I’m appalled by some of the letters I saw in the Reader. I’m appalled by them. Because she did her best. Her daughter died, and if your daughter died the way her daughter died, I think you’d be as upset as she is, if not more, with the responses she got.
Bloodshed Not An Option
The article “If I Did That Over There, They’d Cut My Hands Off,” by Bill Manson, published in the Reader on May 15, was an interesting article and did reveal a few of the main teachings that Muhammad, the Messenger and Prophet of God, brought for humanity. If the believers of God study the Quran and don’t let others tell them how and what to think, then they will realize and appreciate the real teachings of Muhammad.
My friend and I are both members of the Baha’i faith, with a Christian and Jewish background, and would like to draw your attention to a few points not mentioned by the author of the article. For those who have not heard of us, the Baha’i faith is an independent world religion, whose fundamental teaching is the oneness of humanity.
Fellow Baha’is, men and women alike, are being killed in Iran, their properties confiscated, and their children are being denied education all because of their religious beliefs. In the name of Islam, all their human rights are being violated.
However, we do not feel the actions taken by the Iranian government and fanatic groups have anything to do with the teachings of Muhammad and the substance of the holy book Quran.
1. The Quran has two parts. The allegorical portions have been revealed to bring examples for a better understanding of the “main substance” of this holy book. Unfortunately, as the Messenger of God had foreseen, people use the allegorical statements to create confusion and agony. We have been given in the third sura, verse 7, “He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations — they are the substance of the Book — and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed.” Please use your own understanding of this heavenly verse.
2. The Quran is the best book to teach us about progressive revelation. It talks about God creating human beings, placing them on earth, and promising them guidance. The histories of previous religions have been revealed in full in the Quran. We have in the second sura, verse 136, “Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.”
By believing in what God has revealed to all the messengers of the past, we do not have any option for bloodshed, as it was rejected by all the previous messengers. Muhammad has granted freedom of religion, as we have in sura 42, verse 15, “Allah is our Lord and your Lord. Unto us our works and unto you your works; no argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and unto Him is the journeying.” Having this verse, why should we feel that all people have to be Muslem, otherwise they should be killed?
3. Justice is highly valued in the Quran, and God will make the judgment on the final day. If this is valid, why is it not being carried out? In sura 16, verse 90, “Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed.”
4. We use one verse of Quran and make judgments without understanding the definitions of the words. For example, in sura 33, verse 40, we have “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of God, and the Seal of the Prophets: and God knoweth all things.”
The Arabic translated words rassul and nabi in the above verse have been translated as apostle and prophet respectively. In this verse, Muhammad distinguished his two stations. Who is apostle, and who is prophet? Let us turn our attention to the definitions given to us for these words. Quite clearly Muhammad has defined nabi (prophet) as the person who helps the messenger and teaches the holy books. We have been given that Moses was the messenger and his brother Aaron was a prophet; Jesus was the messenger and John the Baptist was prophet. In sura 3, verse 81, “When Allah made (His) covenant with the prophets, (He said): ‘Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterward there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him.’ ”
There are many other verses that give us similar understanding between these two stations. We have been told in the Quran that the knowledge of God is so vast that if all the trees were used to make pens and all the ocean water were used to make ink, we would run out of pen and ink in describing God’s knowledge.
The progressive revelation given by Muhammad, and the concept that God is always sending, confirmed our beliefs that no messenger is going to be the last messenger. All the messengers come for a period of time and expand our material and spiritual understanding.
We beg our Moslem friends to pay attention to the divine statements revealed in Holy Quran:
Sura 44, verse 35, “Lo! We are ever warning.” God is warning us at all times.