Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mistakes a few Muslims make

Mistakes a few Muslims make
Arrogance based comparisons

Mike Ghouse, Jan 31, 2008

The following articles (listed below) disingeniously compare Christianity with Islam , presenting Christianity in a negative way. I am posting here to share another point of view knowing well that these kind of articles are not important to an overwhelming majority of Muslims, these issues are not in their day to day life nor do they care. These articles are not part of any majority of people regardless of their faith. They focus on their family and work and being good human beings.

These articles, just as the ones bent on Islam bashing are the domain of the Neocons, i.e., those who are bent on creating chaos. These Necons are in every faith; be it Christiandom, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam or others.

Please think about this, and if it makes sense to you, speak out against any articles by any group that prey on deriding others, that is contrary to what their faith advoactes - peace, harmony and co-existence.

1. First of all, I want to affirm that I am a Muslim and practicing Islam works for me and the values of Islam run in my veins. Just as it is natural for a Christian, Hindu or Sikh to follow his or her faith, my faith is natural to me.

2. Religion came into being to bring peace to an individual within, and what surrounds him or her; life and matter. It is God's creation to keep the world and his diverse creation in some order or equilibrium.

3. Religion is simply faith - believing in God, Angels, Prophets, Heavens, Hell and the Day of reckoning etc. Each faith has its own list to complete that particular faith.

4. What one believes is how one is conditioned (Faith by birth) and how one feels comfortable with the ideas and subscribes to it (Faith by conversion).

5. It is hard to imagine the following scenario; During the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia or war torn Iraq or any other conflict - many a children were rendered homeless and thank God, there were good people around the globe whose kindness allowed them to adopt those children. Imagine a family with 5 kids, all their relatives were wiped out and each one of the kids was adopted when they were from one to five in age... by a Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and a Jewish family.

6. Let's say you are the Muslim kid who was adopted and your brothers or sisters are following other faiths. Do you believe that your siblings; who were raised as a Hindu, Christian, Jew or Buddhist will not believe in what they were raised? Would they not claim that their belief is the right one? As you claim yours is the right one? Who is right?

7. What is the difference then? Is it what we are conditioned to believe? You can experiment with your own kids and you can witness the result twenty years from now. Religion is faith, what you believe.

8. A majority of Muslims, like majority of any religious group is not in the business of selling religion like a product; putting down competition to sell their own. Religion is not for sale and it does not have to be sold by putting other faiths down. If you enjoy the fruits of peace and happiness that your faith gives you, share it with others, and if they can feel the same, let them make that call. If you do the mud slinging, you are inviting mudslinging back and that is not religion in any form or shape.

9. The following two articles are not only flawed in comparisons but downright breeders of conflict. Your faith does not strengthen by creating low points for other faiths. You ask the believers, they see it in a different way.

This perhaps is the reason God has cautioned us so many times " to you is your faith as mine is to me"; If he had chosen, all of us would have followed the same faith, he would have made us all exactly 6' tall, 200 pounds, blue skin color.... and Mount Everest and Mt. St Helens and all other mountains would have been 30,000' tall, 10 Miles wide... and all oceans to go from 1 foot to 7 miles deep at the same distance...

But God chose to make us all different, let's honor God's wish. He said I want to see all of you get along with all the uniqueness I have endowed you with, look at the planets, stars and universe, each one has its own space and trajectory, you need to figure it out to live in peace.

Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware."

Please think about this, and if it makes sense to you, avoid circulating these articles and instead work on creating peace.

Qur'aan - 109:6 "Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine."

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker; one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for harmonious co-existence and world peace - God wants his creation to be in peace that is the chief purpose of religion.

As Muslims we should not resort to this disgusting activity, we are the ones who are hit every day with Quranic verses misquoted to denigrate the faith that we believe in, and we should not be doing the same to others, no matter how much they hit us below the belt. Our goodness should not be dependent on how others treat us.

Jazak Allah Khair

Mike Ghouse


How Islam improves on Christianity?

1. In Islam men and women are equal in the eyes of God (Qur’aan 4:1; 4:124; 16:97; 40:40; 33:35; 3:195; 49:13; etc.); in Christianity men and women are not equal (Genesis 2:22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9; 1 Timothy 2:13; Ephesians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35; Leviticus 27:3-4; 1 Timothy 2:14; etc.).

2. Islam calls for faith in One True God (Qur’aan 112:1-4); Christianity calls for faith in an absurd triune God (Father, Son and Holy Ghost).

3. Islam calls for faith and good works (Qur’aan 85:11; 4:122; 19:61; 32:19; 103:1-3; etc.); Christianity is all about faith only.

[In Islam it is a combination, you must have faith and you must also do good works. Both are combined together, and without one, the other is useless. This is absent from Christianity, in Christianity good works means absolutely nothing as the Christians always say, it's only about faith!]

4. Salvation in Islam is very pure and simple; submit to God and do good works (Qur’aan 85:11; 4:122; 19:61; 32:19; 2:112; 103:1-3; etc.); in Christianity Salvation rests on believing in torture and blood-shed of Jesus (God?)!

[One of the most disturbing things about Christianity is that to be saved, you have to believe that an innocent man died for you, an innocent man who did no wrong, paid for your crime! This innocent man was tortured, and given one of the most painful deaths, and basically you have to believe in such barbarity to be saved! This is nothing like the beauty of Islam, where you only have to submit your will to God and believe in Him. Why should you lay your Salvation on a man who was beaten, tortured, for a crime he did not commit! Christians are saved by the blood, torture and the brutal death of Jesus!]

5. Islam prohibits the killing of innocent people, women and children (Quran 5:32; Bukhari Vol. 4, Book 52, No. 257-8; etc.); Christianity advocates killing of innocent people, women and children (Deuteronomy 2:32-37; 3:1-7; 7:1-6; 13:6-18; 21:18-22; 22:25-29; 23:1-4; 25:1-3; 28:15-68; Numbers 31:17-18; Joshua 2:8-21; 8:23-29; 10:28-43; Judges 1:21-35; 21:10-24; etc.).

6. Islam is a non-racist religion (Quran 49:13; 17:70; etc.); Christianity is racist (Leviticus 25:44-46; Matthew 15: 21-28; etc.).

The Prophet's Farewell Sermon: "All Mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action."

7. In Islam slaves are equal to us and they must be set free (Quran 90:12-13; 2:177; Bukhari Vol. 1, Book 2, No. 29; Vol. 1, Book 2, No. 12; Vol. 7, Book 65, No. 286; Muslim Book 15, No. 4096; Book 15, No. 4074; etc.); in Christianity slaves are mere possessions (Exodus 21:20-21; Exodus 21:7; 1 Peter 2:18; etc.).

8. Islam condemns female infanticide (Quran 16:58-59; 81:8-9; 17:31); Christianity does not.

9. In Islam a lady is free to get a divorce (Muslim Book 11, No. 2091; Bukhari Vol. 7, Book 63, No. 197; Vol. 7, Book 63, No. 198); in Christianity a lady is like a prisoner and cannot get a divorce (Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9).

10. In Islam women can inherit property and they can also earn money (Quran 4:7; 4:32); in Christianity women cannot inherit any property if there is a son (Numbers 27:8).

11. Islam forbids alcohol (Quran 5:90-91); Christianity does not.

12. Islam is for Mankind (Quran 21:107; 7:158; 34:28; etc.); Christianity is not.

13. Quran does not contain any clear-cut error or contradiction; Bible does contain many clear-cut errors, contradictions and unscientific statements. Please watch the debate between Dr. William Campbell and Dr. Zakir Naik on this issue:

In conclusion these are at least 13 ways in which Islam improves on Christianity. It must be said that there are many other ways in which Islam improves on Christianity.

PS: This write-up was composed based on Brother Sami's article:


Women's Status in the Bible

Pregnancy and childbirth is a curse:

"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." (Genesis 3:16)

Man was created first, then woman (woman's inferior status):

"For Adam was first formed, then Eve." (1 Timothy 2:13)
Eve created from Adam's rib (woman's inferior status):

"And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." (Genesis 2:22)

Wives should submit to their husbands (woman's inferior status):

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22)

The head of woman is the man (woman's inferior status):

"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3)

Female birth gets penalty (woman's inferior status):

"If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days." (Leviticus 12:2)

"But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks." (Leviticus 12:5)

Women should keep silence in the churches and they are not permitted to have authority over men (female subjugation):

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

Eve was deceived, not Adam:

"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 Timothy 2:14)

Man was not created for the woman, but woman for the man (woman is worthless):

"For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (1 Corinthians 11:8-9)

Daughters inherit nothing when there is son:

"If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter." (Numbers 27:8)

Woman worth less than man:

"And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels." (Leviticus 27:3-4

Honor killing:
"For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.'" (Matthew 15:4)

"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:9)

Kill all except virgins. Keep virgins for yourselves:

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (Numbers 31:17-18)

Women are viewed as possessions:

"Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's." (Deuteronomy 5:21)

Cut off her hand:

"When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets. Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her." (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

Stoning to death:

"If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her. Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you." (Deuteronomy 22:22-24)

Rape victim must marry the rapist (injustice against woman):

"If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found. Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

Daughters are sold as slave:

"And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her." (Exodus 21:7)

Women are spoils of war:

"Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?" (Judges 5:30)

Divorced woman cannot remarry:

"But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." (Matthew 5:32)

Witches must be put to death:

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed." (Exodus 22:18-20)

Father offering his daughter to mobs:

"Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go." (Judges 19:24-25)

Slaves submit to masters, even masters who are harsh:

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward." (1 Peter 2:18)

Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines:

"And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart." (1 Kings 11:3)

Woman is like sexual object:

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28)

Women's strict dress code:

"I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes." (1 Timothy 2:9)

"A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this." (Deuteronomy 22:5)

Woman must use veil to cover her head:

"But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head - it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head." (1 Corinthians 11:5-6)

The wicked Woman:

"Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman." (Eccles. 25:13)

"Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die." (Eccles. 25:22)

"If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh, and give her a bill of divorce, and let her go." (Eccles. 25: 26)

"The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids. If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty." (Eccles. 26:9-10)

"A silent and loving woman is a gift of the Lord: and there is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed. A shamefaced and faithful woman is a double grace, and her continent mind cannot be valued." (Eccles. 26:14-15)

"A shameless woman shall be counted as a dog; but she that is shamefaced will fear the Lord." (Eccles. 26:25)

"For from garments cometh a moth, and from women wickedness. Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, which bringeth shame and reproach." (Eccles. 42:13-14)

The saints of Christianity view of women:

"Woman is a daughter of falsehood, a sentinel of Hell, the enemy of peace, through her Adam lost Paradise." (St. John Damascene)

"Woman is the fountain of the arm of the devil, her voice is the hissing of the serpent." (St. Anthony)

"The Bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of woman's emancipation." (Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Harb

Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Harb, Dar al Kufr, and Dar al-Sulh
Definitions and Significance A Discussion Paper*
By IMAM Dr Abduljalil Sajid
Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK

Paper follows Moderator's Notes:


Dear Dr. Imam Sajid;

You and I shared a few days at the International leadership conference in Washington DC in December 2007, as Ambassadors of peace.

This article is quite enlightening to those who want to understand the concept of Ijtihad, consultative understanding. The different interpretations of the few words and their consequence are well put together. Thank you.

Insha Allah, I will get this published at and its blog and will share this at the and of course several other discussion groups.

In the spirit of preserving the process of understanding, I have a few comments on the article and your response will also be published.

1. Page 3, states “This is because true peace and justice can only be achieved in Dar al-Islam. “ I am not sure if you meant in absolute terms. If Dar al Islam simply means where there is peace, then achieving peace is redundant, on the other hand if it means “Muslim nation” then it is arrogant to believe that peace can be achieved only in Islamic space. I take it you meant “Islam mean safe and peaceful place” and not necessarily “ a physical space”. Please clarify.

2. Page 4, item D, “Muslims are obliged to participate fully in all spheres of activities in the place of their choice.” . Indeed, that is one of the goals of World Muslim Congress. We have adopted the role of a Muslim as “To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker; one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for co-existence of God's creation to be in peace and harmony, indeed that is the chief purpose of religion” and Insha Allah will be repeated on every page of our Website. Thank you for sharing it, rather reinforcing it.

3. Page 5, item E “With respects to any obligations, which could be in contradiction with the Islamic principals (a situation which is quiet rare),”. Well said and it needs to emphasized often.

4. Page 6 “Therefore, it is a mistake to apply the old concept of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb on the contemporary world. It is an indication of one’s ignorance of the wisdom of his religion. No new category is needed today.” Agree with this thought and hope, that would be the consensus of Muslims.

5. Page 9, “The differences that appear in the four schools are but the natural outcome of the fact that truth is many-sided.” Wow! It is a rare, but a great statement from a Muslim. It knocks the element of arrogance out of one’s system and with that, I hope goes the fanaticism of the few, just the few among us.

6. Page 9, another rare statement “Imam Jafar al-Sadiq underlined that Muslims might serve Islam better when living among non-Muslims than when living only with Muslims.”

7. Page 10, “Islam does not divide the world into believers and infidels.” Indeed, for an overwhelming majority of Muslims it is irrelevant, the thought boils only in the cauldrons of the ones who chase their own tails.

8. Page 11, “Islam urges all humankind to know one another. Allah says (And (We) have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another) (Al-Hujurat 49:13).”. Indeed, the World Muslim Congress is driven by that very verse.

9. Page 12, “Furthermore, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) makes the word harb (war) so hateful that he says, "The most truthful names are Harith and Hammam, and the most ugly names are Harb and Murrat." We need to highlight these thoughts frequently.

10. Page 14, “The injunction of making Hijrah from Dar al-Kufr to Dar al-Islam is still pending and will remain so up to the Day of Judgment” . Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq and I are putting in effort to wrap up the issue of “Apostasy” and have obtained endorsements of 100 scholars and now we are shooting for endorsements from Imam-Scholars such as yourselves. Please take a look at

Jazak Allah Khair

Mike Ghouse

Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Harb, Dar al Kufr, and Dar al-Sulh
Definitions and Significance
A Discussion Paper*
By IMAM Dr Abduljalil Sajid
Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK

From a speech given to the Muslim Council in Washington DC by Akbar Ahmed, Professor of Islamic Studies at the American University, 20 July 2001, Prof Akbar said: “Islam needs to talk to the rest of the world” For almost a thousand years the world was divided into two simple categories: dar-al-Islam – the land of Islam, of peace and prosperity, and dar-al-harb, the land of war and chaos – the lands where there was no Islam. The world of Islam was whole and had cultural integrity. It was a remarkable world with all the content and signs of what we today call globalisation. It is said “Islam teaches that people are divided into two different camps; Dar al Harb (The abode of war), and Dar al Islam (The abode of Islam). Those who belong to Dar al Islam are the Muslims who are in a constant state of war with Dar al Harb who are the non-Muslims, until such time the non-Muslims convert to Islam. In other words, Muslims can never peacefully co-exist with non-Muslims”.

This simple division of dar-al Islam and dar-al harb collapsed about two centuries ago under the weight of European colonisation. Now at the start of the 21st century two new ideas are beginning to form. These are global ideas. The first idea is that of the "Clash of Civilisations". There are many who believe that a clash of civilisations is forming in this century, and in this clash Muslims will be the main opponents of the West. But I believe this is not a new idea. This is in fact a continuation of older ideas, about Islam as a predatory civilisation threatening the West.

The alternative view – the opposed idea – is that of the "Dialogue of Civilisations." In recent years this idea was introduced by President Khatami of Iran in the United Nations platform and supported by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and is now beginning to pick up momentum. The dialogue of civilisations is something that all Muslims interested in humanity need to be involved in. The Qura’n is commanding Muslims to have dialogue, to look at peoples and communities and wonder at them and appreciate them. I wish to make a sensitive point. As a Muslim I look at the importance of ilm, (knowledge), in Islam, and I am proud. Ilm is so central to understanding Islam that it is the second most used word in the Koran. The Prophet's hadith, saying, "The death of a scholar is the death of knowledge" haunts me. I look at the reality in the Muslim world and I feel ashamed at how we treat scholars. We shoot them, we kill them, we humiliate them and we chase them out, and where do they escape? To America or Europe. Yet we revile the West in our polemics.

*This paper was discussed at the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Muslim Researchers held on 20 May 2002.

The Muslim world's statistics in education are the lowest in the world. The literacy figures are appalling, and for women they are alarming, because women are essentially what hold a society together. Women in the Muslim world are deprived of their inheritance, deprived of their rights, and the men in their families tell them this is Islam. It is popular to blame the West, to blame others for conspiracies, but we must not pretend that what is happening in the Muslim world is any one's fault but ours.

We must educate our societies to the true values of ilm (knowledge). There are three big questions relevant to us all. Firstly, why is there a revival of religion in the world today? Muslims are often attacked in the media for what is called revivalism or the resurgence of Islam, but this is happening globally, in Judaism, Christianity, in Hindu and Buddhist society. So we have to decide what is going on in the world in the 21st century.

My second point is: why is the understanding of the Divine often distorted through the prism of violence? Why are we killing in the name of the divine and saying my God tells me to do this? No religion encourages violence of this kind, and yet it is happening throughout the world today.

The third point is to ask, what is what is to be done about it? Dialogue by itself is no solution. There has to be dialogue that leads to the understanding of other civilisations. For this, we have to move beyond Islam and understand the religions it interacts with: Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism. Muslims are living as neighbours with these other civilisations, and are often isolated and don't understand them.

We need to be thinking globally. We may not like the words postmodernism and globalisation, but they are a reality. God has said in the Qur’an that He is Rabal Alimeen, the God of everything, of all the universes. We are all His creation and our societies are inter-related. To participate in the dialogue of civilisations is to appreciate our common humanity. (Akbar Ahmed)

Let us examine these Primary Concepts:
Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Harb, Dar al Kufr, and Dar al-Sulh

Islamic religious tradition has symbolically divided the world between those places where Islam is dominant, and where aspects of Islamic religious law are supposed to be in effect, and where it is not. These terms held particular significance during the times of the Prophet Muhammad and the rise of the Islamic empire.

Dar al-Islam Definition: Literally, this means "Abode of Islam." In practice, this refers to any lands ruled by Muslims and governed by Islamic laws. Everything else is known as Dar al-Harb. Dar al-Islam (“house of Islam”) signifies a geographic location controlled by Muslims where Islamic law is in effect. Traditionally for Muslims, it is important for Dar al-Islam to expand, but a tragedy if Dar al-Harb expands and Dar al-Islam shrinks. This is because true peace and justice can only be achieved in Dar al-Islam.

Dar al-Harb (“house of war”) is a location where Muslims are not in control and Muslim law is not in effect. Dar al-Harb can also refer to a human’s inner struggle to accept the will of God. Also Known As: Dar al-Harb Definition: Literally, this means "Abode of War." In practice, it refers to any lands not ruled by Muslims and governed by Islamic laws.

Dar al-Sulh (“house of treaty”) is a place that is not under Muslim control, but that has friendly relations with Islamic territories. In Islamic tradition, the precedent for Dar al-Sulh is a treaty that the Prophet Muhammad entered into with the Christian city state of Najran.

Dar al Kufr Definition: Literally, this means "Abode of Unbelievers." In practice, it refers to any lands not ruled by Muslims and governed by Islamic laws. Also Known As: Dar al-Harb Definition: Literally, this means "Abode of War." In practice, it refers to any lands not ruled by Muslims and governed by Islamic laws.

These terms were coined by Muslim fuqaha (jurists) after many years of the advent of Islam with respect to the situation which prevailed in their contemporary world. Moreover, fuqaha coined different terms for different regions according to the situations prevailing therein like Dar al-aman (territory of security), dar al-silm (territory of peace) and dar al-muwada’ah (territory of mutual peace) etc.

Religious References and principles of integration

During the first few years of the Muslim presence in Europe, the feeling most widely shared by the immigrants and Muslim scholars (‘ulamâ) was that they were in the midst of a transition. The feeling was that one-day or another, they would return to their country of origin. Strengthened by a few legal opinions communicated as quickly as possible (Halal Food, meat, mosques, financial transactions etc), no real or organised thought had been made because at the time, it just did not seem necessary. Satisfied with the answers widely used to deal with the situation, it is only with the appearance of the young Muslim generation that it was deemed necessary to re-analyse the main Islamic sources (Qu’ran and Sunnah) when it came to interpreting legal issues (fiqh) in the light of the European context. This interpretation (known as ijtihâd) would make it possible for the younger generation to practice their faith in a coherent manner as many of them had the intention of settling in the country, and a large number had already received their European citizenship. It is important to note that this was a very recent phenomenon, which obliged the scholars and Muslim intellectuals to take a closer look at the European laws, and simultaneously, take time to think about the changes, which were taking place within the diverse Muslim communities. To list all the multiple facets of this transformation is impossible to highlight in this article. What we can mention however is the five main points, which were established in the light of the Islamic sources and recognised by the great majority of Muslims, living in Europe:

A. Muslim who is a resident or citizen should understand that they are under a moral and social contract with the country in which they reside. In other words, they should respect the laws of the country. This is known as Darul Ahad (Abode of contract or agreement) or Darul Aman (Abode of peace).

B. The letter and spirit of the secular model permits Muslims to practice their faith without a complete assimilation that would translate into partial disconnection of their Muslim identity, their faith and their culture.

C. Used by the jurists during a specific geopolitical context (9th century), the ancient denominations (Dar-al-harb, place of war and Dar-al-Islam, place of peace and security) are invalid and do not take into account the realities of modern life. Other concepts were determined to exemplify more positively the presence of Muslims in Europe.

D. Muslims should consider themselves as full citizens and participate with conscience in the organisational, economic and political affairs of the country (in which they reside) without compromising their own faith values and ethos. Under the principle of Maslaha Al-Amma (General welfare of human beings for seeking coon good) Muslims are obliged to participate fully in all spheres of activities in the place of their choice.

E. With regards to the possibilities the European legislation offered, nothing stops Muslims, just like any other citizen, from making choices, which respond to the requirements of his own conscience and faith. With respects to any obligations, which could be in contradiction with the Islamic principals (a situation which is quiet rare), this would represent a case, which must be studied in order to identify the priorities and the possibility of adaptation (something which should be developed at the national level).

These five principals as presented above do not take into account the ensuing thought, adaptation and most of all, steps that were taken in the evolution of scholarly and intellectual Muslim thought. Not very apparent, the latter becomes particularly important when a great number of situations from the past without any answers, had found today a point of reference in which to refer. The five points mentioned above translate into the most essential principals. This made it possible to provide subject matter, which was more explicit in areas where Muslims often referred to, especially in matters marginally understood and badly interpreted.

In Dr Tariq Ramadan’s famous book “To be a European Muslim” published by the Islamic Foundation Leicester UK 1999, he discusses these concepts in great details and he discusses, in the light of Islamic sources, the concept of dar-ash-shahada, a space where one testifies to the importance of attesting to faith before God (ash-shahada- Witness) which makes a Muslim who he/she is (intimate dimension), and the witnessing before man which is an exemplification of his participatory presence in the society in which he lives (collective and social dimension).

One scholar from India replies in answer to the question: “Are the terms of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb still applicable?” Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan replies:

As is obvious from these terms, they were applied to various regions according to the practical or legal conditions prevailing therein vis-a-vis the Muslim state and its citizens. The basic concept behind this was that law and Shari’ah prevail only in Dar al-Islam (territory of Islam) while Dar al-Harb (enemy territory) territories were lawless where rulers and dominant people forced their whims on residents and therefore one’s life or property was not safe there. This is why Muslims were discouraged from living in such areas. In other words, the basic difference between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb was the rule of law in the former and the lawlessness in the latter. So it is a Dar al-Islam wherever Muslims’ lives and properties are legally safe and they are legally allowed to follow their religion. A place is not a Dar al-Islam where Muslims’ lives, property and faith are not safe even though its ruler may be a Muslim. A just non Muslim society and Ruler is better than an unjust Muslim one.

It is evident today that in many ‘Muslim’ countries Muslims’ lives, honour and right to follow Islam are not safe while there are ‘non-Muslim’ countries, like our own country, where Muslims’ lives and properties are safe legally. Moreover, we enjoy legal rights to follow our religion and preach it. Therefore, it is a mistake to apply the old concept of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb on the contemporary world. It is an indication of one’s ignorance of the wisdom of his religion. No new category is needed today. It is sufficient to understand that it is a Dar Islam wherever Muslims enjoy religious freedom and wherever Muslims do not enjoy such freedom is a Dar Kufr although its ruler or majority may be ‘Muslim.’

In his book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington says:

“People are always tempted to divide people into us and them, the in-group and the other, our civilization and those barbarians. Scholars have analysed the world in terms of the Orient and the Occident, North and South, centre and periphery. Muslims have traditionally divided the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, the abode of peace and the abode of war”.[1]

Huntington identified this concept as Muslim tradition. Others, particularly Christian missionaries and polemics, however, have identified this concept as theological. An uninformed Westerner views this classification as a form of discrimination against those that have different beliefs. Even among common Muslims, several controversial opinions arise due to different understandings of what the terms Dar Al-Islam and Dar Al-Harb mean.

Surprisingly, Islamic terminology is full of many other classifications: Dar Al-‘Ahd (Abode of Covenant), Dar Al-Sulh (Abode of Truce), Dar Al-Maslubah (Abode of Pillaged Land), Dar Al-Bid’ah (Abode of Heresy), Dar Al-Baghy (Abode of Usurpation), Dar Al-‘Adl (Abode of Justice), Dar al-Kufr (Abode of Unbelief), et. al. Yet, Western attention prefers to rather focus on the term Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War).

According to Prof. Muhammad Ishaq Zahid, founder of the Sabr Foundation, and the creator of Islam101.Com, in The Glossary of Islamic Terms, we have:

Dar al-Harb: Dar al-Harb (Domain of War) refers to the territory under the hegemony of unbelievers, which is on terms of active or potential belligerency with the Domain of Islam, and presumably hostile to the Muslims living in its domain.[2]
To understand the classification, it is necessary to understand the sources of the concept. To do this, we need to touch upon the sources of Islam.

Understanding the Sources

In his book, Fundamentals of Islam, Sayyid Abul A'la Al-Mawdudi classifies Islam as Din (faith) and Shari’ah (Islamic law). The sources of Shari’ah are the Holy Quran and the Hadith.[2] Al-Mawdudi then describes these sources, saying that:

The Qur'ân is a divine revelation - each and every word of it is from Allâh. The Hadith is a collection of the instructions issued or the memoirs of the last Prophet's conduct and behaviour, as preserved by those who were present in his company or those to whom these were handed down by the first witnesses. These were later sifted and collected by divines and compiled in the form of books among which the collections made by Malik, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i and Ibn Majah are considered to be the most authentic.[3]

Derived from the Shari’ah is Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), defined by Al-Mawdudi as Detailed law derived from the Qur'ân and the Hadith covering the myriad of problems that arise in the course of man's life...[3]

Throughout time, several religious scholars and legislators have devoted their lives to the science of Fiqh, but four Madhaheb (schools of thought of Sunni Schools of thoughts) persist till today:

“Fiqh Hanafi: This is the Fiqh compiled by Abu Hanifa Nu'man bin Thabit with the assistance and cooperation of Abu Yusuf Mahammad, Zufar and others, all of whom had high religious attainments to their credit. This is known as the Hanafi School of Fiqh.
Fiqh Maliki: This Fiqh was derived by Malik bin Anas Asbahi.
Fiqh Shafi'i: Founded by Muhammad bin Idris al-Shafi'i.
Fiqh Hanbali: Founded by Ahmad bin Hanbal.”[3]

According to Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Baz, former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the Maliki and Hanafi Madhaheb were introduced and widely spread in the 2nd Century Hijri (Islamic lunar calendar, started 622 AD). The Shafi’i and Hanbali Madhaheb were introduced and spread in the 3rd Century Hijri.[4]

In a program on Al-Jazeera Channel, Al-Shari’ah Wal-Hayah (Islamic Law and Life), dated Sunday May 9th 1999, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi noted that the concept of Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War) was introduced in the Fiqh Hanafi. Al-Imam (the legislator and scholar) Abu Hanifa divided the Muslim role into two categories:

Dar Al-Islam (Abode of Islam) and Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War). He would refer to any non-Muslim domain as Dar Al-Kufr (Abode of Unbelief) or Dar Al-Harb even if there is no current war between them and the Muslims.[5] According to him a country or a territory becomes a Dar Al-Islam if:
(a) The Muslims must be able to enjoy peace and security; and
(b) It has common frontiers with some Muslim countries (other Dar Al-Islam)[6]

However, the concept of Dar Al-Harb and Dar Al-Islam are not explained in the Qur'ân or Sunnah (tradition of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)), says the majority of scholars. It is, in fact, a result of Ijtihad (religious endeavour), which is a terminology used to describe religious endeavour to exercise personal judgement based on the Qur'ân and the Sunnah.[2]

Historical Conditions
It is indispensable to view the historical environment of the time, and of the centuries that followed the spread of this classification concept. In an article, titled, “Muslims as Co-Citizens of the West… Rights, Duties & Prospects”, Murad Wildfried Hofmann says:

“Due to its structural tolerance vis-à-vis ‘peoples of the book’, the Muslim world has always been multireligious. Islam expanded into formerly Christian territories-the Near East, North Africa, Spain, Byzantium, the Balkans-without eliminating the Christian communities. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cairo, Damascus, and Istanbul, and in countries like Greece and Serbia. This situation was facilitated by the fact that the Qur'ân contains what may be called an ‘Islamic Christology’. Coexistence with the large Jewish populations within the Muslim empire-aside from the Near East in Muslim Spain, and subsequently in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire-was facilitated, in turn, by the extraordinary focus of the Qur'ân on Jewish prophets in general and Moses in particular. On this basis, Islamic jurisprudence developed the world's first liberal law called al-siyar for the status of religious minorities (al-dhimmi). In the Western world, developments were entirely different. Here, religious intolerance became endemic, even between Christian churches; many sects were outlawed (as during the first Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, in 325), massacred (e.g., the Donatists in North Africa in the 5th century and the Albigenses and Cathari in the thirteenth century), subdued as victims of a ‘crusade’ (Constantinople in 1205), or deserted (like Orthodox East Rome during the siege by Sultan Fatih in 1453). In Germany, a war lasting thirty years between Protestant and Catholic princes decimated the population (1618-1648).

Under these circumstances and fuelled by the Church dictum extra ecclesia nullum salus (no salvation outside the church), even minimal tolerance of Muslims could not be expected. The expulsion of both Muslims and Jews from Spain in the sixteenth century-the first case of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in modern history-made Europe virtually ‘Muslim-free.’ There was interaction between the two camps-trade, scientific penetration, diplomatic missions-but no living Muslim presence in the Occident until the twentieth century.[6]

With this historical perspective in light, it was deemed vital that concepts of distinction between safe and unsafe, Islamic and non-Islamic be pertained. Based on the universality of the Islamic belief, that Muhammad(P) was sent to the whole World:

“We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.”
-- 21. Al–Anbiya’: 107 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

Based on the firm belief of enjoying the right to exercise one’s own religion anywhere, without compulsion:

"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things." 2. Al-Baqarah: 256 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

Hence, the vitality and necessity of having clearly defined labels that would ensure the protection and uplifting of the Muslim Ummah (nation). However, pertaining to Ijtihad (religious endeavour), there is no holiness or Divinity to the classification. The social, economic, and environmental circumstances of the time and location create certain needs that arise and need be fulfilled. That is why the door to Ijtihad (religious endeavour) is always open in Islam. Speaking of the four Madhaheb, Al-Mawdudi says:

All of these were given their final form within two hundred years of the time of the Prophet. The differences that appear in the four schools are but the natural outcome of the fact that truth is many-sided. When different persons employ themselves in interpreting a given event, they come out with different explanations according to their own lights. What gives these various schools of thought the authenticity that is associated with them is the unimpeachable integrity of their respective founders and the authenticity of the method they adopted.[3]

Times Have Changed
As a result of elapsed time, social, economic and environmental circumstances have changed, especially in the last century. With that in mind, Murad Wildfried Hofmann says:

Under these conditions, contemporary Muslims may well pose themselves the question already posed in Spain 500 years ago, i.e., Is it permissible for a Muslim to take up residence in what has been labelled Dar al-Harb or Dar al-Kufr? This question was discussed in considerable depth when Spanish Muslims, overrun by the Reconquista, chose to stay, and even before this event, because the Prophet sent a group of Makkan Muslims to Christian Ethiopia (615-622). Some of the 'ulama [scholars], including Imam Abu Hanifa, disapproved of permanent Muslim residence in non-Muslim territory. Imam Shafi'i, on the other hand, believed that Muslims could stay behind in former Muslim lands, provided that they could practice Islam and were not subject to Christian missionary efforts. In contrast to that, already in the eighth century, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq underlined that Muslims might serve Islam better when living among non-Muslims than when living only with Muslims. Al-Mawardi concurred with this opinion in the eleventh century. Later on the Hanifa madhhab became even more liberal. It accepted the idea that there might be pockets of dar al-Islam inside non-Muslim territories; in addition, they were ready to exempt emigrant Muslims from observing certain parts of the shari'ah if this seemed necessary because of ikrah (compulsion), durura (hardship), or maslaha (benefit).[6]

Today’s Classification
Today, majority of Islamic scholars agree upon a classification into three. Shaikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi says, on Al-Shari’ah Wal-Hayah (Islamic Law and Life), Al-Jazeera Channel, dated Tuesday February 6th 2001, these three categories are:

Dar Al-Islam: The abode of Islam, the Muslim nation.
Dar Al-Harb: The abode of war, those that have declared war against the Muslim nation.
Dar Al-‘Ahd: The abode of covenant, the countries that have diplomatic agreements and covenants with the Muslim nation.[5]
The concept of Dar Al-‘Ahd (Abode of Covenant) is obtained from the judicial rulings of manslaughter, as outlined in the Holy Quran:

“Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (Compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased's family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (Is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to God: for God hath all knowledge and all wisdom.”-- 3. Al-Nisa’: 92 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

The indication is in the words "…a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance…" In fact, God commands us to ordain to the covenant that was agreed upon with the disbelievers:

“(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God loveth the righteous.”-- 9. Al-Tawba: 4 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).
“… As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for God doth love the righteous.” (9. Al-Tawba: 7 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

The concept of the Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War) gets its indications from the clear line that was drawn for just and kind treatment:

“[60:1] O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in God your Lord! …”

“[60:8] God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just.

[60:9] God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.” (60. Al–Mumtahina: 8, 9 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

Islam does not divide the world into believers and infidels. God addresses people, "O mankind" over 200 times in the Qur'an and "O children of Adam," many times. The term for Jews and Christians is not infidel, but "Ahlil Kitab," or People of the Book. The basic principle in dealing with non-Muslims is 'birr and Khair' which means seeking common good. There is no good definition of the word birr in English; however, it can be most closely translated to mean honour, compassion and kindness. God uses the same word "birr" when advising Muslims on how to deal with their parents. Furthermore, the Holy Qur'an clearly states there is "no compulsion in religion."
The eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states the following:
Islam is a religion that tends to bring easiness in all aspects of peoples' lives. Part of achieving such easiness is to acknowledge the change that happens to people whether due to the corruption of time—as jurists express—or due to the social change in a certain society, or even due to the emergence of necessities. It is due to the above consideration that the Muslim jurists state that a fatwa can be changed according to the change of time, place, custom (`urf), and surrounding circumstances. Their proof in this is the practice of the Companions and the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and we are commanded by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to follow their sunnah and adhere to it so closely as if we are biting down on it with our molars. It is even evidenced by the Sunnah and by the Qur'an before it. This obligates us in this era to reconsider some sayings and opinions adopted in previous ages. These opinions might have been suitable for those ages and circumstances but became outdated due to the major developments that the ancients could never expect. Insisting on adopting such opinions defames Islam and its people and discredits the image of its message. Among these opinions are classifying the world into a land of peace and a land of war, maintaining that war is the basis in Muslims' relations with others.
Such sayings have become unsuitable for our modern time, and there are no decisive texts supporting them. Rather, there are some texts contradicting them. Islam urges all humankind to know one another. Allah says (And (We) have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another) (Al-Hujurat 49:13).
In addition, Islam also considers peace and prevention of war as a blessing. Allah has commented on the Battle of Al-Khandaq: (And Allah repulsed the disbelievers in their wrath; they gained no good. Allah averted their attack from the believers) (Al-Ahzab 33:25). Moreover, Allah looks at Al-Hudaybiyah Treaty as a signal victory that He has bestowed upon His Messenger, so He revealed Surat Al-Fath: (Lo! We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal victory) (Al-Fath 48:1).
Then Allah reminds His Messenger and the believers in this surah of His grace upon them when He withheld the hands of the two sides from each other: (And He it is who withheld men's hands from you, and has withheld your hands from them, in the valley of Mecca, after He had made you victors over them) (Al-Fath 48:24).
Furthermore, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) makes the word harb (war) so hateful that he says, "The most truthful names are Harith and Hammam, and the most ugly names are Harb and Murrat."
In addition, jihad that Islam legislated in the past times had a clear objective, which is to clear the hurdles in the path of da`wah. Emperors and kings at those times stood as an obstacle hindering the march of da`wah to their subjects. Thus, the Messenger sent the rulers messages in which he called them to Islam and held them responsible for their nations going astray, for the rulers isolated their nations from listening to any foreign voice for fear that it may wake them up and make them sense their own identity; consequently they get up from sleep and revolt against their tyrants. Thus we find the rulers sometimes killing the callers to truth, or starting the fight against Muslims or preparing themselves to invade them and threaten them in their own country.
As for today, there are no obstacles in the way of da`wah, especially in the open countries that accept variety. Moreover, Muslims can convey their call through the written and spoken word. They can reach anywhere in the world with its varied languages through the directed radio, and talk to all people in their languages to make the message clear to them. But actually they are very neglectful and they are responsible before Allah Almighty for the world nations' ignorance of Islam.
Sheikh `Atiya Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, which reads as follows:

"In the book Bayan Lin-Nas [A Declaration for People], issued by Al Azhar, it’s clearly stated that the concept of categorizing countries as Dar Kufr and Dar Islam is a matter of ijtihad (independent judgment) made by learned scholars. There is no mention of this concept in either the Qur’an or the Sunnah.

Muslim scholars maintain that the labeling of a country or place as being an Islamic country or a non-Islamic one Dar al-Harb revolves around the question of religious security. This means that if a Muslim practices Islam freely in his place of abode despite that the place happens to be secular or un-Islamic, then he will be considered as living in a Dar Islam, meaning that he is not obliged to immigrate from that place.

The late Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah (may Allah bless his soul) mentioned two main scholarly opinions concerning this matter. He then chose the Imam Abu Hanifah’s opinion that the question revolves around the matter of security. That is if a Muslim is safe and secure in the place he lives, then the place is Dar Islam, and if not, then it is Dar al-Harb . He also said that this opinion conforms well to the Islamic principles of war, described as a defense strategy.

Concerning the application of Shari`ah in a Dar al-Harb, especially the criminal codes, some scholars, including Abu Hanifah maintain that: if a Muslim leader is on a military mission in Dar al-Harb, he should not apply such codes on any of his soldiers. This rule does not apply to the leaders of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and similar countries. The reason for this, according to the proponents of this view, is the fear that applying such criminal codes on a Muslim in that situation may make him join the non-Muslims.

Among the scholars who support this opinion are Imam Ahmad, and Is-haq Ibn Rahawayh and Al-Awza`i. This opinion is also supported by the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). For example, in the Battle of Qadisiyyah, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqass, who was the commander of the army at that time, ordered Abu Mihjan to be imprisoned for drinking alcohol. Later, Sa`d asked his wife to set him free so that he could participate in the battle, on the condition that he would return to prison afterwards. When Sa`d was told of what happened to Abu Mihjan in the battle, he forgave him and Abu Mihjan quitted drinking.

Other scholars, including Malik and Al-Layth ibn Sa`d claim that there should be no difference between the implementation of Sahri`ah criminal codes in Dar al-Islam or otherwise.

However, this issue is a traditional one dealt with at a time when the Muslims had the upper hand, and were spreading Islam everywhere, going from one victorious conquest to another. The more important point now is to take into consideration the present conditions of Muslims; is it possible for them to have the same context? This leads to the question of Muslims living in non-Muslim countries and Islamic communities.

In a hadith narrated by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “I have nothing to do with any Muslim living with the polytheists.” This hadith is supported by the Qur’anic verses which has call for the Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah, and warns those who are able to immigrate and do not; one of these verses is the following: “Lo! as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah's earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell, an evil journey's end.” (An-Nisa’: 97)

The injunction of making Hijrah from Dar al-Kufr to Dar al-Islam is still pending and will remain so up to the Day of Judgment. However, is it an obligation or is it just a recommended act?

Scholars say: if a Muslim is afraid for his religion and ethics, or for his property, then it is a duty for him to immigrate, otherwise the immigration is merely a Sunnah for him. Yet scholars also point out that if a Muslim finds that by remaining in Dar al-Kufr he will be a source of help for Muslims in Dar al-Islam or will be helping the Muslims in Dar al-Kufr, by teaching them religion or propagating Islam itself by spreading its principles and answering questions about it, and correcting people’s misconceptions about it, then it is better for him to stay in that society, rather than leave it.

However, this requires the Muslim to have strong faith, a strong personality, and the means that will enable him to carry out this mission. In the dawn of Islam, preachers and traders played a major role in spreading Islam in non-Muslim countries."
The division of the world into Dar Al-Islam and Dar Al-Kufr is on the basis of Da`wah, not war. War has no place in Islam except in necessary cases such as defending the Muslim land, honor, and property against violation. In this context, we recall the following Qur’anic verses that lay down the glittering principles to be adopted by Muslims when dealing with non-Muslims:

“Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo ! Allah loveth the just dealers. Allah forbiddeth you only those who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that ye make friends of them. Whosoever maketh friends of them (All) such are wrong doers.” (Al-Mumtahinah: 8-9)

Focusing more on the Question in point, Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states:

“There is no problem as regards defining the abode of Islam (Dar Al-Islam) and that of disbelief (Dar Al-Kufr). The abode of Islam is any country in which there is a Muslim majority even if its ruler does not completely abide by Islam and even if the government there displays some sort of anti-Islam schemes or policies. In contrast, every country that has a non-Muslim majority is regarded as an abode of disbelief.

It’s noteworthy that this division has no significance save the goal of propagating Islam and spreading its message to all and sundry.

As we see in Muslim countries, Muslim Du`ah (callers to Islam) aim at reforming the systems and exhorting the government so that they will completely abide by the Islamic teachings, whereas in non-Muslim countries they aim at spreading the Islamic message among non-Muslims so as to convince them to embrace Islam.

It’s a fact that some Muslims regard every non-Muslim country as an abode of war (Dar Al-Harb), basing this on the opinions of some jurists who were greatly influenced by certain historical circumstances. In my opinion, this is not true, for the general rule regarding the abode of disbelief is that they should be regarded originally as an abode of Da`wah (calling to Islam) not of war. But they may turn into an abode of war under certain circumstances and within certain conditions.”

Classification of states from an Islamic perspective by Shah Abdul Hannan*

“Classical jurists had divided the world into dar al-Islam (the abode of peace) and dar al-harb (the abode of war). Dar al-Islam refers to territories in which Muslims are free and secure and dar al-harb is the opposite of dar al-Islam, and refers primarily to non-Muslim territories hostile to Muslims and dangerous to their freedom and security. It can be said that their division was practical in the circumstances of their time because the geo-political reality they faced in the early age of Islam from the surrounding mighty empires, their overall concept of the world could not have been much different than this bi-polarity.

Moreover as described by Dr. Tariq Ramadan the division was necessary for at least two reasons: "first, by marking out the Islamic territories, the scholars were able to point out what the essential conditions making a space or a nation Islamic were and what the rulings determining the political and strategic relations with other nations or empire were. Second, it allowed them to establish a clear distinction, as regard legal issues, between the situation of Muslims living inside the Islamic world and those living abroad or those who traveled often such as traders (and who thus required specific ruling)" [“To be a European Muslim”, by Dr. Tariq Ramadan, pp.123-124]

Apart from these two, another term, dar al-ahd alternatively called dar al-sulh (the abode of treaty), was coined by ash-Shafii to indicate non-Muslim territories involved in treaty agreement giving sovereignty to a Muslim state but maintaining local autonomy. [“Toward an Islamic Theory of International Relations”, by Dr. AbdulHamid Abu Sulayman, pp. 20]

Another term, dar al-aman (the abode of security), was also there in the classical fiqh which seems very near to dar al-ahd. Dar al-aman refers to the states of security and peace with which Muslims had no belligerent relation.

About this classification of the world the following observations can be made:

1. The concept of dar al-Islam, dar al-harb and dar al-ahd cannot be found either in the Quran or in the Sunnah. Dr Tariq Ramadan writes: "In fact they were a human attempt, historically dated, to describe the world and to provide the Muslim community with a gauge to measure the world by adapted to their reality. So it is not at all obligatory for us to uphold these concepts."[To be a European Muslim by Dr. Tariq Ramadan, pp. 130]
2. There was disagreement among classical jurists about the specific parameters that define a dar (abode). Some scholars gave emphasis to government whereas others emphasized on population. Some other scholars (of Hanafi school, like Sarakhsi) considered the question of security and protection prior to considering nature of law and government. This causes a divergence of opinion among contemporary scholars too. In a Fiqh seminar in 1992 held in Paris, the scholars took various positions in defining the countries that can be called as dar al-Islam in the current world. Those who refer to population are of the opinion that Muslim countries are still to be considered as dar al-Islam, whereas others state that, countries with government, which clearly do not respect Islamic teachings, cannot be called dar al-Islam any longer. On the other hand, Dr. Tariq Ramadan shows that if one takes into account the parameters considered by some scholars of Hanafi school, i.e. those based on safety and security, one may conclude that the appellation dar al-Islam is applicable to almost all western nations where Muslims are sometimes safer regarding the free practice of their religion rather than many Muslim countries with strict dictators. But this type of conclusion cannot at all said to be correct. The reason behind these conceptual confusions and erroneous conclusion is that we are trying to apply old concepts, which seems far removed from our own time. It is not at all methodologically correct to apply old concepts, which do not fit to contemporary reality. [To be a European Muslim by Dr. Tariq Ramadan, pp.125-127]
3. The concept of dar al-ahd may seem to be useful and suitable to the current reality of the world. But Dr. Tariq Ramadan writes: "Even the third concept (abode of treaty or dar al-ahd) introduced by ash-Shafii is not sufficient to draw us out of the binary vision of the world. This appellation brings to fore that some countries whilst not Islamic from a political point of view, have nonetheless signed peace or collaboration treaties with one or more Islamic countries." So it can be said that the concept of dar al-ahd is related to two other concepts (i.e., dar al-Islam and dar al-harb), i.e. to involve in a agreement we have to know the nature of the two parties involving in the agreement, which again leads to the confusing concept of dar al-Islam and dar al-harb. [Ibid, pp. 127-128]
4. Dr. Ramadan writes: "It is an era of diversity and complexity and mix which can no longer be encapsulated into a twofold and simplistic vision... Today we are witnessing a strong current of globalization; it is difficult to refer to the notion of dar (abode) unless we consider the whole world as an abode. Our world has become a small village and, as such, it is, henceforth, an open world." [Ibid, p. 130, 147]
5. Dr. Ramadan writes: "Muslim population are now scattered all over the world. Migration has been important and, in spite of most restrictive regulations, it seems that population movement are to continue: by now millions of Muslims have settled in the West. Their fate is linked to that of the society they live in, and it is unthinkable to draw a line of demarcation between them and the "non-Muslims" on the sole considerations of space."[Ibid, p. 148]
6. Dr. Ramadan writes: "In our world it is no longer a matter of relations between two distinct "abodes". It is rather a question of relations between human beings belonging and referring to different civilizations, religions, cultures and ethics. It is also a question of relations between citizens, in continuous interaction with the social, legal, economic or political framework, which structures and directs the space they live in. This complex process, which is a feature of globalization, over-rides the factors which previously made it possible to define the different "abodes"."[Ibid, pp. 148]
7. Dr. Ramadan writes: "The old binary geographical representation, with two juxtaposed worlds which would be face to face, in relative balance, no longer has anything to do with the reality of hegemony and areas of influence regarding civilization, culture, economy and subsequently of course politics. Westernization, the legitimate daughter of pluridimensional globalization, can be far better expressed through the notion of centre (the West and its relay capitals in the South) and periphery (the rest of the planet), than by the representation of two "abodes" living the reality of a "confrontation"." [Ibid, pp. 148]
8. The prophet said that entire world is a mosque and pure. So wherever a Muslim, says shahada and is able to perform religious duties in freedom and security, he/she is at home. Dr. Ramadan says that reformist scholars and thinkers like al-Afghani, Abduh, Iqbal and al-Banna were also in support of this opinion. This opinion can be taken as a ground for taking a new look at the world to meet the current reality. [Ibid, pp. 144]
9. Dr. Taha Zabir Al Alwani opined that this division of world into immutable regions of war and peace diminishes the possibility of a genuine civilizational dialogue. ["Globalization: Centralization not Globalize", The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, IIIT, US, Vol. 15, No. 3, Fall 1998, p vii]

Truly those terms always tend to refer to a state of conflict or at least to a temporary banishment of conflict (by treaty) which not all facilitate dialogue between civilizations.

From the observations above it is quite evident that old concept does not fit our reality. The world has taken into a new shape, which has led the contemporary scholars to reconsider the issue in accordance with the new reality. But there is no consensus among the scholars in identifying and defining the present the world.

Some minority scholars uphold the traditional division. On the other hand the great majority of scholars use the term dar al-ahd and dar al-Islam. Dr. Tariq Ramadan writes: "The majority scholars use the Shafii concept of dar al-ahd (the abode of treaty) or dar al-amn (the abode of security) in defining the Western countries, stating that these are the most appropriate terms to define our current situation when we are witnessing treaties between nations (directly or through the United Nations) and the fact that fundamental Muslim rights are protected in these Western countries. However, they continue to consider those countries where Muslims are majority as dar al-Islam even if their governments are illegitimate and dictatorial l and even if Islamic teachings and rulings are neglected." They hold that those countries should be considered as dar al-Islam with a hope of reform. This opinion is supported by numerous scholars like well-known Dr. Yusuf al-Qardawi, Mustafa az-Zarqa, Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah. [Ibid, pp. 141-142]

But some other scholars are interested to use completely new terms. For example Faysal Mawlawi writes: "We are not, in the West, in the abode of war but we are either in the abode of treaty or in the abode of dawah to God. If we want to keep the (traditional) fiqh classification of the world with the abode of Islam, the abode of War, and the abode of treaty, thus, we are in the West, in the abode of treaty. If, on the other hand, we state that old fiqh classification is no longer applicable to our current situation - and this is the opinion we prefer - then we say based on this that we are in dar ad-dawah as the Prophet and the Muslims were in Makkah before the Hijra. Makkah was neither dar al-Islam nor dar al-harb but a dar ad-dawah and the entire Arabian Peninsula was, in the eyes of Muslims, dar ad-dawah." [Quoted by Dr. Tariq Ramadan in "To be a European Muslim", pp-143]

Dr. Taha Jabir al Alwani suggested to move us away from the traditional division of the world into three separate realms of peace (dar al-Islam), war (dar al-harb) and treaty (dar al-sulh). He said, "Instead, we must identify with Fakhr al Din al Razi, who divided the world into two realms: dar al-ijabah (the land of acceptance, where people accepted Islam and Islamic values are practiced) and dar al-dawah (the land of invitation, to which dawah is presented and its people are invited to Islamic values and practices). This view of the world removes the potential for conflict and emphasizes the role and possibilities of cooperation, understanding, and dialogue." ["Globalization: Centralization not Globalism", The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, IIIT, US, Vol. 15, No. 3, Fall 1998, p vii]

Dr. Tariq Ramadan used another term dar ash-shahada in defining the Western countries. He writes: "Called dar ash-shahada, space of testimony, Western countries represent an environment within which Muslims are sent back to the essential teachings of Islam and promoted to ponder over their role: considering themselves as shuhada alan-nas (witnesses before mankind), as the Quran puts it, should lead them to avoid the reactive and overcautious attitude and to develop a feeling of self-confidence, based on a deep sense of responsibility." [To be a European Muslim, by Dr. Tariq Ramadan, pp-149, 150]

All these modern contributions are useful and represent progress of realistic thought by Muslim scholars in the field of International Relations (As-Siyar). The classification "Darul Ahad - Darul Islam" (for Muslim and Non- Muslim countries) or the classification "Darul Ijaba - Darud Dawah” or "Darul Islam - Darush-Shahada" are acceptable in the Islamic and present day perspectives. However, I find the terms Darud Dawah or Darush-Shahada relate to one function only of Muslim citizens in Non-Muslim countries, they do not express the status of the state in a comprehensive sense. I, therefore, propose the following classification which takes in the spirit of all the recent conceptualization in the field but also expresses the status of the states, Muslim and Non- Muslim, in a comprehensive way. I have not used the word DAR but it is not necessary that we have to use this word.

Proposed Classification:
1. Muslim states which accept Islam as basis of their policy and also ensure civil, political and human rights (including religious rights) of all citizens
2. Muslim states which do not acknowledge Islam as basis of their policy and Muslim states and which do not ensure human rights (including religious rights) of all citizens,
3. Non-Muslim states who grant human rights (including religious rights) to Muslims and other minorities,
4. Non-Muslim states who do not guarantee the human rights (including religious rights) to Muslims and other minorities.

In a just international order in the light of Islam, States in the 2nd category (Muslim states which do not acknowledge Islam as basis of their policy and do not ensure human and religious rights of citizens) and 4th category (Non-Muslim states who do not guarantee the human and religious rights to Muslims and other minorities.) have to be asked (through the UN system and requirements of international and multilateral protocols and conventions) to comply with human and religious rights of all citizens. Any action against defaulting state has to be taken only under the international system. I consider the above as Islamic and Just.”

*Chairman, Bangladesh Institute of Islamic Thought. And Advisor, Witness-Pioneer International (This article was written in co-operation with Shakil Abdullah). Your comment may be sent to e-mail: for further development of ideas.

In conclusion, it is fair to say that the door of Ijtihad (religious endeavour) is always open. The Islamic decrees that are introduced through Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) into the Shari’ah (Islamic law) are reflective of the social, economic, and environmental circumstances of the time. These circumstances change as time continuously elapses. Corresponding to the change, the Shari’ah (Islamic law) is updated as new decrees are introduced with the appearance of newer issues. The key condition is compliance with the Qur'ân and Sunnah (tradition of the Holy Prophet(P)). In this light, the former concept of classification is updated to include Dar Al-‘Ahd (Abode of covenant) to include the other nations that hold covenants and diplomatic agreements with Dar Al-Islam (Abode of Islam).
And only God knows best.

[1] Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
[2] Muhammad Ishaq Zahid, “Glossary of Islamic Terms”, [Online Document], 1998, [cited 2002, Apr 27]
[3] Sayyid Abul A'la Al-Mawdudi, “Fundamentals of Islam”, [Online Document], [cited 2002, Apr 27]
[4] (Arabic Source)
[5] (Arabic Source)
[6] Murad Wilfried Hofmann, "Muslims As Co-Citizens of the West...Rights, Duties, & Prospects" [Online Document], [cited 2002, Apr 27]


Can a Muslim Reside Permanently in a Non-Muslim Country?

Accommodation in non Muslim counties permanently

The following Fatwa issued by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, who states:

“A Muslim can live in any place and in any country. However, there are some basic Islamic rules about migration:

1. It is Haram for a Muslim to live in or to migrate to a place where he cannot practice his/her religion, unless one is very weak and has no other way. Almighty Allah says, “Lo! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah's earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell, an evil journey's end…” (An-Nisa’: 97) It is obligatory upon Muslims to live in and to migrate to those lands where they can freely practice their religion.

2. It is not recommended for Muslims to migrate to the lands where their and their next generations’ religion might be at risk, unless they make every effort to safeguard their own religion and the religion of their next generations. Without such efforts it will be Makruh (reprehensible) [and in some cases even Haram] to migrate to such lands.

3. It is permissible for Muslims to migrate to the lands where they feel confident that they can practice their religion freely and they can raise their children under the Islamic principles. It is, however, better for Muslims to live in Muslim lands where they can live under Islamic laws to govern their personal as well as collective lives.

4. It is highly recommended for Muslims to migrate to those lands where they feel they can practice Islam and can spread the message of Islam. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, sent many Sahabah (his Companions) to different areas to spread Islam and to teach Islam. After the death of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, many Sahabah left Madinah and went to different lands to live there and to teach Islam to the people of those lands. It is due to their efforts and the efforts of many Muslims after them that Islam spread in many lands. This is also our duty and we must make every effort to convey the message of Allah to the whole world.”

In this regard, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, member of the North American Fiqh Council, states:

“A Muslim has a goal in his or her life: The goal is to take this worldly life as a place for arrangements to enter Paradise (Jannah). This is very clear in Allah’s saying, "Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs." (At-Tawbah: 111)

In another place, Allah says: "I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me." (Adh-Dhariyat: 56-57)

If one can accomplish this goal wherever in the world, it is legitimate for him/her to be there. If not, then one should move to another territory where he/she can have a better investment to go to Jannah.

Therefore, immigration to a non-Muslim country is allowed on the contingency that the Muslim should be able to maintain his way of life and practice Islam within the Shari`ah laws and rules. Whenever one is unable to practice Islam he should leave the non-Muslim country and go back home or to a country where he can protect his belief and practice his religion.”

If a Muslim is able to maintain his/her religion as well as to preserve and protect himself/herself from injustice and oppression, then it is lawful for him/her to find such a safe refuge in a non-Muslim country. However, a Muslim must never live in a non-Muslim country while compromising or even discarding his/her Islamic identity, unless that individual is overpowered and has no other option.
In response to the question you raised, the European Council for Fatwa and Research issued the following Fatwa:
The issue of a Muslim's permanent residence in a non-Muslim country is one that has been discussed and debated at length. We have heard extremely strict views which call for all Muslims to leave these countries immediately, based upon a hadith that decrees the disownment of all Muslims who live among non-Muslims (mushriks), the meaning and degree of authenticity of which will be discussed later. However, it remains that these views have caused great difficulty and inconvenience for many Muslims.
Our opinion is that a Muslim must never live among non-Muslims while compromising or even discarding his or her Islamic identity, unless that individual is entirely overpowered and has no other option. The reason for this is based upon the issue of whether or not the Muslim individual is able to protect himself, his dependents, and their religion.
Therefore, if the environment in which the Muslim finds himself is one which threatens his and his family’s life or religion, it is incumbent on him to migrate to a land that does not pose such a threat, as it is unlawful for him to remain in an environment that threatens his life and religion.
Almighty Allah states in the Holy Qur'an: (When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: In what plight were you? They replied: Weak and oppressed were we in the earth. They say: Was not the earth of God spacious enough for you to move yourselves away from evil? Such men will find their abode in Hell; what an evil refuge! Except those who are really weak and oppressed - men, women and children, who have no means in their power, nor a guide-post to direct their way. For these, there is hope that God will forgive: For God does blot out sins and forgive again and again. He who forsakes his home in the cause of God, finds in the earth many a refuge; wide and spacious: should he die as a refugee from home for God and His apostle, his reward becomes due and sure with God: and God is oft-forgiving, Most merciful.) (An-Nisa' 4: 97-100)
This verse clearly states that it is an injustice for one to accept living under conditions of humiliation while being able to move to another land that offers freedom, security and the means of a dignified life. The only people excused from this judgment are those who possess no such power nor means of deciding such matters. Thus, a migration is correct, in fact compulsory, if the destination allows the Muslim more means of practicing his religion than the land of origin. The migration of the weaker Muslims of Makkah to Abyssinia (Al-Habashah) with the permission of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is a worthy example. Those Muslims were told to migrate from an environment of infidelity and injustice to another non-Muslim land, but one which offered those who lived in it justice and security. The Muslims lived among Christians who treated them well and therefore managed to preserve their religion and to save their lives, until the day came when Allah supported his Prophet and bestowed upon the Muslims victory over the enemies of Islam. Only then did they migrate to Madinah, and when they did so, they did it by virtue of their own will and not by any command or order of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Therefore, the issue here is the ability to maintain one's religion as well as to preserve and protect lives from death, injustice and oppression. It is lawful for one to find such a safe refuge in non-Muslim countries, as did the earlier Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia (Al-Habashah).
As for the Hadith used by those who adopt strict views in this regard, it is the one narrated by Jarir ibn `Abdullah Al-Bujali, who stated: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) sent a battalion to the tribe of Khuth`um. Some members of the tribe sought salvation in performing prostration (sujud). However, the battalion rapidly killed them. When the Messenger of Allah heard of the news, he ordered their families to be paid half the amount of blood money (diyyah) and said: “I disown all Muslims who live among mushriks.” His companions asked, “Why is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “You could not distinguish the Muslim from the non-Muslim.”
This is a false hadith. However, even if it was actually proved to have been stated by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), its context explains the judgment given by the Prophet, i.e. that people who had declared Islam chose to remain among their non-Muslim tribe rather than migrate to the land of Islam.
When battle broke out between the Muslims and their tribe, the battalion could not tell the Muslims from the non-Muslims. Therefore, the disownment declared by the Prophet of these people comes due to the fact that if they were killed, it was simply because they couldn't be distinguished from the non-Muslims, and that the battalion did nothing wrong. This issue does not exist in our time and, therefore, applying this hadith is entirely inappropriate. It is also a grave distortion of proper
understanding to use a segment of the hadith rather than mention the entire hadith and appreciate its full meaning and implications. We ask Allah Almighty to guide us to the truth and perfection.
Elaborating on the issue of whether Muslims living in western countries should return to their countries of origin or remain in the West, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
No, I would not advise Muslims in the West to move to their original Muslim countries. The whole world belongs to Allah, and Allah tells us in the Qur'an to move freely in the land.

However, if a Muslim were to fear that he or she will lose his/her faith by living in the West, then he or she must go back and settle down where he or she can protect his or her religion.
As for others, while living in the West, they should have a sense of mission to share the message of mercy inherent in Islam with the people around them. By doing so, we are fulfilling the prophecy of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who said, "This mission of Islam is going to reach every nook and corner of the world."
May Allah Almighty make us the instruments of guidance.

Appendix: Two Reviews on Dr Tariq Ramadan Book

To Be a European Muslim
Author: Dr Tariq Ramadan
Publisher: The Islamic Foundation Leicester UK 1999. pp: 272.
Reviewer: (1) Mohammad Siddique Seddon

It is in the nascent development of an increasing sizeable Muslim population throughout Europe that Tariq Ramadan offers his diagnostic thesis on European-Muslim identity. However, this book is more than just a study of how Muslims contextualise their faith and culture within the evolving geo-political federalism of the new Europe. Ramadan has not sought to isolate or disconnect the European Muslims from the rest of the Umma - he has instead offered an essential global overview that helps in understanding the underlying influences and tensions upon this new community.

Jørgen Nielsen's foreword makes mention of early assumptions of 'assimilation' and of the first generation of Muslim immigrants becoming 'Europeanised' commenting that these were, 'simplistic conclusions' (p.xi). Ramadan states that, 'It (usul al-fiqh) makes clear that Islam allows us to consider its intrinsic possibilities for adaptation to space and time; that is to say, to accept and make ours what, within every civilisation or culture, does not contradict a clearly stipulated juridical prescription.' (p.65), and he further comments on Islam's comprehensiveness thus, 'A religion based on one major pillar (that is the Oneness of God, Tawhid), founded on a few global rulings and ready to accept and incorporate cultures, traditions and customs in their rich and immense diversity.' (p.65). Nielsen mentions that some observers appear to suggest that the problem of constructing an Islamic-European identity is primarily a theological contention with 'modernity'. They advocate a response echoing that of modern Christian theologians and suggest that Muslims should undertake a 'theological reformation'. Nielsen adds, 'This reformation would have to start with a rethinking of the nature of revelation and thence the understanding of the revealed text.' (p.xiii).

Observers who would have Muslims 'rethink' the nature of revelation and revealed text have fundamentally failed to understand the concept of God, Prophethood and Divine revelation in Islam. The impact of 'modernity' on Christianity, decentralising its moral, social and political influence upon European civilisation is a direct result of Christian 'theological reformation' and the rethinking and redefining of the revealed text. Hence, secularisation, a consequence of modernity, has also led to the religious de-traditionalisation of European citizens. This phenomenon is noted by Ramadan who comments, 'Europeans are no longer used to a public manifestation of religious presence in their day-to-day lives and they themselves are, in the great majority, either not practising much or not practising at all.' (pp.182-83). As a phenomenon essentially in the Christian world modernity has not affected the Muslim world to the same extent and its repercussions have not been so severe.

Ramadan's work explores the problems of 'western' aculturisation by Muslims who understand Islam only from within a dominant Islamic society and therefore, cannot appreciate a functioning 'minority status' Islamic way of life. Ramadan contextualises the predicament of Europe's Muslims, vis-à-vis belonging and allegiance, by offering a concise history of the development of Islamic jurisprudence in relation to Muslim minorities living under non-Muslim rule. The author has delved deeply into the meanings of the Qur'an emphasising Islam's essential universal or 'global' teachings and individual and collective responsibilities incumbent upon all Muslims. He succinctly describes the dynamics of the Islamic way of life, stating, 'the Qur'anic teaching is clear: to believe is to act and hence Islam, more than a simple codified link between the Believer and God (a Religion in its strict and etymological meaning is "to link"), is a concept and a way of life.' (p.20). He objectively studies the scholastic divergence amongst the 'ulama' and traces the origins back to the Prophet and his Companions, revealing, even in those times, a multi-layered understanding and interpretation amongst the first tangible Muslim community in Madina. A historical development of Islamic Sciences, their typology and classification, are well documented with the inclusion of a very useful chronological chart (p.40) and extended glossary of the Arabic terms used (pp.257-64). Explaining the evolution of fiqh and the various madhahib, Ramadan shows how such diversity of interpretation and the crucial implementation of Ijtihad (analogical opinion) contribute to a 'space and time' contextualisation of the shari'a which, whilst global in its essence and fundamentals, is not monolithic in its specific practice or cultural manifestations. Islam's 'space and time' adaptability via ijtihad is at the core of Ramadan's thesis in forging a European Islamic identity.

The author lays the charge that taqlid has led to a binary perception of the world divided into Muslim (Dar al-Islam) and non-Muslim (Dar al-Harb) spaces. He states, 'Muslims have followed the path of blind imitation (taqlid) without being able to find again the genuine and dynamic Message contained in the Qur'an and Sunna.' (p.42). This idea challenges the traditionally held Muslim views of belonging and allegiance based on the binary perception. Centuries of the Islamic 'legacy' coupled with the recent history of western colonialism and domination of Muslim lands has increased the polarisation between Muslim and non-Muslim spaces. Yet beyond the legacy back to the foundations of the Sunna, we find many instances of Muslims living not only in non-Muslim space, but also perhaps more importantly, under non-Muslim rule and legislation. Ramadan cites the examples of the Companions exiled in Abbysinia and Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr in Madina.

The traditional categories of fiqh that permit abode in a non-Muslim country are, according to the author, purely situational. As he says in reference to these rulings, 'To apply them to contemporary reality as they were thought out ten centuries ago appears to be a methodological mistake.' (p.126). Beyond the exilic and diasporic experience of the first generation of Muslims to Europe in the later half of the last century, Ramadan identifies a new emerging community with a developing European character and culture in which he says, 'Added to this is the fact that there are numerous converts to Islam who, along with the young generations of Muslims who have now become European, are at home in Europe: they are European citizens; European and Muslim.' (p.120). Whilst the author has intelligently constructed his argument for the validity of such an existing community from the principles of Islamic jurisprudence and the very complex problematic geo-politics of a multi-cultural, multi-faith, pluralistic European nation-state, I feel he has perhaps left two areas largely unexplored.

The first area is the concept of what is a European. Within the confines of a politically manufactured and divisive socially engineered modern Europe, what and whose definition of 'European' are we using? Amongst the western European countries, which make up the federal Europe, some countries are more 'European' than others. To quote the author, 'The current situation, as well as the cultural and legal background of the various European countries is very often different, hence it is difficult to generalise about the Muslim presence in every society.'(p.135). If by 'Europe' we mean the new political Western Europe, then the historical situation of Muslims there described by the author is relatively true. If however we are referring to the geographical continent of Europe then the writer has omitted at least five hundred years of Muslim history and civilisation.

There is much to be learnt about Muslim identity and 'Europeanised' Islam from the millions of Muslims living in Eastern Europe. This point may seem obvious yet is without mention in the book. Western Europe has also seen Muslim communities before the influx of ex-colonial immigrant workers such as the Liverpool community circa 1890-1930. These micro communities were never allowed to flourish and whilst the majority members were indigenous, their belonging and allegiance was brought under scrutiny through 'witch hunts' when Europe fought the Ottoman Empire. A reference to, and study of, these early Muslim communities may have yielded important answers particularly to the writer's hypothetical question: ' What are they first: Muslim or British, French, German or Spanish? In such a situation, the point is plain: are the so-called European-Muslims trustworthy?' (p.162). The second area where clarification and an extended debate may have provided a greater understanding of the thesis, is the apparent legitimisation of the nation-state via citizenship. The creation of nation-states by modern Europe is a major secular imposition, which has further fractionalised and divided humanity. Nationalism has often given rise to racial extremism culminating in the horrific world wars of the last century amongst others. The primary function of a nation-state in Europe seems to be to hold sacrosanct the rights of the individual over that of the majority. As such, it is the height of European 'enlightenment' and a visible manifestation of 'turn to the self'.

Perhaps a deconstruction of and inquiry into the concept of the modern nation-state may have helped to develop a more balanced critique rather than a seemingly enthusiastic appraisal. On the issues of citizenship, nationality and religion, Ramadan seems to fully support the idea of nation-state citizenship; he formulates his justification around the principle of an agreed treaty between the state and the individual taking an oath. In defence of this opinion Ramadan states, 'there is absolutely no contradiction in that matter between their citizenship and their being Muslims: the law allows them to act in this sense, their faith commands it.' (p.175). Where and when a conflict of interest occurs between the individuals' Muslim identity and national duty, Ramadan refers to an interpretation in secular legislation commonly called, 'the clause of conscience'. He suggests when religious beliefs and national identity conflict, one should become a passive non- participant as illustrated by 'conscientious objectors' in times of war. He writes, 'thus, concerning western legislation, the scope of permission is wider than that of compulsion. Nevertheless, it could happen that citizenship would lead someone to face or feel a great tension between their faith, their conscience, and the duties related to their nationality.' (p.175).

In Eastern Europe, Muslims had lived for centuries as fully integrated citizens of their respective countries, most of which in recent history were annexed to the former Soviet Union. When Soviet power under communism collapsed so did many of its union states: chaos and civil war ensued. As a result national identity became the focus of these newly forming and reforming nations, and ethnicity, race and religion became the 'acid test' used in order to 'scapegoat' and then 'ethnically cleanse' and systematically massacre Eastern European Muslims. Could such a future scenario occur in a demising capitalist federal Western Europe? This issue is highly sensitive, and very controversial. The question begs to be answered: how far can one be a European Muslim? No doubt Ramadan's work is very engaging and scholarly and many of the issues raised are part of the on-going debate of Muslim-European identity. Perhaps the problem with such a theoretical framework is often that the real practical issues are left unanswered by the hypothesis.

Second Book Review

Theoretical and philosophical discussion which fails to address the realities facing European Muslims Crescent International, April 16-30, 2000.

To Be a European Muslim
Author: Dr Tariq Ramadan
Publisher: The Islamic Foundation Leicester UK 1999. pp: 272.
Reviewer: (2) By Iqbal Siddiqui

Estimates of the numbers of Muslims in Western Europe vary so wildly that it is difficult to quote a single figure. But what is indisputable is that there are now substantial Muslim communities in virtually every European country, and large ones in many, including Britain, France and Germany. These communities consist of Muslims originating from different parts of the world, with different cultural backgrounds, belonging to different socio-economic classes, and confronting different circumstances depending on the country they are in, the nature and policies of the government there, and numerous other imponderable variables. All Muslim communities are also getting younger, with an ever greater proportion of their members young people born and brought up in the west rather than having emigrating from other parts of the world. (I am thinking here primarily of the Muslim communities of Western Europe rather than the indigenous Muslim communities in central and eastern Europe.)

There are, moreover, also growing numbers of indigenous converts (or reverts, as some prefer to call themselves) to Islam in all European countries. These 'new Muslims' also come from every sector of the non-Muslim community, and are attracted to different ways of practicing their Islam, adding wonderfully to the diversity of experience of the Muslim Ummah in Europe. Some argue proudly that these new Muslims make Islam the 'fastest growing religion' in the west, but this is to ignore the considerable numbers of young Muslims, born of Muslim parents, usually economic immigrants from Muslim countries, who effectively drift away from Islam and the Muslim community (I hesitate to say they cease to be Muslim) simply because they are not properly taught the true meaning and practice of Islam. What is indisputable, however, is that the Muslims of Western Europe face many problems and issues which are virtually unprecedented in Muslim history and experience. Inevitably, this has led to many different approaches to the problem, some based on understandings of Islamic principles, others merely looking to them for justification; some expressed in institutional terms, others informally through people's actions, and others in theoretical books and papers.

Tariq Ramadan's new book, published by the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, UK, one of the oldest and best-established Muslim institutions in Europe, takes a theoretical approach, trying to draw on Islamic principles to find guidance for Muslims today. This is, of course, an essential part of any approach; unfortunately, Ramadan - a philosopher by profession and evidently by inclination - fails to combine it with a realistic assessment of the harsh realities facing Muslims. Ironically, in the first part of his book, he warns Muslims against precisely this error on the part of conservative ulama, before falling into it himself. Ramadan's approach is based instead on two-dimensional understandings of both Islam and the west based on written sources: books, laws, bills of rights and in particular theories of democracy. Any student of real people and societies knows that realities seldom reflect the theories. The reality of Muslim life in Europe is not that there is freedom of religion, but that secularism is aggressively taught in schools; yet issues such as the hijab ban in France find no mention in this book.

The reality is not that there is freedom of speech, but that Muslims in Britain were vilified for defending the Prophet's honour in the Rushdie affair. The reality is not of equal citizenship, but of widespread Islamophobia and discrimination, which is not even illegal in some countries, such as Britain. Ramadan also fails to understand that the Muslim position in the west is inseparable from that of the Ummah's relations with the west at a global level. As long as the Islamic movement fights western hegemony in Muslim lands, Muslims in the west will be seen as the enemy within. This is a reality, which we must face up to and we must learn to live with. Leaders and intellectuals who cannot accept this reality, and persist in ignoring it, can and will provide no answers to our problems.

Religious leaders meet in Brussels to promote religious harmony

An honour for Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid the leading British Muslim of Pakistani origin and Chairman of National Association for British Pakistanis (NABPAK) to meet the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel on 30 May 2006 at Brussels and visit to Buckingham Palace on Thursday 20th July 2006 for Lunch and garden party

Dear all,

This is to inform you that our Chairman of National Association for British Pakistanis (NABPAK) Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid had a meeting with the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel on 30 May 2006 at Brussels selected by European Imams Council, At the meeting he draw the attention of NABPAK, Interfaith work in the UK specially good practices of UK British Muslims such as Islamophobia Commission Chaired by Dr Richard Stone, Alif-Aleph UK, Three Faiths Forum an its founder Sir Sigmund Strenburg and Brighton and Hove Interfaith contact groups (IFCG) and World Congress of faiths (WCF) and Religions for Peace (WCRP) etc We enclose some press reports and photos for your use.

Secondly Imam Sajid have been invited to Buckingham Palace on Thursday 20th July 2006 for a Lunch (where I am told only 20 people have been invited from all walks of life across the country) and for a garden party in the same after noon in the presence of the Her Majesty the Queen. This is second time in my life that I am being honoured for an audience of Her Majesty the Queen

As you will remember, I appeared in The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast, which goes out on UK television at 3pm on 25th December 2004. The footage included some extracts of my conversation with Her Majesty The Queen during the Christmas Reception earlier this month. The theme of The Queen’s Broadcast this year was “Tolerance and respect in a changing world”. My conversation with Her Majesty the Queen was on Inter-faith work Regarding Queen Speech you simply type in and then in the index, type in Queens Christmas Message. Try, or click or click to

Statements by Faith Leaders - University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid Sussex Muslims Leader and chairman of Muslim Council
for Religious and Racial Harmony UK said "No school of Islam allows the ... - 19k - Cached - Similar pages

Papers by Imam Dr AbdulJalil Sajid at MCB website :

Honour Killing: A Crime against Islam (October 2003)- pdf file

The Role and importance of interfaith work (September 2003)- pdf file

The Trialogue of Cultures (September 2003)- pdf file

Islam and Muslims in Europe (March 2003)-pdf file

Death and Bereavement in Islam (May 2003)-pdf file

Role of religion & belief in a democratic society (October 2002)- pdf file

Islam against Religious Extremism & Fanaticism (Dec 2001)

The American Muslim
By Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid Islamophobia: A new word for an old fear By Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK comments.php?id=558_0_31_0_C - 67k - Cached - Similar pages

European Council of Religious Leaders/Religions for Peace (ECRL ...
Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony
UK Member Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, Islamophobia: ...'action.htm - 47k - Cached - Similar pages
BBC NEWS UK 'Young feel alienated by mosques'
One of them is imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid, chairman of the Muslim Council for
Religious and Racial Harmony and secretary of the Mosques and Community Affairs ... - 36k - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from ]
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Abduljalil Sajid, Imam and Adviser to the Commission on British Muslims. - Gemma Martín Muñoz, Professor of Sociology of Muslim and Arab Countries at the ... - Similar pages

The Jewish Journal Of Greater Los Angeles
Imam Abduljalil Sajid, a prominent British interfaith activist, said he had seen
Muslims being spat at in the street, hours after the bombings. ... - 40k - Cached - Similar pages
DOC] Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: two sides of the same coin
File Format: Microsoft Word 2000 - View as HTML
The invited guest speakers, according to the original programme, were, for the
Muslim side, Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid (Brighton Islamic Mission, ... - Similar pages
[PDF] the Bulgarian Chairmanship Distributed at the request of CIO.GAL ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Imam Dr.Abduljalil Sajid, Imam of Brighton Islamic Mission, UK. Following the
Baku Conference held in October 2002 and the SHDM of July 2003, as ... - Similar pages
Chairman-in-Office - OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and on Other ...
Paper By Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid, Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and
Racial Harmony UK, "Islamophobia: A new word for an old fear" - English (PDF) ... - 35k - Cached - Similar pages
Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid
Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK (MCRRH);
Chairman National Association of British Pakistanis (NABPAK);
Chairman Religions for Peace UK and Deputy President of European WCRP -Religions for Peace;
Chairman Taskforce for 2008 European year of Inter-cultural Dialogue;
Secretary Mosques and Community Affairs Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB);
Secretary Central Board of Ulama (Islamic Scholars and Jurists) UK;
Secretary Council of Mosques Muslim Religious Leaders of London and Southern Counties UK;
Secretary Al-Hijrah Trust UK (A registered Charity NO: 1018850);
Secretary Sussex Muslim Society Trust UK (A registered Charity 273911);
Secretary Sussex Ethnic Minorities Representatives Council (EMRC);
European Representative of World Council of Muslims Inter-faith Relations (WCMIR);
International Secretary World Congress of Faiths (WCF);
Link Officer Brighton and Hove Interfaith Contact Group (IFCG) for National and International Inter-faith matters;
Adviser to European Council of Religious Leaders/Religions for Peace (ECRL);

8 Caburn Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6EF, England
Tel: +44 (0) 1273 722438 Mobile: +44 (0) 7971 861972
Email:, "Jamila Sajid" ,

Short Profile of community involvements of IMAM Abduljalil Sajid
IMAM Dr Abduljalil Sajid is a leading British Muslim of Pakistani origin who is at present Chairman of Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK ( MCRRH) , Chairman of the National Association of British Pakistani (NABPAK); Chairman of UK Chapter of World Conference of Religion and Peace (WCRP) and Deputy Modretator of WCRP European Board member and Adviser to WCRP-ERLC (European Religious Leaders Council); Chairman of Pakistan Welfare Association Sussex (PWA); Chairman Islamic Food and Nutrition Council UK; Chairman of the Muslim Marriage Guidance Council UK ( MMGC), He is European reprehensive of the World Council of Muslims Inter-faith Relations (WCMIR); IMAM of Brighton Islamic Mission (BIM) and a member of IMAMS and Mosques Council UK, Executive Committee member of European IMAM and Religious Leaders Council; Muslim Judge of Muslim Family Court, and Treasurer of National Association of British Pakistani (NABPAK) 1999-2005; He is a member of the International Advisory Council of the Agenda for Reconciliation ( AFR) of an International network of Initiatives of Change (I of C), Maimonides Foundation, Sir Sternburg Centre's Dialogue Group, Black Jewish Forum and Three-faith Forum. He is the founding member of Alif-Aleph UK British Muslims-British Jews. He is Secretary of the Ethnic Minorities Representatives Council ( EMRC), a trustee of Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership. Imam Sajid was Chairman of Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) Social Policy, Welfare and Regeneration Committee (1997-2002) currently Secretary MCB Masjid (Mosques) and Community Affairs Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) 2004- and Secretary of the Al-Hijrah Trust UK (1997-). He is member of the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia (1994-) adviser to the latest Report of the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia published on 2 June 2004 , an adviser to Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham on matters of faith and cross-culture. He is a Muslim Chaplain at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and South Downs Health NHS Trusts. ). He is an International Secretary of the Executive Committee of World Congress of Faiths ( WCF); National Association of SACRES; National Council for the Welfare of Muslim Prisoners (NCWMP) (1999-2001) and the Inter-faith Network UK (2000- 2002) and since year 2000 Ambassador of Peace of Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFFWP). He was founding Chair of Brighton and Hove Interfaith Contact Group (IFCG) 1995-2000 and currently IFCG's National and international link Officer. He was Chair and Vice Chair of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants ( JCWI) 1990-98 and Chair of Citizens Advice Bureaux's ( NACAB) Black Workers Group 1991-95. He was Assistant Secretary General of Union of Muslim Organisations (UMO) during 1980-94 and Trustees of Friends of National Association of Citizen Advice Bureaux's ( NACAB) and NACAB Council member 1990-94. He was an Executive Committee member of United Kingdom Immigration Advisory Services (UKIAS) during 1978-1995. He was an Executive Committee member of the Federation of Students Islamic Societies ( FOSIS) and President of Students Islamic Society at London School of Economics 1977-80. He is the founding member of the Standing Conference of Jews, Christian and Muslims in Europe (JCM) and Alif-Aleph UK British Jews and British Muslims from the very beginning. He is a consultant to a number of statutory and voluntary agencies on race, multi-cultural and religious issues. His special interests include Freedom, Human Rights, Morality, and Social Justice, Inter-faith dialogue, Equality and responsibility. He opposes and campaigns against all forms of discrimination and oppression. In short IMAM Dr Sajid is described at and at as 'a Muslim scholar, thinker, speaker, educator and mentor; his ideas are some of the most advanced in the Muslim search for meaningful interpretation of Islam in the 21st century.' (Source: Prime TV - 101 (1.6.2007)

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid had a meeting with the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel o n 30 May 2006 at Brussels.

Imam Sajid was also invited to Buckingham Palace on Thursday 20th July 2006 for a Lunch (where only 20 people have been invited from all walks of life across the country) and for a garden party in the same after noon in the presence of the Her Majesty the Queen. This is second time that Imam Sajid and his wife Mrs Jamila Sajid honoured for an audience of Her Majesty the Queen. As you will remember, Imam Sajid did appear in The Queen's Christmas Broadcast, which was shown on UK television at 3pm on 25th December 2004 and in all Commonwealth countries. The footage included some extracts of my conversation with Her Majesty The Queen during the Christmas Reception earlier this month. The theme of The Queen's Broadcast this year was "Tolerance and respect in a changing world". IMAM Sajid conversation with Her Majesty the Queen was on Inter-faith work Regarding Queen Speech you simply type in and then in the index, type in Queens Christmas 2004 Message. Try, or click or click to
Short Report and papers of OSCE Cordaba Conference on Anti-Semitism and on Other Forms of Intolerance 8/9 June 2005
Below you will find the link to the OSCE- Website with many official papers on the Cordoba Conference. What may be very interesting for you is the final list of participants. You can just look up your country and see, who was there from the government side and the NGO's (towards the end of the list).

In the attachment you will also find the "Cordoba Declaration", as the final nsummary (outcome) of the OSCE Conference in Spain. This Declarion maybe very useful in your public affairs activities.

The people who attended this conference, may have the right frame of mind to qualify as AfP's, since the whole conent was focused on the topic of tolerance, overcoming conflicts and reconcilliation. My suggestion is to google their names and find their contact data i. o. to approach them.

OSCE Website:

OSCE-Cordoba Conference Materials:

List of participants (Government delegations & NGO's):

Annotated Agenda of the Cordoba Conference:
Cordoba Declaration by the OSCE Chairman-in-Office - English (PDF)

The OSCE conference on combating anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance in Cordoba, Spain, 8 June 2005. (BOBO/Kristina Kosec)

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid (British Ambassador for Peace) as representative of the UK-Government delegation adressing the conference on the issue of "Islamophobia".
Full Text of Paper By Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid, Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK, "Islamophobia: A new word for an old fear" - English (PDF)

OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and on Other Forms of Intolerance
Full Text of Paper By Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid, Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK, "Islamophobia: A new word for an old fear" - English (PDF)
Some of my papers are printed at various websites
British Imam Says Discrimination against Muslims Overtaking Anti-Semitism in Europe
"PA" 9 June 2005
Associated Press
Cordoba, Spain, June 9, 2005 - Fear and suspicion of Muslims have increased in the European Union since the Sept. 11 attacks, and deserve as much attention as anti-Semitism, a British imam told an international conference on racial and religious intolerance Thursday.

"Islamophobia has replaced anti-Semitism as the new sharp end of racist issues in the world wherever you go," Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid told the conference of the 55-countr y Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
After the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the EU asked its then 15-member countries to compile reports on what effect the attacks had had on their Muslim communities. The conclusion was that "hatred against Muslims and crimes against Muslims increased tremendously," Imam Sajid said.
The imam criticized the draft final statement being prepared at the two-day conference here for not explicitly using the term Islamophobia, and said Europe has no choice but to face the reality that millions of its people are now Muslims.
"Muslims are not going anywhere. They are going to stay," Imam Sajid said.
Despite this, EU countries have no established system to monitor or record crimes against Muslims, he said.
Barbara John, a member of the German Senate, disagreed that intolerance towards Muslims has replaced anti-Semitism as the gravest threat to a religious community, but said fear of Muslims does "continue the evil concept" of denigrating people because of their faith.
A delegate representing the Organization of the Islamic Conference said Islamophobia has historic roots but was clearly fuelled by the Sept. 11 attacks blamed on al-Qaida.
"We are very worried," said Saad Eddine Taib, adding that Sept. 11 was a crime under Islam.
"For Muslims, 9-11 was a dark day in their history," he said.


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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.