Conversions and our attitudes
Islam forbids compulsion, both internal and external, as it recognizes human nature. Let people have the freedom to choose what is good for them.
To live a healthy life, we need to think healthy. Hate, anger, fear, and jealousy are the bacteria that eat our attitudes alive. Let's keep away from them and earn our salvation.
There is no compulsion in Religion
Qur'aan could not be clearer, " there is no compulsion in faith". There should not be any compulsion either external or internal. "To them is their way as my way is to me". Yes, there have been forced conversions by zealots, but seldom the converted want to re-convert, they have grown accustomed to the adopted way.
The issue comes with the happy customers of religion, who are eager to share their joy with others to the point of pushing. If you find a great buy - like Armani's suit for $100.00 at J.C. Penney, there is no way that you would remain silent about it, you will call all your friends and even the one's you simply know, you will call them to go buy the suit. You will go to great lengths to call your buddies. It is your joy that is making you do that and it is infectious.
Essentially there is no missionizing or conversion mechanism in most faiths except Christianity and Islam and occasionally a few other faiths. It happened by sharing what sounds right to you with the others and the others joining you. You can see the results. They are # 1 and # 2 in demographics. The leading non-Muslim scholars of Islam like John Esposito, Dr. Chapman (Dallas), Karen Armstrong and several others have attested that conversions through sword is a myth.
In the United States alone, thousands of people convert to Islam of their own volition. I will add the names as we go by, but for now Michael Wolfe, Sheikh Hamza Yousuf, Yusuf Estes come to my mind, who have converted to Islam and have taken up the work of explaining why Islam appealed to them.
On conversions some people are willing to kill others, “ why? Here are a few points to ponder to develop a healthy attitude towards life. The problems with conversions are not religious in nature. If all paths lead to God and all rivers go to the same ocean. What is the problem if some one wants to take a different path?
[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve....
The problem is political and is born out of fear and insecurity, that our faith is coming to an end, and the fear brings out the animal in us to act for security and frighten and scare every one else. Let people convert to whatever faith they want to. Faith is internal, what one believes inside is for them.
Food & Religion
If you happen to love Peach Cobbler and your friend loves Apple pie. Neither of you could explain why one is better than the other. No scientist, nutritionist, dietician, aesthetician, food connoisseur or any one can ever prove that one is better than the other. Your taste buds don't care any explanation, you will continue to enjoy what you have enjoyed. That is the general rule, however, some are willing to expand their horizons and some are willing to change and might find the other desserts more appealing to them. So be it. What is it to me or you if one becomes a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Bahai, Buddhist or an atheist?
[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is omniscient, Cognizant.
Beauty is in the eyes of beholder, as faith is in the heart of the believer.
[3:195] Their Lord responded to them: "I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female - you are equal to one another.
Arrogance is the root cause of all evil. The # 1Requirement in any faith is to ‘bow’ to the creator. It is a sure method of jettisoning our ‘Arrogance”. Every religion is designed*(by the divine equalizing energy) to just do that.
Our arrogance makes us denigrate others, when we do that we have bombed our own spirituality, which comes from humility. Spirituality is being in peace with oneself, and with one's surroundings.
Personally I would urge every one to take time to learn about their own faith, or the faith that has been taught to them. Every faith is beautiful and there is no need for any one to convert. Conversion assumes the inadequacy of the faith one follows currently. In that case, let them have the freedom to seek what unionizes their hearts and souls. Why should we mess someone's spirituality or some one's taste buds. Let them enjoy their Apple pie and let me enjoy my peach Cobbler . We should learn to mind our own religion.
Let people chose what they want to believe. The market should be free to ideas, go ahead and compete with pleasantness, offer the incentives, give the needy a job, provide food and shelter. Let it be open and competitive. How does it affect me? It will affect me if they are bad guys, they will be bad guys no matter what religion they wear. Why blame religion? Let's take religion as a conflict item out of our lives and we will be fine. Let religion make us hunger for the knowledge of unknown. Let religion make us search and seek the truth in all the holy books. Let no one own any religion, let any one choose what ever faith they want. Let us be God like, with an expansive mind to enjoy the beauty of every holy book.
Accusing Islam or Christianity that they made forced conversion will not do any good now other than frustrating oneself. Neither the people nor their progeny will revert back by force today. We are living in a different era and we need to spend our energies in building a better world. How does it matter if you want to enjoy peach cobbler or an apple pie? There is no compulsion on taste buds, if you don't like Broccoli that is your choice, I enjoy Broccoli even if the former President did not like it.
You and I are responsible for creating a better world, not the Government, not the Clergy and not even God*. It is you and I who would create a world where we feel safe to walk home to, to go to work, to be with our family to enjoy our vacation without any fear. It starts with a civilized dialogue in our own neighborhood and in our own City. It is our responsibility
I chose to be a Muslim and I am content and happy with it and I enjoy peach Cobbler.
Peace and blessings
God* - I don't mean in the sense of arrogance. God's grace is always ahead of every happening.
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
45 PICTURES AT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157641382648224/
August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916
Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.