The Prophet Gave the World a Comprehensive Book

Auron ka hai Payaam aur, mera Payaam aur hai / Ishq key dardmand ka tarz-e-kalaam aur hai! (Iqbal)

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Auron ka hai Payaam aur, mera Payaam aur hai / Ishq key dardmand ka tarz-e-kalaam aur hai! (Iqbal)

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, also gave the world a perfect book – a manual as it were – that contains his major teachings. He claimed it was God’s direct word revealed to him through an angel.

He called the book the Qur’an – Reading or Something to Read. And so did the book itself refer to itself. That is the name God Almighty himself gave that book.

To this day, hundreds of millions of Muslims continue to read this book everyday and tens of millions can recite it verbatim from cover to cover from memory even today.

The simple and incontrovertible fact is that there is no other book in the world that quite fits this profile.

The world must know these basic historic truths and facts about the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. And the world must thereafter openly and unambiguously acknowledge the fact that these truths indeed did happen in historic time and space.

Thereafter, the world is free to accept or reject the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, as God Almighty’s final messenger on earth. According to the system of thought, belief and behavior preached and practiced by the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, it is a right given to all human beings by their maker and master, God Almighty himself: the right to accept or to reject. The right to dissent. The right to say no. It is a God-given right, so far Islam is concerned.


This Was Before Magna Carta and the American Constitution

And this was centuries before there was a Magna Carta, even though the Magna Carta only secured certain rights for the nobles against the king and did not include the common people.

And this was more than a 1000 years before there was an American Declaration of Independence or the American Constitution with references to certain inalienable rights that all human beings were guaranteed by their creator, whom God Almighty had created as equal, even though these did not include the Blacks, the slaves, the “Indians” and the women.

And this was again 1000 years before there was a French Revolution, which finally did away with the pernicious Western-Christian doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, that had been practised by the followers of the Pope until that time, with its clarion call of the fundamentally Islamic notions of liberty, equality and fraternity for all human beings, even though these grand ideas quickly fizzled out in practice.

And this was way before Johns Locke and Milton propounded their ideas of human liberty, which often pointedly left out the Catholics in practice.

So, the world should have known – and the world must openly acknowledge – that it was the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who really introduced some of the most important human rights and freedoms in this world more than a 1000 years before anyone else ever woke up to them.

Only Man in History

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was the perfect practitioner and exemplar of the Deen he preached. You want to call it “religion,” go ahead and call it religion. But he and his God called it Deen and that is good enough for me.

It is worth asking here, who in the world, other than the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallamever preached a complete Deen, way of life or “religion” as some of you insist on calling it?

Doesn’t that tell you something about the man? It sure says something about you and me if we can discover this and then simply shrug our shoulders and walk away.

And then the next question: Who in the world, other than the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallamever practice all, or most, or even a sizable chunk of what they preached?

But with the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, the equation was quite simple: What he preached, he also practiced – in every single instance.

No exceptions!

Is This the Man You Want to Malign?

If this is the man you want to malign and attack and insult, just because he is not your man, I am almost tempted to say, go right ahead and do it. Because, with that kind of brazen contempt for truth and human greatness at its best and highest, you are dealing directly with God and his wrath, and you are not dealing with ordinary human beings.

With that kind of anti-truth, anti-fact attitude, you are not insulting the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, you are directly insulting and attacking God Almighty himself. And God Almighty is perfectly capable of taking care of himself.

Islam in Theory I:

Now let us turn our attention to some of the specifics of Islamic theory and practice. Once again, as I said earlier, by theory I mean words, statements and professions, while by practice I mean actual actions.

There are two ways to judge whether or not a faith or a “religion” uses violence in its service:

(a) Precept.

(b) Practice.

If you are a follower of the Pope and you want to know what your own “religious” texts tell you how to treat your enemy, read the Old Testament and then compare it with the Qur’an. That should give you a comparative perspective on both Islam and your own religion.

Below are a few examples of the Qur’an’s position on the subject of how to treat other peoples, nations, societies, cultures and religions of the world. You are on your own to find parallels in the Bible.

· Qur’an forbids aggression in all forms.

· Qur’an forbids aggression even under provocation.

· Qur’an forbids gratuitous violence in all cases and under all circumstances.

· Qur’an forbids injustice even against those who have wronged you.

· Qur’an forbids oppression under all conditions.

· Qur’an forbids excesses even in war.

· Qur’an mandates proportionality in retribution and revenge.

· Qur’an makes forgiveness a higher virtue.

Islam in Theory II:

And here are just a handful of examples of Qur’an’s position on the subject of coercion and compulsion in matters of faith:

· Qur’an declares categorically: “There is no compulsion in faith.”

· Qur’an demands: “Are you going to force them to become believers?”

· Qur’an tells the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to tell those who reject his message: “I don’t worship what you worship. Nor shall you worship what I do. So, you follow your way and I shall follow mine.”

Now tell me the truth, knowing full well that God is our witness, when did you ever hear or read language this clear and this categorical in its rejection of coercion? And just where did you hear or read it?

The right and proper thing to do for everyone is to go back to their own respective “religious” texts – and other ancient texts – and see what they have to say on these subjects, making sure these texts are at least 1400 years old.


A Practical Way Forward

There is more where these examples came from. So, here is a practical way forward for everybody, and here is what truly honest and God-fearing people can do:

· Put the Qur’an in one column.

· Put your own religious text in another column.

· Track the two together like a good computer would do.

· Then see what each source has to say on the question of violence.

That means look at the theory and look at the practice of each side – Christianity and Islam, Christians and Muslims. And then decide honestly, with God as our witness, who is really teaching and practicing what.

Then believe what you want, do what you want.

Did you know this is almost a direct echo from the words of the Qur’an in paraphrase?

If, on the other hand, you have a better formula to resolve some of these issues honestly and peacefully, put it forward and let us talk about it.


Islam in Practice I:

Now let us turn to some of the practices of Islam. Here is one of Prophet Muhammad’s, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, last acts in life.

Not when he was weak and without support and just starting out his mission. But when he was strong and powerful and stood at the very pinnacle of his political and military success.

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his Muslim followers, had been subjected to two decades of unmitigated hate, hostility, conspiracies, persecution, torture, killings and wars by the unbelieving people of Makkah. Now, all of a sudden, these were brought to a sudden end by God Almighty, just as he had promised.

If you are truly honest and God-fearing, you will check out three things:

· One, you will check to see how many people lost their lives in this takeover by the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his Muslim followers, of the enemy nation, “country” and city-state of Makkah.

· Two, you will check to see how many babies were butchered, how many houses of worship were torched, how many “religious” leaders were massacred and how many women were raped during these massive military operations?

· Three, you will check to see what kind of a general treatment the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, meted out to the “vanquished and defeated” enemy nation, society, “country” and people.

And you will also keep in mind that this was several hundred years before Magna Carta gave the English nobles the right of Habeas Corpus – protection against wrongful imprisonment and the king’s duty to produce the accused before a jury of his peers.

And this was also a full 1300 years before the Geneva Conventions came up with some protections against torture and such other things.

And now we all know how thin that ice can be.¨