Posted by: rshalomw | December 26, 2008

ISLAM: RELIGION OF PEACE, OR NOT?

The following information will provide clear answers to a question that has sparked much debate.  Metaphorically speaking, let us look through the electron microscope of truth. 

THE TWO FACES OF ISLAM
HIDDEN & MANIFEST
WRITER NAME: FR. ZAKARIA BOTROS
PUBLISHED BY: WWW.FATHERZAKARIA.COM
 

note that the word ‘interpretation’ and not ‘translation’ is used because Islam prohibits the literal translation of its ‘holy book’- for this reason, the Arabic text of the Quranic verses  can be found at :

http://www.fatherzakaria.com

 

After the recent terrorist attack on America’s World Trade Center and Pentagon,
there has been a very clear debate in the international media regarding the nature of
Islam. We have seen the media change from the one extreme of being explicitly anti-
Islamic, to the other, for the sake of presenting a political and human balance, of
being pro-Moslem.
Christianity very clearly teaches us to love all of our fellow humans- even our
enemies- but it by no means tells us to become blind to reality and the truth, or to be
mislead by misinformation.
To make a fair assessment regarding any issue, one must be aware of all sides of the
matter at hand, and for this reason; this study will demonstrate a certain side of Islam,
which has not been precisely portrayed by any part of the popular media. The facts
here will be based on textual reality from a recognised interpretation of the Quran
[The meaning of THE HOLY QURAN by Abdullah Yusuf Ali1992]- note that the word
‘interpretation’ and not ‘translation’ is used because Islam prohibits the literal
translation of its ‘holy book’- for this reason, the Arabic text of the Quranic verses
has also been included, so that there is no possible accusation of misinterpretation.
THE TWO FACES OF ISLAM
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, many Muslims (and non-Muslims
driven by political ends) worldwide have attempted to present Islam as a religion of
peace and love, wanting to distance it from those shameful and brutal occurrences…
they say that there is no violence in the essence of Islam.
It is obvious however that the perpetrators of these acts base their dependence on
violence on clear and indisputable verses of the Quran, represented clearly in a
statement by Osama Bin Laden on the CNN network. Based on this premise, Bin
Laden, the Taliban and the Philippines Muslim group Abu Saiaf, among others, have
openly declared war against the United States of America in the name of Islam, using
quotations from the Quran such as:
‘And those of the people of the Book (Jews & Christians) who aided them (the
unbelievers), Allah (God) did take them down from their strongholds. And cast
terror into their hearts, so that some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners.
And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods’
(Surah Al Ahzab 33:26 and 27)
Many are then confused; is Islam is a religion of violence, or one of peace?
When we actually study the book of Islam, the Quran, we discover that Islam has two
faces. Each of these face represents a certain stage of Mohammed’s character: one in
Mecca, and the other in Medina.
THE FIRST FACE OF ISLAM
Mohammed’s character in Mecca
In Mecca, where Mohammed started his new religion in the year 610 A.D, he was not
yet strong. To be accepted by all people, he presented a peaceful and loving picture of
Islam, avoiding any mention of violence, and here are some quotations from the
Quran about that first stage:
1. Mohammed was told to be patient with his opponents in Surah Al Muzzammil
(73:10) ‘And have patience with what they say, and leave them with noble
(dignity)’
‘Let there be no compulsion in religion’
   Mohammed was told to speak pleasantly to ‘people of the Book’ (Christians and
Jews) in Surah Al Ankabut (29:45) ‘And dispute ye not with the people of the
Book, except with means better (than mere disputation) … but say: we believe in
the Revelation which has come down to us and that which came down to you; Our
God and your God is One; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)’
THE SECOND FACE OF ISLAM
Mohammed’s character in Medina
After Mohammed moved to Medina in the year 622 AD and his followers grew in
strength and number, he became a relentless warrior, intent on spreading his religion
by the sword, and this is the message that now lives on. Here is some evidence from
Quran of this stage:
1. He claimed that God told him to kill his opponents in Surah Al baqarah (2:191)
‘And slay them wherever ye catch them …’
 Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying, “This passage is
illustrated by the events that happened at Hudaybiyyah [a battle] in the six year of
the Hijrah [exodus of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina]. The Muslims were by
this time a strong and influential community”. (The Meaning of the Holy Quran
P77).
2. He claimed that God told him to kill whoever rejects Islam in Surah Al Baqara
(2:193) ‘And fight them on until there is no tumult or oppression, and there
prevail justice and faith in Alla …’
 Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying, “Islam will not
acquiesce in wrong doing, and its men will hold their lives cheap in defence of
honour,and the religion which they hold sacred. They believe in courage,
obedience… and a constant striving by all means in their power… They will not
flinch from war if their houner,demands it and a righteous Imam commands it”
(The Meaning of the Holy Quran P77).
3. He claimed that God told him to fight the ‘people of the Book’ (Christians &
Jews) in Surah Al Tawba (2:29) ‘Fight those who believe not in Alla and the Last
Day … nor acknowledge the religion of truth (Islam) from among the People of
the Book until they pay the Jizyah (tax) with willing submission, and feel
themselves subdued …’
 Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying, “A straight fight in the
cause of right; go forth bravely to strive and struggle, and prove yourselves
worthy of Alla”
(The Meaning of the Holy Quran P.446).
4- (Surah Al Tawbah 9: 12) “… Fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith [infidel] …”
 * Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying,”The catalogue of
their sins being set out, it is cleare that they were aggressors in the worst
possible ways; and war became inevitable”. (The Meaning of the Holy Quran
P.440).
5- (Surah Al Tawbah 9: 14) “Fight them and Alla will punish them by your hands,
cover them with shame, help you to victory over them, Heal the breasts of
Believers”
 * Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying,”When Alla’s Law is
stablished, the fire of indignation is quelled, and the true Peace of Islam is
attained” (The Meaning of the Holy Quran P.441).
6- (Surah Al Tawbah 9: 123) “O ye who believe fight the unbelievers who gird you
about. And let them find firmness in you and know that Alla is with those who
fear Him”
 * Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying,”When conflict
becomes inevitable, the first thing is to clear our surroundings of all evil…To
evil we must put up a stout and stif resistance” (The Meaning of the Holy
Quran P.475).
7- (Sura Al Anfal 8: 65) “O Prophet rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are
twenty amongst you, patint 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”
 
* Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying, “In a fight … the
men of faith do not daunt. Whether they personally win or die, their cause
prevails. They are sure to win: because (1) they have divine aid, and (2) even
humanly speaking, those who take up arms against truth are fools, and their
seeming power is but a broken reed”. (The Meaning of the Holy Quran P.431).
He adds,” Jihad (Holy war) is fought under strict conditions laid down by Islam,
and glory for the cause of Alla”. (The Meaning of the Holy Quran P.431).
8- (Surah Al Baqara 2: 216) “Fighting is prescribed upon you …”
 * Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying, “To fight in the
cause of truth is one of the highest forms of charity”. (The Meaning of the Holy
Quran P.86).
Notice: Fight is a form of charity, in Islam!!!
9- (Surah Al Anfal 8:60) “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 Alla and your enemies …”
 * Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on this verse saying, “In every fight arm
yourself with the best weapons and the best arms against your enemy, so as to
instil wholesome respect into him for you and the cause you stand for”. (The
Meaning of the Holy Quran P.429).
7
THE SAME IDEOLOGY
&
STRATEGY
The problem with the assessment of Islam in the West, which is predominantly
Christian, is the it is looked upon as another faith- like Christianity- and thus it is the
right of each individual to worship as he or she pleases. This is right, but the problem
is that Islam is not like Christianity.
Christianity is a system of faith and morality which can exist within any national or
state system, but Islam however has its own political and judicial system embodied in
the Shareia (law) which governs every Muslim. For this reason, Islamic
fundamentalists who live even in a moderate Islamic state with a secular political
system, will attempt to overthrow this system because it does not sufficiently embody
the principal of Islam being ‘Religion and State’.
This study by no means attempts to present a picture of all Muslims being bad,
because this is not at all true- there are many moderate Muslims who are good and
constructive members of society, but even these are looked upon by fundamentalists
as kaffara (apostate) because they do not follow the Quran faithfully, and thus are
also worthy of the same end as any non-Muslim, that is, death.
Thus, the problem is one of Islam, and not of Muslims. We know that in any religion,
or any faith, it is the role of each believer to carry out the teachings of that faith, and
thus, these teaching become the rules by which he or she lives- any ‘faithful’ Muslim
must follow the Quran.
Islam everywhere in the world especially in the West follow the same ideology and
strategy of Islam. They start with the first stage of weakness to pretend that they are
peaceful and loving. They take advantage of Democracy and Human Rights in the
West to spread their faith.
After they become strong they do not hesitate to kill people and destroy the
civilization of the West, which –according to their belief– is against the doctrines of
Islam, as we have seen in bombing the World Trade Center in New York and the
Pentagon in Washington.
8
Testimonies Of
Famous Muslims
1- Mohammed Hassanein Heikal’ a well-known Egyptian Muslim author refers to
this fact in his famous book “Autumn Furor”. He said,
“The element of Jihad (holy war) emerged in the ideology of Abul Alaa
Almaudoody (a fanatical Muslim in Egypt). He went on to differentiate
between two separate stages, a Muslim community goes through:
The stage of weakness – In it a Muslim community is unable to take
charge of its own destiny. In this case – according to his thinking –
they must withdraw for the purpose of preparing themselves to be
capable of executing the second stage.
The second stage is the Jihad (holy war) stage, and it will come when
the Islamic Community has completed its preparation and is ready to
come out of its isolation to take charge, through Jihad
In this, Abul Alaa Almaudoody was making a comparison between the
two stages of weakness and Jihad on the one hand, and on the other
hand, Mohammad’s struggle in Mecca, then in Medina.”[Following
the same strategy of Mohammed].
2- Hassan Abdulla Al Torabi, the most fanatic Sudanese Muslim leader, was
accustomed to say openly,
“We pretend to be weak, till we become strong”
3- Imam Abdullah Yusuf Ali, comments on Surah Al baqarah (2:191) ‘And slay
them wherever ye catch them…’
“This passage is illustrated by the events that happened at
Hudaybiyyah [a battle] in the six year of the Hijrah [exodus of
Mohammed from Mecca to Medina]. The Muslims were by this time
a strong and influential community”. (The Meaning of the Holy
Quran P77).
This is the reality of Islam and his two faces. How much we should be aware of
what is happening around us.

 

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