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Javed Ahmad Ghamidi and Khalid Zaheer vs. Ali Sina

 Part XIII

 

Dr. Zaheer sent this message 17 hours ago, but I am checking the mail box only now. I have not yet read it but as I promised him, I am publishing it right away. I will try to respond tomorrow or day after that. 

Ali Sina 

The following message in reproduced in its entirety in the next page where it is answered piece by piece. 

 

February 4, 2007

Dear Mr Ali Sina

The good thing about the new scheme of our debate is that I, despite being otherwise very slow in responding, have been able to write a message within a week’s deadline available to me according to the new rules.

I must say however, that I am both amazed and slightly disappointed at your quick, almost immediate responses to my messages. The problem with your swiftness in responding is that it doesn’t allow you any time to digest my point of view. Even if  I  was to take your word that my view is completely unworthy of your consideration, you still need to spend some time thinking about it. My immediate response to what you  write normally is that most of your stuff is either based on such misunderstanding that emerges from incorrect information or you are so exceedingly enraged at Muslims, in some cases for good reasons, that your emotions have the better of your intellect when you are reading my stuff and when responding to it. However, my problem (well, privilege) is that I am bound by the Qur’an, God’s word, to listen to (and read) carefully and then to follow what is good in it. “Good believers are those who listen carefully to what is said and follow what is good in it.” (39:18) “(The servants of the Compassionate God) are the people who when they are reminded through the verses of their Lord, they don’t pounce upon them deaf and blind.” (25:73)

Your habit of cutting into pieces my answers is problematic. You seem to believe that a building, for instance, is nothing but the total of all the raw material that it comprises of. I believe the total of all these parts in one structure is much more than its parts broken into pieces. You simply cannot compare the two. I would therefore, request you that you trust the memory of your readers and discontinue with the approach of cutting and answering. Let the readers have a full picture of what you and I say separately and then decide.

You have talked about the fact in one of your earlier messages that Muhammad and Jesus, may God shower His mercy on both of them, couldn’t have come from the same God. I am giving a brief test for the readers to decide which of the following passages has come in your opinion through Jesus and which one from Muhammad. Take the first one:  “Don’t think that I have come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Now take the other one: “Listen, good behaviour can’t be the same as the bad one. So repel (bad behaviour) with an attitude that is good, and what you will find is that, as a result, the one with whom you had enmity has become your bosom friend. And this (behaviour) can’t emerge from anyone except those who are patient; and this (behaviour) can’t emerge from anyone except those who are most fortunate. And if Satan whispers in your heart (something to dissuade from it) then seek refuge in God; indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” It may come as a surprise to some you that the first passage is from the Bible (Gospel of Matthew; 10:34) and next one is from the Qur’an (41:34-36).

Of course, you can claim that there are many verses in the Qur’an which talk about the fact that Muslims should fight the disbelievers and kill them. It was to help you understand the true meanings of such verses that I sent you the proper context of them through the meanings clarified of them by Mr Ghamidi. It would indeed be a gross misrepresentation of the constitution of a country if a person starts propagating that it promotes the killing of people even though the only mention of killing in the constitution is where the punishment of a murderer has been written. The possibility of killings mentioned in the Qur’an are either meant for those who were guilty of murder, or causing mischief on earth, or those who were declared unworthy of living in this world anymore after they had denied the clearly communicated and understood message from God. The same punishment was meted out through the great flood to the people who denied Noah. The only difference was that whereas in the case of Noah it came in the form of natural calamity, in the case of Muhammad and his followers it came through the swords of his companions. Had Jesus survived in the company of a large group of followers, his disbelievers would have met with the same fate. In his case however, the punishment took the form of subjugation of Jews, his rejecters, to the Christians, his believers, for all times to come. In fact, the same law applied in the case of Moses as well. And why should it not apply to all of them? After all, they all come from the same God.

You have mentioned that you were able to point out many fallacies in the Qur’an which I couldn’t respond to properly. I frankly don’t remember any. You raised a naďve criticism on the use of different pronouns in the Qur’an for God, and I had to tell you that there was something lacking in your understanding of how pronouns are used in the classical literature. You pointed out that the concept of intercession in the Qur’an negates the knowledge and mercy of God. I had to help you understand that it wasn’t a negation of any of His attributes. It was only a case of God’s mercy reaching some less-deserving people in a different way.

You mentioned that the beginning letters of many Qur’anic surahs didn’t make any sense. I will give you an example to tell you why in this case too your objection is wrong. There is a Qur’anic surah (chapter 68) that begins with an Arabic letter ‘Nun’. The same letter is also an Arabic word which means fish. The brief surah mentions prophet Jonah who was swallowed by a fish. Doesn’t it make sense that a chapter begins by a symbolic mention of something that is later discussed in its contents?

I don’t have a great deal of difference of opinion with you on the fact that the present-day Muslims are performing poorly. However, the attitude of Muslims has nothing to do with Islam. A vast majority of Muslims never entered their faith through a process of proper investigation. They are free, like all other humans, to behave the way they want to. They have no special privilege in the eyes of God on being born Muslims. If they will perform well, they will get rewarded; if they will not, God will not spare them simply because they were Muslims. The Qur’an says: “It is neither (O Muslims) your wishful thinking (which is going to matter) nor the wishful thinking of the people of the book (i.e. Jews and Christians); whoever does anything wrong, he will get punished for it, and he will not find besides Allah a protector or a helper.” (Qur’an; 4:123)

Khalid Zaheer

(Words: 1198)

 

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