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Thursday, July 31, 2008

If Islamist terrorism is to be overcome, the role of the Quran in influencing Muslim minds must be understood

If Islamist terrorism is to be overcome, the role of the Quran in influencing Muslim minds must be understood
From: aryaputra
Date: Jul 22, 2007 2:09 PM
Subject: Essence of Islam by Prafull Goradia

If Islamist terrorism is to be overcome, the role of the Quran in influencing Muslim minds must be understood.

If they understood the essence of Islam, neither Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would lose sleep nor would the parents of Mohammed Haneef feel so distressed. Every momin parent would be proud that his offspring has participated in jihad. Measuring Muslim acts with Hindu, Sikh or Christian yardsticks is bound to result in mistaken conclusions.

What is unique about Islam is that it claims a monopoly in the cordiality between man and god. That there is no god other than Allah, the Merciful, is repeated with every prayer. Clearly, the claim is that no other faith can lead to salvation. All other gods are illusory. Only Allah is the reality.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the authoritative translator of the Holy Quran, has listed false gods. Even Jesus is unacceptable as the son of god. He is merely supposed to be a prophet in a chain that began with Abraham and ended with Mohammed. The Holy Quran is the final message delivered by the last Prophet.

There cannot be anyone approaching prophethood after him. Even a claim of seeing a divine vision is ruthlessly punished. For example, Ghulam Ahmed, the founder of the Ahmadiya sect, was chastised and his denomination ex-communicated in Pakistan. The Bahais of Iran were treated similarly because its founder, Mirza Hoseyn Ali Nuri, known as Bahá'u'lláh, who proclaimed himself "whom god shall make manifest".

What is referred to as Islamist terrorism is incorrect. The appropriate expression would be a skirmish in the course of jihad. The Christian's idea of a holy war is different. It is essentially a defence of Christendom and its holy places. It is not fought for spreading the message of Jesus. It is done with the help of service

like teaching the young, curing the sick, comforting the old, etc. It is also done by preaching to the innocent; above all, although difficult, by performing miracles. jihad, on the other hand, is a comprehensive concept for achieving all that is desired by Allah.

One of the greatest desires was that as many people of the world as possible should be Muslim. As confirmed by Mishkt, book xiii, chapter 1, the Prophet had exhorted: "Marry women who will love their husbands and be very prolific, for I wish you to be more numerous than any other people."

Taking a cue from this exhortation, my Urdu teacher, Agha Iqbal Mirza, had felt that he was a failed Muslim. The reason was that he could not afford to get married and, therefore, had not helped to add to the Muslim population. If he had been a king or a general, he would have been able to convert people to Islam. Or, if he had been a darvesh, he might have persuaded his followers to change over. If he had been a jagirdar, he might have been able to attract people to his faith; but as an ordinary person, the only alternative available to him was to have children.

Another great desire of Allah's was that every human being should be eligible for salvation and, therefore, should be a Muslim by the time of his death. At the individual level, this sentiment came through to me via Mirza years ago. After we had become close friends, one afternoon he gently proposed that I should consider converting to Islam. He said that his affection for me would not be fulfilled unless he had tried his best to enable me to attain salvation or a place in jannat or heaven.

What Mirza felt for me, I believe, Mohammed felt for all humanity. From this sentiment flows the logic of jihad. If persuasion fails, it becomes the duty of every momin to resort to force. In order to convert the individual and to Islamise the community, the truly faithful Muslims in Britain one day wish to make it an Islamic state. To begin with, they want to have an Islamic Parliament, a state within the state.

The UK is only one of many countries where jihad has spread. In the extreme south-east is Australia. Then there are the Philippines and Thailand - both of which are threatened with secession of their respective Islamic majority areas. Bali and Jakarta in Indonesia have not been spared. The series of attacks in India are well known to us. Going westward, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Russia, the erstwhile Yugoslavia, Spain and then across the Atlantic, the US have all had a taste of jihad.

Hundreds of Muslim youth have laid down their lives. The question is what induces them to so readily and so violently embrace death. Thebdepth of conviction and the intensity of a fidayeen's feelings are beyond imagination. The credit must go to the elemental power of the message: No holy book other than the Quran has managed to convey a message so powerfully.

The fidayeen are evidently convinced that if they want salvation, they must become mujahideen and in turn try to become shaheed. If they do not do so and wait till the end of their days, they run the risk of not being adjudged fit for jannat.

Unless the magic of the Quran is appreciated, Islamist terrorism cannot be overcome. Nor can Haneef, Sabeel or Kabeel be faulted.

For any comments, queries or feedback, kindly mail us at pioneerletters@yahoo.co.in

Essence of Islam
By Prafull Goradia
Pioneer

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