Despite unsurpassable knowledge of Shakti why do Hindus fear and fret? Part 2

From: "jagbir singh" <adishakti_org@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Nov 7, 2005 11:24 am
Subject: Re: Despite unsurpassable knowledge of Shakti why do Hindus fear and fret?

—- In adishakti_sahaja_yoga@yahoogroups.com, "jagbir singh"
<adishakti_org@y...> wrote:
> >
> > So whether you recognize the Primordial Mother as Tao or Shakti
> > or Holy Spirit or Ruh or Aykaa Mayee is immaterial as all
> > religions, holy scriptures and prophets are in harmony with Her.
> > What really matters is one's unconditional belief and acceptance
> > of Her Divine Message to humankind.
> >
> > Jai Shri Mataji,
> >
> >
> > jagbir
> >
>
> —- In adishakti_sahaja_yoga@yahoogroups.com, "jagbir singh"
<adishakti_org@y...> wrote:
>
> So despite unsurpassable knowledge of Shakti why do Hindus fear
> and fret? What do Hindus think the Sanatanna Dharma is all about?
> Do these present-day fears reflect their ignorance and corruption
> of the Eternal Dharma? Who can rouse and awaken them up from this
> deep spiritual slumber of Kali Yuga?
>
> They will till they get their self-realization and allow the
> Mother Kundalini to enlighten them with the priceless knowledge
> and universal harmony of the Divine Message of the Shakti brought
> by Her incarnation Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. All religions triumph
> in collective harmony in Sahaja Yoga, a far cry from those
> battling each other for supremacy.
>
>

The Seeds of Islamic Fundamentalism
Compiled by Stephen Knapp, September, 2003

We all know that most Muslims are not terrorists, nor do
they want to quarrel with others. The majority of them simply want
to worship God in their way and live a peaceful life. So why does
there seem to be friction and difficulties that often involve
Muslims? And why are there so many terrorists in the world who,
indeed, call themselves followers of Islam? Where do we find the
seeds of their motivation?

As we uncover these verses in the Koran to see what it
really says, bare in mind that these are not mistranslations into
English as some people will suggest. All these verses are derived
from "The Holy Qur'n: Text, Translation and Commentary"
by 'bdullah Yusuf 'li, published by Amana Corporation, Brentwood,
Maryland, USA, in cooperation with the International Institute of
Islamic Thought (IIIT). So this edition of the Koran is approved and
sanctioned by this Muslim organization. So there should be no
argument that these verses mean something other than what they say
as follows.


The Koranic References for the Sword Against Non-Muslims

Does the Koran itself give credence to strike against
kafirs and infidels, those who are non-Muslims, or to conduct a holy
war to protect and expand the faith? When we study the Koran,
particular verses of it certainly seem to provide such viewpoints.

The fact is that there are numerous ayats (verses) in
the Koran that confirm the ways for Muslims to view and treat non-
Muslims. For example: "O Prophet! Rouse the believers to the fight.
If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will
vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of
the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding."
(Surah 8:65) "Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the
message): 'I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will
instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above
their necks and smite all their fingertips off them." (Surah
8:12) "Truly Allah loves those who fight in His cause in battle
array, as if they were a solid cemented structure." (Surah 61:4)
These verses certainly seem to give a harsh view of non-Muslims in
the way it prescribes treatment of them.

When it comes to the attitude that the Koran displays
for those who are not Muslims, the verses make it clear what is to
be done. This is not merely in a few sparse verses, as if we are
misunderstanding what is being said, but in several. For example, in
the following verses, perpetual war and divisiveness for the
destruction of non-Muslims and their religion is recommended until
the whole world becomes converted to Islam. "Say to the unbelievers,
if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven
them; But if they persist, the punishment of those before them is
already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until
there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice
and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; But if they cease,
verily Allah doth see all that they do." (8.38-39)

Furthermore, if the Koran specifically relates a harsh
view toward infidels, non-Muslims, then that would make it even
easier for militant Muslims to feel there is little harm in ill-
treating or even killing those who are participants of other
religions. In this regard we find the following verses in the Koran:

"Verily ye (unbelievers), and the (false) gods that ye
worship besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! To it will ye
(surely) come!" (Surah 21:98) "(The sentence will be:) Throw, throw
into Hell every contumacious Rejector (of Allah)!; Who forbade what
was good, transgressed all bounds, cast doubts and suspicions; who
set up another god beside Allah: throw him into a severe penalty."
(Surah 50:24) "Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers (in fight),
smite at their necks [cut off their heads]; At length, when ye have
thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter
(is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays
down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been
Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them
(Himself); But (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with
others, but those who are slain in the way of Allah [for the cause
of Allah]—He will never let their deeds be lost. Soon He will guide
them and improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden which
He has announced for them." (Surah 47:4-6) "Those who reject
(Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists,
will be in Hell-fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst
creatures. Those who have faith and do righteous deeds—they are the
best of creatures." (Surah 98:6 and 7) This last verse seems to
refer directly to the Jews (People of the Book) and Hindus
(polytheists) as future residents of hell.

These verses seem to give justification to expanding the
faith not necessarily with spiritual knowledge, or understanding and
purity, but by what would be military strength under the Will of
Allah. In light of recent discussions about what is or is not
Islamic Jihad, referring to the holy war of Muslims overcoming evil,
does this mean that there also should be war or the use of terror
against non-Muslims? Are non-Muslims viewed as evil within the
verses of the Koran? The following verses (Surah 9:5,6) sheds light
on the Prophet's idea of what really is Jihad, and whether it
includes war against the infidels: "But when the forbidden months
are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and
seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in ever
stratagem (of war); But if they repent, and establish regular
prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them:
for Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful." So this would indicate
that the Koran's version of the "Mercy of God" offers unbelievers
the "choice" to convert to Islam or die.

Even though the words of the Koran were written many
years ago, and pertained to a different set of circumstances, they
are still applied today with the same seriousness by many. When the
Koran mentions that Muslims should "fight and slay the pagans
wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in
wait for them in ever stratagem (of war)," the idea seems to
indicate the means to make the enemy live in a state of perpetual
terror. Since Islam is also called "din-e-Ghalib," which means the
religion of dominance by God's will, Muslim minorities in non-
Islamic countries may feel that they can do everything possible to
harass and harangue the host countries to practice their faith or
culture, or to allow Muslims to have special privileges based on
following their faith over and above abiding by the local national
laws. The basis for this concept could also be justified within the
Koran (Surah Anfal, 8:59-60) where it says: "Let not the unbelievers
think that they can get the better (of the godly). They will never
frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the
utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into
(the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others
besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know." This seems to be saying that even if others die in the process, "whom ye may not know," Allah will judge whether they are believers or pagans—
those who have accepted Gods other than Allah. And then the soldiers
of Allah are assured that they will be properly recognized for
whatever sacrifice they make to Him, as stated here in the remainder
of the verse: "Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall
be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly."

It is also said: "O ye who believe! Fight the Unbelievers who gird you about and let them find firmness [hardness] in you; and know that Allah is with those who fear Him." (Surah 9.123) "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among The People of the Book [the Jews], until they pay the Jizyah, and feel themselves subdued." (Surah 9.29) The Jizyah means to pay tribute or compensation, or the tax that was levied against those who did not accept Islam.

So, it would seem that on the basis of the above verses,
infidels and all non-Muslims may actually be fit to be subdued,
crushed, or even exterminated, and that it could even be considered
a favor to Allah to rid the world of them. After all, they are
believed to be going to hell anyway. Furthermore, these verses also
show that those who die for Allah or the cause of Islam will be
recognized and even delivered to the garden of paradise. With the
basis of verses like these, it is no wonder that it is not difficult
to arouse young Muslims for the Islamic cause in the training camps
of Al-Qaida, Taliban, and other militant and fundamentalist groups.
It is inestimable how much bloodshed has already been shed
throughout history because of this teaching. So it should not be
surprising that the radical Islamic leader Abdullah Shah Mazhar
recently got 5,000 volunteers to take the "oath of death" and commit
themselves to suicide squads in attacks against the U.S. and
other "infidel forces". The fact is that many Muslims feel that one
day Islam will dominate the world, and there are those who are
specifically working to bring that about as soon as possible, and
sometimes in whatever way they feel works best.

However, this is not new. Swami Vivekananda in a lecture
in California in January of 1900 said regarding this aspect of
Islam: "Every step forward was made with the sword—the Quran in one
hand and the sword in the other: Take the Quran, or you must die;
there is no alternative!"

Mahatma Gandhi also spoke about this aspect of Islam.
After the assassination of Swami Shraddhanand by a Muslim fanatic in
December, 1926, he said: "Mussalmans have an ordeal to pass through.
There can be no doubt that they are too free with the knife and the
pistol. The sword is no emblem of Islam. But Islam was born in an
environment where the sword was, and still remains, the supreme law.
The message of Jesus has proved ineffective because the environment
was unready to receive it. So with the message of the Prophet. The
sword is yet too much in evidence among the Mussalmans. It must be
sheathed if Islam is to be what it means—peace."


Allah's Call For War, or Else

In the mood for achieving dominance, as we have seen,
many Islamic terrorists are ready to give up their lives for the
cause. They engage in suicide attacks wherein it is part of the plan
that they will give up their lives, often believing that by doing so
they automatically go to heaven. So does the Koran justify this idea
as well? In this respect we find the following verses:

"Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as
dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of
their Lord." (Surah 3:169) "O ye who believe! What is the matter
with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allah,
ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world
to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as
compared with the Hereafter." (Surah 9:38) So, herein we find the
Koran practically encouraging the anticipation for reaching the next
life, even if it means giving up your own for "the Cause of Allah."

The odd thing is that the Koran advocates war against
non-believers, at least according to the verses that have been
listed herein, and now it also advocates punishment for those
believers (Muslims) that do not fight against those unbelievers when
they are called to do so. And those that do take up war will be
rewarded into the Garden. The verse that clarifies this reads as
such: "Say to the desert Arabs who lagged behind: 'Ye shall be
summoned (to fight) against a people given to vehement war: then
shall ye fight, or they shall submit. Then if ye show obedience,
Allah will grant you a goodly reward, but if ye turn back as ye did
before, He will punish you with a grievous penalty. No blame is
there on the blind, nor is there blame on one ill (if he joins not
the war): But he that obeys Allah and His Messenger—(Allah) will
admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow; And he who turns
back (Allah) will punish him with a grievous penalty." (48:16-17)

"O ye who believe! When ye meet the Unbelievers in
hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his
back to them on such a day—unless it be in a stratagem of war, or
to retreat to a troop (of his own)—he draws on himself the wrath of
Allah, and his abode is Hell—an evil refuge (indeed)!" (8:15-16)


Kill the Unbelievers

The Koran goes on to order: "And slay them wherever ye
catch them and turn them out from where they have turned you out;
For tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them
not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but
if they fight you slay them. Such is the reward of those who
suppress faith." (2:191) Let us point out that to "suppress faith"
in this case means not only curbing Islam but to advocate faith in
God by any other path.

"And fight them on until there is no more tumult or
oppression, and there prevail Justice and faith in Allah; But if
they cease, let here be no hostility except to those who practice
oppression." 2:193)

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and
His messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through
the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands
and feet from opposites sides, or exile from the land: that is their
disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the
Hereafter." (5:33)

"Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands,
cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the
breasts of Believers." (9:14)

"O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean; so let
them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque."
(9:28)

"O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the
hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, an evil
refuge indeed." (9:73)

"(Disdainfully) bending his side, in order to lead (men)
astray from the Path of Allah: for him there is disgrace in this
life, and on the Day of Judgement We shall make him taste the
Penalty of burning (Fire)." (22.9)

"So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them
herewith with a great endeavor." (25:52)

"And if any believe not in Allah and His Messenger, We
have prepared for those who reject Allah a blazing Fire!" (48:13)

"'Bring yet up', it shall be said, 'the wrong-doers and
their wives, and the things they worshipped—Besides Allah, and lead
them to the Way to the (Fierce) Fire!" (37:22-23)


The Rewards and Punishments in the Koran

What makes the idea of who is saved and who is worthy of
hell more clear is that there are specific rewards given by Allah
for the believers and punishments for the non-believers that are
related in the Koran. Some of these are as follows:

"As to the righteous (they will be) in a position of
Security. Among gardens and springs. Dressed in fine silk and in
rich brocade, they will face each other; Moreover, We shall join
them to Companions with big, beautiful and lustrous eyes. There can
they call for every kind of fruit in peace and security; Nor will
they there taste death, except the first death; and He will preserve
them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire—As a bounty from thy
Lord! That will be the supreme achievement! Verily, We have made
this (Quran) easy, in thy tongue, in order that they may give heed."
(44:43-58)

"To Him will be your return—of all of you. The promise
of Allah is true and sure. It is He who beginneth the process of
creation, and repeateth it, that He may reward with justice those
who believe and work righteousness; But those who reject Him will
have draughts of boiling fluids, and a penalty grievous because they
did reject him." (10:4)

"These two antagonists dispute with each other about
their Lord: But those who deny (their Lord)—For them will be cut
out a garment of fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling
water. With it will be scalded what is within their bodies as well
as (their) skins. In addition there will be maces of iron (to
punish) them. Every time they wish to get away therefrom, from
anguish, they will be forced back therein, and (it will be
said), ataste ye the penalty of burning!" (22:19-22)

"Unless I proclaim what I receive from Allah and His
Messages: For any that disobey Allah and His Messenger—for them is
hell: they shall dwell therein forever." (72.23)

"And to those who believe not in the Hereafter, (it
announceth) that We have prepared for them a Penalty grievous
(indeed)." (17:10)

"For the Rejectors We have prepared chains, yokes, and a
blazing fire. As to the righteous, they shall drink of a cup (of
wine) mixed with Kafur. A fountain where the devotees of Allah do
drink, making it flow in unstinted abundance." (Surah 76: 4-
6) "Verily the [judgement] day of sorting out is a thing appointed.
The day that the trumpet shall be sounded, and ye shall come forth
in crowds; and the heavens shall be opened as if there were doors,
and the mountains shall vanish, as if they were a mirage. Truly Hell
is a place of ambush—for the transgressors a place of destination:
They will dwell therein for ages. Nothing cool shall they taste
therein, nor any drink, save a boiling fluid and a fluid, dark,
murky, intensely cold—a fitting recompense (for them)." (Surah
78:17-26) "As to those who reject faith I will punish them with
terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they
have anyone for help." (Surah 3.56) "Verily Allah has cursed the
Unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire—to dwell therein
forever: No protection will they find, nor helper." (Surah 33.64-
65) "And when there comes to them A Book from Allah, confirming
what is with them—although from of old they had prayed for victory
against those without faith—when there comes to them that which
they (should) have recognized. They refuse to believe in it but the
curse of Allah is on those without faith." (Surah 2.89)

"Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book
and among the polytheists, were not going to depart (from their
ways) until there should come to them clear evidence... Those who
reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the
polytheists, will be in Hellfire, to dwell therein (for aye), they
are the worst of creatures. [But] those who have faith and do
righteous deeds—they are the best of creatures. Their reward is
with Allah: Gardens of Eternity, beneath which rivers flow, they
will dwell therein forever; Allah well pleased with them, and they
with Him: all this for such as fear their Lord and cherisher."
(Surah 98:1, 6-8) "Allah will deliver them from the evil of that
day, and will shed over them a light of beauty and a (blissful) joy.
And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with
a garden and (garments of) silk. Reclining in the (garden) of raised
thrones, they will see there neither the sun's (excessive heat) nor
(the moon's) excessive cold. And the shades of the (garden) will
come low over them, and the bunches (of fruit), there will hang low
in humility. And among them will be passed round vessels of silver
and goblets of crystal." (Surah 76:11-15)


Allah Guides Those to Heaven or Hell as He Likes

The Koran explains in numerous verses that those who
reject Allah is sent to hell by Him. However, in several verses it
is described how Allah will guide those He wants in order that they
go the proper way, and will leave astray those He chooses, who are
then left to go to hell. So how can there be blame by Allah for
those who become unbelievers (non-Muslims) if Allah Himself decides
not to guide one properly? The verses read as follows: "Of them
there are some who (pretend to) listen to thee; but We have thrown
Veils on their hearts, so they understand it not, and deafness in
their ears; If they saw every one of the Signs, they will not
believe in them; in so much that when they come to thee; the
unbelievers say; athese are nothing but tales of the ancients.'"
(6:25)

To make this more clear, this next verse also explains
how this takes place: "We (too) shall turn to (confusion) their
hearts and their eyes, even as they refused to believe in this in
the first instance: We shall leave them in their trespasses, to
wander in distraction." (6:110)

"When thou dost recite the Quran, We put between thee
and those who believe not in the hereafter, a veil invisible. And We
put coverings over their hearts (and minds) lest they should
understand the Quran, and deafness into their ears; when thou dost
commemorate thy Lord—and Him alone—in the Quran, they turn on
their backs, fleeing (from the Truth). (17:45-46)

"We sent not a messenger except (to teach) in the
language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to
them. Now Allah leaves straying those whom He pleases. And He is
exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom." (14.4)

"If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people:
But He leaves straying whom He pleases, and He guides whom He
pleases: but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your
actions." (16.93)

"Whom Allah doth guide—he is on the right path: Whom He
rejects from His guidance—Such are the persons who perish." (7:178)
Now what is the reason why Allah rejects one and not the other? And
why does He not bring people together as one people if He could,
only to leave them in divisions and quarreling with each other?
Every other God in any other culture always seems to come with a
message in an attempt to unite people and establish peace. Why does
Allah not do the same if He is God? This is not clearly answered,
but another verse still explains the prerogative that Allah takes on
those He has created. "It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true
guidance; but he whom He leaves astray—for such wilt thou find no
protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgement we shall gather them
together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf: their abode
will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, we shall increase for
them the fierceness of the Fire." (17:97)


Hypocrites Do Not Reach Allah

We also find that the Koran states that even Muslims who
do not properly remember Allah are but hypocrites. And they do not
reach Allah. "The hypocrites—they think they are over-reaching
Allah but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer,
they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do
they hold Allah in remembrance." (4:142) Thus they may also reach
the punishment of hell.


The Punishment of Hell the Destination for all Non-Muslims

The hellish conditions described in the Koran evolve
around being cast into hellfire and being forced to drink and be
bathed in boiling water. "(They will be) in the midst of a fierce
blast of fire and in boiling water, and in the shades of black
smoke. Nothing (will there be) to refresh, nor to please." (56:42-44)

The Koran makes it clear that all non-Muslims,
unbelievers, will go to eternal hell. There is no second chance or
allowance for any alternative to the Muslim religion in the eyes of
the Koran. Yet, the hell that is described is not merely suffering
forever, but is the entrance to a hellfire that roasts one's skin
eternally. "Those who reject Our Signs, We shall soon cast into the
fire; As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change
them for fresh skins, that they may taste the Penalty: for Allah is
Exalted in Power, Wise." (4:56)

"Verily the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the
sinful—like molten brass; It will boil in their insides, like the
boiling of scalding water. A voice will cry: "Seize ye him and drag
him into the midst of the Blazing Fire! Then pour over his head the
Penalty of Boiling Water. Taste thou (this)! Truly wast thou mighty,
full of honour! Truly this is what ye used to doubt! (44: 43-50)


The Koran's Views of Jews and Christians

There are verses in the Koran that describe the Jewish
people and the Christians in both favorable and unfavorable terms.
In one place it explains that even those of other religions who
believe in Allah have nothing to fear. "Those who believe (in the
Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the
Christians and the Sabians—Any who believe in Allah and the Last
Day, and work in righteousness, shall have their reward with their
Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (This verse
is found in both 2:62 & 5.69)

However, the Koran goes on to place the Jews in the same
category as the pagans as having enmity toward the believers, who
are of course the followers of Islam: "Strongest among men in enmity
to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans." Then the same
verse in the Koran goes on to praise the Christians: "And nearest
among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who
say, 'We are Christians': Because amongst these are men devoted to
learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not
arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the
Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they
recognize the truth. They pray: 'Our Lord! We believe; write us down
among the witnesses." (5:82-83)

Another verse with a similar sentiment is, "We believe
in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed
to Abraham, Isma'il; Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the
Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We
make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah
do we bow our will (in Islam)." (3.84)

So here is another verse which indicates the possible
unity or cooperation and respect between Islam and other religions.
This begins to sound a little reasonable. It is a rare verse in the
Koran that proclaims respect for other religions, and it would be
good if Muslims would focus more on such verses. Yet right after
this verse we find it said, "If anyone desires a religion other than
Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and
in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all
spiritual good)." (3.85)

We could say that yes, the ultimate religion is
surrender to God, and Allah is a name for God, so we may agree with
this principle. But in Islam there is only one way to surrender and
that is to Allah alone. To surrender to another, or to use or
respect any other name for God is a blasphemy in Islam.

Furthermore, any cooperation between Christianity and
Islam is a fine line because Christians say that Jesus is the son of
God. This is a view that the Koran condemns. In the following verses
we find that the infidels include those who think that God begot a
son, meaning the Christians. "(Those) who say (Allah) Most Gracious
[Lord] has begotten a son! Indeed ye have put forth a thing most
monstrous! As if the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split
asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin. That they
should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not
constant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should
beget a son." (Surah 19:88-92) "Further, that He may warn those
(also) who say, 'Allah hath begotten a son'; No knowledge have they
of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that
issues from their mouths as a saying. What they say is nothing but
falsehood!" (Surah 18:4-5)

The Koran also strongly rejects the idea of combining or
identifying other Gods with Allah, as related in the following
verse. Muslims are often not so liberal as other religions in this
regard. In fact, the Koran says that even Jesus recommended that
Christians take up the worship of Allah, and that anyone who
identifies Allah with any other god will go to the eternal
fire: "They do blaspheme who say: 'Allah is Christ the son of Mary.'
But said Christ: 'O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and
your Lord.' Whoever joins other Gods with Allah—Allah will forbid
him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the
wrongdoers be no one to help." (5.72)

Another point to consider is that not only does the
Koran not consider Jesus the son of God, but it also offers little
more respect to Jesus than one would for a mere messenger. This
would not bode well with most Christians, wherein it is stated in
the Koran: "Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger;
many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was
a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how
Allah doth make His signs clear to them; Yet see in what ways they
are deluded away from the truth!" (5.75)

The Koran further elaborates that, "In blasphemy indeed
are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: 'Who
then has the least power against Allah, if His will were to destroy
Christ the son of Mary, his mother and all—everyone that is on the
earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the
earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For
Allah hath power over all things.'" (Surah 5.17)

With these views toward the Jews and Christians, the
advice that the Koran gives to the Believers, meaning the Muslims,
is that they must avoid the friendship of such people or be
considered the same as they are, in which case they will lose the
favor of Allah. "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the
Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and
protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for
friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust."
(Surah 5.51) This leads to additional exclusiveness amongst Muslims
and separateness from all others. This has obvious repercussions in
creating a deeper lack of respect and lack of cooperation amongst
the various religious cultures and sects in the world. And this is
exactly the opposite of what the world needs to attain peace amongst
all people.


The Punishment for Losing Faith in Islam

In most religions the right to religious freedom, or to
change one's religious affiliation, is taken for granted. However,
in Islam all schools of law (madhhahib) agree that any adult male
apostate from Islam should be killed. Most Muslim jurists also claim
that leaving Islam is a crime which carries the penalty of death as
recommended by God. Therefore, while conversion from other religions
to Islam is welcomed and actively encouraged, Muslims who leave
Islam for any other religion must be sentenced to death (unless they
repent and return to Islam).

As we shall see, the Koran supplies references which
would make it seem that death is a just sentence for one who leaves
Islam. However, the hadiths (the traditional sayings and deeds of
Muhammad) are much more pronounced in the punishment that must be
given to any apostates from Islam. For now we will simply look at
how the Koran emphasizes God's severe punishment of any apostate in
the next life.

One example is in Surah 2:217: "... and if any of you
turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will
bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be
Companions of the Fire and will abide therein."

Going through the Koran numerically, we next come to
Surah 3, verses 86-91: "How shall Allah guide those who reject faith
after they accepted it and bore witness that the Messenger was true
and that Clear Signs had come unto them? But Allah guides not a
people unjust. (86) Of such the reward is that on them (rests) the
curse of Allah, of His angels and of all mankind. (87) In that will
they dwell; Nor will their penalty be lightened, nor respite be
their (lot). (88) Except for those that repent (even) after that and
make amends: for verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. (89)
But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on
adding to their defiance of faith—Never will their repentance be
accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray.
(90) As to those who reject faith and die rejecting—Never would be
accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though
they should offer it for ransom. For such is (in store) a penalty
grievous, and they will find no helpers." (91) Herein it becomes
obvious that for one who does not repent and return to Islam, their
fate after death cannot be changed even if they offer all the gold
of the earth.

The Curse of Allah and Punishment for those who Give Up the Faith
(Apostates)

The Koran repeats: "But those who reject Faith and belie
Our Signs—they shall be companions of hell-fire." (5:86) "Those who
reject faith and deny Our signs will be companions of Hell-fire."
(5:10) "But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall
be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein." (2:39)

Not only are they destined for suffering, but Allah is
not as merciful as He is proclaimed to be. In this next verse it is
declared that even if one gives up Islam and then repents, they will
be shown no mercy. "For those who reject faith after they accepted
it, and then go on adding to their defiance of Faith—never will
their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set
purpose) gone astray." (3:90)

"Those who believe, then reject Faith, then believe
(again) and (again) reject Faith, and go on increasing in unbelief—
Allah will not forgive them nor guide them on the Way." (4:137)

"Anyone who after accepting Faith in Allah, utters
Unbelief—Except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith-
-but such as open their breast to Unbelief—on them is wrath from
Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful penalty." (16:106)

"But those who reject Our signs and treat them with
arrogance—they are companions of the Fire, to dwell therein
(forever)." (7:36)

"Those who break Allah's Covenant after it is ratified,
and who sunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and do mischief
on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves." (2.27)

"Make ye no excuses: ye have rejected Faith after ye had
accepted it. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst
you, for that they are in sin." (9:66)

"They swear by Allah that they said nothing (evil), but
indeed they uttered blasphemy, and they did it after accepting
Islam; and they meditated a plot which they were unable to carry
out: this revenge of theirs was (their) only return for the bounty
with which Allah and His Messenger had enriched them! If they
repent, it will be best for them; but if they turn back (to their
evil ways), Allah will punish them with a grievous penalty in this
life and in the Hereafter: They shall have none on earth to protect
or help them." (9:74)

"Those who turn back as apostates after Guidance was
clearly shown to them, the Evil One has instigated them and busied
them up with false hopes. (47:25)


Treatment of Apostates According to the Koran

However, for those Muslims who may find such apostates
who have left Islam, how they should be treated is made quite clear.
Herein it is said that they should even be taken and killed, as
explained in Surah 4: 88-89: "Why should ye be divided into two
parties about the Hypocrites? Allah hath upset them for their
(evil) deeds. Would ye guide those whom Allah hath thrown out of the
Way? For those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way, never shalt
thou find the Way. They but wish that ye should reject the Faith, as
they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): but take not
friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God (from
what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay
them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or
helpers from their ranks."

Even war may be waged against the leaders of those who
have left Islam, which is indicated in Surah 9:11-12: "But (even
so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular
charity, —they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the
Signs in detail, for those who understand. But if they violate their
oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith, —fight ye
the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that
thus they may be restrained." Thus, there are those who accept this
as definite proof that the Koran calls for the death penalty on
apostates.

Even if one merely cannot accept Islam to the full
because of the basic human weakness to be attracted to the world,
then they are referred to as being destined to perish after death.
This is explained in Surah 16:106-107, 109: "Anyone who after
accepting faith in Allah utters unbelief except under Compulsion,
his heart remaining firm in faith but such as open their Breast to
unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah and theirs will be a Dreadful
Penalty. (106) This because they love the life of this world better
than the Hereafter: and Allah will not guide those who reject faith.
(107) Without doubt, in the hereafter they will perish." (109)

Finally, we find that if anyone simply turns away from
Allah, He will give them the fierce punishment, as found in Surah
88:23-4: "But if any turns away and rejects Allah. Allah will punish
him with a mighty Punishment."

If we search the hadiths, there seems to be even more
references to the way those who leave Islam should be punished by
death, even if they are women. The point these verses make is that
apostates are meant to face a terrible punishment and there is no
clear implication that the fate of apostates is other than eternal
damnation. Once they reject or do not accept the faith, their fate
is permanent. As previously mentioned, the connotation is that Islam
must be accepted or you die, or are eternally damned. This seems to
be the ultimate process of controlling people through the use of
fear, rather than drawing people to God by the promise of an all-
attractive loving relationship with the Supreme Being, which merely
needs to be reawakened. Now which of these would you prefer?


There is no Freedom of Religion

Ultimately, in the eyes of the Koran and under the
dictates of Allah, there is no freedom to pick your own spiritual
path. This is clarified in this next example, which says: "If anyone
desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never
will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the
ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)." (3:85)


The Koranic Views on Women

In the following verse we find that men are given
priority in the process of spiritual development. The following
verses indicate that the inspiration to understand the message of
Allah is given to men more than women. "Nor did We send before thee
(as messengers) any but men, whom We did inspire—(men) living in
human habitations." (12:109) Also, "And before thee also the
messengers We sent were but men, to whom we granted inspiration: if
ye realize this not, ask of those who possess the Message."(16:43)

Inheritance is also favored toward men. "Allah (thus)
directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a
portion equal to that of two females." (4:11-12)

Allah's specific directions about marriage are also
provided, in which men are highly favored: "Marry women of your
choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be
able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that
your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you
from doing injustice." (4:3)

There are also restrictions in what kind of women can be
married. "Prohibited to you (for marriage) are—your mothers,
daughters, sisters; father's sisters, mother's sisters, brother's
daughters, sister's daughters; foster-mothers (who gave you suck),
foster-sisters; Your wive's mothers; your step-daughters under your
guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in—No
prohibition if ye have not gone in—(those who have been) wives of
your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at
one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is oft-
giving, Most Merciful—Also (prohibited are) women already married,
except those whom your right hands possess [meaning those who have
been taken captive]; Thus hath Allah ordained (prohibition) against
you: except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them
in marriage) with gifts from your property—desiring chastity, not
lust. Seeing that you derive benefit from them, give them Their
dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if , after a dower is
prescribed, ye agree mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on
you, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise." (4:23-24) Thus, we find
prohibitions to marrying one's mother, sister, or daughter, etc.
This means that there must have been such things taking place to the
extent that there was a need to establish rules against it.


The Basis of Muslim Brotherhood

In the Koran there are several ayats (verses) that
dictate the basis of Muslim brotherhood and how they should view one
another. For example: "Verily, this Brotherhood of yours is a single
brotherhood, and I am your Lord and cherisher. Therefore, serve Me
(and no other)." (Surah 21:92) "To each is a goal to which Allah
turns him; then strive together (as a race) towards all that is
good. Whosoever ye are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah
hath power over all things." (Surah 2:148) "Those who believe, and
adopt exile and fight for the Faith, in the cause of Allah as well
as those who give (them) asylum and aid—these are (all) in very
truth the Believers: for them is the forgiveness of sins and a
provision most generous." (Surah 8:74)

In this way, the Koran establishes the basis of a Muslim
Brotherhood in which they serve and support each other and their
activities that are considered to be for the cause of Allah, or for
Islam in general. Thus, they are motivated to work to help one
another, which is natural in any faith. However, this is most
favorably viewed while under the dictates of the Koranic law, which
takes priority over the civil or state law of the local country.
This is the foundation of what is called the "Islamic Nation", which
Muslims call the general Islamic community that consists of Muslims
throughout the world. Furthermore, few outsiders are allowed to be
part of this brotherhood. It tends to divide Muslims from all others
who are non-Muslims, who are considered non-believers in view of the
Koranic verses quoted above.

The Koran describes how the fellowship and brotherhood
of mankind should exist only within the Muslim community, the Islam
Nation, and not with any outsiders, including Jews and Christians.
This sort of vision will certainly keep the divisive nature existing
between religious and cultural communities. How can there be peace
in the world if any religion advocates such an attitude of one
people toward another? Yet the following verses clearly indicate
that Muslims should make no friends with non-Muslims.

"O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those
outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only
desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their
mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain
to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom." (3:118)

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians
for your friends and protectors; They are but friends and protectors
to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for
friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust."
(5:51)

"Let not the Believers take for friends or helpers
Unbelievers rather than Believers; if any do that, in nothing will
there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may
guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (to remember)
Himself; for the final goal is to Allah." (3:28) "O ye who believe!
Take not for protection your fathers and your brothers if they love
infidelity above Faith: If any of you do so, they do wrong." (9:23)

"Remember who the Unbelievers plotted against thee, to
keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home).
They plot and plan, and Allah too plans, but the best of planners is
Allah." (8:30)

"But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and
transgress His limits will be admitted to a fire, to abide therein:
and they shall have a humiliating punishment." (4:14)

A few additional verses that help clarify this include
the following: "The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make
peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; And
fear Allah, that ye may receive mercy." (Surah 49.10) "Muhammad is
the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong
against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other." (Surah
48.29)

The problem with this sort of brotherhood has been noted
by numerous people. In a lecture in California in January of 1900,
Vivekananda said: "Mohammedans talk of universal brotherhood, but
what comes out of that in reality? Why, anybody who is not a
Mohammedan will not be admitted into the brotherhood; he will more
likely have his throat cut."

Another example is from Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, who formed
the Indian Constitution. He could see the dangers of what is the
Islamic brotherhood. In his book, "Thoughts on Pakistan", published
in 1940, he explains: "Hinduism is said to divide people and in
contrast Islam is said to bind people together. But this is only a
half truth. For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a
close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims
and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating
distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal
brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims
only. There is a fraternity but its benefit is confined to those
within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation
there is nothing but contempt and enmity."

In 1941, Ambedkar spoke further about the effects of the
Islamic brotherhood, at least in India. However, it reflects an
attitude in Muslims that is found in numerous other areas as
well. "It is this which leads every Mussalman in India to say that
he is a Muslim first and Indian afterwards. It is this sentiment
which explains why the Indian Muslim has taken so small a part in
the advancement of India but has spent himself to exhaustion by
taking up the cause of Muslim countries and why Muslim countries
occupy the first place and India occupies the second place in his
thoughts."

However, now there is also an increasing number of wars
amongst the Islamic denominations. In a recent edition of the
Washington Post (June 25, 2003, Page A23) there was an article
titled "Radical Muslims Killing Muslims" by Zahir Janmohamed. In
that he mentioned: "There is a tendency to view the Muslim
population as a monolith, with a uniform agenda and little dissent.
This outlook on Islam has prompted a slew of articles with titles
like "Why Do They Hate Us." But in Pakistan, many Islamic radicals
hold equal (and sometimes more) animosity toward dissenting Muslims
(particularly Shiites) than toward westerners. The Sipah-i-Sahaba
have even killed many of their own Sunni clerics, because the
clerics rejected their divisive agenda. Often, implementing a skewed
understanding of Islamic sharia (religious law)—and not hatred of
the West—is their prime motivation."

This is my case in point: That as long as anyone
utilizes "a skewed understanding of Islamic religious law" regarding
any of the numerous above-mentioned Koranic verses, they have all
the ammunition they need to justify their own radical ideas and
methods of engaging in "the Cause of Allah". In conclusion, if any
of the above information and Koranic references are taught to young
Muslims in such places as the thousands of madarsas (Islamic
schools) in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other places; and say
that the 880 million fellow citizens of India, or others elsewhere
in the world, are but kafirs and infidels who deserve or are
ultimately going to be thrown into the hellfire; and that their
primary allegiance is not to the country of their residence but to
the State of Islam; and that the Koran justifies them to engage in
Jihad against all non-Muslims; then their spiritual well-being,
along with the peace of the world and the safety of anyone else, and
the existence of any religion outside Islam, is in jeopardy. This is
what must be recognized.

For this reason it may behoove Muslims to remove the
teachings in the Koran that are often interpreted as hateful by
Westerners and toward Westerners, or are used by Muslims as the
basis of hatred and resentment towards all those who are not
Muslims. Certainly it would provide for a more peaceful world. There
must come a time when it is understood that we are all children of
the same God. There may be differences in the way we recognize and
worship God, but this should be a natural difference in the varying
sentiments of respect and veneration and love for God. It should not
be misconstrued that only one way is indeed the only way. This will
keep the world bound in religious dictatorial views and ambitions,
as well as quarrels and wars, without end. This is not the way God
wanted it.

The Seeds of Islamic Fundamentalism
Stephen Knapp, September, 2003

(Verses were taken from "The Holy Qur'n: Text,
Translation and Commentary" by 'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali, published by
Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland, USA, in cooperation with the
International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).


 

 

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