Friday, May 27, 2022

Extremist Interpretations of Quranic Verses Have Presented Islam as a Religion of Violence

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam 28 may 2022 Al Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram and Taliban Are the Products of Extremist Interpretations of The Quran Main Points: 1. Islam advocates peace with all human beings. 2. Terrorist organisations do not represent Islam. 3. Taliban and Al Qaida are based on the ideology of hate and supremacism. ----- Islam's main goal is a peaceful society where all the members of the society will live in peace and work together for common good. Quran is a book containing 114 chapters in which instructions and guidance for creating a liberal and peaceful society have been provided. The Quran asks Muslims to take care of their neighbours and not to harm or cause inconvenience to them without mentioning its ordainments are only for Muslims. It also asks Muslims to give the orphans, the needy and the travellers their dues without mentioning that the ordainment is for only Muslims or for both. It also asks Muslims to give shelter to a non-Muslim if he seeks refuge and does not ask Muslims to kill him if he does not try to harm them. This approach of the Quran towards the treatment of the members of the society hints at the Quran's policy towards the non-Muslims. It says that in times of peace, Muslims should not be hostile to the non-Muslims and they should fight only those who fight them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Abu Ibrahim al-Hashmi al-Qurashi, Abubakar Shekau, Haibatullah Akhundzada to Ayman Al- Zawahiri - All Are Playing a Foolish but Deadly Friend to Muslims ------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Quran permits Muslims to launch an offensive only when the opponents wage a war against them. There are numerous verses that enjoin Muslims to maintain peace with non-Muslims while inviting them to Islam with love and peaceful dialogue. A number of scholars and exegetes misinterpreted those verses enjoining good behaviour with non-Muslims as abrogated though the Quran does not have any list of abrogated verses within the text of the Quran. There are a number of verses that prevent Muslims from committing violence against non-Muslims and ask them to convey the message of the Quran peacefully and by engaging with them in dialogue. The Quran does not preach Muslims to convert non-Muslims to Islam by force as those who are non-believers are so according to God's scheme of things. If God had willed, all the people on earth would have been the followers of one religion. God has made people followers of different religions to test their faith and their patience. God only wants believers to strive in His cause. God rewards people not for what their efforts yield but for their zeal and hard work. To guide a person or not is upon God. Therefore, He says: “If thou art anxious for their guidance, yet Allah guideth not such as He leaves to stray, and there is none to help them.” (Al Nahl 37) God time again enjoins Muslims to treat people with love, service and care and make sacrifices to them. He enjoins Muslims to feed the poor, fight for justice to the wronged and stand up against the oppressors. God asks Muslims to observe honesty and piety and spread the message of love and equality to the human beings. To the Quran religion and belief of people are their personal choice. He should not be forced to shun his religious beliefs and should not be forced to accept a particular religion. Muslims are only told to spread the word of the Quran to the people. After that what they do is not the concern of the Muslims. God says to Muslims to leave people who do not listen to the message of piety and Godliness. The job of Muslims is not that of a policeman but that of a messenger. Muslims should convey the message of the Quran to the people and leave the rest to God. “Leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. But proclaim (to them) this (truth): that every soul delivers itself to ruin by its own acts.” (Al An’am: 70) “If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge”. (Tauba: 6) The Quran prescribes mujadala, that is, peaceful dialogue to resolve issues with the non-Muslims so that common grounds for peaceful co-existence can be found. “And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)." (Al Ankabut: 46) “Argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: (Al Nahl: 125) The Quran time and again enjoins on Muslims to be patient with non-believers and avoid any confrontation with them in matters of faith. Ever individual will be held responsible for their deeds. Therefore, Muslims should not lose hope and resort to violence when they do not heed their message. Some of the verses are as follows: “But We made thee not one to watch over their doings, nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs. (Al Anam: 107) “Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of Allah: It is for Him to recompense (for good or ill) each People according to what they have earned. If any one does a righteous deed, it ensures to the benefit of his own soul; if he does evil, it works against (his own soul). In the end will ye (all) be brought back to your Lord. (Al Jathiya: 14-15) “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things”. (Al Baqarah :256) Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al Imran: 31) Say: "O my people! Do whatever ye can: I will do (my part): soon will ye know who it is whose end will be (best) in the Hereafter: certain it is that the wrong-doers will not prosper." (Al An ‘am 135) "Say to those who do not believe: "Do whatever ye can: We shall do our part; "(Hud: 121) "Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; But turn away from the ignorant.”(Al Araf: 199) The Quran wants Muslims to work for the reform of the society and for its all-round development. Muslims should assume the job of a reformer, not of a religious warrior all the time. A Muslim should command what is good and persuade people to leave the evil path. That’s why the Quran asks him not to be desperate when people do not pay any heed to his words of wisdom or become hostile to them. It asks the Muslims to leave such people to their own fate and move forward. There are a number of verses that ask Muslims not to cause violence in the name of spreading Islam. “If they charge thee with falsehood, say: "My work to me, and yours to you! ye are free from responsibility for what I do, and I for what ye do!" (Yunus: 41) "that we are responsible for our doings and ye for yours; and that We are sincere (in our faith) in Him? (Al Baqarah: 139 The Quran therefore, makes it clear that it does not want violence in the name of spreading Islam. But over the years extremist Islamic scholars interpreted some war time verses of the Quran as enjoining the Muslims to wage war against non-Muslims to forcefully convert them to Islam. This interpretation initially promoted intolerant ideas among Muslims and in the twentieth century these interpretations gave birth to terrorist organisations like Al Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and a host of others that perpetrated acts of terrorism against Muslims and non-Muslims alike. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Taliban, ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram – Do You Know Islam Means Equality, Peace and Kindness? ------------------------------------------------------------------------- God has made it clear on a number of occasions that He does not like those who do injustice to people, cause bloodshed against innocent people, drive people from their homes and abuse the gods of other people. “And Allah loveth not those that do wrong”. (Al Imran: 140) “For Allah is with those who patiently persevere”. (Al Anfaal: 66) “Allah does not like transgressors.”(Al Baqarah: 190) “For Allah loves not those who do mischief. (Qisas: 77) Therefore, if the verses of the Quran are studied in the right context, it will become clear that the Quran asks Muslims to spread the word of God peacefully and work tirelessly for the welfare and spiritual amd material progress of the society. ----- S. Arshad is a columnist with URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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