Islam is not a religion of peace
Most of the mainstream Newspapers of Bangladesh have
published in their issues of September 23, 2005, a news item with the headline
“Political double standards must stop to end global terrorism.” The demand
to shun political double standards to end global terrorism was raised in a
seminar held in
. The seminar was titled “Islam: Religion of Peace, Progress and Harmony;
: Model of a Moderate Muslim Nation” Many local and regional intellectuals and
Muslim scholars took part in this seminar.
All the participants of the seminar declared that “Islam
is a treasure of peace and doctrine of disciplines; everybody should understand
Islam as a religion promoting peace and progress.” This was, in my judgment,
the catch phrase that has induced most of the newspapers of
to print it on their front pages.
But is Islam really a treasure of peace and doctrine of
disciplines? Does it promote progress?
To find out answers to the above questions, we need to
investigate how and why Islam was founded and also, if its doctrines, as
outlined in the Quran, promote peace and progress among Muslims and the
practitioners of other faiths. Since delving in all the details would become
voluminous, I am restricting myself to some of the salient features of Islam
with the hope that those readers who are desirous of learning more about this
faith and its doctrines would satisfy their inquisitiveness by carrying out
their own research on them.
Contrary to the general belief, the religion of Islam was
not intended for the people of the entire world. The fact that the Prophet
Muhammad had launched his movement to dislodge the Quraish priests from the
highly profitable posts of the Ka’aba, and to have them reallocated to himself
and to his followers is inferable from the Quran itself. His aforesaid attempt
was akin to the attempt that Jesus Christ had made for removing the Jewish
rabbis from the top priestly positions they held in the temples of Jerusalem.
On the territorial limitation of the Prophet’s movement,
the Quran says:
“Thus have We sent by inspiration to thee an Arabic
Quran: that thou mayest warn the Mother of Cities [i.e. Mecca] and around her,
- and warn (them) of the Day of Assembly, of which there is no doubt: (when)
some will be in the Garden, and some in the Blazing Fire (42:7).
The above stipulation of the Quran is reinforced by another
verse in which it is stated:
“For me, I have been commanded to serve the Lord of
this City [i.e. Mecca], Him Who has sanctified it and to Whom (belong) all
things: and I am commanded to be of those who bow in Islam to Allah’s Will,
It is clear from the above two verses of the Quran that the
scope and the purpose of Islam were limited to the City of Mecca and that it was
an unnamed Deity who had commanded the Prophet Muhammad to serve the Lord [i.e.
Allah] of Mecca, who had sanctified it and to whom belonged all the things that
this City contained at that time.
Maulana Abul Ala Mududi’s comment on verse 27:91 is
succinct. He says:
“Finally, the sura addresses itself to the excuse often
put forward by the Meccan unbelievers. They argued that if they accepted the
new, monotheistic Faith and abandon their old polytheistic religion, they
would lose their religious, political and social ascendancy among the Arabs.
The result of embracing the new Faith would be that, far from remaining the
most powerful tribe in Arabia, they would be reduced to a tribe devoid of
power and standing and be deprived of security and protection. This was the
real reason behind the Quraysh nobility’s non-acceptance of Islam. ..
(Towards Understanding the Quran; Vol. 7, p. 194).
Islam’s original purpose, scope, intention and design
changed after the Prophet’s migration to Medina. Here, he saw a different
prospect for his creed. Here, he found a group of people he could make pay him
with their life and wealth for refusing to accept his Islamic doctrines. And
these people were the rich Jews of Medina whose other offence was that they
exercised great influence on the Pagans of this City.
In order to subdue the Meccan Pagans and the Jews of Medina
and its neighborhood, the Prophet of Islam launched over one hundred raids and
expeditions. He personally took part in twenty-seven of them. He tried to loot a
peaceful and unarmed caravan of the Meccans (cf. Quran; 3:13; and also see
Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s comment 352, The Holy Quran, Vol. 1. p. 125). He fought
three major battles against the Meccan Pagans and these were the battles of Badr,
Ditch and of Uhud.
Muhammad had launched all the raids and expeditions and
fought all the battles not only to spread Islam but also to kill and plunder his
enemies as well as to enslave their women for his and his followers’ sexual
pleasure. On deriving sexual pleasure from the slaves (who are referred to in
the Quran as “the possession of the Muslims’ right hands”), the Muslims’
Holy Book says:
“O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to
whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possess out of
the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy
paternal uncles and aunts, and the daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts,
who migrated (from Mecca) with thee; and any believing women who dedicates her
soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her; - this only for thee and
not for the believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as
to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess; - in order
that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most
Merciful” (Quran; 33:50).
The fact that Islam had become a dominant force in the
Arabian Peninsula through murder, loot and enslavement negates all the claims we
now hear from Muslims and their scholars. A doctrine that took birth in such a
violent manner can neither be a peaceful one, nor its application at any time
and at any place can be defended by anyone who has some elements of intelligence
and common sense.
Intolerance towards non-Muslims was one of the important
characteristics of the Prophet of Islam. On the authority of Ubaydullah b.
Abdullah b. Utba b. Masud tells us the following: “The only dispositions that
the Apostle made at his death were three: He bequeathed to the Rahawis land
which produced a hundred loads in Khaybar, to the Dariyis, the Sabais, and the
Asharis the same. He also gave instructions that the mission of Usama bin Zayd
b. Haritha should be carried through and that two religions should not be
allowed to remain in the Peninsula of the Arabs” (Sirat Rasulallah, p. 523).
It is in keeping with the Prophet’s instruction from his
deathbed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not permit any religion other
than Islam to exist on its soil. The fact, being what I have briefly stated
above, does not support the claim made by all Muslims and their scholars. Their
claims are simply untrue and baseless.
Put in a nutshell: Islam is not tolerant of other
religions. Therefore, to claim that it is a religion of peace and harmony is
Muslims of all hues and backgrounds claim that Bangladesh
is a moderate Islamic country. It is not true, as was the claim of the
Bangladesh government on the existence of Islamic terrorists on its soil.
Despite the fact that a large number of observers, both local and international,
had always drawn the government’s attention to the looming threats it faced
from the Islamic terrorists, almost all political leaders of the country,
including its Prime Minister, brushed them aside with the proclamation that due
to the very nature of Islam, no Muslim could ever take up terrorism as a tool to
achieve their political and economic goals. The events of August 17, 2005 proved
that most, if not all, of the Bangladeshi leaders were liars. They are now
trying to apprehend those criminals whose existence they never acknowledged
until the Islamic terrorists knocked at their doors with their Islamic bombs.
Like the Bangladeshi political leaders, Muslim scholars
have also been disseminating lies in order to prove that Bangladesh is a
moderate nation. I would have taken their claim as being a credible one, if they
had also declared that Muslims do not need to rely on the Quran and that what
are stated in it were meant for the time it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. A
Muslim leader cannot be a moderate leader or turn his or her country into a
moderate nation, if that leader is a good Muslim. Here is the reason based on
which I have made the above statement:
The Quran says:
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day,
nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle,
nor acknowledge the religion of Truth [i.e. Islam] (even if they are) of the
People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel
themselves subdued" (9:29).
Through the above revelation, Allah has made it compulsory
for the Muslim leaders to fight the non-Muslims until they acknowledge Islam and
to agree to pay higher taxes with willing submission (to Islam) and feel
themselves subdued (dhimmitude is the other name of “subduedness”).
In the light of the above stipulation of the Quran, one
must wonder: how can people, having even a little bit of common sense, ever
claim that Islam promotes equality, moderation, tolerance and peace?