By NDT Bureau
September 21, 2020
So, by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So, pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]. (3:159)
Al Wala Wal Bara has been misinterpreted in the recent past by some extremist groups and organizations to malign the true spirit of Islam with the intention to gain political dominance in which selfish and egocentric gain is prioritized. Its context has been postulated erroneously by certain radical interpreters though the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH’s) whole life is a grand example of love and compassion for all human beings. They have interpreted Al Wala as loyalty for believers and Muslims; Al Bara as disavowal and hatred for non-believers. This interpretation is not conceptualized and contextualized by rational Islamic Scholars spanning ages.
Presenting the current understanding of Al Wala and Al Bara along different platforms is a counterfeited and constituted agenda of certain group like the ISIS and other extremist organization to quench their thirst for blood and in the process, misguide the educated young generations who have been facing financial crunch due to unemployment and marginalization. The Prophet (PBUH) never taught lessons of hatred and enmity but promoted humanity and compassion not only for Muslim community but also for all other religions. Islam symbolizes peace and tranquillity for all human beings. Its teachings and principles are circulated across different platforms particularly for young Muslim generation as they can be entrapped easily by the extremist propagators/organisations by influencing them emotionally, psychologically, religiously and diplomatically.
Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So, fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak. (Quran 4:76).
The verse has been quoted to clarify some apparent doubts and confusions about certain Quranic verses that are being misinterpreted, wrongly-contextualized in different places and in different ages. Some verses are in the Holy Quran that talks about jihad and war against non-Muslims that have totally different contexts and era. These verses were revealed when Islam was in danger and Muslims were oppressed; they were exiled from their own houses and country. The present reality is in stark contrast with the past.
Taking the Indian context into consideration, Indian Muslims get all rights what other Indian citizens get; they believe in the Indian Constitution that guarantees equality, justice and liberty for all citizens and nobody is driving them away from their homeland. This proves that the concept of jihad & war against disbelievers is not at all applicable in the Indian context. Islam is absolutely safe in this world; it is not a single entity that can be protected by few persons who hold up guns and wave their fatal weapons to kill innocent people. These people commit a lot of heinous crimes and they claim themselves as protectors of Islam.
Historically, true jihadists never violated human rights or killed any innocent person for the safety of Islam. Indeed, Islam lives in the hearts of millions that does not need some selfish and extremist people who are not following actual Islamic doctrines.
“Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) bought some foodstuff (barley) from a Jew on credit and mortgaged his iron armour to him” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.453)
“Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) died while his (iron) armour was mortgaged to a Jew for thirty Sas of barley” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.165).
The aforementioned two authentic hadiths signify that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) had cordial relations not only with Jews but also with other non-Muslims. His biography reveals that he was nursed and he grew among non-believers in Mecca.
Similarly, in Madinah, he settled and established business relationship with all without differentiating on the basis of caste and religion and taught his true followers to live cordially with people of different faiths, to make perfect society by loving, caring and helping all people without taking extremist steps.
Interpretation of Al Wala and Al Bara is postulated faultily and quoted out of context by people with extremist ideology. The extremists interpret it as loyalty and love with believers; hate and enmity with non-believers. What they really hide is the real meaning of Al-Wala which means love and brotherhood with people of different castes and religions; and Al Bara which means that all Muslims leave all kinds of sins and mistakes and they should understand the true spirit of Islam.
All Muslims should be spiritual in their work and commitments that portray true love with Islam. Indeed, the rational scholars will support the points of loving and caring all people. They should not accept wrong interpretation of the extremist people who try to malign the true spirit of Islam and present an easy and true picture of Islam to the youths which may act as a guiding light to their future.
Original Headline: Interpreting Al Wala Wal Bara – The Paradox between Violence and Peace?
Source: The New Delhi Times
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