By Gottfried Hutter for New Age Islam
13 April, 2015
„Bismillâhirrahmânirrahîm“, “In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful”! Whatever hypocritical or merciless acts may have followed on this formula throughout history, understood rightly, bismillâhirrahmânirrahîm“ is authentic Islam!
Rightly, Professor Mouhanad Khorchide of Muenster, Germany, named one of his recent books “Islam is Compassion”.
Recently, too, Rania, the courageous Queen of Jordan, said in Abu Dhabi that, the so-called "Islamic state" cannot be defeated by military might, it can only be defeated philosophically.
Compassion is the philosophy that will defeat the IS. Compassion will accomplish peace throughout the Middle East: peace among Muslims (including IS and Iran) and peace with Israel.
My highly esteemed Islamic teacher, Sheikh Mohammed Osman Abdu El Burhani from Khartoum in Sudan once said: "There is only one true religion and it is not the religion called ‘Islam'; it is ‘Islam’, surrender to God". And I would like to add today, "It is compassion". Compassion overcomes all divisions. And thus compassion is the final religion, the ‘Islam’ foretold by the Prophet Mohammed in the Qur’an.
Of that Sura 5,48 (5,51) is speaking: “If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues.” God wanted diversity. This is stated here clearly. Virtue and compassion are possible and meaningful only in diversity. Thus, the IS’ philosophy is un-Islamic. The IS wants to eliminate diversity and squeeze all into uniformity. The Qur’an makes it plain that God did not want that. Thus, all that is needed in order to prevail over the IS philosophically is to return to the Qur’an and to prescribe diversity and competition in virtue.
"In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful", the Caliph Omar (in the year 16 of the Islamic era, 638 AD) might have handed the Temple Mount in Jerusalem over to the Jews so that they could build a new Temple there. – Of course, under the conditions demanded by compassion, namely, that “the Night Journey” of the Prophet be properly commemorated in the New Temple.
But if we are to look back in the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, we cannot blame anyone. At that time, what we now see would not have been conceivable. Today, however, it is possible!
Today, history can be rewritten in the name of compassion.
In the name of Islamic compassion and diversity it is now possible to change the reality of the entire Middle East by welcoming the people who fled to Palestine long ago, because they were persecuted nearly all over the world and thought they would be safe in their ancient homeland. Back then Palestine was like a huge Jewish refugee camp, and the winners of WW I decreed that Palestine was to become the new Jewish homeland, just as they ordered other huge displacements of peoples after WW I and WW II. Palestinians were not asked, just as other peoples were not asked. There was much injustice then – and it is not possible to return to the status quo ante.
Of course, the Muslim Umma felt threatened. They didn’t want the Jews to come. They wanted to drive them back out, but instead these refugees drove many Palestinians off their land. Must the fighting continue forever? If this is not to happen, there has to be a compassionate approach to peace, true Peace – on all sides. And now, amidst utter turmoil, the Muslim Umma is on the point of readying itself for peace. It has never lost touch with the essence of Islam. But the presence of the IS is bringing that essence back into sharp focus, extending compassion even to these former Jewish refugees – despite all the horrors thrust upon the Palestinians with their coming. And once compassion has been allowed to set in, the entire Umma will welcome the Jews in Palestine. Compassion will even enable them to welcome the State of Israel in their midst as a Jewish state.
And the same acceptance of union in diversity will make for peace among the different strands of Islam, and thus for peace all over the Middle East – and beyond.
All of this may sound like a fairy tale. Theodor Herzl faced exactly the same skeptical response. He replied: It is up to you, if you want, it will not be a fairy tale. Obviously, they wanted.
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Gottfried Hutter is a Theologian, Psychotherapist, Author of this Peace Initiative, Founder and Chairman of the Temple-Project Association