Holy Qur’an – The Living Scripture
Posted on July 24th, 2014

By A. Abdul Aziz.

 The idea of the sanctity of human life is deeply embedded in the Holy Qur’an. It would not be an exaggeration to argue that the true spirit of Holy Qur’an is social peace and justice.

 The establishment of peace and maintenance of security must be the constant objective of all Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Every pursuit and activity which disturbs peace is severely condemned in Islam. We find specific injunctions in the Holy Quran:

 And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order…. (7:57; 11:86; 29:37)

 Mischief and wickedness are condemned in several other verses and Muslims are commanded to work wholly for peace.

 Islam draws attention to factors which tend to disturb or destroy peace and order, and deprecates them. Domination of one group by another in the domestic sphere, or of one people by another in the international sphere is a potent cause of disturbance of peace and is therefore strongly condemned. Economic exploitation of one people or country by another inevitably leads to domination by the exploiters, and develops into a potential threat to peace. The Holy Qur’an prohibits such exploitation and an economy based on exploitation cannot be beneficial in its consequences, nor can it endure.

 Islam visualizes an association of strong and stable states allied together in the pursuance of peace, freedom of conscience and the promotion of human welfare. Treaties or covenants between nations may have to be drawn up which should be done in a straightforward language and should not be evaded or repudiated under the temptation of securing some advantage. In case of difficulties and disputes, it is the duty of Muslims to bring about a peaceful settlement and adjustment.

 The Holy Quran teaches that God has sent His revelation to all people from time to time. Many of prophets of the Old Testament are mentioned by name and so is Jesus who with other prophets is honoured and revered by all Muslims. Indeed, the Holy Qur’an requires belief in the truth of all these prophets. Islam is thus unique and distinct in requiring an affirmation in all prophets wherever they appeared and therefore it seeks to bring about reconciliation between the followers of different faiths and to establish a basis of respect and honour among them. The Holy Qur’an says:

 Surely, those who believe and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians – whichever party from among these truly believes in ALLAH and the Last Day and does good deeds, shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon then nor shall they grieve (2:63)

 The same message is repeated in 5:70. The basic unity of the followers of all faiths is emphatically stressed in the Holy Qur’an and the creation of discord and disunity by terrorism or otherwise has no place in Islam.

 In the domain of international relations, religion and inter-religious relations occupy an important position. Unfortunately, comparatively little attention is paid to this aspect of human relations. It is assumed that religion is a private matter for each individual and should, therefore, have no direct connection with the political, social aspects of life. This assumption is not justified. Islam being an egalitarian religion, is not just a personal faith, but an all-encompassing codes of values and conduct. Islam is and will be a vital factor in human relations and there is a good ground of hope that it might progressively become more effective in promoting unity and accord rather than continue to be required on the part of religious and political leaders to achieve that goal.

 In the meantime, certain verses of the Holy Quran are often mentioned to malign Islam. For example,

 The Holy Qur’an says: And when the forbidden months have passed, kill the idolaters wherever you find them and take them prisoners, and beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent and observe Prayer and pay the Zakat, then leave their way free. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. (9:5).

 The above verse does not say infidels it says idolaters. This verse, chapter 9 verse 5, is often used as evidence that Islam allows killing of non-Muslims, but what is not recognized is the context and history behind these verses. The history of this verse is that when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) began preaching the unity of God he was persecuted for 13 years, much as Prophets Abraham and Jesus were. Since Muslims who are being persecuted are encouraged to leave for safer areas, rather than create disorder, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers migrated to Medina. After they left, the Meccans attacked them in Medina on and off for a period of nine years until Chapter 9 of the Holy Qur’an was revealed.

 Looking at the context of the verses, it becomes obvious that the commandment of this verse only relates to those tribes who continued hostilities against the Muslims even after they had migrated. In particular, reference is made to 5 tribes (‘Banu Khuza’ah, Banu Mudlij, Banu Bakr, Banu Damrah, and Banu Sulaiim) that did not honor the treaties they made with Muslims. It is also important to remember that the preceding verses give these people respite for 4 months to reconsider their behavior and cease hostilities. Sadly after 4 months passed, the enemies of Islam continued their hostilities against the Muslims. Only then was Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) commanded by God to meet them in battle to defend Muslims and the religion of Islam.

 Even in this situation the Quran states that if the enemies repent of their behavior and promise to fulfill their treaties, it becomes incumbent on Muslims to cease military action and forgive them. Unfortunately those who take this specific verse out of context fail to see that as the title of the chapter Al-Taubah suggests, the main subject matter of the chapter is forgiveness and repentance.

 I quote another verse of the Holy Qur’an as below:

O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. And whoso among you takes them for friends is indeed one of them. Verily, Allah guides not the unjust people. (Chapter 5; Verse 52.)
Is it true that the Quran says not to take the Jews and Christians for friends? This verse of the Holy Quran is also used to malign Islam and its teachings. I think the biggest misconception among people is that this verse refers to Christians and Jews of all times. The truth is that in addition to commandments meant for all time, the Quran also contains specific orders to Prophet Muhammad and his followers regarding the situations they were dealing with at the time that the verses were revealed. So keeping history and context in mind is extremely important when reading the Qur’an.

There is a fallacy that the Quran commands Muslims not to be friend Jews and Christians based on Chapter 5 verse 52. If we look at the context of the verse, we see that it refers to the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when Jews and Christians were at war with Muslims. If you consider enemies at war with each other, it makes perfect sense to discourage friendships between them because of that situation. Even so, the subsequent verses 58 and 59 clarify the reasons for discouraging friendships with Jews and Christians of that time, who used to make fun of Muslims for adhering to their faith.

 The Holy Qur’an says:

O ye who believe! take not those for friends who make a jest and sport of your religion from among those who were given the Book before you, and the disbelievers. And fear Allah if you are believers. (Chapter 5: Verse 58.)

 And who, when you call people to Prayer, take it as jest and sport. That is because they are a people who do not understand. . (Chapter 5: Verse 59.)

 Interestingly, many topics in the Holy Qur’an are continued in other places for the purpose of clarification. Consider Chapter 60 verses 8-10, with the suggestion that God may bring about love between the Muslims and their enemies.

 I quote:

 It may be that Allah will bring about love between you and those of them with whom you are now at enmity; and Allah is All-Powerful; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. (Holy Qur’an: Chapter 60, verse 8.)

 Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable. (Holy Qur’an: Chapter 60, verse 9.)

 Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors. (Holy Qur’an: Chapter 60, verse 10.)

 These verses enjoin Muslims to be kind and generous towards others regardless of their religion, and that war is only permissible against hostile tribes who persecute Muslims on account of religious differences. In any case, remember that rather than creating differences, Islam teaches respect and acceptance of all prophets including Jesus and Moses, thus uniting us under one God.

 I hope it is clear now that the verse in question does not apply to the Jews and Christians of all times.

 No doubt, Muslims in the last 1400 years have committed violent acts that cannot be justified by the Holy Qur’an and Hadith (sayings of Prophet of Islam). But relying on violence to achieve political objectives under the camouflage religion is also practiced by others under the cloak of faiths. All religions contain extremist elements. The good news, however, is that the majority of the faithful believe in peaceful coexistence. This peaceful majority should combine their intellectual and spiritual resources to eradicate the extremist elements in their midst. When extremists win, humanity loses. We should work towards building bridges not erecting walls.      

 I must conclude by saying that whether peace or war, acts of terrorism are not only condemned in Islam but are also pointedly declared alien to the teachings of Islam which in fact means peace through the submission to the Will of God, the Lord of all human beings. Only through conformity to Divine laws can we hope to achieve the ideal of a secure world free of terrorism.

 

7 Responses to “Holy Qur’an – The Living Scripture”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    I disagree with this using my right to disagree and not to be attacked for my opinion.

    There are 50+ terrorist organizations in the world.

    46+ of them are ISLAMIC groups fighting in the name of Allah (PBUH).
    The remaining 4 are Tamil groups.

    It is up to Muslims to STOP these 46+ Muslim terror groups. They have FAILED to do so.

    We are NOT going to conform to DEVINE LAWS to live in peace. Whether we conform to devine laws or not, we have the RIGHT to peace.

    If Muslims didn’t kill 3 INNOCENT Jewish boys none of this bloodshed in Gaza would happen.
    If HAMAS stop firing rockets at CIVILIANS in Israel this would stop.
    But they are too stupid to understand this.

    Aluthgama is a classic case of violence by them which backfired.
    I sympathize the Jews for having to live close to DHARGA TOWN.

  2. Amarasiri Says:

    A. Abdul Aziz.

    “No doubt, Muslims in the last 1400 years have committed violent acts that cannot be justified by the Holy Qur’an and Hadith (sayings of Prophet of Islam). But relying on violence to achieve political objectives under the camouflage religion is also practiced by others under the cloak of faiths. All religions contain extremist elements. The good news, however, is that the majority of the faithful believe in peaceful coexistence. This peaceful majority should combine their intellectual and spiritual resources to eradicate the extremist elements in their midst. When extremists win, humanity loses. We should work towards building bridges not erecting walls. ”

    The viloent minority are the Wahhabis abd their offshoots Salafis, Deobsandis and Taliban. Thet are the curse of Muslims, because they follow Satan, the Devil not the Quran, the Hadith or the Sunnah of the Prophet.

    They originated from Nijad, and there is Hadith on this.

    Hadith of Najd

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

    “A number of authors have claimed that the hadith refers to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the patronym of the Wahhabi movement. It is accounted that the origin of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab is from the modern day Najd region of Saudi Arabia,[14] which happens to be the only surviving region that carried on the title of ‘Najd’ after the geographical codification regardless that there were several distinct locations known previously as ‘Najd’. This theory is generally supported by adherents to other various sects in Sunni Islam that have disdain for Wahhabism.”[

  3. Nanda Says:

    In Sri Lanka, LTTE killed 39 innocent Buddhist child Bikkhus. Government did not retaliate immediately killing thousands , shelling destroying Jaffna.
    We are a very good example of how to make peace. We are a good example to both Muslims and Jews. Not the other way around.

  4. rohanana Says:

    Abdul, It is very good quote given at the beginning “The establishment of peace and maintenance of security must be the constant objective of all Muslims”. My question to you and all Muslims is when are you going to practice this as not only in Sri Lanka but around the world what Muslims have done and are doing is opposite to this. Abdul, please go to Babile Road in Gampola and see for yourself what your Mullahs have done in the name of your creator and law maker Allah. Then go to Akurana and tell me how many Sri Lankan laws have they broke and make life miserable for others. Why Muslims have broken the law and built businesses and houses on Paddy fields in Gampola. Why $ Mosques in Gampola built close to each other screams at 0430 in the morning disturbing babies, school children, Sick people and old people belonging to Sinhala, and Tamil races who needs a good sleep. Is this what you called Peaceful religion? I have a Koran given to me by my Muslim friend, and I want to clarify with you or any other Muslim the following. Before I make my own decision I would like to hear from a Muslims the real meaning and not the “it is interpreted incorrectly”. If that is so Koran is wrong as it is giving misleading messages. Is the creator of yours going to punish these people who are doing the wrong things like printing the wrong Koran, importing and selling Drugs like Gampola Furukkhan? The versus I want to clarify are: Quran (8:12) (2:191-193) (2:216) (4:95) (9:5) (9:73) Verse 7:176 Verse 7:179 (4:144). (2:191) (4:89) (2:191) (9:123) (9:5) (9:29) (3:85) (9:30) (5:33) (9:28) (22:19) (47:4) (8:65) (3:28) (8:12) (8:60). Thank you Abdul

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda,

    NOT TRUE according to Tamils.

    Arathalawa attack happened on 2 June 1987.

    On 3 June 1987 Operation Liberation phase 2 started.

    SL was winning Operation Liberation phase 2 when the bloody Endians invaded SL in July 1987. (Endians dropped food on June 3 but that didn’t stop the operation.) According to Tamils of Jaffna, Tamils had no food until Endians dropped food!!

    According to Tamils a Jaffna kovil was shelled (most likely accidently) during this time killing 40 Tamils.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Anvar Manatunga,

    The problem is ISLAM. There is little difference between Wahabis, Sufis, Salafis, Shias and others.

    Read Koran verses.

    (8:12) (2:191-193) (2:216) (4:95) (9:5) (9:73) Verse 7:176 Verse 7:179 (4:144). (2:191) (4:89) (2:191) (9:123) (9:5) (9:29) (3:85) (9:30) (5:33) (9:28) (22:19) (47:4) (8:65) (3:28) (8:12) (8:60).

    These are common to all Islam versions.

    I would love to hear Ahamadi sect scholars DENOUNCING these hateful verses. Then I will change my mind.

  7. Wickrama Says:

    “All power belongs to Allah (2:166).

    And man is weak, as is said:

    … for man has been created weak (4:29)”

    Why did allah create man WEAK ?
    WHY? WHY? WHY???

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