Thursday, February 22, 2007

Love & Islam

Iftekhar Hai Feb 22, 2007

Iftekhar, we are proud of you, keep writing and keep building bridges, that is the most productive susatainable good will. I urge Muslims to write to the editor, at least in 50 words, however you feel about the article. But please do write. The news papers prefer local address for publication. You can write this much, it is 60 words.

Your column has appeared in 7 News papers, and that is really good news. The more the better.

  1. Oakland Tribune
  2. Tri-Valley Herald
  3. San Mateo County Times>
  4. The Argus
  5. Daily Review
  6. Alameda Times-Star

*Love and Islam*

One friendly neo-conservative keeps asking me if there is love in Islam, and what the Koran says about forgiveness and reconciliation. Another question I get is, what does the Koran say about loving your enemies?

They are legitimate questions, especially in the present climate of the war on terrorism.

The more and more I think about this, I am reminded that the Koran gives broad guidelines for establishing a peaceful and progressive society within your family, your community, your country, and the rest of the world.

Love is not mentioned as many times in the Koran as it is in the Gospels, because Jesus never lived to see the fulfillment of his Kingdom, whereas in the case of Prophet Muhammad, he lived, regulated, controlled and interpreted the laws when he established an Islamic state.

In the case of Jesus, love, forgiveness and reconciliation became central to his teachings, because he did not want his followers to become vengeful for cutting his life short and causing suffering.

With Muhammad, his initial life of suffering and pain were replaced with successful fulfillment of his dream, which led to the establishment of the Islamic state in one succession after another.

Reconciliation came in the form of establishing a law-abiding Islamic state through the interpretation of the Koranic laws that guaranteed successful continuation of Islamic states for more than a thousand years. Hence, forgiveness and reconciliation came more from the point of view of victors or the vanquished.

Thus, love, in Islam, plays a dominant role in raising a child from birth to 10 years, and discipline plays a major role during the formative years from 11 to 20.

During adulthood, love takes on a lesser role, when education, hard work and labor are key factors in arming a person with tools for living a better life. The goal for the well-disciplined citizen would be to take on the world and build communities with strong foundations based on sound family values.

In the case of loving your enemies, the Koran takes on a more practical approach of reforming and shepherding them to righteous ways before they get entitled to forgiveness.

Under the global war on terror, terrorists are not entitled to love and forgiveness if they do not change and reconcile first from within their hearts and minds.

Finally, Muslims should never consider non-Muslims as enemies, because the Koran acknowledges pluralism. Salvation is for all, as long as they believe in God and do righteous deeds.

The global war on terrorism is not a war on everyone of Islamic faith. It is focused on radicalized terrorists who take a narrow-minded view and who deny others their basic human rights.

The concept of unconditional love is reserved more for the immature or mentally unstable person — not for terrorists. The war against terrorism will ultimately lead to victory for freedom, liberty and justice that are so essential for establishing a society of love where justice can reign.

*Iftekhar Hai,* president of United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance ( ), lives in South San Francisco and is active in numerous inter-religious organizations.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


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 ( 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.


Thank you.


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.