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But what is it really all about?

Reader comment on item: Islam's Future [Can Be Modern]

Submitted by Muslim from the UK (United States), Dec 10, 2002 at 13:30

Firstly let me just say that I am a big fan of the USA. It is the only country that has on its bank notes 'In God We trust'. Its flag is completely non-idolatrous in its imagery. Its Constitution is a miracle in having survived, essentially the same in its ethos, for over two hundred years.

Unlike all other Super Powers of history -- Persian, Greek, Roman, British, Moguls, even Indian Empires, the USA has NOT gone around the world slapping every country it wanted to and simply taking it over.

So let us be thankful to God for subjecting us to such a benign, indeed enlightened and self-restrained Super Power, whom no other country could successfully attack or resist with arms.

USA has no established religion, although most of its citizens are professed, if not practising Christians. Other than in Muslim Spain (under the Moors) never before have the Jews enjoyed such safety and freedom in a Non-Jewish land.

No religion is evil. The entire appeal of religion is after all is that it is a refuge from adverse forces we cannot control.

All the most powerful forces are invisible. In remote ancestery, the human race must have equated invisibility with fear. Perhaps religion turns that fear into awe.

Thus Hindus bow and chant in front of stone, wooden, clay or metallic figurines. But they claim to be worshipping the principle, not the image. For intelligent Hindus, of which there are hundreds of millions, realise in this internet age, that an onlooker may consider their prostrations before statues a tad ridiculous. But can any doubt the Hindu worshipper's sincerity? Is it any different to a Christian's, a Jew's or a Muslims?

Is it not the underlying principle we should be considering? Salvation for the Christians, Obedience for the Jews, Liberation for the Buddhist, Pre-destination for the Hindu and Submission for the Muslim.

So is Islam evil?

Belief in One God, Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Pilgrimage: those are the five basics (fundamentals if you like) of Islam. Can any of those be evil?

As I say, those are the basics. Everything else is cultural, and not doctrinal.

And what of 'Modern' Islam? Is Islam 'Modern'? Well, religions profess to celebrate Universal Truths - they are eternal and thus modernity has no relevance. And what's the Universal Truth propounded by Islam? It is that there is a single Will that governs all phenomena, whether known to the five (or even six) senses of Man or not. The attempt at exertion of his own will by man (tantamount to a childish tantrum, in the cosmic context) can only lead to disarray and tears, or worse. Thus a conscious submission of one's will to the Universal Will, must be a sure path to harmony.

So why is the 'Islamic World' in such a palpable state of disharmony?

Because the fundamental principles of Islam are 'honoured more in the breach than in the observance'.

Islamic laws of inheritance are such that all the original wealth of an individual disappears by the fourth generation thus denying dynasties from taking hold. Yet, in so many places there are kings claiming dynastic rights to rule over a cowed people.

Leaders must be elected. Yet, everywhere common suffrage is denied, as a melange of dictators and hereditory monarchs hold sway.

There is 'no compulsion in religion' as the Koran says. Yet, do but look what is happening to women in the 'Muslim' world.

The pursuit of knowledge is one of the cardinal duties of a Muslim. Yet, all over the world as people everywhere speed forward in so many spheres, the Muslim world appears shrouded in archaic outlooks - a situation not helped by the failure to embrace English as a world vehicle for the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge.

Reason and reasoning are central to Islamic scholarship. Yet so-called fundamentalists attack USA -- the only country on earth based entirely on reason.

I say Islam is not at all evil, but its professed adherents divide between behind the times (the huge majority) on the one hand and ill-informed interpreters of their creed, on the other .

No knife has ever been found guilty of murder!
Submitting....

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