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Further to my friend Mu'een Ud Deen

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Reply to John Bastile

Submitted by hohovah (India), Nov 17, 2005 at 15:25

My dear friend Mu'een Ud Deen,

I have read the three books you mention, along with some pious and impeccable commentaries by scholars of Islam. In fact, it is on the basis of that reading, modest though it must be, that I have formed my opinion. Also, I am not relying on websites, as you seem to suspect, except where their thoroughness, expression and presentation merely reiterate what Holy Books say.

Testing of Man: You state "Allah is testing the obedience of his creation". Does it mean He is unsure of the quality of His product? So like a scientist, I should think, who performs experiments in a laboratory, occasionally blunders and discards undesirable results! Don't you think many of the 99 names by which He is known might be rendered misnomers if this premise is accepted? How can an omniscient and omnipotent Allah slip up so badly in his design and production that he ends up with more wayward kafirs than righteous momins, and has to eventually destroy them Himself or through those He chooses to guide [HQ, 6:117]?

Conversion by force: History is so clear, neither I nor anyone else needs "prerogative" to discuss it! You seem to suggest that Islam was spread not by force but by conviction about its philosophy. I trust you will know how most Arabian tribes (except the Meccan and Medinan) had re-converted almost to a man to their pre-Islamic religions within a short time of the Prophet's (PBUH) death in 632 CE, and how the first ‘rightly-guided' caliph, Abu Bakr, had needed to make widespread slaughter in the land to force them back into the Islamic fold. He had then invoked the Prophet's Hadith: "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him" [Bukhari 3017, 6921-3, 7368; Abu Dawud 4337; Ibn-I-Majah 2533; Mawatta Imam Malik 1410] Also, the third equally ‘rightly-guided' caliph, Uthman, had to follow Abu Bakr's policy in the newly annexed territories outside Arabia for precisely the same reason. Military supremacy, not any genuine conviction about philosophy or spiritualism, had always been necessary to keep people within the ummah. That is one of the most important reasons why religious and political authority was unified in a single person – the caliph. This also underscores another facet of how ‘conviction' played minimal or no part in faith. The fourth ‘rightly-guided' caliph, when dealing with the religio-political challenge of Muwaiyyah, had declared that it would be illegal to loot vanquished forces because both parties to the conflict were Muslim. This had such serious consequences, that Ali was entirely unable to raise a large enough army to subdue his adversary because the soldier had no lucrative prospect. So much for importance of force in ‘faith'.

Threats to Islam posed by the Byzantine and Persian Empires: How can it be said that these empires wanted to "eradicate" Islam, entirely unprovoked, unless Islam itself first posed a threat to their existence? Just think logically, what did Arabia promise except desert and notoriously cantankerous tribes compared with the natural and cultural wealth of their own empires? The fact is, it was the Prophet (PBUH) who sent letters asking them to abandon their ‘wrong' religions and submit to the ‘only right' one. They had also been warned that they would not ‘be safe' until they did his bidding, something he had even begun to prove effectively by nibbling insurgencies in outlying imperial provinces adjoining Arabia. To say that these empires had no right to pursue ways and means of defending themselves is ludicrous, amounting to blaming the victim for the episode.

Science: My study of the religion is not at all likely to measure up to yours, but I have not found a single reference to any genuinely ‘scientific' fact being mentioned as such. But I would certainly like to find out where they are mentioned, since it is perfectly possible I may have missed them. When you make statements like "the Qur'an in explains the topic of astronomy, medicine and reproduction - all of which have proven to be correct by mordern scientists (FACT)", it isn't enough merely to type the word ‘fact' in upper case. In keeping with scientific method, you need also to provide references from original sources to substantiate them. So, will you please tell me the Surah and Ayat where these and such other scientific truths are stated.

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