July 02, 2005
The Struggle of Moderate Islam
Moderation good for Muslims
"ISLAM recognises no theocracy, and no overlordship of any religious leader or party. Each believer prays directly to God without any intermediary. So in a way, the authority of our clergy rests on very shaky foundations." Irfan Hussain (KT, April 21) has hit the nail on the head.
I really appreciate you for publishing this wonderful opinion. Some clerics go rampant not only in Pakistan, but also in Bangladesh and many other developing Muslim nations. Muslim parents in these countries send their children to 'madrassas' to learn about Islam and its beauty.
But, unfortunately, the children learn an extreme form of Islam created by misinterpreting the teachings of Holy Quran and the 'hadith' in an aggressive way by these clerics. They merely take advantage of the poverty and illiteracy to inject the doctrine of violence and hatred in the veins of young pupils. They portray the image of non-Muslims somewhat like 'untouchables'.
The acquiring of knowledge is treated as a sin and moderation is seen as transgression. The beauty of Islam is completely destroyed. Thus, the religion of peace is transformed into a religion of terror. The teachings of these clerics suggest Muslims are born only to go for ‘jihad’ and dying irrationally will help them acquire salvation.
Jihad is allowed only when the enemies target us, and the killing of innocent people for the sin they never committed is not jihad, but an extreme sin. God created every human being and only God has the power to take the lives of His creatures. Islam teaches us to respect life, not destroy it. These clerics should not be encouraged. They transgress, invent, and destroy the true teachings of Islam.
The Muslim governments should keep these people in check in order to progress and make our mark in the world. The acquiring of knowledge should get top priority. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) always taught the believers to acquire knowledge and to spread knowledge. We should follow his holy teachings.
— Mohd. Salekun Noor, Fujairah
Would anyone have data on "moderate" and "extreme" attitudes in Muslim-majority countries and how prevalent each group is?
"ISLAM recognises no theocracy, and no overlordship of any religious leader or party. Each believer prays directly to God without any intermediary."
While Islam, as far as I know, doesn't contain information on what would today be called a State, surely it has prescriptions on how a group is to formulate rules/laws. When it comes to the sects and sub-sects that include the vast majority of Muslims*, are there supposed to be inspiration sources other than revelation/religious traditions when it comes to formulating rules/laws? If so, what are they? Does it say anything about who is to have the power to formulate and enforce rules/laws?
* Which is to say that I'm excluding the very small sects as insignificant.
Posted by: Baal Shem Ra at July 3, 2005 03:23 AM
I am hoping that Islamic scholars will help answer some of these questions by submitting articles.
Posted by: secretdubai at July 4, 2005 09:03 AM
I do too. Wasn't asking you in particular. Thanks for the article.
Posted by: Baal Shem Ra at July 4, 2005 10:18 PM