In Part One I covered in general terms how the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings clearly and forcefully refute and rebuke the statements and deadly actions of Muslim militants across the Muslim world.
Here I will address specific issues and behaviors committed by the ignorant militants that are in direct contradiction to the Qur’an and Prophet’s message of mercy to all mankind.
The two foundational principles in the Quran and in Prophet Muhammad’s teachings, beyond the most important which is worshiping God alone, are to ensure Justice on earth and the doing of good and forbidding evil.
In Islam Justice and fair dealings are regarded as the highest form of worship of God. Justice necessarily means that all mankind are created and treated equally under God’s law.
God demands justice even if a Muslim must witness against himself or herself, his own parents, relatives, or any person regardless of position, economic status, race, ethnicity, religious persuasion, or gender.
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice, or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (Qur’an: 4:35)
Muslims must uphold justice at all times even in times of conflict, war, or being provoked to anger by blasphemers.
“O You who believe! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity. Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people to lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.” (Qur’an: 5:8)
Prophet Muhammad gave the following instruction to his companion whom he appointed as ruler of Egypt. Where are such Islamic values today?
“Infuse your heart with mercy, love and kindness for your subjects. Do not stand over them like greedy beasts who feel it is enough to devour them, for they are of two kinds: either they are your brethren in faith or like you in creation.’
AND he also taught:
“There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.”
“The best jihad (striving) in the path of Allah is to speak a word of justice to an oppressive ruler.”
“A perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands mankind is safe.”
“The just and fair will be seated on chairs of light before Allah. Such people are those who decide with justice and deal justly in matters relating to their families as well as other affairs entrusted to them.”
O! Muslim Militants! Where is the justice and fair dealings with all people, Muslims and Non-Muslims that is found in your words and deadly actions?
2. Doing Righteous Good Deeds and Forbidding Evil:
The doing of righteous deeds and forbidding evil is a duty and obligation for every Muslim, male or female, wherever he/she reside. This directive is the most mentioned phrase in the Qur’an.
“The Believers, both men and women, are allies and protectors of one another, they [all] enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the obligatory charity dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle. It is they upon whom God will bestow His grace: verily, God is almighty, wise!” (Qur’an: 9:71)
For Muslim women to meet such an obligation means that they should be educated, employed, and equally involved in all of societal affairs.
Thus, O! Muslim Militant; why do you kill, oppress, abuse, and forbid women from their God given duty to be productive members of society?
Prophet Muhammad’s teachings:
“Whoever sees something evil should change it with his hand. If he cannot, then with his tongue; and if he cannot do even that, then in his heart. That is the weakest degree of faith.” (Directive to both men and women)
Evil is spreading across the Muslim world while Muslims are avoiding their duty to expel such evil from their lands. Apathy and Silence are not Islamic virtues.
Let us then address specific issues for which the militants are committing great sin and crimes against humanity.
Islam on War and Terrorism:
Terrorism against anyone, much less Muslims, is totally repugnant and out of the realm of Islam and a loving Creator.
In the Qur’an God says: “Verily My mercy precedes My wrath.” (Qur’an 55:2)
God in the Qur’an tells Prophet Muhammad; “We have only sent you as a Mercy to mankind.”
In Islam only Defensive War is allowed, never an offensive war. Even at times of war the Prophet taught his companions that they should only fight the combatants who fight them; to never kill, harm, or abuse civilians, treat prisoners kindly, not to destroy property especially houses of worship, trees or plants, and to only kill domestic animals for food.
There can never be any rationale for what is repulsively called “Islamic Terror.”
O! Muslim Militants, by what stretch of the imagination do you find any justification for your suicide bombings, slaughter and kidnapping of civilians, destruction of mosques, churches and synagogues, expelling Muslims and Non-Muslims from their homes and villages, and massacring fellow Muslims.
For the first thirteen years of the revelation of the Qur’an in Mecca the Prophet and his followers endured persecution, murder, torture, expulsion from their homes with utmost patiently and prayers. It was only after they were expelled to Medina that God finally gave the Muslims “Permission” to fight against those who wage war against them, thus in self defense only, never being the aggressors.
“PERMISSION [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged, and, verily, God has indeed the power to support them.” (Qur’an: 22:39)
“AND FIGHT in God’s cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression-for, verily, God does not love aggressors.” (Qur’an: 2:190)
(In God’s cause refers to the ethical principles ordained by God)
But God also commands the Muslims that if their enemies seek peace then Muslims must also seek peace.
“But if they cease, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran: 2:192)
“If they seek peace, then you seek peace. And trust in God for He is the One that hears and knows all things” (Qur’an: 8:61)
“If someone kills another person – it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with Clear Signs but even after that many of them committed outrages in the earth. (Qur’an: 5:32)
“Say (O Muhammad), “Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill – GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you that you may understand.”
(Qur’an: 6:151) —- [Life is Sacred repeated in 17:33; 25:68, and others]
Suicide is absolutely forbidden in Islam. The idea that suicide bombers are martyrs in Islam is totally wrong. The difference between a martyr and a suicide bomber is their intention. The martyr enters battle against combatants with the intention to live but is killed in combat, while a suicide bomber’s intention is to die and in most instances kills the innocent.
“And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.” (Qur’an: 4:29)
For a Muslim militant to intentionally kill innocent Muslims praying in a mosque is absolutely evil. God says his reward will be in Hell.
“And whoever (a Muslim) kills a believer (Muslim) intentionally, then his reward shall be Hell, eternally abiding therein and God will be angry with him, and curse him, and for him is prepared a great retribution” (Qur’an: 4:93).
What of Bombing Monasteries, Mosques, Churches, Synagogues where the name of God is proclaimed?
“And if God had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where God’s name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. God will certainly help those who help Him –Indeed God is Powerful, Exalted in Might.” (Qur’an: 22:40)
Thus the Qur’an strictly forbids terrorism, offensive wars, suicide bombings, destruction of places of worship, and the killing of all innocent life regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion.
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Islam on Education Generally and on Female Education in Particular
Islam rests on mankind seeking knowledge, science, and observing the miracle of God in the creation of man, earth, and the universe.
The Qur’an is replete with references to seeking knowledge.
The very first word revealed in the Qur’an is: “Read”.
“Read in the name of thy Lord who created; He created man from a germ cell . Read in the name of thy Lord who taught by the pen: [He] taught man what he did not know.” (Qur’an: 96: 1-5).
“My Lord: Increase me in knowledge.” (Qur’an: 20:114)
“Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?!” (Qur’an: 39:9).
“We made the Quran easy to learn. Do any of you wish to learn?”
“God will raise those among you who believe, and those who acquire knowledge to higher ranks. God is fully aware of everything you do” (Qur’an 58:11).
“The acquisition of knowledge is a duty incumbent on every Muslim, male and female.”
“The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of martyr.”
“To listen to the words of the learned and to instill into others the lessons of science is better than religious exercises.”
“Whoever has a daughter, tutored her on good morals, educated her well and fed her properly; she will be a protection for him from hell fire.”
Here is a quote from a speech given by the Second Caliph in Islam, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab in the 7th Century. A most worthy speech till the end of time.
“O ye people I counsel you to read the Qur’an. Try to understand it and ponder over it. Imbibe the teachings of the Qur’an. Then practice what the Quran teaches. The Qur’an is not theoretical; it is a practical code of life.”
O! Muslim Militants. Who then is serving God, the girl seeking knowledge, or the man who tried to kill her?
Freedom of Religion is Guaranteed in Islam.
In no other faith other than Islam is Freedom of Religion and worship so explicitly and forcefully guaranteed in its Scripture, the Qur’an, and in the teachings of our most beloved, Prophet.Muhammad.
The most profound statement on freedom of religion is found in the Qur’an. It is the basis for all dealings on the issue of freedom of religion whether to enter Islam, leave Islam, or the freedom to practice one’s faith in total security and guarantee.
“There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2:256)
“To you is your religion, and to me is my religion.” (Qur’an: 109:6)
“BUT IF they turn away from you, O Prophet, remember that your only duty is a clear delivery of the message.” (Qur’an: 16:82)
“Lo! Those who believe (Muslims) and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans (Monotheists) and Christians – Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does right – there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.” (Qur’an: 5:69).
“So remind (them O Prophet), you are only a reminder. You cannot compel them to believe.” (Qur’an: 88:21-22)
Prophet Muhammad’s Teachings on Freedom of Religion:
When the Prophet emigrated from the city of Mecca to Medina and Muslims became the majority population living in a plural society with Jewish, Christian, Pagan, and other religious minorities, the Prophet took the then unknown step of establishing a “Constitution” for the Muslim State in the City of Medina that for the first time in history became the first Constitution to guarantee and secure the legal and human rights of all citizens and to guarantee the freedom of religion, worship, and practice of all other faiths. Jews, Christians, and all other minorities became equal citizens to Muslims in the State.
This Constitution and Declaration of Human Rights preceded such a principle in the West by over one thousand years.
From the Constitution of Medina: 622 C.E.
Some of the rights enjoyed by non-Muslims as citizens of the Muslim state were:
- The security of God is equal for all groups,
- Non-Muslim members have equal political and cultural rights as Muslims. They will have autonomy and freedom of religion.
- They have the right to practice their religion in terms of law, family, cultural and other matters.
- Non-Muslims will not be obliged to take part in defensive wars of the Muslims.
The Prophet also signed an extraordinary treaty with the Christian Monks of St. Catherine in Mount Sinai that applied to dealings with all Christians.
Some elements of the Treaty between Prophet Muhammad and the Christians are: 628 C.E.
- If a Christian woman marries a Muslim, the Muslim shall not prohibit his wife from her chapel and prayers and the practice of her religion.*
- That no person hinders them from repairing their churches.
- No one shall bear arms against them, but, on the contrary, the Muslims shall wage war for them.
- Neither in time of war shall they take them out of their habitation, nor compel them to go to the wars, nor even then shall they require of them any poll-tax.
- Whatever churches they possess, no one is to deprive them of them.
- Whosoever shall annul any of these my decrees, let him know positively that he annuls the ordinance of God.
No other faith in history has been as inclusive, generous, tolerant, accepting, or respectful of other faiths as does Islam.
The ugly myth that Islam was spread by the sword is a Judeo-Christian invention meant to demonize and dehumanize Islam. If that was true then there would be no Jew or Christian alive anywhere Muslims ruled.
Just as an example, here are three historical incidents in which Muslims conquered Jerusalem from its occupiers.
Second Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab conquers Jerusalem peacefully and prays outside the door of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to ensure its protection.
The Caliph signed a Covenant with the Christian Patriarch Safronius that guaranteed peace, care, and protection to all the residents of Jerusalem and their places of worship. He also allowed Jews to return to the city from exile.
Saladin peacefully re-conquers Jerusalem from the Christians and exacted no revenge against the Christians who had committed massacres killing tens of thousands of Jews and Muslims.
Suleiman the Magnificent conquered Jerusalem and began vast construction projects to rebuild its places of worship and in 1536 built the Wall and Gates of Jerusalem. When the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, this Ottoman ruler invited thousands of Jews to come to Palestine and Jerusalem.
Compare how Muslims treated Jews and Christians in their history with how Christians brutally dealt with Jews and Muslims, and how Jews today are treating Christians and Jews in Palestine.
To forcefully convert a person to any faith only adds a non believing hypocrite to the community, a person who will hate the faith and the people who forced him.
God wants mankind to come to Islam by their free will with their minds, hearts, and soul in total submission and obedience to Him. What need does God have of mankind much less of hypocritical believers.
Apostasy is referred to in the Qur’an in several verses: (2:217, 3:86-90, 4:137, 9:66, 9:74, 16:106-109, 4:88-91, 47:25-27), yet contrary to the what westerners and some Muslims believe, the Qur’an DOES NOT PRESCRIBE ANY PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTASY. God is the ultimate judge of all of humanity’s actions.
“Behold, as for those who come to believe, and then deny the truth, and again come to believe, and again deny the truth, and thereafter grow stubborn in their denial of truth — God will not forgive them, nor will guide them in any way.] (Quran: 4:137)
In Part III, I will discuss the remaining topics that are relevant to the ignorance of truth held wrongfully by the evildoers, the Muslim Militants.