Commentary by Imam Abbas
My heart cries for the Faithful and most especially for those who are Muslims or claim to be Muslims. What makes my heart cry is all of the hatred, fanaticism, killing, and violence that I see committed in the world today in the name of Islam. But, before I continue I want to point out two very important teachings for the Holy Qur’an.
“Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all mankind, and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all mankind.” (Sura 5:32)
“….and do not kill yourselves for surely Allah is merciful to you. And whoever does this aggressively and unjustly, We will soon cast him into fire, and this is easy for Allah.” (Sura 4: 29-30)
Sadly, when most people now think of Islam and Muslims they equate both with murder, suicide, and terrorism. In fact, many people assume that all Muslims are terrorists which, frankly, is far from the truth. ISIS (the so called Islamic State) has now taken center stage and that’s all we hear about now in the media when it comes to Islam and Muslims. What is seldom spoken of, however, is that ISIS fighters engage in rampant sex using women as mere sex slaves and executing those women who refuse. They make their own homemade cocaine and other drugs and think nothing of killing people. The truth about ISIS is that its young fighters are being manipulated by the self-proclaimed Imam Baghdadi and his cohorts! These young fighters are ignorant and living in a state of idolatry and sin! They are clearly being put on the wrong path! They are taught by Baghdadi and his cohorts to be merciless, cruel, and brutal which just happen to be the opposite values of what the Qur’an teaches and demands of Muslims! Young, easily influenced, lured in by unlimited sex and drugs, these young people are uninformed and badly in need of being educated by true Muslims who not only know the true values of Islam but live those values.
There was a time in Islamic history when things like we see going on today were not so. In that time, not so long ago, Europe was in the Dark Ages while Muslim nations were at a peak in civilization, science, and technology. Muslim physicians, medical schools, and universities were renowned for their intellectualism and scientific advances. The great Muslim physician and scholar ibn-Sina was writing his treaties which were the most detailed and scientific medical texts of the time and which are still referred to in modern medicine. Muslim scholars were making advances in astronomy, engineering, and other sciences and in most Muslim lands people lived in peace and in prosperity.
In that time Muslim, Christians, and Jews lived in peace and tolerance. When some of the followers of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) fled Arabia they found refuge and safety in the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia and when their enemies demanded that the Ethiopians hand them over the Christian king of Ethiopia refused. When Islam began to spread out of Arabia it spread to Syria among other places. But, the Muslims had no mosque in Damascus. There was a large Christian church there, however, and for a long while the Christians shared their church with the Jews in the area so that the church was both a church and synagogue. When the Muslims came into Damascus the Christians invited them to also use the church and the church that was already both a church and synagogue also became a Mosque with Muslims using it on Fridays, Jews on Saturdays, and Christians on Sundays. The Jew eventually built their own synagogue in Damascus and the Christians built a new church and gave the old church to the Muslims of Damascus. That church today is the Grand Mosque in Damascus, Syria which still stands!
Can you imagine the tolerance and cooperation between those Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Damascus at that time? Can you imagine the respect they had for each other? These people all worshiped the same God Creator and they saw each other as People of the Book. In fact, the respect and tolerance they shared was so great that they even sometimes took part in each others religious celebrations and feasts! Could such a thing happen in today’s world between Muslims, Christians, and Jews? Sadly, I have to say “no” because since that time a lot of hatred between the three has been born. And I also have to say that ALL are guilty of atrocity not simply one of these faiths!
When Spain expelled the Muslims from Andalusia the Christians in Spain also persecuted the Jews there. The Jews fled and they were rescued by a Muslim Navy and taken to North Africa where they found refuge from further persecution. Could such a thing happen today? Would a Muslim Navy rescue persecuted Jews in some foreign land? I highly doubt it because hatred has been sown between the People of the Book which are Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
The Qur’an teaches that a true Muslim is to respect the houses of worship of the People of the Book. That means that a true Muslim is to respect and not destroy a Mosque, Church, or Synagogue because they are all places in which the one true God is worshiped. Yet, even as I speak Mosques, Churches, and Synagogues are being desecrated and destroyed around the world by Muslims, Christians, and Jews! The People of the Book who once tolerated each others faith and respected one another have fallen into a pit of spite and hatred for each other and in doing so we have all done exactly what Satan wants us to do! This hatred that we have for each other has played right into Satan’s hands! Muslims, Christians, and Jews have been very ignorant in this and now we are ALL paying the price for this falling into Satan’s hand!
When Europe was in the Dark Ages Muslim scholars were busy translating all of the ancient Greek scholarly texts into Arabic and they were being used as teaching texts in Islamic universities across the Middle East. Some of the Greek texts were later lost or destroyed by Europeans and the only remaining copies were those that Muslim scholars had translated into Arabic! As Europeans became to come out of the Dark Ages they acquired Muslims inventions which helped to speed up the emergence of Europe out of those Dark Ages and spurred it into a new Renaissance! Again Muslims, Christians, and Jews were helping one another and these are just a few examples in a long history of the people of the three faiths helping each other, respecting each other, and tolerating each others religions! My heart cries because I don’t see this happening today. Instead all I see is hatred, killing, and intolerance between all of the People of the Book!
The two verses I mentioned earlier from the Qur’an are very important not only for Muslims but also for Christians and Jews. The first verse makes it plain that MURDER IS A SIN in Islam! In the eyes of God (Allah) if you kill another person then it is as if you have killed the whole of humanity. How come the extremists don’t know this? Or do they just ignore the teachings of the Qur’an and pick and choose?
The second verse makes it clear that killing oneself (suicide) is also a SIN in Islam! How come all those fanatic suicide bombers don’t know this? I’m sure those who manipulate them into such a thing know what the Qur’an teaches about suicide but they ignore it. In fact, the leaders and manipulators of youth today seem to ignore A LOT of what the Qur’an teaches! They pick and choose and ignore the rest! Don’t they know they will be held to account by Allah? They think by committing these sins that they are going to enter into Paradise BUT the QUR’AN makes it clear that they ARE NOT!! In fact, it makes it clear that they are going to enter into HELL for ETERNITY!!
Islam has been hijacked! Mass murderers and men of EVIL are committing horrible things in the name of Islam all over the world! They are doing the work of SATAN not of ALLAH! They are using ISLAM as a mask to cover their sins! But, as the Qur’an also teaches, “Allah sees all things….even those things which you do in private.” These terrorists seem to think Allah is blind. They seem to think that He doesn’t see the things they do in private. How WRONG they are!!
The Qur’an sets forth some very definite values for Muslims and, in fact, those values could not be more clear. Those values are peace, tolerance, respect, intelligence, faithfulness, devotion, humbleness, and love and respect for ALL LIFE especially that of your fellow human being! The values held by and taught by people like ISIS and Baghdadi are ABSOLUTELY CONTRARY to those values taught in the Qur’an and for the true Muslim this too is very clear!
I hear people asking why don’t Muslims speak out against the terrorists. Well WE ARE! The problem is we get NO coverage in the mainstream media and if we do it is only very short. The MSM focuses most of their time on the terrorists and radical “Islam” which, in fact, is NOT even ISLAM at all!! That not only makes my heart cry but it also makes me mad because the MSM is slanting things and NOT reporting the full picture or whole story! The fact is that radicals and terrorists represent only a FRACTION of Muslims but you’d never know it by listening to the MSM. In fact, listening to them makes one think that all Muslims must be radical and terrorists! And so the MSM helps to spread the hatred and intolerance among the People of the Book and others and this makes my heart cry also.
Many atrocities have been committed in the name of Islam. Realize also, however, that many atrocities have also been committed in the name of Christianity and Judaism. The People of the Book have played right into Satan’s hands! He doesn’t want us united on anything! He doesn’t want us to love, respect, and tolerate each other nor cooperate with each other! He is the enemy of God (Allah)! Anything he can do to put and keep the People of the Book at each others throats he will do and/or inspire among humans! And HE DOES!
We have all been FOOLS be we Muslims, Christians, or Jews! Fools because we have fallen head over heels into the trap set for us by Satan in this world! Instead of acting intelligently we have acted ignorantly. Instead of seeking guidance in God’s Word in the Qur’an, Gospels, and Torah we have followed blindness and darkness! We have acted foolishly! We have erred! We have ALL SINNED be we Muslim, Christian, or Jew! And our hate for each other along with our lack of respect for one another PROVES our SIN!
So what are the People of the Book (Muslim, Christian, and Jew) to do now?
The first thing all Muslims, Christians, and Jews must do is to ask God to forgive our sins. Allah is Merciful and He is Forgiving! But, let us not test Allah nor push Him to the limits! When we ask God to forgive our sins we must then correct them and that means no longer engaging in them. That means, simply, we STOP ENGAGING IN THE HATE!! That means we return to the true values Allah wants us to hold and practice. Peace, tolerance, love, mercy, intelligence, and respect for one another. These are the values God wants every person among the People of the Book who is truly faithful to hold and to LIVE daily. If we don’t do this then we continue to pile sin atop sin and we will find ourselves destined to Hell. It’s that plain and that simple.
My heart cries for the faithful. For Muslim, Christian, and Jew. Where does this hate all end? Where does all this killing end? The answer to those questions lies within each and every one of us! But, that answer cannot be found without asking Allah for mercy and forgiveness and correcting our sin by REFUSING to be a part of that hate!
I have hope! Hope that one day Muslims, Christians, and Jews will return to the respect, love, and tolerance we once had for each other. Then, and only then, will we truly be People of the Book! Then and only then will Allah bless us ALL! And, then and only then, will humanity realize our true potential and begin to do the things God wants us to do so that we all might become something MORE….something HIGHER than we are now!!