Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Terrorists, Islamophobes and Our Faith


No one can deny the fact that terrorism, barbarism and violence are among the “malaise” from which the Islamic world is suffering in today’s fast growing global world. The rush and invested energy to seek and work for material progress has on the other hand brought about the moral and spiritual decline of human beings, including Muslims. They find their spiritual foundations shaken and to further complicate the situation, it is not a secret to anyone that a few Muslim countries have become the greatest producers of drugs and other intoxicants which are exported to African and Asian countries where there exist a majority of Muslim countries, and this despite the fact that Islam condemns the consumption and sales of intoxicants.

Modern psychologists and specialist doctors in the field had discovered that an excess of drugs and other intoxicants lead to terrorism and violence in the various forms they exist. Under these circumstances, the American and European mass-media have caught the golden chance to present the Muslims as a band of terrorists in the late 20th Century for the simple reason of frightening the non-Muslim world and to tarnish the image of Islam. And, during the 1990s, the mass media embarked on an aggressive campaign to accuse the Muslims as barbaric people who are still living in the pre-Islamic age and given to debaucheries by frequently using the connotation “Jihad” in their own distorted comprehension. This campaign of theirs have gained all the more weight at the turn of this new era (the 21st Century) when a so-called or well-planned venture to depict Muslims as terrorists was put into execution with the terrorist attacks of 9/11 (the World Trade Centre and Pentagon Attacks).

Islam's Legacy: Non-violence

The greatest Muslim and non-Muslim historians can bear testimony to the fact that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has never, on any single occasion during his prophetic mission in Mecca or Medina used violence to counteract his enemies’ persecutions, but it can be safely said, without exaggeration, that he was the first leader to have taught “non-violence”. However, today “non-violence” is associated with Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela when people at large tend to forget the teachings of Islam which are universal. It is equally true to mention that with the present situation, almost all religions in this modern age are in a state of crisis; but Islam being a complete code of life does not lack solutions to the problems of violence affecting society. 

'No' to Aggression; Only self-Defence'

In the first place, the word Jihadas it is widely used by the Muslims and understood in a distorted manner by the non-Muslims, must be given its exact definition. “Jihad” which means “Qital or fighting with weapons can only be affective, from the religious point of view, if it is applied in “Self-Defence” but not to aggress or kill innocent people as indicated in the Holy Quran: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits, for Allah does not love the transgressors. (2: 191)

For example, as soon as the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) returned to Medina after winning the Battle of Badr, he reminded his companions that the “smaller Jihad” is over and the “Greater Jihad”, which is the struggle to combat evils, now begins; meaning that the “Jihad against self” or the “Greater Jihad” is more important in order to combat the devils which tempt mankind to commit sins.

Protection of Civilians versus Acts of Terror 

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) instructed that women, old and infirm men should not be ill-treated, nor trees and crops destroyed. Unfortunately, nowadays the extremists and terrorists, they are those who are sullying the image of Islam and the teachings of IslamWe, the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, condemn all acts of terrorism which are against the teachings of Islam. We absolutely condemn all attacks which have perpetrated in France and Belgium and the other countries where those kinds of extremists are causing havoc.

Re-Imagining Islamic Education

The most important step to take in order to curb violence is to review the whole system of education at Madrassa level. Even though it would not eradicate all evils affecting Muslim societies, at least, it could help to reduce them to a bare minimum. A new curriculum which consists of what is worthwhile to the environment of the Muslim children must be introduced in order to assist them to cope with the new trends in the development of Islamic Education, which can create the true spirit of Islam, to realize the necessity to perform prayers regularly, to observe fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan and to acquire the basic fundamental principles of Islam.

To achieve these aims and objectives, the active participation of parents is imperative and highly solicited to closely monitor the progress of their sons and daughters. An important problem which may crop up at this stage is that some parents may find themselves unable to assist their children in the learning processes due to lack of proper Islamic education. However, it can be suggested that “Adult Islamic Education” could be organised by the Amirs and the missionaries in Islam with the intention of encouraging them to participate in the shaping-up of the complete personality of their sons and daughters in accordance with the Holy Quran and the Hadiths of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In this connection, the Holy Quran says: O you who believe, enter (practise) Islam in its totality. (2: 209)

Becoming "Muslim": Finding the Purpose of 'Life' in Society

Islam does not simply mean to submit to Allah and His prophet Muhammad (pbuh) partly but only complete submission to the will of Allah can give an opportunity to the Muslim Youth to realize their existence for coming to this world and what must they prepare to take with them when their life is drawing closer to its end.

After equipping them with the tenets and basic fundamental principles of Islam, no doubt they will develop a positive attitude to tolerate and respect their neighbours, not only of their own community but of the various communities living around them. Then, with the greatest conviction, they will reject all the evils, including violence and drugs and other intoxicants and vices and evils affecting their community, society and country to which they belong. It is only after undergoing purification of the mind and soul that they can boast of belonging to such a community which can set the best example for others to imitate.

Allah says in the Holy Quran: You are the best people among mankind enjoining what is Right, forbidding what is Wrong, and Believing in God. (3: 111)

---Friday Sermon of 08 April 2016 ~(29 Jamad’ul Aakhir 1437 Hijri) Hazrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al-Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim (atba) of Mauritius.