By Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, NewAgeIslam.com
6 Nov 2008
6 Nov 2008
Dear Aamir Mughal Sahab,
Knowing how to Interpret Quran correctly doesn't solve our problems regarding the Holy Quran's war-like verses. These verses were situational. They are instructions given in a certain context. Some of them certainly are of a universal nature. But that context does not and cannot obtain today or in future. Time machine or not, we are not going to live in the 7th century Arabia and fight those wars again. Enemies of Islam both within and without are using these surahs to propagate that Islam breeds or justifies terrorism.
A virtually new religion has come into existence that I have been calling Jihadism, but it claims to be Islam and derives sustenance from these verses. Its practitioners too are outwardly Muslim and claim to be true Muslims, indeed the only Muslims who deserve to go to Heaven. Jihadism has indeed distorted the very beautiful concept of Jihad fi sabilillah.
Mainstream Islam is not contradicting these claims loudly and widely enough. This inevitably creates suspicions in the minds of our neighbours, people belonging to other religions who do not understand the situational nature of Quranic verses, particularly as they are told that every word, comma and full stop in the Holy Quran is immutable and of universal significance. This also makes the task of Jihadists easier; they are able to easily brainwash our youth, even those who are highly educated and intelligent.
Living in Pakistan, the very hub of terrorism, you have probably become inured to Qital in a way that Muslims in more peaceful societies are not. The article 'Muslims should abrogate verses of war in Islamic Law' was a cry of despair from an Indonesian Muslim who is watching his peaceful Islamic country gradually turning into an inferno of Jihadism.
I made a similar plea in Indian Ulema have no time to lose, must call warlike Quranic surahs inapplicable to Muslims in the 21st Century for the same reason. Indian Prime Minister took pride not long ago in the fact that not a single Muslim from this country was found to be a part of the international Al-Qaeda network. We can no longer do so and Jihadism is gaining ground here too. Mainstream Islam must respond to the challenge of Jihadism that is based on verses from Quran that no longer apply. Let us come out and say so.
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
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