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Islam

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Context matters: Cherry picking religious scriptures leads to misconceptions

Violence

On the relationship between Islam and violence, there are both passionate confessions "Islam is peace" and angry responses on it, that was a lie.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad[wp] held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community[wp] in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London on 24th February 1990 a lecture entitled Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues. This presentation has been greatly enhanced issued as a book.[1]

In regard of Islam's contribution to world peace, he says:

Quote: «The word Islam literally means peace. In this single word, all islamic teachings and attitudes are most beautifully and concisely reflected. Islam is a religion of peace. Its teachings guarantee peace in every sphere of human interest and aspiration.» - Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues, p. 4

He claimed for Islam to have the mission and to own the ability to unite humanity under his leadership.

Quote: «Clearly, Islam does entertain such ambitions. By way of prophecy, the Holy Quran declares that Islam is destined to emerge one day as the sole religion of mankind.
"He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of the truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, even if those who associate partners with God do not like it." (Sura 61, Verse 10)» - Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues, p. 30

He then turns to the question of how it is possible that a religion with such a claim still excites no offense.

Quote: «No religion with a universal message and global ambitions to unite mankind under one flag can even momentarily entertain the idea of employing force to spread its message.
"Swords can win territories but not hearts.
Force can bend heads but not minds."

Islam does not permit the use of force as an instrument for the spread of its Message. It declares:

"There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong." (Sura 2, Verse 257)

So there is no need for any coercion. Leave it to man to determine where the truth belongs. Addressing the Holy Foundersa of Islam, God clearly warns him of entertaining any idea of force in an attempt to reform society. His status as reformer is made very clear in the following verse:

"Admonish, therefore, for thou art but an admonisher; thou hast no authority to compel them." (Sura 88, Verse 22-23)

Further developing the same theme, Prophet Muhammad, is reminded:

"But if they turn away, We have not sent thee as a guardian over them. Thy duty is only to convey the Message. Leave it to God to make the Message effective." (Sure 42, Vers 49)

Even if a struggle develops in the process of the propagation of the new ideology and violent reaction ensues, then Islam strongly exhorts its adherents to show patience and perseverance and avoid conflict as much as possible. This is why wherever a Muslim is admonished to deliver the Message of Islam to the world at large; a clear-cut code of conduct is laid out for him. [...]

"all unto the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in a way that is best. Surely, thy Lord knows best who has strayed from His way; and He also knows who are rightly guided." (Sura 16, Verse 126)
"Repel evil with that which is best. We know very well what they allege." (Sura 23, Verse 97)

Here, ahsan means the best, most attractive and something beautiful. Describing a code of conduct under which the believers deliver the Message, the Holy Quran has the following comments:

"We call to witness that age when man as a whole would be in a state of loss, except those who believe and do righteous deeds and deliver Truth in a manner that is also truthful. They exhort patience while they themselves exercise patience." (Sure 103, Verse 2-4)
"Then he should have been of those who believe and exhort one another to exercise patience while they do the same themselves and they exhort one another to be considerate and merciful to others while they themselves are considerate and merciful." (Sure 90, Verse 18)» - Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues, pp. 31-34[2]

References

  1. Mirza Tahir Ahmad[wp]: Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues, Islam International Publications Ldt., First edition 1992, used edition 2007, ISBN 1-85372-888-8
  2. Quoted from: Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues, Islam International Publications Ldt., First edition 1992, third edition 2012, ISBN 1-85372-888-8, pp. 31-34
    Pdf-icon-extern.svg Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues[ext] - edition 2007 (pp. 31-34)