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Who's moderate?

Reader comment on item: [Finding Moderate Muslims:] Do you believe in modernity?

Submitted by James (Canada), Nov 30, 2003 at 20:07

The main question in the debate over which is truer, moderate or fundamentalist islam, is what was the model of the prophet? While most muslims in the west (where it's not popular to be extreme) have been told elaborate explanations by their moderate-minded authorities about context and word translation to paint the prophet as moderate, reading the koran yourself tells a different story. Mohammed was by no means moderate, he praised jihad as the second best deed for muslims to do. He raised an army and was a conquerer, he captured women and booty from his conquests. He paid people back for offenses in cruel and senseless ways. His first act after acquring a following was to threaten his former home-town and conquer it. These are not the acts of a moderate. If he were alive today, I believe he would scoff at the 'cowardice' of tolerant western muslims. Below are two excerpts from the hadiths/sunnah (saying and traditions of mohammed) speaking to this subject. Words in parentheses were put in by the muslim scholars who translated them. Most muslims are not moderate because of mohammed and his teachings, they are moderate despite them.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25 (in part):
Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 35:
Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah's cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause."

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