The greatest problem facing Islam today is, as I see it, that Muslims have almost totally forgotten the Sunnah (Prophet’s way) of non-violence. In later times when the Ottoman and Mughal empires disintegrated and problems like that of Palestine have had to be confronted by the faithful, Muslims all over the world have fallen a prey to negative reaction on a colossal scale; they have failed to remember that the policy of Islam is not that of violence but of nonviolence. It is the result of this deviation, that despite almost a 100-years of bloody wars, Muslims have achieved no positive gain. Rather whatever they already had has been lost by them.. Keep reading full article at the Source: How Islam will dominate in the Modern Age? | Faith Forum
Today’s world is highly diverse. There is not a single country in the world which is homogenous and without diversity. Though in the past too diversity existed but colonization, scientific progress and faster means of transpiration has increased diversity in the world and globalization has further added to its intensity. In the past generally people moved for better prospects within the country, today people seek jobs, even education, in far off countries or even across continents.
Also, it is Allah’s will to create diversity among His creation. ALLAH SAYS IN Qur’an, “And if Allah had pleased He would have made you a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you. So vie one with another in virtuous deeds.” (5:48) Thus diversity is Allah’s will and it is trial for us if we can live in peace and harmony with each other despite this diversity. Also, Allah wants us not to assert our superiority but to vie one with another in good deeds.
Also, if there is diversity there is likely to be misunderstandings and misconception about each other which often lead to conflict and breach of peace. These applies to both: interfaith and interfaith communities. Interfaith conflict is also widespread even within Muslims [between Shi’ahs and Sunnis or Bohra or non-Bohra Muslims or between Barelvis and Deobandis]. The only way to remove these misconceptions is to have dialogue with each other.
Thus three days become quite important: democracy, diversity and dialogue. Democracy and diversity is complimentary to each other though many people think homogeneity is strength, it is not. Homogeneity can result in dictatorship whereas diversity becomes life-line for democracy. Experience shows that greater diversity results in stronger democracy.
But diversity also poses a challenge and this challenge has to be met through proper understanding of each other though dialogue. Dialogue, it should be noted, is not a modern or contemporary concept including inter-religious dialogue. In medieval ages Sufis and yogis often used to have dialogue in India. Also, Sufis on one hand, and, Christian mystics and Jewish saints on the other, had mutual dialogue. Some of them spent years understanding others religious tradition. Dara Shikoh or MAZHAR Jan-i-Janan, for example, had thorough knowledge of Hindu traditions. Dara Shikoh even translated Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian and named it …I have seen its manuscript in Darul Musannifin, Azamgarh. He also wrote a book called Majma’ul Bahrayn (Co-mingling of Two Oceans). It is a great book of dialogue between Hinduism and Islam.
However, there are some rules to be observed if dialogue has to succeed and produce required result. The very first requirement is that none participating in the dialogue should have attitude of superiority over the other. It goes against the very spirit of dialogue. Secondly, dialogue should be on certain concrete issues like women’s rights or war or non-violence and so on. Today there is breat misunderstanding a bout these issues. Most of the non-Muslims, especially westerners think that Islam gives no rights to women and subjugates them thanks to certain practices among Muslims like hijab or polygamy or honour killing and so on.
Similarly, there is widespread misunderstanding about the concept of jihad thanks to certain fatwas or statements of Usama bin Laden justifying his attack on New York Towers as jihad. In fact there is great misconceptions among Muslims and Muslim Ulama about these issues like polygamy and Jihad. There is great need for dialogue with them too. And much more need to have dialogue with non-Muslims.
The dialogue process should include religious functionaries, scholars who have in-depth knowledge of the issues, journalists (who write and spread misconceptions) and lay people as well as these people are often victims of misconceptions. Secondly one should have humility to learn rather than argue on the basis of ignorance rather than knowledge. But participants must have right to raise questions to remove doubts.
Thirdly, one must be firmly rooted in ones own faith tradition and should be able to explain the reasons for certain practice orrationale of the teaching. Any doubt or ignorance may harm the spirit of the dialogue. Also one should be able to remove all the doubts raised during discussion through ones own thorough knowledge and conviction and clarity.
Fourthly, one should have tremendous patience and capacity to listen and understand others situation and try to remove doubts express and not try to silence the other through debating skill or try to use polemics. It will destroy the very idea of having dialogue. There is fundamental difference between debate and dialogue.
Also while being firmly rooted in ones own faith tradition one also has to accept the other with his/her otherness without being critical of otherness. Dialogue is to promote understanding and not to reject other’s faith or finding fault in others faith. Dialogue should never be directed to convert the other but only to understand the other. Both or the multiple partners in dialogue should throw light on the concerned issue in the light of ones own faith tradition and handle the question with tact and delicacy they deserve.
Dialogue so conducted can really work wonders and promote real understanding about ones own faith while understanding others faith. I have been a part of dialogue process for more than 40 years and can say with confidence that dialogue plays very important role in a diverse society. Knowledge, conviction and clarity and appreciation for others point of view are very useful tools for dialogue.
By Asghar Ali Engineer
So much is said and written about Islamophobia. It’s a tendency found in some non-Muslims, especially in the West, who question and discriminate against ‘Muslim attire’ and beliefs. But those who speak the loudest against Islamophobia have very little to say about a social illness that is haunting their own societies: religiomania.
I would like to describe it as an unhealthy obsession with religion that is carelessly used to not only inflict bodily harm on those considered to be infidels or ‘bad’ Muslims, but to also use it as an excuse to rob, lie, cheat and attempt to maintain manipulated dominance over those considered religiously flawed and inferior. It is also used to describe one’s own professional, social and political shortcomings as something that is due to the intrigues of those who are against Muslims.
Religiomania also constitutes a myopic fixation to preach; it engulfs many from the generic maulvis to those belonging to large outfits like the Tableeghi Jamat and Dawat-i-Islami, the ever-growing number of Islamic televangelists, and all the way to those who just can’t help but roll out numerous emails and text messages on the subject on a daily bases. Growing up in an era in which the whole myth about Islam being in danger has reached a new, unprecedented peak, many Pakistanis’ fixation with religion has at times seen this obsession turn into a rather disruptive allergy.
Even the most educated men and women suddenly become allergic to recognising some obvious truths about what we as a nation and polity have ended up doing in the name of faith and morality. We will wail, moan and whine about Islamophobia in the West, but keep mum over the discrimination and hatred that take place by Muslims against other religions as well as between and within Muslim sects in this country.
This mania has generated a childlike stubbornness in which all avenues of reason and rationality are purposefully blocked. By doing this we are convinced we are dutifully defending our faith, even if this means actually becoming apologists and defenders of the most destructive and inhuman expressions of religious extremism. An extremism of our own making.
Religiomania also includes literally wearing one’s religion loudly and for all to see as if otherwise God won’t be able to judge our religiosity. Take the example of the way many Pakistanis reacted to the niqab ban in France. Some women who use burqa or hijab say they feel liberated. In our media we hear their voices loud and clear, but never of the other side who suggests that a woman who observes hijab/ burqa/ niqab may as well be submitting to the historical Arab tribal male-driven tradition of claiming control over women.
Various Muslim women authors and thinkers believe that the observance of veil remains a dictate of Muslim men. They say that the practice is an outcome of laws and social mores constructed over the last many centuries by judges, ulema and lawmakers who were all men. Muslim women who do not use the veil are right to demand that if some of their sisters in France are so agitated by the veil ban, then they should be equally agitated by the act of enforcing women to wear a veil, a burqa or a chador in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and some parts of Pakistan. It’s only fair, if this really is a matter of the freedom of expression.
While we busy ourselves in discussing the veil issue in France, bemoaning the discrimination faced by Muslim women there who observe the veil, we conveniently forget that in many Muslim countries, women who believe that modesty is a state of mind and can be demonstrated without veiling are coming under increasing pressure. Much of this pressure, of course, is coming from men.
Yet, unveiled women also face a telling pressure from the ever-increasing numbers of veiled women or from even those who wear hijab. This begs the question: Is it really liberation that a woman feels behind a veil, or is this liberation only about liberating oneself from that awkward thought of ever daring to challenge male-dominated interpretations of a woman’s modesty?
In a male-dominated society driven by religiomania such a question can land a woman in trouble, so many may as well submit to the male idea about morality and explain it away as an expression of faith and identity instead of a cop-out. It’s just a question.
By Nadeem F. Paracha, http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/08/smokers-corner-religiomania.html
The common misconception that; “The Muslims are commanded by Qur’an to be hostile with the non Muslims”, is far from truth. On the contrary Qur’an urges the Muslims to keep normal relationship with non Muslims based upon, “Equity, Kindness and Love” [Qur’an;60:7-9]. The Christians and Jews being ‘people of scripture’ are accorded special status, to the extent that Muslims are allowed to eat their food [kosher] and marry their chaste women, what else could be the level of intimacy! Muslims are urged to resist oppression and fight in self defense with those who expel or aid in expelling them from their homes due to their faith and belief. Those non Muslims who do not indulge in such an activity against them are to be treated with kindness and equity [Qur’an:22:39-40]. The actual cause of antagonism with non Muslims is not their disbelief but their hostility to Islam and their tyrannical treatment of the followers of Islam. The Muslims, therefore, should distinguish between the hostile disbeliever and the non-hostile disbeliever, and should treat those disbelievers well who have never treated them evilly. Unfortunately extremists on both sides, misquote the Qur’anic verses out of context to support their own ideas and concepts and use it for malicious propagandas. Equitable treatment of non Muslims in Muslim Spain, Palestine, Ottoman Caliphate, Muslim rule in India and elsewhere is living testimony to the fact. Muslim history does not have any example comparable to Spanish inquisition and ethnic cleansing, but some isolated distortion of history. Though use of power is permissible for self defense or for freedom of oppressed people under tyrant rulers, however it was also used for imperial aspirations, a part of historic process. The events like Crusades took place upon instigation of over ambitious clergy, which if allowed to be repeated would result in bloodshed as in past. Non Muslims have been playing important role in development of Muslim empires. If they could mutually coexist in peace in the past, why not now?
Even Jesus Christ accords highest priority to good relations and fair treatment to others while summing up the teachings of entire Bible [as known now] in one verse: “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. The modern communications have made this world as a ‘Global Village’, nations all across world are closer like neighbors. All the three major scriptures are unanimous on the good treatment of neighbors [Qur’an;4:36, Al-Tirmidhi Hadith,11, 1334, Talmud, Shabbat 31:a, Matthew 22:39-40,7:12, Luke;6:31, similarly Leviticus 19:18].
Hence why practice violence and extremis on the name of religion while the Holy Scriptures do not sanction it. Let’s remove the mist of selfishness and strive for world peace. Still there is much needs to be explained and many questions to be answered below….
So Read More >>>>
- Muslim Non-Muslims Relationship
- Dealing Non-Muslims-1
- Payment of Tax-Jazyah
- Equitable Muslim Rule of Spain
- Human Rights of Non Muslims
- Non Muslims Not considered as Friends?
- Dealing Non Muslims-2Eliminate Infidels
- Double Standards in Preaching
- Kill Non-Muslims
- Threat of End of World
- Prophet Muhammad’s Everlasting Promise to Christians
- Abraham To Muhammad (pbut)
- Jerusalem, Covenant, Chosen Race
- Impact of Islam on Christianity & West
- Bible & Quran התנ\”ך \x26 הקוראן
- Muslims:Rise and Decline
- Comparison: Three Faiths from Abraham
- Islam Christianity
- The Dialogue of Civilisations (PDF file)
- Muslim Heritage in Our World: Social Cohesion
- How Islam Created the Modern World
- Muslim Science (PDF file) and more
- Islam and The Christian West- Historic overview of Relationship:
- Jihad- Myth and Reality
- Reality of “Mardin fatwa” of Ibn Taymiyyah to justify mass murder …
- Jihad-Myth and Reality
- Terrorism Strictly Forbidden in Islam Edict, Fatwa
- The Suicide Bomber Prophet
- The Most Violent Prophet in History
- Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
- 5 Ridiculous Things you Probably Believe About Islam
- Politics Behind Misunderstanding Islam
- What really drives suicide terrorists?
- Terrorism? – It’s the Occupation, Stupid:
- Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
- Islam and Democracy-A Debate