "Unless I proclaim what I receive from Allah and His Messages: For any that disobey Allah and His Messenger--for them is hell: they shall dwell therein forever." (72.23)

    "And to those who believe not in the Hereafter, (it announceth) that We have prepared for them a Penalty grievous (indeed)." (17:10)

    "For the Rejectors We have prepared chains, yokes, and a blazing fire. As to the righteous, they shall drink of a cup (of wine) mixed with Kafur. A fountain where the devotees of Allah do drink, making it flow in unstinted abundance." (Surah 76: 4-6) "Verily the [judgement] day of sorting out is a thing appointed. The day that the trumpet shall be sounded, and ye shall come forth in crowds; and the heavens shall be opened as if there were doors, and the mountains shall vanish, as if they were a mirage. Truly Hell is a place of ambush--for the transgressors a place of destination: They will dwell therein for ages. Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink, save a boiling fluid and a fluid, dark, murky, intensely cold--a fitting recompense (for them)." (Surah 78:17-26) "As to those who reject faith I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone for help." (Surah 3.56) "Verily Allah has cursed the Unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire--to dwell therein forever: No protection will they find, nor helper." (Surah 33.64-65) "And when there comes to them A Book from Allah, confirming what is with them--although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without faith--when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognized. They refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without faith." (Surah 2.89)

    "Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book and among the polytheists, were not going to depart (from their ways) until there should come to them clear evidence. . . Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the polytheists, will be in Hellfire, to dwell therein (for aye), they are the worst of creatures. [But] those who have faith and do righteous deeds--they are the best of creatures. Their reward is with Allah: Gardens of Eternity, beneath which rivers flow, they will dwell therein forever; Allah well pleased with them, and they with Him: all this for such as fear their Lord and cherisher." (Surah 98:1, 6-8) "Allah will deliver them from the evil of that day, and will shed over them a light of beauty and a (blissful) joy. And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a garden and (garments of) silk. Reclining in the (garden) of raised thrones, they will see there neither the sun's (excessive heat) nor (the moon's) excessive cold. And the shades of the (garden) will come low over them, and the bunches (of fruit), there will hang low in humility. And among them will be passed round vessels of silver and goblets of crystal." (Surah 76:11-15)

    Allah Guides Those to Heaven or Hell as He Likes
    The Koran explains in numerous verses that those who reject Allah is sent to hell by Him. However, in several verses it is described how Allah will guide those He wants in order that they go the proper way, and will leave astray those He chooses, who are then left to go to hell. So how can there be blame by Allah for those who become unbelievers (non-Muslims) if Allah Himself decides not to guide one properly? The verses read as follows: "Of them there are some who (pretend to) listen to thee; but We have thrown Veils on their hearts, so they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; If they saw every one of the Signs, they will not believe in them; in so much that when they come to thee; the unbelievers say; 'These are nothing but tales of the ancients.'" (6:25)

    To make this more clear, this next verse also explains how this takes place: "We (too) shall turn to (confusion) their hearts and their eyes, even as they refused to believe in this in the first instance: We shall leave them in their trespasses, to wander in distraction." (6:110)

    "When thou dost recite the Quran, We put between thee and those who believe not in the hereafter, a veil invisible. And We put coverings over their hearts (and minds) lest they should understand the Quran, and deafness into their ears; when thou dost commemorate thy Lord--and Him alone--in the Quran, they turn on their backs, fleeing (from the Truth). (17:45-46)

    "We sent not a messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. Now Allah leaves straying those whom He pleases. And He is exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom." (14.4)

    "If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people: But He leaves straying whom He pleases, and He guides whom He pleases: but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions." (16.93)

    "Whom Allah doth guide--he is on the right path: Whom He rejects from His guidance--Such are the persons who perish." (7:178) Now what is the reason why Allah rejects one and not the other? And why does He not bring people together as one people if He could, only to leave them in divisions and quarreling with each other? Every other God in any other culture always seems to come with a message in an attempt to unite people and establish peace. Why does Allah not do the same if He is God? This is not clearly answered, but another verse still explains the prerogative that Allah takes on those He has created. "It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true guidance; but he whom He leaves astray--for such wilt thou find no protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgement we shall gather them together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf: their abode will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, we shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire." (17:97)

    Hypocrites Do Not Reach Allah
    We also find that the Koran states that even Muslims who do not properly remember Allah are but hypocrites. And they do not reach Allah. "The hypocrites--they think they are over-reaching Allah but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance." (4:142) Thus they may also reach the punishment of hell.
    The Punishment of Hell the Destination for all Non-Muslims
    The hellish conditions described in the Koran evolve around being cast into hellfire and being forced to drink and be bathed in boiling water. "(They will be) in the midst of a fierce blast of fire and in boiling water, and in the shades of black smoke. Nothing (will there be) to refresh, nor to please." (56:42-44)

    The Koran makes it clear that all non-Muslims, unbelievers, will go to eternal hell. There is no second chance or allowance for any alternative to the Muslim religion in the eyes of the Koran. Yet, the hell that is described is not merely suffering forever, but is the entrance to a hellfire that roasts one's skin eternally. "Those who reject Our Signs, We shall soon cast into the fire; As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the Penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise." (4:56)

    "Verily the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinful--like molten brass; It will boil in their insides, like the boiling of scalding water. A voice will cry: "Seize ye him and drag him into the midst of the Blazing Fire! Then pour over his head the Penalty of Boiling Water. Taste thou (this)! Truly wast thou mighty, full of honour! Truly this is what ye used to doubt! (44: 43-50)

    The Koran's Views of Jews and Christians
    There are verses in the Koran that describe the Jewish people and the Christians in both favorable and unfavorable terms. In one place it explains that even those of other religions who believe in Allah have nothing to fear. "Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians--Any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work in righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (This verse is found in both 2:62 & 5.69)

    However, the Koran goes on to place the Jews in the same category as the pagans as having enmity toward the believers, who are of course the followers of Islam: "Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans." Then the same verse in the Koran goes on to praise the Christians: "And nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who say, 'We are Christians': Because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth. They pray: 'Our Lord! We believe; write us down among the witnesses." (5:82-83)

    Another verse with a similar sentiment is, "We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il; Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." (3.84)

    So here is another verse which indicates the possible unity or cooperation and respect between Islam and other religions. This begins to sound a little reasonable. It is a rare verse in the Koran that proclaims respect for other religions, and it would be good if Muslims would focus more on such verses. Yet right after this verse we find it said, "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)." (3.85)

    We could say that yes, the ultimate religion is surrender to God, and Allah is a name for God, so we may agree with this principle. But in Islam there is only one way to surrender and that is to Allah alone. To surrender to another, or to use or respect any other name for God is a blasphemy in Islam.

    Furthermore, any cooperation between Christianity and Islam is a fine line because Christians say that Jesus is the son of God. This is a view that the Koran condemns. In the following verses we find that the infidels include those who think that God begot a son, meaning the Christians. "(Those) who say (Allah) Most Gracious [Lord] has begotten a son! Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! As if the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin. That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not constant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son." (Surah 19:88-92) "Further, that He may warn those (also) who say, 'Allah hath begotten a son'; No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying. What they say is nothing but falsehood!" (Surah 18:4-5)

    The Koran also strongly rejects the idea of combining or identifying other Gods with Allah, as related in the following verse. Muslims are often not so liberal as other religions in this regard. In fact, the Koran says that even Jesus recommended that Christians take up the worship of Allah, and that anyone who identifies Allah with any other god will go to the eternal fire: "They do blaspheme who say: 'Allah is Christ the son of Mary.' But said Christ: 'O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' Whoever joins other Gods with Allah–Allah will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrongdoers be no one to help." (5.72)

    Another point to consider is that not only does the Koran not consider Jesus the son of God, but it also offers little more respect to Jesus than one would for a mere messenger. This would not bode well with most Christians, wherein it is stated in the Koran: "Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; Yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!" (5.75)

    The Koran further elaborates that, "In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: 'Who then has the least power against Allah, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother and all–everyone that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things.'" (Surah 5.17)

    With these views toward the Jews and Christians, the advice that the Koran gives to the Believers, meaning the Muslims, is that they must avoid the friendship of such people or be considered the same as they are, in which case they will lose the favor of Allah. "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust." (Surah 5.51) This leads to additional exclusiveness amongst Muslims and separateness from all others. This has obvious repercussions in creating a deeper lack of respect and lack of cooperation amongst the various religious cultures and sects in the world. And this is exactly the opposite of what the world needs to attain peace amongst all people.
    The Punishment for Losing Faith in Islam
    In most religions the right to religious freedom, or to change one's religious affiliation, is taken for granted. However, in Islam all schools of law (madhhahib) agree that any adult male apostate from Islam should be killed. Most Muslim jurists also claim that leaving Islam is a crime which carries the penalty of death as recommended by God. Therefore, while conversion from other religions to Islam is welcomed and actively encouraged, Muslims who leave Islam for any other religion must be sentenced to death (unless they repent and return to Islam).

    As we shall see, the Koran supplies references which would make it seem that death is a just sentence for one who leaves Islam. However, the hadiths (the traditional sayings and deeds of Muhammad) are much more pronounced in the punishment that must be given to any apostates from Islam. For now we will simply look at how the Koran emphasizes God's severe punishment of any apostate in the next life.

    One example is in Surah 2:217: ". . . and if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be Companions of the Fire and will abide therein."

    Going through the Koran numerically, we next come to Surah 3, verses 86-91: "How shall Allah guide those who reject faith after they accepted it and bore witness that the Messenger was true and that Clear Signs had come unto them? But Allah guides not a people unjust. (86) Of such the reward is that on them (rests) the curse of Allah, of His angels and of all mankind. (87) In that will they dwell; Nor will their penalty be lightened, nor respite be their (lot). (88) Except for those that repent (even) after that and make amends: for verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. (89) But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith--Never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray. (90) As to those who reject faith and die rejecting--Never would be accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though they should offer it for ransom. For such is (in store) a penalty grievous, and they will find no helpers." (91) Herein it becomes obvious that for one who does not repent and return to Islam, their fate after death cannot be changed even if they offer all the gold of the earth.
    The Curse of Allah and Punishment for those who Give Up the Faith (Apostates)
    The Koran repeats: "But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs--they shall be companions of hell-fire." (5:86) "Those who reject faith and deny Our signs will be companions of Hell-fire." (5:10) "But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein." (2:39)

    Not only are they destined for suffering, but Allah is not as merciful as He is proclaimed to be. In this next verse it is declared that even if one gives up Islam and then repents, they will be shown no mercy. "For those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of Faith--never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray." (3:90)

    "Those who believe, then reject Faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject Faith, and go on increasing in unbelief--Allah will not forgive them nor guide them on the Way." (4:137)

    "Anyone who after accepting Faith in Allah, utters Unbelief--Except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith--but such as open their breast to Unbelief--on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful penalty." (16:106)

    "But those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance--they are companions of the Fire, to dwell therein (forever)." (7:36)

    "Those who break Allah's Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves." (2.27)

    "Make ye no excuses: ye have rejected Faith after ye had accepted it. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you, for that they are in sin." (9:66)

    "They swear by Allah that they said nothing (evil), but indeed they uttered blasphemy, and they did it after accepting Islam; and they meditated a plot which they were unable to carry out: this revenge of theirs was (their) only return for the bounty with which Allah and His Messenger had enriched them! If they repent, it will be best for them; but if they turn back (to their evil ways), Allah will punish them with a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: They shall have none on earth to protect or help them." (9:74)

    "Those who turn back as apostates after Guidance was clearly shown to them, the Evil One has instigated them and busied them up with false hopes. (47:25)
    Treatment of Apostates According to the Koran
    However, for those Muslims who may find such apostates who have left Islam, how they should be treated is made quite clear. Herein it is said that they should even be taken and killed, as explained in Surah 4: 88-89: "Why should ye be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites? Allah hath upset them for their (evil) deeds. Would ye guide those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way? For those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way, never shalt thou find the Way. They but wish that ye should reject the Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): but take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

    Even war may be waged against the leaders of those who have left Islam, which is indicated in Surah 9:11-12: "But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, --they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand. But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith, --fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained." Thus, there are those who accept this as definite proof that the Koran calls for the death penalty on apostates.

    Even if one merely cannot accept Islam to the full because of the basic human weakness to be attracted to the world, then they are referred to as being destined to perish after death. This is explained in Surah 16:106-107, 109: "Anyone who after accepting faith in Allah utters unbelief except under Compulsion, his heart remaining firm in faith but such as open their Breast to unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah and theirs will be a Dreadful Penalty. (106) This because they love the life of this world better than the Hereafter: and Allah will not guide those who reject faith. (107) Without doubt, in the hereafter they will perish." (109)

    Finally, we find that if anyone simply turns away from Allah, He will give them the fierce punishment, as found in Surah 88:23-4: "But if any turns away and rejects Allah. Allah will punish him with a mighty Punishment."

    If we search the hadiths, there seems to be even more references to the way those who leave Islam should be punished by death, even if they are women. The point these verses make is that apostates are meant to face a terrible punishment and there is no clear implication that the fate of apostates is other than eternal damnation. Once they reject or do not accept the faith, their fate is permanent. As previously mentioned, the connotation is that Islam must be accepted or you die, or are eternally damned. This seems to be the ultimate process of controlling people through the use of fear, rather than drawing people to God by the promise of an all-attractive loving relationship with the Supreme Being, which merely needs to be reawakened. Now which of these would you prefer?

    There is no Freedom of Religion
    Ultimately, in the eyes of the Koran and under the dictates of Allah, there is no freedom to pick your own spiritual path. This is clarified in this next example, which says: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)." (3:85)

    The Koranic Views on Women
    In the following verse we find that men are given priority in the process of spiritual development. The following verses indicate that the inspiration to understand the message of Allah is given to men more than women. "Nor did We send before thee (as messengers) any but men, whom We did inspire--(men) living in human habitations." (12:109) Also, "And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom we granted inspiration: if ye realize this not, ask of those who possess the Message."(16:43)

    Inheritance is also favored toward men. "Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females." (4:11-12)

    Allah's specific directions about marriage are also provided, in which men are highly favored: "Marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." (4:3)

    There are also restrictions in what kind of women can be married. "Prohibited to you (for marriage) are--your mothers, daughters, sisters; father's sisters, mother's sisters, brother's daughters, sister's daughters; foster-mothers (who gave you suck), foster-sisters; Your wive's mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in--No prohibition if ye have not gone in--(those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is oft-giving, Most Merciful--Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess [meaning those who have been taken captive]; Thus hath Allah ordained (prohibition) against you: except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property--desiring chastity, not lust. Seeing that you derive benefit from them, give them Their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if , after a dower is prescribed, ye agree mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise." (4:23-24) Thus, we find prohibitions to marrying one's mother, sister, or daughter, etc. This means that there must have been such things taking place to the extent that there was a need to establish rules against it.
    The Basis of Muslim Brotherhood
    In the Koran there are several ayats (verses) that dictate the basis of Muslim brotherhood and how they should view one another. For example: "Verily, this Brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and cherisher. Therefore, serve Me (and no other)." (Surah 21:92) "To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as a race) towards all that is good. Whosoever ye are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah hath power over all things." (Surah 2:148) "Those who believe, and adopt exile and fight for the Faith, in the cause of Allah as well as those who give (them) asylum and aid--these are (all) in very truth the Believers: for them is the forgiveness of sins and a provision most generous." (Surah 8:74)

    In this way, the Koran establishes the basis of a Muslim Brotherhood in which they serve and support each other and their activities that are considered to be for the cause of Allah, or for Islam in general. Thus, they are motivated to work to help one another, which is natural in any faith. However, this is most favorably viewed while under the dictates of the Koranic law, which takes priority over the civil or state law of the local country. This is the foundation of what is called the "Islamic Nation", which Muslims call the general Islamic community that consists of Muslims throughout the world. Furthermore, few outsiders are allowed to be part of this brotherhood. It tends to divide Muslims from all others who are non-Muslims, who are considered non-believers in view of the Koranic verses quoted above.

    The Koran describes how the fellowship and brotherhood of mankind should exist only within the Muslim community, the Islam Nation, and not with any outsiders, including Jews and Christians. This sort of vision will certainly keep the divisive nature existing between religious and cultural communities. How can there be peace in the world if any religion advocates such an attitude of one people toward another? Yet the following verses clearly indicate that Muslims should make no friends with non-Muslims.

    "O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom." (3:118)

    "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors; They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust." (5:51)

    "Let not the Believers take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than Believers; if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (to remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah." (3:28) "O ye who believe! Take not for protection your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: If any of you do so, they do wrong." (9:23)

    "Remember who the Unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They plot and plan, and Allah too plans, but the best of planners is Allah." (8:30)

    "But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a fire, to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment." (4:14)

    A few additional verses that help clarify this include the following: "The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; And fear Allah, that ye may receive mercy." (Surah 49.10) "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other." (Surah 48.29)

    The problem with this sort of brotherhood has been noted by numerous people. In a lecture in California in January of 1900, Vivekananda said: "Mohammedans talk of universal brotherhood, but what comes out of that in reality? Why, anybody who is not a Mohammedan will not be admitted into the brotherhood; he will more likely have his throat cut."

    Another example is from Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, who formed the Indian Constitution. He could see the dangers of what is the Islamic brotherhood. In his book, "Thoughts on Pakistan", published in 1940, he explains: "Hinduism is said to divide people and in contrast Islam is said to bind people together. But this is only a half truth. For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation there is nothing but contempt and enmity."

    In 1941, Ambedkar spoke further about the effects of the Islamic brotherhood, at least in India. However, it reflects an attitude in Muslims that is found in numerous other areas as well. "It is this which leads every Mussalman in India to say that he is a Muslim first and Indian afterwards. It is this sentiment which explains why the Indian Muslim has taken so small a part in the advancement of India but has spent himself to exhaustion by taking up the cause of Muslim countries and why Muslim countries occupy the first place and India occupies the second place in his thoughts."

    However, now there is also an increasing number of wars amongst the Islamic denominations. In a recent edition of the Washington Post (June 25, 2003, Page A23) there was an article titled "Radical Muslims Killing Muslims" by Zahir Janmohamed. In that he mentioned: "There is a tendency to view the Muslim population as a monolith, with a uniform agenda and little dissent. This outlook on Islam has prompted a slew of articles with titles like "Why Do They Hate Us." But in Pakistan, many Islamic radicals hold equal (and sometimes more) animosity toward dissenting Muslims (particularly Shiites) than toward westerners. The Sipah-i-Sahaba have even killed many of their own Sunni clerics, because the clerics rejected their divisive agenda. Often, implementing a skewed understanding of Islamic sharia (religious law) -- and not hatred of the West -- is their prime motivation."

    This is my case in point: That as long as anyone utilizes "a skewed understanding of Islamic religious law" regarding any of the numerous above-mentioned Koranic verses, they have all the ammunition they need to justify their own radical ideas and methods of engaging in "the Cause of Allah". In conclusion, if any of the above information and Koranic references are taught to young Muslims in such places as the thousands of madarsas (Islamic schools) in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other places; and say that the 880 million fellow citizens of India, or others elsewhere in the world, are but kafirs and infidels who deserve or are ultimately going to be thrown into the hellfire; and that their primary allegiance is not to the country of their residence but to the State of Islam; and that the Koran justifies them to engage in Jihad against all non-Muslims; then their spiritual well-being, along with the peace of the world and the safety of anyone else, and the existence of any religion outside Islam, is in jeopardy. This is what must be recognized.

    For this reason it may behoove Muslims to remove the teachings in the Koran that are often interpreted as hateful by Westerners and toward Westerners, or are used by Muslims as the basis of hatred and resentment towards all those who are not Muslims. Certainly it would provide for a more peaceful world. There must come a time when it is understood that we are all children of the same God. There may be differences in the way we recognize and worship God, but this should be a natural difference in the varying sentiments of respect and veneration and love for God. It should not be misconstrued that only one way is indeed the only way. This will keep the world bound in religious dictatorial views and ambitions, as well as quarrels and wars, without end. This is not the way God wanted it.

    (Verses were taken from "The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary" by 'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali, published by Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland, USA, in cooperation with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

    Posted 7 years ago #

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