Drive Carefully and think of including as many as you can in the celebrations,let each one celebrate in his or her own way. A must read article - July 4th is one of the best Muslim Holidays to celebrate -
God’s advice in Quran 41:34, “To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by
evil is evil. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who
was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
We need to welcome every criticism of Quran,
Islam and the Prophet with grace, and respond it gracefully. At least it increases the chances of
mitigating the conflict and restoring harmony. The other way around is fighting
back, which guarantees further aggravation of the conflict. Let freedom of speech remain the corner stone
Islam is not going anywhere; prophet is not going
anywhere, and by opening ourselves up to criticism, we will learn a lot more
about our faith than we would ever know. We need to move away from intolerance
to acceptance of a different point of view without having to agree with it.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived through it and Muslims can learn from his
Criticism can fade away or rain on us depending on
how we respond to it. Lack of conviction in one's faith breeds
intolerance towards criticism, whereas firmness in faith can lead us to learn
from criticism, explore the infinite wisdom and realize the strength of our
faith (Imaan); a worthy feeling to have, instead of living in doubt and shooing
I am inspired by a powerful sentence from Prophet’s (pbuh) last sermon, "I
leave behind two things, the Qur'an and the Sunnah and if you follow these two
you will never go astray." Indeed, the responsibility to understand Qur’an
was placed directly on us.
We cannot compromise on free speech, however much a
few may abuse it, but free speech is an enduring value and the hallmark of
civilizations. We believe in free speech and that is the only way societies
will grow. As Muslims we seriously appreciate the gains we have had, that far
outweigh the tensions given by a handful of miscreants.
example of dealing with such criticism was a challenge in questioning the Prophethood
itself while signing the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiyah. The Prophet handled it in the most
pluralistic way by respecting the otherness of other, and changing his title
from ‘Prophet of God’ to ‘Son of Abdullah’.
Indeed, we must respond to every
criticism of Qur’an, Islam and the Prophet with such a grace.
I urge fellow
Muslims to be open to all the criticism with confidence, don't shut it, and let
freedom of speech remain the corner stone of Islam. Islam stands on its own; it
does not need our defense, and it is silly to protect God or the Prophet, they
are not weaklings or our property to protect, they belong to the whole
universe, don't they?
repeatedly reinforces the paramount principle of faith: "O You who
believe, on you rests (the responsibility) of your souls"(Q5:105) and
(Q53:38), "that no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's
burden." The picture was clear to me.
I don't wish
this for others, but the best thing that has ever happened to me was walking
away from Islam and Quran when I was a teen. I made the same mistake that every
maligner of Islam had made; reading the wrong translations of Quran and blaming
the religion for it. After 30 years of searching for the truth on my own as the
Prophet had advised "to read the book", I found the truth. Islam is
an inclusive faith, it is about co-existence, it is a faith that appreciates
all of God's creation and urges one to respect the otherness of others (Quran
109:6) without having to agree, it explicitly says (Quran 49:13), that all of
us are his creation, created to be different, and that we have to learn about
each other to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill. Today, I am proud to
be a believer, not a blind one, but a critical believer in Islam.
thinking has given me inordinate confidence to the point of challenging Pastor
Jeffress in Dallas, that if he finds three faults in Quran, I will convert to
his faith, and if he cannot, all I asked of him was to become a blessed
peacemaker and work with me in mitigating conflicts and building a cohesive
America, where all of us can aspire to live without the fear of the other. He
backed off as we returned the bad challenge with the request to reason and
finding the truth. We held a Quran Conference with ten Non Muslim Clergy on the
panel and four Muslims including Imam Zia Sheikh, Dr. Basheer Ahmed, Imam
Shakoor and Brother Hamid Shaikh, and I as an organizer and a moderator of the
event. A full accounting of the event, including media interviews and the
program is recorded in details at www.QuraanConference.com
have an issue with your spouse and child, you don't scream and shut them down;
the problem will not go away unless you face it and solve the issue. When
people accept the solutions willingly, we will have peace. Isn't that Islam is
all about, freedom?
must gracefully respond to every criticism of Quran, Islam and the Prophet and
I have the patience to welcome it.
supposed to learn and know each other to mitigate conflicts and create the
kingdom of heaven right here on the earth, while waiting to go the next heaven?
Didn't God say the best among you is the one who learns about the other
(49:13), so the myths, phobias and fears can be dismantled?
fellow Muslims to be open to all the criticism with confidence, don't shut it,
and let freedom of speech be the corner stone of Islam. Islam stands on its
own; it does not need our defense, and it is silly to protect God or the
Prophet, they are not weaklings or our property to protect, they belong to the
whole universe, don't they?
Yunus, a Muslim thinker and a writer at New Age Islam responds,
"Doesn't the Qur'an repetitively say, "repel evil with good"
(13:22, 23:96, and 41:34). Shouldn't you take the opportunity to demonstrate
the good in your faith and remove the cloud of hatred that is forming by the
twin growing menaces of the day: Islamophobia and Radicalization? Inscribe on
the facade of your mosques in bold and golden letters, the verses of the Qur'an
that demonstrate the divine scheme on religious pluralism - 2:62, 2:136, 4:124,
5:69, 22:17, 64:9, 65:11 for example.
believing world by visual display on billboards at all Islamic centers that the
divine Light is lit in all places of pure worship (24:35) and God's name is
proclaimed regularly in monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques (22:40).
Inform the atheist and all categories of non-believers that they all are
recipients of a portion of divine spirit (15:29, 32:7-9, 38:72) and God will
judge them as well along with the believing humanity (22:17). Tell the whole
world that however they demonize our Prophet, we must ignore them as this is an
article of faith for us (6:112, 25:31).
Cheema of World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, adds another point of view,
"the Muslim scholars and intellectuals around the world must rise to the
challenge and offer guidance to the faith-loving masses on how to encounter the
exploitation of freedom of speech, which is often quite provocative and
insulting. On the other hand every one must strive for a legislation that
guards the sanctity of all religions and their Prophets, scriptures, and
important Sunnah (Prophet's example) and the first Sunnah is to be the Amin;
the trust worthy (81:21), the truth teller and someone who mitigates conflicts
and nurtures good will for the peaceful coexistence of his or her neighbors,
communities, tribes and nations.
That was the
first example of Muhammad (pbuh) to be a good citizen, wasn't it? Wasn't that
the first model prophet had set up for one to follow? Mind you, he was called
Amin by non-Muslims. Shouldn't we start with the same first foot forward? To be
good citizens, whether in Pakistan, America, Saudi Arabia, China or Indonesia,
we have to earn it by being a participant and a contributor towards the
wellbeing of the nation. Your presence should relax others, and make them
comfortable that you are a peacemaker and they can trust you for your fairness.
Do you follow the Prophet?
most important Sunnah to follow is to be Rahmatul Aalameen (Mercy to mankind)
(21:107). To be a Rahmat (Mercy) to fellow beings who are Atheist, Baha'i,
Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Wicca, Natives, Zoroastrians
and others, we must be kind to them, no one should be afraid or apprehensive of
us. Should anyone be afraid of a Muslim, then we have not followed the Sunnah
of the prophet.
that I have stripped the title of Allama or Maulana from all the names above.
We have a habit of placing individuals next to God, they are just like you and
I, of course with more knowledge, sometimes real, and sometimes looped up.
Practicing and rehearsing the same wrong thing over and over again does not
make them perfect. We need to reserve the titles to the Prophets; all others
must be referred to just by their names with utmost respect.
not be loose with titles, unless they have shown that Allah is Rabbul Aalameen
(Universality of the Creator) and Muhammad is Rahmatul Aalameen in their
actions and words. How many of them would qualify to be an Allama then?
All other Sunnah
emanates from these two basic steps, clearly and unambiguously corroborated by
the Qur'an (81:21, 21:107).
compromise on free speech, however much a few may abuse it, but free speech is
an enduring value and the hallmark of civilization. I believe in free speech
and that is the only way societies will grow. As Muslims we need to seriously
consider the gains Muslims have had, that far outweigh the tensions given by a
handful of loonies.
Islam is a
universal inclusive faith, it is from Rabbul Aalameen (creator of the universe,
its prophet is Rahmatul Aalameen (Mercy to mankind) and we should be Mukhlooqul
Aalameen (Universal, all embracing beings). Islam is about goodness and not
forcing others, and not domineering but co-existing, just as the Prophet did
and proclaimed in the Madinah treaty. Islam is about appreciating everything
God has created on this universe (55:16).
curse the prophet, prophet is not going to be cursed, have the strength in your
faith and return badness with Good; we know all the examples of his work. When
you hear someone curse the prophet, just say I am sorry you feel that way, but
if you wish to seek the truth, find it on your own or I will connect you with
someone who can guide you, if you don't that is your choice and nothing will
come off me or the prophet, your words do not have the power to reduce Islam or
the prophet, I will pray peace of mind to you.
compelled to convince anyone, let go. What did Allah say to Prophet when he was
frustrated that people were not getting his message? You do your dharma (duty)
and let them have the freedom to accept. Elsewhere God says there is no
compulsion in matters of faith (2:256).
confidence, read what is good in Islam and ignore the bad things others say, write,
or put it in the film about Islam or its Prophet. From the very first day
of his mission, the Prophet was criticized and the Qur'an reviled and the
criticism and revulsion only gained momentum through the medieval ages as Islam
continued to win the hearts of other people. It has come to surface again with
greater ferocity, but we the Muslims as peace makers must act
Islam is not
going anywhere, prophet is not going anywhere, and by opening up you will enjoy
your Imaan (faith) immensely with genuine admiration for its wisdom. I thank
Allah for helping me see the light and beauty of Islam, and you can too.
is a speaker, thinker, activist, pluralist and a writer committed to building
cohesive societies. More about him at www.MikeGhouse.net
Post -Muslims don't get it
Morning news -Separation of church and state
Morning news - right to free speech http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/09/texas-faith-religion-and-right-to-free.html
Muslim by Ziauddin Sardar