Islam (religion)

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In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
DEDICATED TO
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
AND TO
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
*

ISLAM

Views have been expressed that Muslims are trying to “Islamize” Europe, and America, (and the world). Are not Christians trying to “Christianize” Muslim lands and the world? 

If Muslims are trying to “Islamize” Europe and America and the world, Muslims are trying to do them an invaluable service. Islam has given to man knowledge, wisdom, and truth. Whereas, all Christianity has given to man is the mythical blood of Jesus Christ and a seat in the pew of patent paganism.
Given Islam’s lofty and sublime doctrines a Mosque is to be built not only in every country but in every city and in every town and in every village and if need be on every street.
Only the occupier the usurper the oppressor the transgressor the exploiter the criminals the bigots and those dedicated to falsehood are terrified of Islam!

*

Allāh created man because He loved to be known, the Prophet Mohammad taught. But Allāh did not create us without a purpose. He created us to serve Him–(Qur’an 51:56. And service to humanity is service to God: the Prophet Mohammad taught that we love God by loving His creatures. We worship Allāh as a reminder that the only being greater than oneself is our Creator. The Prophet Mohammad also instructs us to imbue ourselves with Divine Attributes–truth, love, mercy, compassion, forgive-ness, justice…). Allāh also created us to have mercy on us–(Qur’an 11:19); and He created life and death as a trial, as to which of us in best in deeds–(Qur’an 67:2).

To let us know His purpose for creating us, Allāh raised prophets among all people; and gave them one common message: There is no God but Me; So serve Me–(Qur’an 21:25; 10:47). Thus, God is known by a name according to the language of the people. Though Jehovah is not a Scriptural name of God (see Jehovah does not exist).

Allāh also tells us
-He gave every people rites and ceremonies-(22:67); made us into different tribes and nations and of colors and languages that we may know one another-(5:48; 30:22; 49:13); that we are to be judged not by our race, color or nationality but by our deeds-(6:133); every person is at liberty to follow his own inclinations-(Qur’an 2:256; 6:107; 9:6; 10:99-100; 17:7; 18:6, 29; 42:15; 50:45; 76:3; 109:1-6);

-to give justice even if it be against ones’ own parents or self or kins or whether he be poor or rich-(4:58, 135; 5:8); to believe in all prophets and revelations-(3:83; 4:163-164; though He also tells us what not to believe, such as Karma and reincarnation, Trinity, Divine sonship of Jesus, God incarnate, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement; “chosen people” to the exclusion of others); not to revile other gods-(6:108);

-He stresses the fulfilling of covenants, keeping of oaths and not to be deceptive-(Qur’an 16:91-92); to speak justly-(6:153); to be righteous-(2:277-278; 6:152-154);
-to not let hatred for a people incite you to transgress-(5:2); to render back trusts to whom they are due, and to judge justly-(4:58); because He loves those who judge in equity-(5:45-47);

-He admonishes against dealing unjustly with men-(2:279, 5:8); not to rob them of their dues- (26:183); not to act corruptly in the earth or to make mischief -(26:183); not to be transgressors-(2:190), not to help one another in sin and aggression-(5:2), to restrain our anger and forgive other-(3:133), to fight on behalf of the oppressed-(4:75); because He loves those who are just, and because He commands justice and the doing of good, and He forbids injustice-(60:8, 16:90);

-He forbids helping one another in sin, and to counsel one another in sin, but to counsel in goodness-(5:2; 60:8-9); not to let hatred of a people incite us to transgress-(5:2); not to take a greater recompense than the injury suffered-(2:194; 16:126; 42:40); that instead of retaliation, to make reconciliation, and to show patience and forgiveness-(16:126; 42:39-43);

-to be merciful and forgiving-(3:133); to fight only as long as there is persecution and oppression-(2:193), because Allah God loves the doer of good, and the dutiful-(2:195, 3:75);

-that the noblest ones are those who are righteous-(49:13, 98:7), to return evil with that which is better-(23:96), because He loves those who judge in equity, and because He is aware of what you do-(5:45, 4:135).

The Arabs were the last people remaining to receive a prophet from Allāh, God. In the year 610, A.C. (After Christ) Allāh raised up MOHAMMAD as Prophet and Messenger to the Arabs and to the world. As Mohammad is the last and final Messenger.  

As religion is perfected through Mohammad/Islam, and as God’s favor to man is completed through Mohammad/Islam there is no need for another prophet or messenger, or book, to come.
To entertain that Allah would send another prophet after the Prophet Mohammad, such an act would not only negate the status of the Prophethood of Mohammad as being the last Prophet to come but would indicate the imperfection of religion and the incompleteness of Allah’s favor and guidance.
This would amount to an absurdity, for it would deny the Omniscience of Allāh, God. It would be absurd, to say the least, that Allāh would call a set of laws perfect that would become redundant within a number of years. Whereas man perfecting of an affair is limited to his knowledge of the day and is therefore subject to improvement, Allāh, God, having all knowledge of all things, His perfecting of an affair cannot be improved upon. His perfecting our religion, there is no need for another Law.
Allāh God, has promised to guard the Qur’an against corruption–(Qur’an 15:9. There are millions of Muslims who know the Qur’an from memory, which is a safeguard against attempts to ‘corrupt’ it).

In the passage of time between the first Divine Revelation and the Qur’an, the Revelation given to the Prophet Mohammad, past Scriptures had lost their pristine purity. Abdul Haq Vidyarthi notes in his book Muhammad in World Scriptures, Vol; 1:

“No scripture, writing or book has got so many people to its credit who learn it by heart, as the Holy Qur’an has. Religious scriptures underwent vicissitudes and had dark ages upon them, that their very contents and their existence became suspected. It was in this obscurity that the Vedas grew from one into four, and then from four to as many as 1131, there is a verse in Maha Bhashya which explains that there are one hundred and one shoots of Yajur-veda, one thousand of Sama-veda, twenty-one kinds of Rigveda and nine of Atharva-veda.

In these days we can see a dozen vedas published, in fact, which throws light on their vicissitudes.

The Masorah and Septuagint versions of the old Testament, the different authorized editions of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the apocryphal literature believed as part of inspired scriptures by some sects and rejected by others, the different versions of apocryphal Gospels, prove the credibility of the fact that no religious scripture was kept intact or properly maintained or committed to memory in the life-time of the prophet to whom it was revealed.” (pp. 314-315).

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   Islam comes from the root salm, which means peace. The religion that is rooted in peace, and which teaches justice without distinction, cannot be a religion of terror. In fact, Islam is such a peaceful religion that Muslims are required to make peace even in the face of possible deception by the enemy: “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it…. And if they intend to deceive, then surely Allah is sufficient for thee”–(Qur’an 8:61-62. See also 4:90).

   To emphasize the point further that Islam is the religion of peace and forgiveness, Muslims are urged to limit their injury only to the degree suffered and in some cases to forgive: “Whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you…”–(Qur’an 2:194); “And if you take your turn, then punish with the like of that with which you were afflicted. But if you show patience, it is certainly best for the patient”–(Qur’an 16:126); “And the recompense of evil is punishment like it; but whoever forgives and amends, his reward is with Allāh. Surely He loves not the wrong-doers”–(Qur’an 42:40).

   Further, Muslims are commanded: “And wrong not men of their dues, and act not corruptly in the earth”–(Qur’an 26:183).

Islam is the “abode of peace”–(Qur’an 10:25).

 Basis
The structure of Islam is made up of five cardinal units:

   (1) Unity/Purity of Allāh, God: Allāh, God, is One and Only; the Eternal, Absolute; on Whom all depend; He does not eat, drink, sleep, washroom or tire; having no consort and being Eternal and the Last and thus having no need for any to succeed Him He begets not; being the First and Creator of all and thus could not have a mother He is not begotten; being the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden1 and only One with Divine Attributes there is none like Him; being Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent He does not incarnate or have or need any associate or helper; being Just and as He does not judge people by their race or color –factors in which they had no choice– and as one is best only by his belief and deeds He has no chosen people to the exclusion of others, nor transfer the sins of one person to another, nor execute the pious for the impious; being The Beneficent and The Merciful He needs no blood sacrifice to forgive sins; and as He forgives sins and rewards every good up to seven-hundred-fold there is no equal and opposite reaction to every action. Allāh is so merciful He implores us in loving compassionate terms to forgive us our sins; He instructs the Prophet Mohammad to convey to us:“Say, O My servants who have sinned against their souls, despair not of the mercy of Allāh; surely Allāh forgives all sins. Verily, He is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful”–Qur’an 39:53).

   (2) Salah/Prayer: There are five statutory salah/prayers per day. These prayers were enjoined by Allāh–(Qur’an 2:43, 110, 177; 6:72). Allāh does not need anything from us. These prayers are for our own moral and spiritual elevation: “Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil; and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest (force). And Allah knows what you do.” (Qur’an 29:45). “And enjoin prayer on thy people, and steadily adhere to it. We ask not of thee a sustenance. We provide for thee. And the (good) end is for guarding against evil”–(Qur’an 20:132).

   The five daily prayers have been enjoined at fixed times by Allāh: “Prayer indeed has been enjoined on the believers at fixed times–(Qur’an 4:103; and 11:114; 17:78; 20:130; 30:17-18). These timings and method or prayer –standing, ruku, sujood etc;– were shown to the Prophet Mohammad by the Angel Gabriel–(Bokhari Vol. 1, # 500; Vol. 4, # 444).

   Even without the above references, prayer and their timings are still to be followed as practiced by the Prophet seeing that we are mandated by Allāh to obey the Prophet and to take what he gives us–(Qur’an 3:32, 132; 4:13, 69; 59:7, which shows that the practice of the Prophet is an integral part of Islam); and as he is the best exemplar–(Qur’an 33:21; 68:4).

   (3) Zakaat–loosely called charity: Allāh tells us in His Qur’an 9:60 “(Zakaat) charity is only for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer it, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth), and (to free) the captives, and those in debt, and in the way of Allåh and for the wayfarer — an ordinance from Allåh. And Allåh is Knowing, Wise.”

   Zakaat is Purification of wealth. In Islam the poor has a 2.5% right in the wealth of the rich. Apart from being benevolent to the poor, another object of zakaat is the moral upliftment of the giver. The object being that whoever sincerely offers of that which he/she lawfully owns would unlikely take of property that does not belong to him or her, or cheat (in business), steal etc.

   (4) Fasting: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil”–(Qur’an 2:183). Fasting in the month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar), depending on one’s health and travel situations. To restate. The benefits of fasting are four-fold –physiological, physical, moral and spiritual:

   (a) The physiological benefits of fasting are many, such as regenerate the organs, eliminate toxins and purify the blood, improve health.

   (b) The physical benefit of fasting: it makes us experience the hunger of the starving; it conditions us to endure long periods without food, drink, and to control carnal passions.

   (c) The moral benefit of fasting: it makes us more aware of God as one is more likely to be conscious of God when suffering or in distress. Also, one who voluntarily gives up those things which are lawful will not (or should not) indulge in those things that are unlawful, for instance, eating pork, gambling, intoxicants, illicit relations.

   (d) The spiritual benefit of fasting: because of one’s constant remembrance of Allāh, it brings (or should bring) him/her closer to Allāh, God.  

   (5) Hajj/Pilgrimage to Makkah:“And when We made the House a resort for men and a (place of) security. And: Take ye the place of Abraham for a place of prayer. And We enjoined Abraham and Ishmael, saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves”–(Qur’an 2:125);

   “Certainly the first house appointed for men is the one at Bakkah, blessed and a guidance for the nations. In it are clear signs: (It is) the Place of Abraham; and whoever enters it is safe; and pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men owe to Allāh — whoever can find a way to it. And whoever disbelieves, surely Allāh is above need of the worlds”–(Qur’an 3:96-97);

   And when We pointed to Abraham the place of the House, saying: Associate naught with Me, and purify My House for those who make circuits and stand to pray and bow and prostrate themselves. And proclaim to men the Pilgrimage they will come to thee on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path: That they may witness benefits (provided) for them, and mention the name of Allåh on appointed days over what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds; then eat of them and feed the distressed one, the needy. Then let them accomplish their needful acts of cleansing, and let them fulfill their vows and go round the Ancient House”–(Qur’an 22:26-29).

   The Hajj is a once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Makkah, depending on affordability and health. It is the international gathering of Muslims commemorating certain aspects of the lives of the prophet Abraham, his wife, Lady Hajra, his son Ishmael, and the Prophet Mohammad.
   The animal-sacrifice is obligatory on who can afford, or must fast–(Qur’an 2:196; 22:28, 30, 36-37. Bokhari Vol. 2, #71, 750; Vol. 3, #217).  The  Hajj is the only Divinely ordained pilgrimage for man.
Prayer, Zakaat/Charity, Fasting and Hajj are nutrients for the soul.

   Islam is the world’s greatest liberating force. Islam liberates physically, socially, morally, spiritually, and intellectually:

physically: by proclaiming that bondage is worse than slaughter

socially: in decreeing that the exacting of one’s rights is equal to the executing of the rights of others

morally: it not only laid down precepts for good conduct but instituted the machinations to compliment these precepts. The institution of prayer keeps one from indecency. The institution of fasting makes one aware of the suffering of those who are without; it conditions one to withstand periods of deprivations, and also guards against evil. The person who willingly abstains from what is lawful for him –food, drink, conjugal pleasure– will not seek what is unlawful. The institution of charity in which a person is to give freely a portion of his acquisition to the poor, such a person will not take from others what does not belong to him

spiritually: it frees man from the worship of man, and of objects of nature, and of things created by man. It instills in man that the only object greater than himself is the Creator.

intellectually: it informs man that all things are created for his use, and exhorts the pursuit of knowledge in order to make these creations subservient to him. It frees us from the irrationality of polytheism, degradation of idolatry, and the humiliation of superstition.

The cardinal doctrines of Islam are blessed with the Divine allure of reason, the factor in which God calls on man to govern himself:  

    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”–(Isaiah 1:18).
   “Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner. Surely thy Lord knows best him who strays from His path, and He knows best those who go aright”–(Qur’an 16:125).

BLIND FAITH IS NO PASSPORT TO PARADISE
REASON IS THE DOOR TO GOD!

Knowledge
Islam has declared war on ignorance. The Prophet Mohammad declared through Divine Revelation: “Allah has made subservient to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth”–(Qur’an 31:20; 45:13). One could not make subservient “whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth” without knowledge.

   The Prophet Mohammad charged Muslims to ‘seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave,’ to go to China if need be–(Baihaqi) Mishkat Misabih, Vol. 1, p. 361, #111 W); and that ‘the superiority of the learned scholar over the pious worshipper is like the superiority of the (full) moon over the stars’–(Abu Dawud Vol. 3, p.1034, # 3634).  

   Muhammad Ali notes in his The Early Caliphate that ‘Umar, “When as a Caliph he made education compulsory in Arabia, it was made so for both boys and girls”–(p. 120).

   And the Prophet advised the educating even of slave-girls–(Bokhari Vol.; 3 #720. Vol 4 # 655. Allāh is Just. Allāh will not discriminate against Woman because of her gender –a factor she had no control over; a form and physiology He gave her. See ISLAM-WOMEN. The noble Messenger of Allāh did not consign woman into solitary confinement).  

   Muslims are enjoined to seek Allāh’s help in obtaining knowledge: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 20:114).  While knowledge may be grouped into two classes –material knowledge which provides nutrients for the body, and religious or spiritual knowledge which provides nutrients for the soul– in Islam there is no such concept as “secular” knowledge: all knowledge is from Allah God:

“Read in the name of thy Lord who creates…Who taught by the pen, Taught man what he knew not;”
“I, Allāh, am the Seer. A Book which We have revealed to thee that thou mayest bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission, from darkness into light, to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One”–(Qur’an 96:1-5; 14:1).

Islam is the religion for the material and spiritual upliftment of man.
   In Islam the gardens of Paradise are not restricted to any one particular group of the economic ladder. The king as well as the pauper has equal opportunity to reach for the hand of Allah God:

“And when My servants ask thee concerning Me,
surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant
when he calls on Me, so they should hear My call and
believe in Me that they may walk in the right way”
(Qur’an 2:186).

In Islam the rich as well as the poor can be perfect.
Both can store treasures in heaven.

Leadership
Regarding the qualities of the leader, the Prophet is reported to have said: “We do not assign the authority of ruling to those who ask for it, nor to those who are keen to have it”–(Bokhari, Vol. 9, # 263).
The Prophet is reported to have told Abdur-Rahman bin Samura not to “seek to be a ruler, for if you are given authority on your demand then you will be held responsible for it, but if you are given it without asking (for it), then you will be helped (by Allah) in it. If you ever take an oath to do something and later on you find that something else is better, then you should expiate your oath and do what is better” –(Bokhari, Vol. 9, # 260).
And, “Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never feel even the smell of Paradise”–(Ibid. Vol. 9 # 264).
As the Prophet’s statements have illustrated, the leader who lives according to the Qur’an would have to exercise justice, wisdom, and compassion. A despotic leader could not be a “pious leader.” Islam is of both faith and good deeds:

   “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the east and the West, but righteous is the one who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and to set slaves free and keeps up prayer and pays the poor rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise” –(Q. 2:177)

   “O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives –whether he be rich or poor, Allah has a better right over them both. So follow not (your) low desires, lest you deviate. And if you distort or turn away from (truth), surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do”–(Qur’an 4:135).

   “…and He has made hateful to you disbelief and transgression and disobedience. Such are those who are rightly guided…Surely, the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful of you. Surely Allah is Knowing. Aware”–(Qur’an 49:7, 13).

Leaders who practice despotism and still consider themselves to be “pious” are deluding themselves. Leadership is to be given to those only who qualify for the position. Knowledge must not be sacrificed on the altar of friendship or partisanship.

Saints
There is no “veneration of saints” in Islam. Allāh reveals in clear terms:

“And those whom you call upon besides Him (Allah)
Are not able to help you, nor can they help themselves.”
“And those whom they call on besides Allah
Created naught, while they are themselves created.
Dead (are they), not living. And they know not when
they will be raised.”
“And your Lord says: Pray to Me, I will answer you.”
(Qur’an 7:197; 16:20-21; 40:60)

In Islam there is no “mediator” between man and God–(Qur’an 2:255; 10:3; 32:4). While man needs teacher(s) to assist in his edification he does not need any sheikh, guru, or saint to link him to God. Every person, man and woman, has access to God. We pray directly to Allāh, God, Who is nearer to us than our life-vein–(Qur’an 50:56); and He answers when we call on Him–(Qur’an 2:186).

(Allah’s answering our prayers does not necessarily mean a “Yes” –granting our requests. His answer may also be a “No” –withholding from our expectations. Allāh, the All-knowing God knows what is best for us. Perhaps there are individuals who were disappointed in not getting what they prayed for, but were subsequently joyed that they did not receive it.)

   Of all human beings, the closest ones to God are His prophets. Even these highest of human beings prayed to Allah God and sought his help. No one, whether a man or woman, be he prophet, saint, priest, or other, who since in their lifetime could not help themselves and pray to and seek the help of God, cannot, in their death answer the prayers of others or render help.
In fact, invocation(s) to the dead may be likened to idolatry. There is no helper or protector besides Allah God: “And you cannot escape in the earth nor in the heaven, And you have no protector or helper besides Allah”–(Qur’an 29:22).

Muslims who seek the aid of saints do so of their
own free will. They have no assent from Islam.

Complicated religion
The Prophet Mohammad is reported as saying that Islam is an easy religion; whoever makes it hard will not be able to keep it up–(Bokhari Vol. 1, # 38). The teachings of Islam are clearly charted. There are the “do’s,” “don’ts” and “doubtful.”

“The Prophet (peace be on him) said: Both legal and illegal things are obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So whoever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and whoever indulges in these (suspicious) doubt-ful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah’s Hima (i.e. private pasture) and who-ever pastures near it, is likely to get in at any moment.” (Bokhari Vol. 3, # 267).

   The Prophet Mohammad left us two things: the Qur’an and his way of life (Sunnah), as he said. These are the two criteria that his companions governed by and which all Muslims are to follow. Any “divergence” is not to be confused with Islam. Islam is so easy that one under compulsion may even deny God–(Qur’an 16:106). Clearly, it cannot be rightly said that Islam is a “complicated” religion.

Barbaric religion
For centuries Muslims ruled the world.
“Islam annulled fortune-telling, magic and many other obsessions which were predominant at the time of Muhammad. Reason and natural laws replaced them in ruling life. Islam eradicated the idea of a person being entitled to recognition, respect or superiority merely because he was high-born…..the present civilization owes its growth to the influence of Islam.”1A

Muslims gave to the world Astronomy, Geology, Chemistry, Botany, the art of Navigation, History and Geography, Medicine and Pharmacy, Mathematics etc. “Muslim Universities opened their doors in Baghdad in the days of Nizam-ul-Mulk, and in Granada in the days of Abdul Rahman to students without dis-tinction, caste, colour or creed, where they were looked after, boarded and lodged at the public expense.” (Ibid. pp. 142-143).
Such a religion cannot be “barbaric.”

Isolationist religion, House of war
It is true that from an Islamic perspective the peoples of the world are divided into two groups –those who believe in Allāh (which means belief in One God, without partner or relation, and Mohammad is His Messenger), and those who do not believe in Allah. In this respect all religions are divided into two groups –that which is within itself, and those outside of it.

   Islam, which teaches us through the Qur’an that Allah is the God of all the worlds–(1:1); He raised messengers in all nations–(16:36); for Muslims to believe in all messengers and (original) revelations*–(3:83); that mankind is made into different tribes so that we may know one another–(49:13); Mohammad is the Messenger to the world–(7:158; 34:28); Muslims are to missionize the Qur’an to the world–(3:103; 25:52); and that Muslims are not forbidden to have relations with non-Muslims–(60:8)–this Islam cannot be the religion with an “inherent isolationist strain.”

Muslims’ institutions of knowledge in Baghdad and Spain opened their doors to non-Muslims and for free.

*(Whereas Allāh has enjoined on us belief in other Scriptures Allāh also tells us what not to believe, such as Divine sonship of God; Trinity; inherited sin, vicarious atonement; chosen people, karma, reincarnation, etc;)  

   Islam, which means peace and which teaches to make peace even in the face of deception from the other party–(Qur’an 8:61-62; 4:90), that at times it is better to forgive than to retaliate–(Qur’an 3:133; 16:126; 42:40), that all religions are for Allah–(Qur’an 8:39) could not be “the House of War.”

The Qur’anic concept of Jihad is restricted to fighting in self-defense and against occupation, oppression, etc. This fighting is not to be taken to mean that in Islam there is an inherent strain of “violence.” In fact, in the sphere of self-preservation, it could be said that in all man and animals there is an inherent strain of “violence.”
  Fighting in self-defense when you are not the transgressor is not violence. (See ISLAM-JIHAD & JIHAD WATCH).

Modernity
Islam which allows freedom of religion and enjoins the pursuit of knowledge could not be against pluralism, secularism (in the case of atheists), enlightenment and modernity. Though Islam encourages progress, which inevitably would bring changes, those who choose to live a pastoral way of life are not prevented from doing so. However, regardless of the condition of life one chooses–scientific or idyllic–the laws of Islam is the same.  

Religion and State
While knowledge may be grouped into two classes –spiritual and material– in Islam there is no secular knowledge: all knowledge is from Allah, God. 

In Islam there is no separation between religion and state. If Islam intended for a separation between State and religion then the Prophet Mohammad would have established this, and it would have been upheld by the Caliphs Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali.

To have religion and State on either side would amount to a tug-of-war between the two. Laws, at some point, are bound to conflict with each other. Examples of this conflict can be seen in such matters as blood transfusion, which is allowed by a State but opposed by some religionists. Other examples are capital punishment, gambling, abortion and military service.

   Paramountly, Allāh God says to judge by what He has revealed; and those who judge not by what He has revealed are the disbelievers/wrong-doers–(Qur’an 5:44-49). Having Religion and State on opposite sides is not judging by what Allāh God has revealed.

(Jesus’ saying, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s”–(Matt. 22:17-21), is not an indication to a separation between Religion and State. As the context shows, Jesus was exercising justice.
   It would have been interesting to note Jesus’ response if someone had said to him that since God is the Creator of all things, even the coin bearing Caesar’s head and the metal from which the coin was minted belong to God.
   It is hardly credible that if Jesus was ruler that he would have established a two-state system, and have another set of laws independent from that of God’s; rather than govern by the Ten Commandments as he was required by God to judge.

If Jesus was lording America, or anyplace else, for certain he would employ the Biblical laws: killing homosexuals–(Lev. 20:13); apostates–(Deut. 13:5-16; 17:2-5); witches–(Ex. 22:18); adulterers–(Lev. 20:10-12; Deut. 22:22; John 8:3-5); stubborn and rebellious sons–(Deut. 21:18-21; one who curses his mother or father–(Lev. 20:9); one who takes a wife and her mother–(Lev. 20:14); one who messes with an animal–(Lev. 20:15-16); the blasphemer–(Lev. 24:11-16, 23); virgin-less brides–(Deut. 22:20-21); the bethrothed virgin who fools around with another man–(Deut. 22:23-24); enslave heathens–(Lev. 25:44-46); and bondage daughters–(Ex. 21:7). (See JESUS OR MOHAMMAD-BEST SYSTEM).
   And if the Church was lording America, or any place else, it would have done the same. (See Islam-and PopeChristianity-enemy to knowledge).

Tolerance
Since Muslims can live under non-Muslim law, why should non-Muslims not live under Muslim law?
   On Islamic intolerance. T. W. Arnold wrote in his book The Preaching of Islam:

“…of any organised attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestanism penal in France, or the Jews were kept out of England for 350 years. The Eastern Churches in Asia were entirely cut off from communion with the rest of Christendom, throughout which no one would have been found to lift a finger on their behalf, as heretical communions. So that the very survival of these Churches to the present day is a strong proof of the generally tolerant attitude of the Muhammadan governments towards them.” (p. 80).    

Arnold has also noted what may very well be a timeless observation.

“Many of the persecutions of the Christians in Muslim countries can be traced either to distrust of their loyalty, excited by the intrigues and interference of Christian foreigners and the enemies of Islam, or to the bad feeling stirred up by the treacherous or brutal behaviour of the latter towards the Musalmans.” (p.77).

“And yet, if the Muslims were so tolerant, the Christian persistently asks, why did their co-religionists flock to Islam by the millions? Of these co-religionists the Arabs were the smallest minority. The rest were Hellenes, Persians, Egyptians, Cyrenaicans, Berbers, Cypriots, and Caucasians.”2

Islam could not be intolerant when it grants freedom of person and belief to all, and when it accepts prophets and books that came before Mohammad and the Qur’an.    

Since Islam declares through the Qur’an
-that there is no compulsion in religion-(2:256); Allah has created man and woman and multiplied from them-(4:1); made us into different tribes and nations and of colors and languages that we may know one another-(5:48; 30:22; 49:13);
-sent messengers to all nations-(10:47); to protect the polytheist-(9:6); every person is at liberty to follow his own inclinations-(2:256; 10:99); every people has rites and ceremonies-(22:67);
-charity is for the poor and needy, the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransoming of slaves, etc; -(2:177; 9:60); to give justice even if it be against ones’ own parents or self-(4:135); to believe in all prophets and revelations -(3:83; 4:163-164);
-not to revile other gods -(6:108); if Allah did not repel some people by others, monasteries, and churches, and synagogues, and mosques would have been pulled down-(22:40); and that all religions are for Allah-(8:39)
it cannot then be said that there is “intolerance” in Islam.

Another magnificent demonstration of Islamic “tolerance” is that given by the Caliph ‘Umar upon his conquer of Jerusalem, as noted by Muhammad Ali. When the Christian Patriarch suggested that ‘Umar should offer his prayers–the time being due–at the church of the Resurrection, the honorable Caliph refused; “saying his prayers neither there nor in the famous church of Constantine, where prayer carpets had already been spread out.” Explaining that “Should we say our prayers here,” he observed, “Muslims might some day claim the right to erect a mosque in this place.””3 What magnanimity.
There is none that equal Islam’s majestic “tolerance.”
That “tolerance” has been abrogated by “intolerance” see ISLAM-INTOLERANCE

.(When one is forced to believe and is subjected to Judiciary for denying a thing the truth of such a thing becomes highly suspect.
If an event or doctrine is truth there is no necessity to legislate belief in it or to criminalize question or denial of it; proponents and opponents alike must provide proofs of their claim and let the public judge who is truthful and who is liar.
To institute a law against denial of a thing is an abomination and an insult to the intellectuals and to all members of society –it may be equated with tyranny; and may be an avenue to other such legislation(s).
Laws do not prevent people from being violated: laws can only bring violators to justice; laws do not sanctify or justify a claim: truth does.
Forcing people to not speak out only serves to silence voices: it does not change mentality. Such a law may bring more harm than benefit –it may attract more opposition to the “truth” it professes to protect.
It is a monumental disgrace that “civilized” society would allow such a law to be instituted. Such a law is repugnant to reason. And is to be repealed. Forthwith!
Be it history or theology Truth stands by itself; Falsehood needs to be propped up!)
   The despots must be having a “laugh-a-rama” at this “democratic” law: and they call us tyrants. Hah!

Islamic superiority
Irshad Manji writes: “Out of decency, then, ask yourself: Have I chosen to challenge the mainstream Muslim belief that Islam trumps Christianity and Judaism?” (THE TROUBLE WITH ISLAM, pp. 44-45). Islam does “trumps Christianity and Judaism.” (See ISLAM SUPERIOR TO OTHER RELIGIONS).

   (Leaving aside its lofty doctrines), Islam is superior to all religions in the fact that it is the only religion that speaks of the universality of God and that God has given to each nation a messenger and with the same one common teaching that There is no God but Allah, He alone is to be worshipped.

   Maurice Bucaille on the Qur’an: “It spanned a period of some twenty years and, as soon as it was transmitted to Muhammad by Archangel Gabriel, Believers learned it by heart. It was also written down during Muhammad’s life. (Gabriel rehearsed it with the Prophet annually and twice in the year of the Prophet’s death–Bokhari, Vol. 4, # 819)…Since then, we know that the text has been scrupulously preserved. It does not give rise to any problems of authenticity.” “More than a thousand years before our time, at a period when whimsical doctrines still prevailed, men had a knowledge of the Qur’an. The statements it contains express in simple terms truths of primordial importance which man has taken centuries to discover.”

   In contrast, “The Old Testament…(was) written in several languages over a period of more than nine hundred years, based on oral traditions. Many of these works were corrected and completed in accordance with events or special requirements, often at periods that were very distant from one another.” “A Revelation is mingled in all these writings, but all we possess today is what men have seen fit to leave us. These men manipulated the texts to please themselves, according to the circumstances they were in and the necessities they had to meet.”

   The Gospels, “the foremost authority was the oral tradition as a vehicle for Jesus’s words and the teachings of the apostles. The first writings to circulate were Paul’s letters and they occupied a prevalent position long before the Gospels;” “contrary to what certain commentators are still writing today, before 140 A.D. there was no witness to the knowledge that a collection of Gospel writings existed. It was not until circa 170 A.D. that the four Gospels acquired the status of canonic literature.” “The abundance of literature concerning Jesus led the Church to make certain excisions while the latter was in the process of becoming organized. Perhaps a hundred Gospels were suppressed. Only four were retained and put on the official list of neo-Testament writings making up what is called ‘Canon’.” “The majority of Christians believe that the Gospels were written by direct witnesses of the life of Jesus and therefore constitute unquestionable evidence concerning the events highlighting His life and preachings.” “Unfortunately, the authors of the Gospels were not eye-witnesses of the data they recorded.” “As far as the decades following Jesus’s mission are concerned, it must be understood that events did not at all happen in the way they have been said to have taken place and that Peter’s arrival in Rome in no way laid the foundations for the Church. On the contrary, from the time Jesus left earth to the second half of the Second century, there was a struggle between two factions. One was what one might call Pauline Christianity and the other Judeo-Christianity.” “Paul is the most controversial figure in Christianity. He was considered to be a traitor to Jesus’s thought by the latter’s family and by the apostles who had stayed in Jerusalem in the circle around James. Paul created Christianity at the expense of those whom Jesus had gathered around him to spread his teachings …Paul’s style of Christianity won through definitively, and created its own collection of official texts”4.

   Jehovah’s Witnesses in their Awake magazine, September 8, 1957, headlined “50,000 Errors in the Bible?” notes: “Recently, a young man purchased a King James Version Bible thinking it was without error. One day when glancing through a back issue of Look magazine he came across an article entitled “The Truth About the Bible,” which said that: “as early as 1720, an English authority estimated that there were at least 20,000 errors in the two editions of the New Testament commonly read by Protestants and Catholics. Modern students say there are probably 50,000 errors””5. (These are not matters for dispute; they are Christians’ findings).

   Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din points out in his book Open Letters To The Bishops of Salisbury & London:

“The concluding eleven verses of St. Mark-(16:9-20) and the well-known verse of St. Matthew-(28:19), speaking of the Son and the Father and the Holy Ghost, are forgeries, an admitted addition to the ancient MSS (manuscripts). The fact was discovered by the first translator of the Bible into English and they made a marginal note in their version of the Bible which continued for some time. But we do not find the said note in any of the copies now published by the said society(Foreign Mission Society). Is it fair and honest to keep others in darkness as to the true value of the contents of the Bible? The reader must know thatconcluding portion of St. Mark and the verse in St. Matthew are spurious and a subsequent addition. But I am afraid the Foreign Mission would not allow the correction. It would tell against their very Mission, if they eliminate the verse from St. Matthew; they lose the only pillar that supports the structure of the Trinity. No other verse in the whole Scripture speaks of it. The said eleven verses of St. Mark are the only justification for the existence of the Foreign Mission. You, as well as I, know, my Lord, that the call to Jesus came solely and wholly from Judaism. He came only to gather the scattered sheep and would not give the children’s bread to the dogs, the world beyond the Israelites. The Foreign Mission is a mere trespass on lands forbidden by the Master. It transcends the limit marked by Jesus.Throughout his life the Gentiles and others did not concern him: they were the swine. Then came the make-believe Resurrection, and they say the Master changed his mind as to his mission and ordered it to be carried to the four corners of the world (indicating that he was unsure of his mission), but this all depends upon the questionable verses of St. Mark, and hence their retention in the Bible. St. Matthew is no authority on this point. The word “nations” there is a mistranslation and a wrong substitute for “the tribes”–the rest of the Jewish tribes scattered all over the world. This being the case, the Mission cannot afford to eliminate the verses from their version, nor will they put marginal notes, as did the old versions, to show the true nature of the verses. It would weaken the cause and show the futility of their status, since in carrying on evangelical work in the non-Christian world they are acting against the express admonition of the Master. It may that reasons other than religion are at the back of it all, and goading their activities, but decency, if not religion, assuredly demands the publishing of things as they are.” 6

   (Even if Jesus had said to teach the Gospels to all nations, yet this would not make Jesus God  or Son of God or one in a Trinity with God or vicarious atoner or that mankind inherited sin from Adam/Eve. As shown on this site these cardinal doctrines of Christianity are lies, falsehood, and blasphemy).

“…THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF THE CHRISTIAN GREEK SCRIPTURES (1) HAS BEEN TAMPERED WITH, THE SAME AS THE TEXT OF THE LXX (2) HAS BEEN.” 7

On Karma and reincarnation: “The origin and the development of the belief in the transmigration of souls are very obscure …This doctrine of samsara (reincarnation) is attributed to the sage Uddalaka Aruni, who is said to have learned it from a Ksatriya chief. In the same text, the doctrine of karma (works) …also occurs for the first time, attributed to Yajnavalkya. Both doctrines appear to have been new and strange ones, circulating among small groups of ascetics who were disinclined to make them public”8. And, “the Austro-Asiatics may have contributed the belief in each life passing to another life”9. 

   Hamlyn notes: “The great mythological works of Hinduism are the Epics, namely the Mahabharata....and the Ramayana…. and the compendia of creation myths, king lists, legends and religious doctrines called Puranas”10. Rajagopalachari wrote in his Ramayana: “The Ramayana is not history or biography. It is a part of Hindu mythology”) (p. 8). (The Ramayana, the story about Ram/Rama, being “mythology,” Diwali–the festival of light grounded in the Ramayana–would also be a myth). 

   The Rgveda was “composed” by “bard priest;” and “By about 1000 BC this body of chanted poetry had apparently grown to unmanageable proportions, and the best of the poems were formed into an anthology called Rgveda, which was then canonized. …The Vedic literature was oral and not written down until very much later, the first reference to a written Vedic text being in the 10th century AD”11.

“The Upanishads are strictly speaking the speculations of the Indian forest sages about the world system, and therefore quite different from the Hymns of the Rigveda.”

“The Sankhya philosophers believed that the world consists of two principles, souls and the material world, the Prakriti, or Nature, while the Vedanta philosophers believed in one all-comprising unity. Out of such debates in the forest grew these books.”

“the final consummation of Vedic philosophy is to be found in Bhagavad-Gita, written perhaps two centuries later, when an ardent devotion to a personal God took the place of these barren speculations. According to Buddhist records, there were as many as sixty-three confusing schools of philosophy at the time of Buddha (563-483 B.C.), which explained Buddha’s revolt at their futile reasonings and ritualism.”12

   Allāh, God, raised messengers among all peoples and gave them rites and ceremonies. Whereas other religions accept partial truth–the truth brought to them by their prophets–Islam accepts all truth as taught by all prophets. But as Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din notes:

“The whole world was a world of fetish worshippers at the appearance of Islam. From an eggshell to the man-worship of Christianity and Hinduism, the adoration that should go to God went to His creatures. India was the home of rank idolatry. But to-day, the worship of the stone is a back number there. The Brahmins and the Aryas, the two prominent off-shoots of Hinduism in India, hate idolatry and break images. Brahma’s creed, the earlier of the two, was started by Raja Ram Mohan Rai, who received his monotheistic inspirations from the Qur’an, as he admits himself in his writings. Arya Samaj did the same. Even the staunch advocates of stone-worship now seek apologies for it. They take pains to make it quite plain that “they are not polytheistic in reality.” They worship One God, but to concentrate their mind on the Great Unseen and Unknown they need something perceivable; hence the image. What influence else than Islam can claim the credit for this wonderful change in Hindu theology? There was nothing in the Vedas–the Hindu Bible–a Book of Element-worship, as it at present stands–to inspire faith in One God. Traditional Christianity–the so-called historic–herself benighted in such matters, could not guide others to these lofty ideas. To-day, the worship of more than one god is on the wane and Muslim monotheism hailed everywhere.”13

   For “two million years” since Manu spoke the Gita14 and almost two billion years after the Vedas15 and for three thousand years after the Bible was revealed and for six hundred years after Christ man was groping in the cave of “darkness and misunderstanding”. It was not until the revelation of the Qur’an that man saw light and began to harvest fruits: Muhammad Ali notes

“That the transformation wrought by it is unparalleled in the history of the world is admitted on all hands, for if the Holy Prophet was the “most successful of all prophets and religious personalities” (En. Br. 11th ed., Art. Koran), this success was due to no other cause than the Qur’an.   Its injunctions swept off the most deep-rooted evils, like idolatry and drunkenness, so as to leave no trace of them in the Arabian peninsula, welded the warring elements of Arabian society into one nation, and made an ignorant people the foremost torch-bearers of knowledge and science, and a politically down-trodden people the masters of the greatest empire of the world. Besides, every word of the Qur’an gives expression to Divine majesty and glory in a manner which is not approached by any other sacred book.”16

   “The world had her creeds before Islam. They were mostly of one character. Prayers, hymns, ceremonials and offerings were their chief aim, while sacrifices propitiated the Divine anger. This made up the religion; some added to it a few sermons and miracles, while many saw their gods in their own low desires-(Qur’an 25:43).”

   “Islam came with a new conception of religion. Al-Qur’an drew our attention to the universe, there to find the clue to the Religion of God. It disclosed a theory of life on lines compatible with things in Nature. The Book unravelled the human heart. It laid down a code whereby to work out our nature. It admitted certain modes of worship, emphasizing, the while, the all-essential fact, that the Glory of God lay in the edification of man…….

   The Book revealed that, like everything in Nature, man enters into this world with a pure and untainted nature, possessing the highest capacities with unlimited progress before him; capable also of sinking to be “the lowest of the low–(Qur’an 95:4-6). He can reach the goal, and avoid the abyss, if he receives proper guidance.”17

““From time beyond memory, Mecca and the whole Peninsula had been steeped in spiritual torpor. The slight and transient influences of Judaism, Christianity, or philosophical inquiry upon the Arab mind had been but as the ruffling here and there of the surface of a quiet lake; all remained still and motionless below. The people were sunk in superstition, cruelty, and vice… Their religion was a gross idolatry; and their faith the dark superstitious dread of unseen things… Thirteen years before the Hejira, Mecca lay lifeless in this debased state. What a change had these thirteen years now produced!…Jewish truth had long sounded in the ears of the men of Medina; but it was not until they heard the spirit-stirring strains of the Arabian Prophet that they too awoke from their slumber, and sprang suddenly into a new and earnest life””18  

“Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Zoroastrianism had long ceased to have any healthy effect on the lives of their votaries, and the followers of these religions had not only ceased to practise virtue, but, worst of all, they had begun to look upon vice as virtue, and many of them attributed indecent and immoral practices to their sages and their gods. Christianity, which was then the youngest of the religions of the world, had also lost its purity. “The Christianity of the seventh century was itself decrepit and corrupt,” is Muir’s verdict. Such widespread corruption had never previously existed in the world’s history. A recent writer, J.H. Denison, writes in “Emotion as the Basis of Civilization”: “In the fifth and sixth centuries, the civilized world stood on the verge of chaos. The old emotional cultures that had made civilization possible, since they had given to men a sense of unity and of reverence for their rulers, had broken down, and nothing had been found adequate to take their place…. It seemed then that the great civilization which it had taken four thousand years to construct was on the verge of disintegration, and that mankind was likely to return to that condition of barbarism where every tribe and sect was against the next and law and order were unknown…. Civilization like a gigantic tree whose foliage had over-reached the world….stood tottering….rotting to the core” (pp. 265-268). And then adds, speaking of Arabia: “It was among these people that the man was born who was to unite the whole known world of the east and south” (p. 269).

With the light of Islam, and through the torch of knowledge and civilization lit in Arabia, a new era daw-ned not only over Arabia, but also over other countries. Europe remained the longest in darkness, and it was only after the torch of knowledge had been lighted in Spain by the Muslims that both the Renaissance and the Reformation came.”19

   Whereas the cardinal doctrines of Islam –Unity of Allāh, God, prayer, charity, fasting, and hajj– are Divinely revealed and conducive to reason.

   The cardinal doctrines of Christianity–sonship of God, Trinity, vicarious atonement and inherited sin–have no Divine foundation; no prophetic foundation; no logical foundation; and are repugnant to reason.

   The cardinal doctrines of Hinduism (and Sikhism) –karma and reincarnation– their origins are unknown– as noted above, the origin of karma is “very obscure” and the doctrines of karma and reincarnation “appear to have been new and strange ones”

   The cardinal doctrines of Judaism –The Ten Commandments–are redundant: it was Divinely decreed to end upon the advent of the Prophet Mohammad; and Jewish claim of being God’s “chosen people” to the exclusion of others has no Divine foundation and are not conducive to reason: God is Just; He will not favor people because of their nationality; a factor in which they had no choice. Man excel on the basis of his belief in God and good deeds.

   Christians who are divided on whether Jesus is God or son of God, of virgin birth or “appeared” or of “phantom body,” whether he died for inherited sin or committed sin, whether the crucifixion is real or “apparent;” and Hindus whose God is either Vishnu, Shiva or “the village goddess (gramadevata)20 cannot be superior to Muslims whose only God is Allāh, without partner or relation(s) and never dies.

   Christians and Jews who follow a Bible that is of oral tradition and been “tampered with,” and Hindus who follow Books that are “mythological works” cannot be superior to Muslims who follow the Qur’an that was both memorized and written upon its revelation and is of pristine purity.

   The Christian religion that teaches that one person can bear the moral and spiritual burden of another, and which delivers the souls of its followers into the hands of a god born of the womb, who nursed the breasts of a woman, who was circumcised, who ate, slept, drank, answered the calls of nature and who was killed, cannot be superior to Islam which teaches that everyone is born sinless and bears his own burden, and that God is One and Only, the Eternal, Absolute, Who begets not nor is begotten, and Who has no equal; Who is Self-subsisting, Who tires not nor sleeps, on Whom all depend but Who depends on no one, and Whose vision is over all, but Whom no vision can grasp–(Qur’an 17:15; 112:1-4; 2:255; 6:104).

   The Jewish religion that follows a Book which is OBSOLETE and which teaches that God favors one people because of their race or nationality, a factor which he has no control over, cannot be superior to Islam, which teaches that God judges man only according to their faith in Him and their good deeds.

   The Hindu religion that teaches that God takes the forms of man and animals in order to execute His plans, that everything is God; that God needs to experience pain and pleasure; that God can be killed, and which segregates people into social slots cannot be superior to Islam which teaches that God is All-knowing, that everything belongs to Him, and that He is All-Powerful –He does not have to come to earth to accomplish His purposes– and that He is not unjust–(Qur’an 22:10).

Democracy  There is no absolute freedom!
In Islam there is only one law for the king and the commoner. The Prophet Mohammad did not choose a successor to himself. After his death Abu Bakr was elected as Caliph. Abu Bakr, though he had sons capable of the position, selected ‘Umar to succeed him. But ‘Umar’s appointment was final only after consultation and confirmation with the other Companions.
   Muhammad Ali has noted that

“legislation was not placed in the hands of the king. First of all the Qur’an, then the Prophet’s precept or practice, then the will of the people, such was the machinery that framed the law; and the law, not the king, was the supreme authority. In subordinating kingship to the law of the land and the law of the land to the will of the people, Abu Bakr laid the foundations of a truly democratic government as also of liberty and equality in the truest sense of these words.”
                    But, as Muhammad Ali adds
“To the misfortune of the community of Islam, however, this golden rule of government was abandoned after the reign of ‘Ali, the fourth Caliph. Kingship again became private property, as also did the public treasury. Democracy gave way to despotism, and thus began the disintegration and decay of the power of Islam.” (The Early Caliphate, p. 52)  

   The freedom and equality espoused by Islam is unrivalled in the annals of history, ancient and modern. Muhammad Ali has pointed out in his The Early Caliphate:

“Bilal, ‘Ammar, and others who were, originally slaves but were among the first to embrace Islam, were shown preference over the great chiefs of the Quraish. …. All distinctions of heredity were abolished and society was ordered on the Qur’anic principle: “The most honourable among you is the one who has the greatest regard for his duty.”

“The weak and disabled were granted allowances from the public treasury, and in this there was no discrimination between Muslim and non-Muslim. The system of old-age pensions now prevailing in many countries in Europe was first introduced by ‘Umar. For wayfarers, large caravansarais were erected in all big centres. Children without guardians were brought up at the expense of the state.”

“There was no restriction whatever on freedom of opinion or on the expression of that opinion. Governors were made accessible to the public to the extent that they were forbidden to have guards at their doors lest there should be the least hitch for the aggrieved to approach the highest authority at any time…The position of the Caliph himself, in this wonderful democracy, was no higher than that of a commoner. He was considered the servant of the people, not the king, and as such he was open to criticism…This unrestricted freedom, in itself the highest virtue, served in the hands of mischief-mongers as the most deadly weapon to undermine the power of Islam.” (pp. 121, 122, 136, 137, 143).

   Without doubt, “equality and freedom of opinion were the two most important rights that Islam conferred on every individual,” as noted by Muhammad Ali. (The Early Caliphate p. 143).

   Islam is democracy, socialism, and dictatorship, all delicately balanced together. While Islam has forbidden usury, it does not prohibit the pursuit of wealth through lawful avenues, and en-courages its use in charity. Islam is:

   –democracy: in that it allows one freedom of religion–(Qur’an 2:256; 6:105-109; 9:107-108; 10:88-100; 18:29; 42:15; 50:45; 76:3; 109:1-6); freedom of movement, thought, and expression [though freedom of expression even in modern advanced societies would seem to have its limit when it advocates anarchy, and when it proves slanderous]–(4:140; 6:68, 108; 29:52); the pursuit of knowledge, and the acquisition of wealth and property–(2:274-275, 276-282; 35:12; 53:48; 62:10); to choose only those worthy of power and to exercise justice–(4:58); to govern by consultation/counsel.–(3:158; 4:58; 42:38. (Here’s democracy for you; and 1400 years ago, while Europe was yet running around with flint tools and torches)
   Muhammad Ali notes to 42:38:“In this, Islam has laid the basis of Government by parliaments, and the idea found a clear practical expression in the early days of the Caliphate, when the Khalifah had to refer every important affair to counsel. It is strange indeed that Government by parliament is now looked upon by Europeans as an institution which is quite foreign to Islam and unsuited for the Muslim people” (This must be “Europeans” arrogance or ignorance of Islam; or both).

(It is to be noted that Islamic democracy is unlike secular democracy. In secular democracy there are opposition parties, the laws are man-made; and laws usually are determined by the will of the majority –e.g. capital punishment; abortion. In Islam, since the laws are Divine injunctions, and are not based on the will of the majority, there is no need for an opposition. In the cases where secondary laws are required, owing to the progress of society, the legislation of such laws are not governed by the dictates of the majority, but are based on the principles of the Qur’an, and are formulated through consultation. Thus under Islamic democracy there is no marginalization of any sector of society: one cannot prove his judgment/belief superior to the teaching of the Qur’an).

   –socialism: in that it is the duty of the State to utilize its income from the people (their Zakat/compulsory charity)–(Qur’an 9:60) to generate wealth for the welfare of its population and to care for the poor as well as the orphans.

   –dictatorship: whereas in secular dictatorship all power is held by a single person or a small party. In Islam, leadership is chosen by the people and the people are governed, not by the dictates of the leadership, but by the Qur’an and Sunnah.
    Islam is dictatorship in that the Leader (Caliph) rules for life, so long as he does so within the framework of Islam. No one (except crooks, maybe) would want to replace a just ruler.

   As Shari’ah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah–sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammad–and as the Sunnah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an, and as there is no discrimination in the Qur’an whatever in Shari’ah that is the opinion of the Jurist(s) that discriminates is to be removed. (See ISLAM-SHARI’AH).

Justice
Rulers who give justice are less likely to have enemies. Whereas those of status, wealth, and power may escape earthly prosecution, in the Court of Allāh, God there is no escaping justice–there is no partisanship, no diplomatic immunity, and no legal technicality in the Court of Allah God.  

   Islamic justice is based on the principle that the exacting of one’s rights is diametrically equal to the instituting of the rights of others:
“O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, 
bearers of witness for Allāh, even though it be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives–whether he be rich or poor…..”
“O you who believe…..let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably. Be just; that is nearer to observance of duty. ….”-(Qur’an 4:135; 5:8)

   Those who govern on the premise that might is right, expecting to prevail forever, have not learned anything from the past. They should converse with the Pharaohs and the Caesars.
  Man must first account himself to justice before seeking to bring others to justice. If man would administer justice under the Islamic precept and content himself with running his own house and let others to run theirs, there would likely be no animosity.
   Those who endeavor to write or speak must advocate truth and justice. Virtue must be vigilante as to the bread it accepts. In the memorable words of one poet (quoting from memory): ‘The mouth is muzzled by the food it eats.’
Patriotism and friendship must not compromise truth and justice.

Religion of the sword
The “sword” of Islam is the sword of liberation!
 Of justice! Of truth!
   The Qur’an brought civilization to mankind. If it was not for the Qur’an mankind may yet be waltzing around with flint tools and torches.
   While There is no injunction in the Qur’an or in the Tradition of the Prophet to spread religion by force, there are clear teachings to propagate religion by instruction:

“So obey not the disbelievers, and strive against them a mighty striving with it (the Qur’an)”–(Qur’an 25:52);
“And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. And these are they who are successful”–(Qur’an 3:103);
“…thou art not one to compel them. So remind by means of the Qur’an him who fears My warning”–(Qur’an 50:45).

In compliment to the above exhortations to teach with the Qur’an there are clear verses prohibiting the use of force –that the Prophet’s (and Muslims’) duty is only to deliver the Message of Islam, not to enforce it:

“There is no compulsion in religion”–(2:256); “Thy duty is only to deliver the message”–(3:19);
“And if thy Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Wilt thou then force men till they are believers?” –(10:99);
“And say: Truth is from your Lord; so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve”–(Qur’an 18:29).

   The “sword” of Islam, as the Qur’an teaches, and as the Prophet and his early followers have demonstrated, is the glorious sword against oppression, occupation, aggression. There is no other sword in history, be it religious or secular, ancient or modern that can equal the magnificent sword of Islam. As noted elsewhere, Allāh, God, says that there is no compulsion in religion and the Prophet’s duty (and which he observed) was only to deliver the message of the Qur’an: not to enforce it.

   As Ahmed Deedat has pointed out that “over a hundred million Indonesians are Muslim, yet no conquering Muslim army ever landed on any of its over two thousand islands.” He also points out that in “Malaysia: The overwhelming number of its people in this country are Muslims yet no Muslim soldier had landed there either;” and that in “Africa: The majority of the people on the East coast of Africa as far down as Mozambique, as well as the bulk of the inhabitants on the West coast of the continent are Muslims, but history does not record any invading hoards of Muslims from anywhere. What sword? Where was the sword? The Muslim trader did the job. His good conduct and moral rectitude achieved the miracle of conversion.”21 (The good conduct of the Muslim trader and Islam’s appeal to reason!) 

   Any person with only a cursory knowledge of Islam knows that Islam does not sanction indiscriminate killing or that it forces religion at the point of the sword. Joshua, Saul, David, Krishna and Rama, all waged war. Even the Messiah, Jesus, advocated the use of the blade; declared the Prince of Peace: “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” and “Those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me”–(Luke 22:36; 19:27).

   Islam allows fighting only in self-defense–(Qur’an 2:190; 22:39); and on behalf of the oppressed–(Qur’an 4:75). It cannot be shown that the Prophet Mohammad or the first four Caliphs of Islam forced Islam at the point of the sword on anyone.

“War becomes righteous when waged in the interests of love for man and love for God, Who does not wish to see His creatures oppressed by the tyranny of others. If God sends hurricanes and storms to purify an area contaminated by some epidemic; if the Great Fire of London was a providential necessity after the epidemic of black fever some centuries ago; love sometimes assumes a stern shape, and deals in harsh methods. But these expressions of true love should not be devised by the human mind –mediaeval days had had enough of that from the self-styled wardens of the human conscience; it should appear under the dictates of God.”22

   The sword of Islam “under the dictates” of Allāh, God, is the glorious sword against oppression, aggression, occupation, exploitation, compulsion, and usurpation!

Non-violence
(The success of non-violence as a tool to effect change would seem to depend upon the disposition of the reigning power. Civil disobedience may be fortunate against a civilized First World power, especially if world attention is focused on the struggle; against a ruthless Third World dictatorship it may prove fatal).

“And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it….
And if they intend to deceive,
then surely Allah is sufficient for thee”
(Qur’an 8:61-62. See also 4:90).

Even in the face of possible deception by the enemies, Muslims are to make peace. Islam –peace– as its very root declares could not be the religion of violence. Islam allows fighting in self-defense. Taking up arms against oppression and occupation is not violence. Allāh, God tells us: “And there is life for you in retaliation”–(Qur’an 2:179).

   “Life cannot be safe, we are here told, unless those who are guilty of homicide are sentenced to capital punishment,” says Muhammad Ali. This undeniable truth is evidenced in society.

   Allāh also tells us that evil is to be punished to the extent of the evil committed, “but whoever forgives and amends, his reward is with Allah”–(Qur’an 42:40. Also 42:41-43).
  Peace, mercy and forgiveness are preponderating factors in Islam. At times it is better to “turn the other cheek” (to walk away in forgiveness), and at times it is better to take “an eye for an eye.”
   (Reflecting on the plagues that ravaged mankind in the sixth century and upwards). If the world was governed by this doctrine of non-violence against all creatures under all circumstances, then perhaps the earth would now be under the dominion of rodents.

(Those who espouse non-violence to all creatures under all circumstances should not benefit from the fruits of science that are obtained at the expense of animals. To do so would seem hypocritical).  

Islam is the “abode of peace” (Qur’an 10:25).

The Religion of love
Jesus says, “Love your enemies”–(Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27), and “Love thy neighbour as thyself”–(Mark 12:31). But it was the Prophet Mohammad who has “given us a practical suggestion in this respect,” notes Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din.

“The Religion of Love should begin with man’s love of God. The Book of Islam–the Holy Qur’an– makes this the real basis of Islam; and teaches that it should be stronger than all other love and friendship. Love of God is the main and ever-recurring theme of every religion, and yet we are in the dark as to how to express our love for Him. We are not anthropomorphists, nor is our God clothed with human passions. He is above being adored in the manner we adore our sweethearts……The Holy Prophet Muhammad has, however, given us a practical suggestion in this respect. “Love His creatures,” he says “if you wish to love your God.”                                             

“What is Islam?” someone asked Muhammad. “Reverence and respect for the commandments of God, and compassion to His creatures,” was the reply, which explains “Love of God and love of man” in its real practical shape.”

Muhammad “gave the only practical illustrations of “Love thine enemy.” “For fully thirteen years he remained a helpless victim to various kinds of persecution; he and his followers were subjected to every kind of torture and oppression that the human mind can conceive of.” Yet, upon his conquest of Makkah, Makkah “fell without the shedding of a drop of blood.” “When his enemies were awaiting their fate at the hand of the conqueror, they found him the most generous man that the world had ever seen. He not only forgave them to a man, but they received many favours and positions at his hands on the very day of the victory.” “Love thine enemy” was thus put into practice once for all, and the world can refer to no such event in its history.”

   (Khwaja gave) “a few quotations from the Qur’an, which, strictly observed, will establish the Religion of Love on the earth, of God and His will “as it is in Heaven.” (Such quotations that show that): “Love of God and love of man” requires us to:

   -“serve Allah and associate naught with Him, and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphan and the needy and the neighbour of (your) kin and the alien neighbour, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hand possess”–(Qur’an 4:36; also 2:177);

              -to free a slave, or feed the hungry–(Qur’an 90:12-18);

   -to “turn not thy face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exultingly. Surely Allah loves not any self-conceited boaster. And pursue the right course in thy going about and lower thy voice. Surely the most hateful of voices is braying of asses”–(Qur’an 31:18:19);

   -to spend in times of plenty as well as in adversity, to restrain anger and pardon–(Qur’an 3:133; also 7:199-200). (Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, The Sources of Christianity, pp. 91-104).

   Christians’ claim that JESUS-LOVES US is a colossal crock.
  Jesus loved his people, Jews –Jesus’ “love thine enemies” refers to Jewish mutual enmity; ditto for giving the “other cheek. It is not love, mercy, and forgiveness to slay enemies opposed to rule, to view others as “dogs” and “swine,” and to speak in parables so they would not understand and be forgiven.
  It is Mohammad, a Divine mercy to all, as he demonstrated, who loves us; and he gave God’s message clearly to all. There is none in history to equal Mohammad’s love, mercy, tolerance, and forgiveness. There never will be.

Whereas Allāh revealed His Words to all mankind giving them every opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness, the Christians’ God/son of God, Jesus, demonstrably, is not only a tribal God but also a selfish and devious “God,” and son of God
-Jesus told the Samaritan woman: “Ye worship ye know not what: we (Jews) know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews”–(John 4:21);
  -and after relating the parable of the sower to the people Jesus said to them: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear;” and, afterwards, when he (Jesus) was alone with his followers they asked him about the meaning of the parable:
“And he said unto them, Unto you (who have God) it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them (non-Jews) that are without (God), all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”–(Mark 4:9-12);
   the Good News Bible put it even more clearly: “You have been given the secret of the Kingdom of God,” Jesus answered. “But the others, who are on the outside, hear all things by means of parables, so that, ‘They may look and look, yet not see; they may listen and listen, yet not understand. For if they did, they would turn to God, and he would forgive them.’”
   In other words though the non-Jews (who may be sincere seekers of God) have the faculties of sight and hearing and can see and hear, he (Jesus) spoke in parables so that they would not understand his words because he did not want them to accept God and have their sins forgiven.
   What a ghastly horribly sickening thing to do. (As prophet, Jesus could not turn away anyone; this is why he indulged non-Jews; but he could avoid them, which he did, as is evident from his admonition to his disciples not to preach to non-Jews, and from his speaking in parables so that they would not understand). This statement by Jesus also proves that Jesus did not come to save sinners.

   Contrast this pastor’s and Christians’ “God” and son of God, Jesus, to Mohammad who gave the Word of Allāh clearly and to all inviting them to forgiveness, and agonizing over the rejecters, and even praying for the forgiveness of the rejecters of Allāh. Also, this saying of Jesus crowns the list of refutation that Jesus is God and that he came to die for the world is a monumental myth and a lie: it is a myth in that there are no such Divine expressions; it is a lie in that it is known that the verses of Mark 16:9-20 and Matthew 28:19, speaking of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and to baptize all nations are “forgeries.” It also proves that Jesus’ speaking of “nations” refers to the Jewish nations: confirming that Jesus’ mission was wholly and solely to the Jews.

(We often hear such musical Christian claims as “universal” brotherhood, love, spirit, values, teachings, tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and egalitarianism.
Belief is not to be confused with facts.
The religion that stamps others as “dogs” and “swine;” enslaves heathen; views woman as transgressor and defiler of man; subjugates wife and sees her as an object of carnal release; relegate daughters into bondage; vilifies opposers as enemies; commands enemies be slain, and prevents others from knowing God “lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them” is on no moral or spiritual throne to make such lofty claims–Matt. 7:6; 15:26; Lev. 25:44; 1 Tim 2:11-14; Rev; 14:4; Gen. 3:16 & 1Cor, 7:1-2; Ex. 21:7.; Luke 19:27; Matt. 12:30; Mark 4:9-12).
   Whatever fruits of bliss the Christian woman is enjoying did not come from any tree planted by Christ, but from the crops of modern culture).23

Islam to prevail over all
“Surely those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (people) from the way of Allah. So they will go on spending it, then it will be to them a regret, then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered together to hell.”-(Qur’an 8:36)
   “They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will allow nothing save the perfection of His light, though the disbelievers are averse.”-(Qur’an 9:31)

   “This is a prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in face of severe opposition from the Jews and Christians,” comments Muhammad Ali. “All opposition to truth, whether based on force or propaganda, is here compared with putting out the Divine light by blowing with the mouth to show that all such attempts would prove futile. The Divine light will be made perfect, by which is meant the triumph of Islam throughout the world, as the next verse states clearly.” (Qur’anic comm. #1053).

“He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and
the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail
over all religions, though the polytheists are averse.”
(Qur’an 9:32)

“The prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world is repeated thrice in the Holy Qur’an, in exactly the same words –here and in 48:28 and 61:9. Here as well as in 61:9 it is mentioned in connection with Christianity, while in 48:28, it is mentioned in connection with the Arab opposition to Islam. In Arabia itself, Islam became triumphant in the life-time of the Holy Prophet. Idolatry was wiped out from the face of the country, while many of the Jews and Christians accepted the Religion of Truth. The Prophet’s death instead of putting any check to the advance of Islam was a signal for an unparalleled advance of his religion. The first century of the Muslim era saw, not only vast Christian communities swelling the ranks of Islam, in Egypt, N. Africa, Asia Minor, Persia and Central Asia, but also brought to light the amazing fact that Islam, coming in contact with all the great religions of the world, with Zoroastrianism in Persia, with Buddhism and Hinduism in India and Afghanistan, and with Confucianism in China, conquered the hearts of the followers of every religion and they accepted the message of Truth in vast numbers, so that great Muslim communities sprang up in the whole known world, and the light of Islam enlightened the whole world from the farthest East to the farthest West.

   The reason for this triumph, unprecedented in the history of religion, is not far to seek. It was the Religion of Truth; it presented the whole truth and infused a new life into all people who accepted it, while every other religion presented only partial truth. Every religion accepted this or that prophet, while Islam accepted all the prophets of the world, and every religion had obscured the great Truth of Divine Unity by mixing up with it some kind of shirk, while Islam presented the purest monotheism. Islam thus presenting the Perfect Light of Divine Unity and the whole Truth relating to prophethood appealed to every people, and the truth of the words –He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth that He may make it prevail over all religions– shone out in full resplendence.”24

   Further, “This prophecy of the prevalence of Islam over all other religions is a prophecy which extends into the distant future, while Arabia saw its fulfilment in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. The prevalence of Islam does not, however, mean the political supremacy of its adherents at all times, nor does the prophecy signify that other religions would at any time entirely disappear. It only indicates that the superiority of the religion of Islam over all other religions will at last be established, and Islam will be the religion of the majority of the nations of the earth. No other scripture prophesizes the triumph of the religion it preaches in such unmistakable terms.”25

   Finally, in 61:8-9 Allah has promised that He “will perfect His light” and make Islam “overcome the religions”. These two verses “contain two different prophecies. In the first of these we are told that all attempts to annihilate Islam will fail, and they did fail. In the second it is affirmed that Islam will be made the predominant religion, the truth of which was witnessed by Arabia in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. But both prophecies have a wider significance. Attempts are still being made to annihilate Islam, and the Divine promise is that all these attempts shall be brought to naught; while the predominance of Islam over all the religions of the world would in time be established, as clearly as it was in Arabia….Polytheists, it should be noted, include the Christians, for they adopted the polytheistic doctrine of Trinity.”26

“Surely, Allah will not fail in (His) promise.”
“The promise of Allah is true.”
“And whoever believes not in Allah and
His Messenger–then surely We have prepared
burning Fire for the disbelievers.”
“Surely those who oppose Allah and
His Messenger will be humbled as those
before them were humbled; and indeed
We have revealed clear messages.
And for the disbelievers
is an abasing chastisement.”
(Qur’an 14:47; 13:31; 10:4; 48:13; 58:5).
Neither man nor nation can perish the truth.
Man cannot demolish what Allāh God decrees preserved.

Islam is the answer
Islam, the way of life designed by Allāh, God, for man, is not only about the spiritual; it is also for “fair wages” and the “rule of law.”Islam enjoins justice and civility. Allāh, the Glorious and the High, says:

“O David, surely We have made thee a ruler in the land;
so judge between men justly and follow not desire,
lest it lead thee astray from the path of Allah”
(Qur’an 38:26)
“Surely Allāh enjoins justice….and he
forbids indecency and evil and rebellion”
(Qur’an 16:90)

“So pardon them (the disbelievers)
and ask protection for them,
and consult them in (important) matters”
(Qur’an 3:158)
“And those…whose affairs are (decided)
by counsel among themselves”
(Qur’an 42:38)
“The only punishment of those who wage war
against Allāh and His Messenger and strive
to make mischief in the land
is that they should be murdered, or crucified,
or their hands and their feet should be cut off
on opposite sides, or they should be imprisoned”
(Qur’an 5:33)

“And kill not your children for fear of poverty…
And kill not the soul which Allah has
forbidden except for a just cause….
And draw not nigh to the orphan’s property,
except in a goodly way, till he attains his maturity…”
(Qur’an 17:31, 33, 34)

“And give full measure when you measure out,
and weigh with a true balance.
This is fair and better in the end”
(Qur’an 17:35)
“Give full measure and be not of those who diminish.
And weigh with a true balance.
And wrong not men of their dues, and act
not corruptly in the earth, making mischief”
(Qur’an 26:181-183)

“Woe to the cheaters!
Who, when they take the measure (of their dues)
from men, take it fully. And when they
measure out to others or weigh out for them,
they give less than is due”
(Qur’an 83:1-3)
“Surely Allāh commands you to make
over trusts to those worthy of them,
and that when you judge between people,
you judge with justice”
(Qur’an 4:58).

   Islam is the “answer” to all “problems” –social, moral, and spiritual. The way of life charted by Allāh, God, could not be deficient.

Taxation
Jizyah; as Muhammad Ali explains:

“was a tax levied on non-Muslim subjects under the rule of Islam, so called because it was a tax for the protection of life and property which that rule guaranteed them. Muslim subjects were exempt from this tax in consideration of military service, which for them was compulsory. As a matter of fact, they too were made to pay for that protection, but in different form. They bore the hardships of a military life, they fought the country’s battles, they laid down their lives in defence of the country. Non-Muslims were exempt from all this, and in lieu of this they contributed their share in the shape of money. It is obvious which of the two alternatives is the easier. In countries where conscription is the law to-day, there would certainly be many who would be glad to buy their exemption from military service so cheaply, paying a small amount as tax. It must be remembered, furthermore, that the tax was not indiscriminately charged to every non-Muslim subject. Males under twenty and above fifty, all females, those suffering from some chronic disease, the blind and the poor were all exempt. As a matter of fact, the Muslims had also to pay a tax in addition under the name of zakaat, and this was much heavier than jizyah as it was levied at the rate of 2 1/2 percent, on all savings annually.”27

It is a rather strange reasoning that one would convert to Islam to escape “heavy taxation” when Muslims are required to shoulder a heavier load than non-Muslims. The Kharaj and Jizyah are not “Discriminatory Taxes.” Jizyah, as already noted, was paid by non-Muslims for military protection. Payment of “half a guinea or a dinar a year” is a cheap price than suffering the hardship of military life and for putting one’s life on the line for the welfare of the country. Muhammad Ali notes:

“…jizyah, which was originally a tribute paid by a subject state, took the form of a poll-tax later on in the time of ‘Umar; and the word was also applied to the land -tax which was levied on Muslim owners of agricultural land. The jurists, however, made a distinction between the poll-tax and the land tax by giving the name of kharaj to the latter. Both together formed one of the two chief sources of the revenue of the Muslim state, the zakat paid by the Muslims being the other source.”28

   Thus, Muslims also had to pay not only kharaj but zakat as well, (and do military service). This disparity clearly shows that there is no basis for the claim that the kharaj and jizyah are “Discriminatory Taxes.”

   All governments levy taxes to raise revenues. Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Early Caliphate that when a Muslim government could no longer provide the protection for which jizyah was taken, this amount was returned to the people. He gave the example of Abu ‘Ubaidah when he

“gave up his position at Hims and returned towards Damascus. On leaving Hims, however, he ordered that the whole amount of jizyah realised from the people of Hims should be returned to them. Jizyah, he said, was a tax in return for protection. When they could no longer give that protection, they had no right to keep the money. The whole amount was consequently withdrawn from the treasury and made over to the people ……who were all either Christians or Jews. In vain will the critic ransack the dusty pages of history for another such brilliant spot, such scrupulous regard for the rights of citizenship in time of war. The treatment by Muslims of the inhabitants was such that, at their departure, Christians as well as Jews actually shed tears and prayed God to bring them back. Muir, after admiring the leniency of the Arab conquerors towards the conquered and their justice and integrity, quotes a Nestorian Bishop of the time:“These Arabs to whom God has accorded in our days the dominion are become our masters; but they do not combat the Christian religion; much rather they pro-tect our faith; they respect our priests and our holy men, and make gifts to our churches and our convents” (p. 128 [The Caliphate])”” (p. 86)

   On the belief that the Kharaj and Jizyah are “Discriminatory Taxes,” Muhammad Ali notes that during the reign of ‘Umar when the whole of Persia “came completely under the rule of Islam” that while “jizyah was imposed in some parts, there were other adjacent parts where the people neither embraced Islam nor paid jizya. They only agreed to render military assistance in time of need.” “In affairs of state, non-Muslims were duly consulted.” ‘Umar also ordered “that old-age pensions must be granted to all the old people among non-Muslim subjects, who must also be exempt from jizyah. Poor-houses for the weak and the disabled were open to Christians just as to Muslims.” (Ibid. pp. 101, 118, resp.)

   To say that jizya is a “discriminatory” tax is to “betray ignorance.”  

(Those who are jaundiced against jizyah and “dhimmi-tude” must turn their sights to the Biblical Fathers and the Defenders of the Faith –David, Saul, Samuel and Joshua and the Christian conquerors of Jerusalem and Spain– whose victims were shrouded in blood, expelled or forced to convert. Not to mention the 800-year In-quisitions –Medieval, Roman and Spanish– from 1000-1834.
Praise be to Islam’s mercy and tolerance –to jizyah and “dhimmitude”! (For more on “dhimmitude” see BAT YE’OR).

Islam–one and only religion
Allāh is the unseen Supreme Power of goodness. Allāh says that “all religions” are for Him–(Qur’an 8:39).

   All prophets of God taught obedience to Him; the religions formed from the teachings of these prophets, as well as any other religion that glorifies Him, are all for Allah.
   The favors of Allāh, God, to man consists of not only the items in creation–such as the sun, moon, stars, fruits etc;–but also includes our speech and intelligence, and Divine guidance.

   Whereas such favors as the items in creation were established at the time of creation, and our speech and intelligence are manifested during our growth, the favor of Divine guidance to all man remain, until the Seventh century, to be completed.
   The Arabs were the last people to receive Divine guidance. With the Revelation now given to the Arabs (between the years 610–632 after Christ), Allāh’s, God’s, favor to man was now completed. The Prophet Mohammad’s mission was two-fold: to be Messenger to the Arabs and to unite all mankind under one Divine Constitution–the Qur’an.

  Since in the Qur’an nothing is omitted that is necessary for our social, moral, intellectual, and spiritual development, Allāh God’s, religion to man was perfected: “This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour to you and chosen for you Islam as a religion”–(Qur’an 5:3)

   Islam is the only religion (way of life) chosen by Allāh, God, for us to follow. This is borne out by the fact that in no revealed scripture is it stated the name of a religion to follow except in the Qur’an–chapter 5 verse 3. This is so because Allāh’s, God’s, Message to us was completed only through the Prophet Mohammad.

   All other religions were named after a person or place or some other, for example: Judaism was named after Judah; Buddhism after Buddha; Christianity after Jesus Christ; Zoroastrianism was named after Zoroaster, Bahai after Baha’ullah, Sikhism from the Sanskrit word “Sisya,” which means “disciple;” Hinduism after the Indus valley or Indus river.

   While Hinduism/Sanatana Dharma, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity may be religions based on prophets   of God, they are not religions named by God. Neither are these prophets the end of prophethood. For, Mohammad is “the Seal of the prophets”–(Qur’an 33:40).

   As all Prophets were sent by the same One God, the religion from God could not be partial to any person, place or thing. The name of His religion should reflect our service to Him. Such is the religion of Islam –which means peace and submission (to Allah); or peace and submission to the Will of Allah.
  The oldest religion or eternal law is Islam –submission to the law of Allah God. The first human beings submitted to this law of Allāh, God, –Islam. Only this submission to Allāh, God, was not yet known as Islam. The following makes this point clear: “Then He (Allāh) directed Himself to the heaven and it was a vapour, so He said to it and to the Earth: Come both, willingly or unwillingly. They both said: We come willingly”–(Qur’an 41:11).
We ‘come willingly’ or we submit to your command–Islam. Thus, Islam –submission to the command of Allāh, God– is as old as the heavens and the earth. All creations conform to the laws of Allāh, God.

   All Revelations prior to the Qur’an is a way of life for that period of time and for that particular people to whom it was enjoined. While service to the creatures of God is for all time, the laws of God of prior Revelations are replaced by the law of the Qur’an, which is all-encompassing and universal.  

The Qur’an makes clear
that in which we differ!
(Qur’an 16:64).

(It is said that Hinduism [Sanatana Dharma] is the oldest religion or the ancient law. Sanatana Dharma is explained to mean “the eternal occupation of rendering service to others,” as is stated in the Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, (p. 19). However, since a person may elect not to serve others, in the Divine sphere “the eternal occupation of rendering service to others” (Sanatana Dharma) could not be the ancient law or the oldest law, or the natural religion of man.

Also, whereas Sanatana Dharma is restricted to “rendering service to others,” it does not include service to Adam, the first man, and does not include other creations, such as the mountains and planets and other creatures, all of which submit to the laws of Allah God –Islam! As explained above Islam predates “service to others”.

In the human sphere, submission to Allāh, God, means holding no other object in worship but Allah and keeping His ordinances. While all the various Revelations from God would enjoin ‘service to His creatures,’ it is not reasonable to entertain that God would choose Sanatana Dharma as the religion of man then thousands of years later would say that He has now completed His favor to us and has perfected our religion and has chosen for us Islam as our religion. If Religion [or way of life] was completed through Sanatana Dharma there would be no need for Islam and for God to make this declaration).
Islam is the oldest religion, and the only religion from God!

 Islam–only religion accepted
“I, Allāh, am the Seer. A Book which We have revealed to thee that thou mayest bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission, from darkness into light, to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One.”
“Woe on that day to the rejectors! In what narration after it (the Qur’an), will they believe?”-(Qur’an 14:1; 77:49-50)

While Islam claims to have Allāh’s, God’s, final revelation to mankind, it does not deny salvation in other creeds.
    Islam teaches that Allāh God raised prophets among all peoples. Thus Islam recognizes that all Divinely inspired religions have truth; and that there are righteous followers of those prophets/messengers. Whereas the righteous of other religions who do not know of Islam will receive heavenly bliss, Allāh pleases; those who reject Islam will not be accepted. For, as stated, no religion can be shown to be equal with or superior to Islam.

   That Jews, Christians and Sabians who believe in Allāh would have their reward–(Qur’an 2:62), refers to those who followed their prophets prior to the advent of Islam; and to these later religionists who died without knowing about Islam –as they could not be charged as having rejected Islam– and followed their Scriptures. Jews and Christians who follow the Prophet Mohammad would be rewarded twice–(Qur’an 28:54).

   Allāh is a just God. And while Allāh’s, God’s, answer can also be a “no”, meaning we do not get what we ask for, He answers the prayers of all His servants, whether that servant is a Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Bahai, Sikh, or… However, we have to answer to Him for our rejection of Islam. Islam is the natural religion of man: “Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam”–(Qur’an 3:18).

“So set thy face for religion, being upright,
the nature made by Allah in which
He has created men.
There is no altering Allah’s creation.
That is the right religion–but
most people know not.”
(Qur’an 30:30)

   Allāh, God, having perfected religion through the Prophet Mohammad, He calls on mankind to worship Him under His chosen religion Islam, and under His universal name Allāh, and to follow His Qur’an which is the law is for all people and for all time to the Day of Judgment.
   This law or way of life (which Allāh has named Islam) was enjoined on all prophets before the Prophet Mohammad, as He revealed in Qur’an 42:13: “He has made plain to you the religion which He enjoined upon Noah and which We have revealed to thee, and which We enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus”  

   As no religion can be superior to the one formulated by Allāh, the All-knowing God:
“Seek they then other than Allāh’s religion? And to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they will be returned.”
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.”
“And never offer prayer for any one of them who dies, nor stand by his grave. Surely they disbelieved in Allāh and His Messenger and they died in transgression.”
“It is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even though they should be near relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the flaming fire.”-(Qur’an 3:82, 84; 9:84, 113).

   As Islam is superior to all religions, whoever rejects Islam/ Mohammad is going to Hell–(cf. Qur’an 3:82, 84; 9:84, 113. Muslim, Vol. 1, # 284).

Islam, the Religion chosen by Allāh God for us is the religion which welds people of all status, colors and races into one Brotherhood; condemns compulsion, aggression, oppression and exploitation; and enjoins prayer, peace, patience and tolerance; liberated women, exalts them, commands honor unto them and gave them equality with men; exhorts us to be modest and moderate, and to strive for social, intellectual, moral, and spiritual excellence; judges us not by our race, color, nationality, possessions, status or appearance, but by our faith in Allāh and our deeds.

Islam is:
-the everlasting kingdom to which every head must bow to gain ascension
-the glorious sun to which every heart must turn for illumination
-the sweet fount of splendor where every soul must nourish for perfection
-the Divine gateway through which every foot must enter for life eternal.

*

NOTES

1. Allāh, God, revealed in His Qur’an 57:3 that “He is the First and the Last and the Manifest and the Hidden, and He is Knower of all things.” Muhammad Ali commented: “The Holy Prophet has thus explained the four attributes of the Divine Being mentioned here: “Thou art the First, so that there was nothing before Thee, and Thou art the Last, so that there is nothing after Thee, and Thou art the Manifest, or the Ascendant over all, so that there is nothing above Thee, and Thou art the Hidden, the Knower of the hidden things, so that there is nothing hidden from Thee” (Ms. 48:13).

1A. Lord Headley, cited by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters To The Bishops of Salisbury & London, (p. 147).

2. Faruqui, Ismail, and Lois Lamya, The Cultural Atlas Of Islam, pp.     197-198.

3. Muhammad Ali, The Early Caliphate, pp. 89-90.

4. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Qur’an And Science, pp. 251, 207,     7, 9, 77, 78, 49, 249, 50, 52-53.

5. Cited in Ahmed Deedat, Is the Bible God’s Word? p.13.  

6.Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters To The Bishops of       Salisbury & London, pp. 31-32. K.K. also notes from Encyclopaedia Biblica, p. 1880, Section G., Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek, Appendix.Italics/emphasis added.

7. (1) New Testament, (2) “LXX” meaning seventy, is the J W’s  (Jehovah’s Witnesses) alternative title of the Old Testament– A. Deedat, Is the Bible God’s Word, p. 24.

8. Ency. Brit; 15th Ed; Vol. 8, p. 911.

9. Anoop Chandola, The Way To True Worship, p. 8.

10. Hamlyn, Man and his Gods, encyclopedia of the world’s religions, p. 178.

11. Ency. Brit.15th Ed. Vol, 17, p. 151.  

12. Lin Yutang, Wisdom of India, pp. 24, 25.

13. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters To The Bishops of Salisbury & London, pp. 17-18.

14.   Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, p.

15. Swami Dayananda, Light of Truth, p. 267.

16. Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm. # 36.  

17. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters to the Bishops of Salisbury & London, pp. 111-112.

18. Muir’s, Life of Mahomet, ch., vii. Cited in M. Ali’s Trans; of the Qur’an, sec; World’s Greatest Spiritual Force, p. vii.

19. Ali, Muhammad, Qur’anic comm. # 1941.

20. Hamlyn Man and his Gods, encyclopedia of the world’s religions, p. 175.

21. Ahmed Deedat, Muhummed the Greatest, p. 31.

22. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, The Sources of Christianity, pp. 93-94.

23. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in his Open Letters To The Bishops of Salisbury & London, commenting on Christian’s claim that Jesus “has given to the world the grand doctrine of universal brotherhood”:

“The quotation reminds me of the oft-repeated phrases –“Christian spirit,” “Christian morals,” “Christian teachings,” etc.– which always come to the aid of the adherents of Christianity when they seek to claim such of these things for themselves as appeal to them for the time being, though they fail to find them in their Scriptures. Jesus was a Prophet, and can be believed to have possessed good and noble qualities and to have taught those things. But it is, after all, a belief, and should not be confused with facts. His teachings, as narrated in the Bible, cannot be taken as supplying a complete religion. Moreover, he himself admits that he did not give the whole truth–(St John xvi). On the other hand, if the Christian spirit is that which can be inferred from the spirit of Christ’s Church, it is not such as to do credit to that Church’s founder. The beautiful of yesterday is the ugly of to-day; which things being so, it is hard to define the Christian spirit. The phrase, as used from time to time, seems to be sufficiently plastic to accord with any and every condition. Whatever appears to be desir­able for the time being is at once claimed under one or other of these convenient phrases. The spirit of Christ may be taken to comprehend everything: but his own Church, though filled with the Holy Ghost, as they believe, has ever remained too dense to appreciate it. Her spirit has, through-out the ages, been anything but meekness, mercy and long-suffering. For about seventeen centuries the Creed of Saint Athanasius has been sung and said on the Holy Feasts, under the authority of the Church. Does that Creed reflect the spirit of Christ, when it evinces a universal, damnatory spirit at its very outset, where it says: “without doubt he shall perish everlastingly”? Today the laity come forward to denounce it and demand its elimination from the Book of Common Prayer. The new house of laity of the Church of England met recently at Church House, Westminster, to conclude its deliberations on the proposed measure for the revision of the Prayer Book. Among other things­–

­“Mr. C. Marston moved an amendment to leave out the words ‘which faith, except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly,’ from the Athanasian Creed. He said he did not propose to eliminate the Creed altogether, but he wanted to take out of it the most terrible sentence which he believed had ever appeared in all history–and this in a book which pretended to supply the gospel of salvation of sinners. The Athanasian Creed was com­posed in an age that was comparatively reckless of human life; and it was put into our Prayer Book in its present form at a time when recklessness of human life was still very much to the front.

“Sir George King said he thought most of the members in charge considered that it was no business of the House to alter the creeds. There was a great deal to be said by way of explanation on matters which apparently were misunderstood by some people.

“Sir Edward Clarke said the Athanasian Creed. had spoiled the happiness of services for him on the great festivals of the Church for years and years. ‘I have never said it,’ he added, ‘and would never dream of saying it. It has been a distress to me to hear choirs singing at the top of their voices these awful words, which I do not believe, and which I am sure ought not to be in our service.’

“Sir Robert Williams said he thought it was quite time the laity ­made their protest against the use of these damnatory clauses.

“Mr. Marston’s amendment was carried. The question, however, remains open, and will come up before the House for final approval.”

The damnatory clause is doomed now, seeing that the protest against it comes from influential quarters among the laity. Similar protests got rid of a certain notorious psalm in the days of the war. But is it the spirit of Christ, or the spirit of modern civilization, that cries out against such cruel expressions? If it is the former, it has remained dormant for centuries, and its revival is simply to pamper the spirit of all-sufficiency. Candidly speaking, there is very little in the teachings of Jesus to meet the ups and downs of life. To make it elastic to suit everything and anything is simply to fish out authority for our deeds, no matter what their merits may be. But for such free interpretations the world would have been saved from the countless cruelties committed by the Church in the name of Jesus.

In fact, nothing could in decency be claimed as Christian verity if it be not laid down in clear terms in the sayings of Jesus. If the offending phrase in the Athanasian Creed has been allowed to remain for centuries in the Book of Common Prayer, is not a man of independent views justified in classing the spirit of Christ as identical with that of indifference to human life? (pp. 78-86).

24. Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm. # 1054.

25. Ibid; Qur’anic comm. # 2323.

26. Ibid; Qur’anic comm. # 2499.

27.  Muhammad Ali, The Early Caliphate, p. 41.

28. Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam, p. 559.

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