By Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
20 Jan 2013
The tyranny of the majority is the worst form of tyranny. There are only two things that one can do in this situation: either to continue to suffer at the hands of the many or to rebel and change the society, either through violent action, which is seldom effective, or through intellectual arguments.
In today’s world non-Muslims, in minority suffer extremely at the hands of Muslim-majority countries. The basic reason for this is that many Muslims breathe in a sense of pride because they know (most probably by listening to some Maulana) that they are destined to rule the world and that their mansions are reserved for them in the Heaven.
They legitimise this ideology by quoting a verse from the Quran from Ch 48 verse28 which says:
“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness.”
According to them the destiny of Islam is spelt out in clear terms. Islam is to master, overcome and supersede every other faith. They reinforce their argument by quoting again from the Quran. In Ch 61 verse 9, God says:
“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest [it].”
There are two ways to deal with these verses: first, that these verses refer specifically to the pagans of that time and the culturally different religions, or rather I should say the cults that were present at that time. The other way to solve these verses is that Allah is telling us that the Message that God has sent will supersede all others. What is Allah’s message? It is:
“Righteousness is not that ye turn your faces to the East or to the West, but righteousness is this: whosoever believeth in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Book, and the Prophets; and whosoever, for the love of God, giveth of his wealth unto his kindered, unto orphans, and the poor, and the wayfarer, and to the beggar, and for the release of captives; and whoso observeth prayer... and , when they have covenanted, fulfil their covenant; and who are patient in adversity and hardship and in the times of violence: these are the righteous, these are they who believe in the Lord!” (Ch 2, Verse 177)
All these messages were given to all the previous Prophets of Islam and that Allah does not make any distinction between them:
Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to [all] prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to God." (Ch 2 Verse 136)
Islam gives high emphasis on justice. It goes to the extent of saying that for justice we should not even desist from going against our own selves:
“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be [against] rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts [of your hearts], lest ye swerve, and if ye distort [justice] or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do”. (Ch 4 Verse 135)
Even if others hate us then also we should not degrade ourselves into reciprocating the same thing onto others.
“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: That is next to Piety: And fear Allah. For God is well acquainted with all that ye do”. (Ch 5 Verse 8)
Just the next verse says:
“To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath God promised forgiveness and a great reward”. (CH 5 Verse 9)
Allah says emphatically in ch 2 verse 62 that besides Muslims, Jews, Christians and Sabians, if they believe and do good deeds. They too shall enter Heaven:
“Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (2:62)"
Though this verse can be expanded to include people of other faiths also but in this verse Allah has limited to only Jews, Christians and Sabians; but in Ch 22 Verse 17 Allah says:
“Those who believe [in the Qur'an], those who are Jews, and the Sabians, Christians, Magians, and Polytheists,- Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment: for Allah is witness of all things”.
The two positive implications from this verse are that: first, we should not judge and create division among humans, especially on the basis of religion. And second is that this act of judgement is reserved only to God. This verse also, in an indirect manner, is indicating that being a Muslim does not guarantee heaven, similarly being a Jew, Christian, Magian or Polytheist do not pre-destine you to hell. What this verse means is that, only God alone will judge between us and the criteria of judgement, as Allah points out ch 49 verse 13:
“O People! We have created you as male and female, and made you into races and religious communities so that you get to know each other. The noblest among you near God are those of you who are the most heedful (morally upright). Indeed God is All-Knowing and full of knowledge”.
The criterion for judgement in the sight of Allah is not race, colour, caste, sex, wealth and religion; it is Taqwa, it is God-consciousness, it is piety. So those Muslims (whose numbers are constantly on the rise) who discriminate on the basis of specially religion is totally un-Islamic. If at all any distinction is to be made, it should be made on the basis of good deeds.
A Muslim should always be polite, humble, patient, loving and well mannered when he/she deals with others, irrespective of religion. Allah Almighty certainly doesn't love those who are offensive and rude to others:
"Allah forbids you not, With regard to those who Fight you not for (your) Faith Nor drive you out Of your homes, From dealing kindly and justly With them: For Allah loveth Those who are just. (60:8)"
A Muslim is asked to talk to non-Muslims about the common points, he is to have a dialogue with him. He should keep in mind that the Quran was sent as a confirmation to all the previous revealed scriptures. It is said in Ch 3 Verse 64
“Say: O People of the Book, come to common terms as between us and you.” And
“Invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and agrue with them and reason with them in the ways that are best and most gracious.”
In ch 6 verse 92, it is clearly mentioned that we have to believe and have faith in all the previous revelations of God:
“And this is a book which We have sent down, bringing blessings, and confirming the revelations which came before it.”
Not giving other religious communities the freedom to worship is totally against the teachings of Islam. Historical facts prove that when Muhammad (pbuh) returned to Mecca victorious, he did not establish a religious state; rather he established and promoted secular state, a state where People of the Books were given full freedom.
It is our duty to protect all holy shrines. The demolition of Hindu Temples in the past, by some of the invading Muslim fanatics; the destruction of the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan and other instances are the lowest levels that a Muslim can fall to. God says in Ch 22 Verse 40:
“Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his [cause];- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, [able to enforce His Will]”.
Recently in December, in Pakistan a hundred year old Hindu temple was razed to the ground in Soldier Bazar, in Karachi. Not only that surrounding the temple there were four to five Hindus houses and that too were destroyed and left over 40 people homeless. A strong 16% of Hindus in Pakistan at the time of Independence were shown dreamy world, where all then need to do is to forget the past and build the future and help in the development of Pakistan. Well the once 16% in 1947 has now drastically come down to 1.86%.
We have to act now. We need to, at least speak up and raise our voices against the violators of Islam as well as the violators of Human Rights. We, Muslims are going away from the teachings of the Quran that is why there is a huge gap between ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslims’. Think about it.