By Siraj Qureshi
July 20, 2017
The growing radicalisation of both Hindus and Muslims, the two dominant communities in India, has fuelled religious debates at many levels across the country. Muslim scholars believe that radicalisation can be combated by promoting communal harmony and walking the path as shown by Prophet Mohammad, who had visualized Islam as a religion of peace.
Replying to a question whether Prophet Mohammad spread Islam by the might of the sword, Haji Mohammad Pathan, a Muslim scholar said that Islam directed its adherents for truth, justice, safety and compassion. He said that Prophet Mohammad invited people to embrace Islam not by force but through enlightenment to attain the love of the Almighty Allah.
Asked how a single man converted a large population of Arabs belonging to different tribes into Islam without using force, he quoted Holy Quran's verse 'La Aqra-fi-Al-Din' (there is no place for force/compulsion) and said that Arabs were never coerced to accept Islam, rather, those who embraced it had undergone hardships and borne cruelties like being made to lie down on smouldering sand with heavy stones put on them; placed in burning coal; murdered; made to leave their country and property etc., by their rulers/headmen, but they remained undeterred from their faith in Islam.
Organisations Like Taliban, Al-Qaeda UnIslamic
When India Today asked him that despite Prophet Mohammad's peace and justice, negating violence and coercion, why Islamic outfits like Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Taliban were killing innocent people in the name of Islam, he equated these organisations to thieves and bandits, and said that they were not true Muslims as they were indulging in unIslamic acts.
Quoting two verses from Quran, 'Man Katal Nafsa vagair nabz vo fasaad fi Allah Razi Fakanima Qatl al Naash Zamiyan Wamin al Yaha fikanama Al Haya Al Naash Zamadiya' (murder of any innocent was called the murder of the whole humanity and saving a life was like saving the whole humanity) and 'Al Zaval ahun Ali Allah Man Katal Razal' (a religion which debars pointing of weapon could not support violence in any way), Haji Pathan urged the people to epitomise the life of Sufi saints like Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, Hazrat Qutub-e-Alam, Shah-e-Alam, Sheikh Salim Chishti, etc. who stressed on humanity, communal harmony and ultimate love to the Almighty.
Prophet Was Follower of Justice
While highlighting commitment and perseverance to the Prophet, he quoted an instance when he waited for three days for a man who promised to donate him money, although later he had forgotten it in his daily chores. Moreover, the Prophet was a strict follower of justice and had not even spared his daughter 'Fatima' who was once found guilty of theft.
Haji Pathan said that despite being the crowned prince of both worlds, Prophet Mohammad lived a simple and ascetic life having no beautiful house, good wardrobe or cosy beds. Hazrat Ayesha (RA) wife of Prophet Mohammad had stated that the bed on which Mohammad used to sleep was made of leather, filled with wooden bark instead of cotton and also that in the life of Prophet Mohammad; she had not seen any spell of continuous three days when the family had eaten to the fill. For months their hearth could not be lit.
Status of Women
He said that before Prophet Mohammad was born, the condition of women was very miserable and their status in the society was just like the servants of men, merely the means of carnal pleasure. However, the Prophet ensured good life and comforts for women besides their education and equality with men folk.
In India, he said, both the Hindu and Muslim communities have shown various examples of communal harmony, especially in the Agra division, which is known for its principle of 'Sulh-e-Kul' propounded by emperor Akbar, who himself was a great religious scholar and a follower of Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti of Fatehpur Sikri.