Monday, November 29, 2010

Define Islam, did it start from Adam or Muhammad?

2 of 8 -

How do you define Islam? Did it start from Adam and Eve or did it start from our Prophet?
A Series of 8 questions - Do Muslims resist the following questions?
A few among us pander to the donors and funders and are afraid of answering what they believe.  By the way that is the case with people of pulpits in all religions, however the majority of Muslims, like any other majority believe and practice live and let live. I have received a few affirmations from different faith leaders about the commonality of the issue.

The questions were presented to me and I have responded to them and inviting others to express their opinion. You are welcome to refute, reject, differ or add to it, but know that there are different takes to the issue and different expression. Quraan 49:13 says he has created us to be unique, so that we can make an effort to know each other.

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress
A few responses:
Mike Ghouse

The need for peace was born with the very first humanoids, when competition for available resources was pitching them against each other causing them to live in fear of the other, thus co-existence was a natural outcome. The idea of accountability and responsibility for one’s action became necessary for peaceful co-existence followed by surrenderance of “my ego” and “your ego” to a higher ego that both can subscribe to and abide by.  Islam broadly means peaceful co-existence and submission to a judge and it did start from Adam and Eve.
If Islam means a privately owned club by Muslims and claiming God and his bounties to be exclusively on their side, then it started long after the Prophet. This idea of private club goes against the very essence of ‘rabbul Aalameen (Lord of the universe)’ in the very first sentence of the Quraan and ‘Rahmutul Aalameen (Blessing of the universe)’ describing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  The prophet said, he is not bringing a new religion, but simply updating the existing ones.

Your way of life is dear to you as mine is to me was a new paradigm in the milestones of history expressly written in Sura Kafirun heralding a new era in accepting the otherness of others without denigrating the other.

It is human to make Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or other religions one’s personal property, it is human to own the prophets and chain the holy books to their private club. By claiming ownership rights to a religion, we are stripping the universality of that religion and creating boundaries around it and excluding others. The very boundaries religions formed to remove.
Iftekhar Hai

 Islam The Quran is very clear in explaining the definition of the word Islam.  What does it mean and what does it stand for.  The uniqueness of this word is - that it is not named after any person (in this case our Prophet).  It means total surrender or submission to Allah (God).  Islam was the religion even before our Prophet Mohammed was born (pbuh) as is evidenced in The Quran in reference to 42:13,

 "The same religion (Islam or submission) has He established for you that which He enjoined on Noah.  That which We have sends as inspiration to you (Mohammed pbuh) and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus: That you should stay steadfast in religion (submission to our Lord -Islam) and make no divisions therein. (this means work for the unity of humankind)  As for those who worship other than God they are on (hard) wrong way to call from.  God chooses and guides those whom He wills towards Him.

Commentary:  According to this if a Christian, a Jew or any believer in One Supreme Being says “we surrender or submit to God.”  They are falling within the definition of the word Islam.  The art of surrender or submission is called Islam.  This art of submission/surrender was shown to all the Prophets and their people as evidenced in The Quran 10:47, 14:4 & 16:36.  Islam is very inclusive and broad in its definition.  Muslims believe in Allah and take Mohammed (pbuh) as their messenger, just as Christians and Jews believe in the same God and take Jesus and Moses as their respective messengers. However Muslims believe in all the prophets from Jewish and Christian scriptures. One must refrain from judging other believers the depth of surrendering or submission of other believers. God is THE ONLY JUDGE. 

Surah 3:85, “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him.”   Here the definition of Islam must be taken in its global context of surrendering and submission to One and Only One God.



Dr. Iffat Khan

 The word Islam is an Arabic word and is a generic word, which means submit to, acknowledge and affirm the will of God. It is not racially or ethnically derived, and is non-sectarian. It is unlike all other religions, which go by the name of their prophet/messenger. It is derived from the root s-l-m meaning Peace. Marshall Hodgson states that it is the inner spirituality of a person of conscience. (Venture into Islam Vol.1) Islam has been the divine religious system of humankind from the beginning of time; the prevalent concept claiming it to be a new religion preached by Prophet Muhammad being a complete fallacy. The Quran states that Islam is the religion of God, and no other religion will be accepted from mankind. i.e. acknowledging and living by the will of the one God.

After the first human beings disobeyed God, and ‘ate of the forbidden tree’ they realized their folly, became aware of their nakedness/sexuality, and repented. God accepted the repentance of both the man and woman 2: 37-38, and they were assigned a temporal life on earth forfeiting the life of bliss in the Garden of Bliss/Eden, with the assurance that ‘there will come to you guidance from Me, and whosoever follows My guidance shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve 2: 38.  God taught the human beings ‘the nature of things’ and made them ‘vicegerents on earth’. ‘God has made subject to you all that is on the earth’ 22: 65, as a sacred trust, – to enjoy and use wisely.

In addition, the Quran states that over the ages, messengers/teachers were sent to every community in the world, and that there are righteous people among those who follow the earlier revelations. 3:199. All messengers, throughout the world, preached the same message which the essence of the Quran.

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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.