Saturday, April 29, 2023
What about Takfir, Divine Mercy, Hell, Heaven, So-Called Jihad, Radicalism and Misinterpretations of the Quran and Hadith, and Battling Radical Ideologies?
By New Age Islam Staff Writer 29 April 2023 Muhammad Raafat, an Islamic Scholar, Responds To the Question in an Interview with Al-Bawaba News Main Points 1. Allah Almighty did not give the keys to Heaven and Hell to anyone. 2. The mercy of Allah Almighty extends to everything. 3. Extremist groups are trying to interpret the texts according to their deviant thinking and whims. ------ Muhammad Raafat, a writer and researcher in comparative religions, holds a master’s degree in comparative religions from Zagazig University. In an Arabic interview with Al-Bawabah News about extremist groups and extremist ideology, he stressed that extremist groups are striving to interpret the texts in accordance with their whims and erroneous thinking, so as to serve their purposes and interests. Extremism in religion, according to Raafat, is one of the main reasons for Takfir, a practice that runs counter to all the tolerant tenets of Islam. It typically results from ignorance and a lack of understanding of religious concepts. He said that the religious institutions in Egypt, most notably Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, are combining their efforts to combat those who contaminate the minds of young people and attempt to lure them into the clutches of extremists. Muhammad Raafat, an Islamic Scholar ------ Full Text of the Interview Translated from Arabic by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam · You are one of the researchers who compare religions; how do you envision various religions being integrated? Allah Almighty created the whole universe in perfect harmony. The difference is a cosmic norm that God Almighty made as one of His signs. Thus, the diversity of languages, dialects, and colours is proof of the power of God Almighty, as the Almighty said, “And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colours. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.” (30:22) Allah Almighty made the difference and diversity among human beings, as we said, a cosmic norm, so if He had desired, He would have united all peoples under one nation, as the Almighty says: “And if Allah had willed, He could have made you [of] a single community, but He sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And you will surely be questioned about what you used to do.” (16:93) He Almighty also said, “And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ. Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them." (11:118-119) All religions are integrated and all of them came with the message of oneness (Tauheed) of God Almighty, after which they imparted moral perfection and virtues. However, God Almighty gave each its own set of rules and guidelines. · If religions are integrated; then why do we still encounter sceptics? God Almighty commanded Muslims to believe in all the prophets, as well as all the heavenly books. God Almighty says: “The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.” (2:285) If a believer doesn't accept all of the prophets and all of the heavenly books, his faith isn't perfect. According to a well-known hadith, when our master Angel Gabriel visited the Prophet (peace be upon him), he asked him what faith. The Prophet replied that faith means believing in God, His angels, His scriptures, and His messengers. Our Prophet Isaa (Jesus peace be upon him) ratified the Torah and gave glad tidings of the arrival of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as God Almighty says: “And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O Children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” (61:6) As a result, there is no room for doubt or for trading accusations. · What do you think of the takfir issue, which is advocated by those with extremist ideologies? Takfir is a big issue since God Almighty condemned it in the Holy Qur'an. The Kharijites were the first to adopt this idea in the history of Islam when they declared Imam Ali to be a Kaafir. This is a problem that arises from a misinterpretation of the Qur'anic verses or Prophetic sayings. Extremist organisations make an effort to read texts in a way that advances their objectives and interests. This was warned about in the Qur'an. Allah says in the Quran: “O believers! When you struggle in the cause of Allah, discern (between friend and foe). And do not say to those who offer you [greetings of] peace, “You are not a believer!”—seeking a fleeting worldly gain. Instead, Allah has infinite bounties [in store]. You were initially like them then Allah blessed you [with Islam]. So be sure! Indeed, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” (4:94) Also noteworthy is what the Messenger (peace be upon him) said when Hazrat Usama killed a man who declared, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Hazrat Usama, “Did you kill him after he had said; 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah?" Hazrat Usama said, "O Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)! “He said so out of fear of our weapons". The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him, “Why did you not cut his heart open to find out whether he had done so sincerely or not?” Islamic law forbids falsely accusing others of committing Kufr, as shown by the Qur'anic text as well as by the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: "Whoever says to his brother 'disbeliever' then it will have settled upon one of them." (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2637) Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, "If somebody accuses another of disbelief or calls him the enemy of Allah, such an accusation will revert to him (the accuser) if the accused is innocent." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Thus, religious extremism is one of the main causes of takfir. Extremism in religion is unquestionably in opposition to all of the merciful principles of Islam, and it frequently arises from a lack of knowledge and comprehension of religious matters. · However, some extremist groups cite the hadith “I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah.” in order to justify their actions. Does this hadith legitimise the assault and killing of non-Muslims under the pretext of jihad? As I've already indicated, radical organisations attempt to interpret the scriptures in a way that supports their whims and deviant thinking. The hadith just says, "I have been commanded to fight," not, "I have been commanded to kill." The two expressions significantly differ from one another. Consequently, the Hadith "I have been commanded to fight" was intended to thwart and deter aggression. God Almighty forbade the beginning of aggression, regardless of whether there is a religious difference or a difference of opinion that could cause conflict. The Prophet (peace be upon him) made a covenant with the Jews in Medina for this reason, right? When the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) made peace and reconciliation with the Quraysh at Al-Hudaybiyah, God Almighty gave man freedom of worship and freedom of belief and reserved the reckoning for him alone. Allah Almighty said: “There is no compulsion in religion.” The call to Islam should not involve compulsion and violence. The invitation to Islam has some means mentioned in the holy Quran: “Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious” (16:125) God Almighty also said: “Had your Lord so willed, all those who are on the earth would have believed. Will you, then, force people into believing?” (10:99) Extremist organisations do not take into account such texts in their creed, but instead, work to stoke misunderstandings in order to advance their objectives. · But what about those who assert that X is in heaven and Y is in hell? God alone has the power to decide Heaven and Hell. Because of their misinterpretation of the texts, people who swear an oath in the name of God will face harsh punishment from God, the Most Mighty. This is also because they have granted themselves the authority to judge the servants of God in the kingdom of God in a manner that is contrary to what God desires. Then, I am in awe of those who judge someone's punishment or termination after observing their lives and actions, while God Almighty said: “Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is your return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do. O you who have believed, (look) after your (own) selves (Literally: upon you are yourselves). He who errs (does not) harm you when you are (rightly) guided.” (5:105) The only one with authority is Allah. He is the only one who judges and holds others accountable. What Allah Almighty has widened, the extremist elements have shrunk. Allah Almighty declared, "My mercy extends to everything." He alone holds the keys to both Heaven and Hell; no one else has been given them or has been selected to hand them out to people on His behalf. · What part do religious organisations play in battling radical ideologies? Religious organisations in Egypt, led by Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, play a significant role in debunking and responding to the suspicions made by extremists. Al-Azhar established the global observatory, which addresses extremist ideas and claims in numerous languages, as well as the World Organisation of Al-Azhar Graduates, which has produced a large number of books, most notably, the series Refuting Extremist Ideology, which addresses all of the concerns brought up by those with extremist ideologies. The Al-Azhar Training Academy is an additional effort in this regard. Dar Al-Iftaa is also exerting significant effort through its observatory and the publications it has produced. The Ministry of Religious Endowments has decided to prevent non-Azharis from holding the pulpit. All efforts are combined to combat those with radical ideologies who seek to hijack the minds of young people and take them captive in the service of extremism. Source of the Arabic interview: https://www.albawabhnews.com/4785702 URL: https://newageislam.com/interview/takfir-mercy-hell-heaven-jihad-quran-hadith-radical/d/129668 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