Islamic Perspectives

A Muslim response to the Qur’an burning

By Abidullah Ghazi

The following article is written by Dr. Ghazi at our request and is in response to the design of burning of the Qur’an and the campaign of disinformation against our faith. This article along with Selections from the Qur’an intend to provide authentic information about Islam from the Qur’an itself. Let Muslims use this opportunity in North America and across the world to offer to the people of good faith and intelligent understanding, correct knowledge of our faith and sacred Book, help enhancing better mutual understanding, respecting religious sensitivities and supporting human rights to build a peaceful and prosperous American society and the world.

Islam is a religion of peace, understanding and justice. Its revealed book al-Qur’an explains it, the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) exemplifed it and our history manifested it, may be with only few exceptions. Yet Islam, the Prophet and our history are under ruthless attacks by certain specific sections of the population who have both financial resources and sectarian media support to back their accusations. However, there is, at the same time, movement of understanding, dialogue and sincere inquiry that is countering these negative and divisive trends and is promoting conciliation and mutual respect. We Muslims must not be overwhelmed by our detractors and with other religious and social groups must build partnership for strengthening trends of peace and conciliation. Islam has never in its history faced an intellectual challenge that it faces today and it also never had such an opportunity to creatively respond to this challenge. It is for the Muslims to accept this challenge and rise to the occasion and provide a reasoned, dispassionate and scholarly response to both various hurtful attacks on our tradition and sincere inquiries about our religion.

We Muslims believe that Islam is the eternal and final religion of God Who sent from Adam (pbuh) to Muhammad (pbuh) messengers, prophets, as givers of good tidings and warners of the consequences of evil actions. All human beings have received God’s divine guidance and it was always called al-Islam, the way of submission to the Will of God. All Prophets had common message which, taught Tawhid, Oneness of God, Oneness of human family, Oneness of all revelations and Oneness of all Prophetic missions. The message emphasized personal human responsibility of our actions, and the power of compassionate God to be the sole judge to accept or reject our services and reward or punish our actions.

The Qur’an reaffirms this simple message, moral code and brings them to final culmination and finality. The Qur’an gives a detailed universal moral code, defining righteous actions and explaining evil deeds. Islam confirms the truth that came before it and with final revelation invites human family to accept Islam or live freely with it in peace. Islam grants each community freedoms to follow their own guidance and social laws. What Qur’an preached and Prophet (pbuh) exemplified we Muslims have in our personal behavior and political history endeavored to follow it. As against the false assertions of Islam’s adversaries Muslims, with few exceptions, built a pluralistic, tolerant civil society and safeguarded social fabric, places of worship and religious faith of all major communities across the world.

The irrational people who are engaging in Qur’an burning must know that Islam is an idea whose time has come and the Qur’an is the only book that is safeguarded by God through hundreds and thousands of Huffaz (Memorizers) of the Qur’an worldwide. Their action would neither hurt the religion of Islam nor the Qur’an, but what would hurt by their action is the image of tolerance of our country and nobility of the faith people profess. These actions would bring into question our civility and affect our relations with one fifth of mankind that Muslims constitute. They should also know that not only our country but the entire western civilization needs both Islam and Muslims for its own survival development. They must also know their crude behavior and high profile abuse of freedoms might attract more people to seek the truth of their accusations and once they know, may be some are convinced by it.

The controversies such as cartoon, documentaries, articles and talk shows, would not contribute to the stability of the globe which is melting where it should freeze and freezing where it should melt. Any incident in any part of the world, whether environmental or political, would shake the global village, which desperately needs stability and peace.

The Muslims of USA, are a growing minority and contributing to the social services beyond their number, yet it is time for us to show patience as is the commandment of the Qur’an that they are attacking. In situations of adversity, opposition and personal violations Qur’an teaches us patience, perseverance and civic dialogue, as we are showing in the following selections. In modern information rational, global village there are so many avenues open to get right knowledge of al-Islam and it is our responsibility to offer it to whosoever desires. It is God’s book, let Him deal with His adversaries and let us fulfill our responsibility, in cooperation with our interfaith partners and professional colleagues, to maintain peace and harmony and frustrate the evil designs of those who are creating mischief. The Qur’an assures us:

And say: “Truth has arrived, and Falsehood would perish: the Falsehood is (by its very  nature) bound to perish,” Isra 17:81

The writer is Executive Director of US-based IQRA’ International educational Foundation and may be contacted at abidullahghazi@yahoo.com

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2010 on page no. 18

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