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From the Archive
Paradise Is Neither Faraway Nor Too Easy to Attain
When Soldiers Oppress The Unarmed Egyptian Nation, One Should Say: Poor, Poor Egypt!
"We Sent You Only Universally to All People, a Herald and Warner, but Most People Do Not Know." (Quran 34:28)
Democratic Islam and Muslims' Tyranny
Blessing is the Land of the US.
The Veritable Danger Posed by Wahabism to the World Requires the Immediate Elimination of Wahabism
An Interview by Shabaket Masr 24 Website with Dr. A. S. Mansour
The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (1)
Somalia's Piracy Compromises Its Neighbors
Fatwas: Part Forty-Six
The Criteria of the Islamic Fatwa
"...But God Cleared him of What They Said..." (Quran 33:69): About Lies and Falsehoods Invented by Hadiths-Fabricators about Moses
Leçons tirées du massacre de la Nouvelle-Zélande: Les faibles qui sont injustes envers eux-mêmes et le Seigneur Dieu
From the Arab invasion to the Arab spring
On Matters of Inheritance
Third part: Aspects of war of ideas : 4 Weapons of war of ideas
MATIERE A REFLEXION
This Great Egyptian-American Lady
Fatwas Part One-Hundred-and-Sixteen
Fatwas: Part Forty-Five
Two quite different books look at belief and practice
Islamic state, or state of Islam?
By: - Mike Ghouse

Aisha Sherazi has rightly pointed out the issues we have not dealt with, Insha Allah; I will make an attempt to responds to a few issues;



She writes “Which brings me to my initial point. If interpretation is everything in faith, how do we know we are on the right track and not being led astray?”



Let me begin with this statement “To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence.” Indeed that is the purpose of all religions; to cause societies to practice justice and bring about peaceful co-existence. That is the bottom line message of God to keep his creation in balance per Qur’aan, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware." Good conduct is that which removes conflict and causes peaceful co-existence.



If we can understand our faith from the above perspective then going astray would mean going away from the state of peaceful existence. The biggest hurdle is based in human weakness (regardless of what religion you subscribe to) of believing that my way is the best way while denying others their divinity. The vociferous Muslims (or vociferous from any faith) among us do not have the stomach to do their jihad and subdue arrogance. If we do that, then we cannot go astray. Arrogance and spirituality are inversely proportional.



The Islamic technicians of the past have reduced Islam to rituals without giving value to the essence of Islam – submitting to the will of God, which is peaceful existence. We are conditioned to see the practitioners of Islam in rituals, lack of it is automatic declaration of being a non-Muslim, and even a small deviation is not acceptable. It is a pity to see the Universal, all times Islam reduced to rituals.



If we can work on the above statement and develop a consensus, accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the Seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. The moderates among us need to have the passion to speak up and define the guidelines of what is the right track, that can apply to every human on the earth whether one subscribes to Islam (as given) or not. After all, God is not the exclusive property of any one and all religions make a point to say that God is one and that he is the God of everything we can perceive, imagine and see.



Tarek Fatah expresses the wisdom of religion well “Fatah argues that the only viable route is to separate religion from political affairs.” Indeed, we need to separate these two. Much of the conflict emanates from managing the resources (political) and fear that some one may deny you the right and may tempt one to pre-empt in denying other’s right. Religion (Islam or otherwise) teaches one to practice Justice and also shares the idea that everything is owned by God, as we did not bring it with us when we were born nor are we going to take with us.



I am yet to read the book, but agree with him when “he urges Muslims to seek a "state of Islam" within them”. Each one of us has a different approach to solutions, Fatah is confrontational and that approach simply reduces his embrace of possibly a larger audience. He may want to re-consider that. If we want to bring a change, we need to bring more people into our envelope.

<ly viable route is to separate religion from political affairs.” Indeed, we need to separate these two. Much of the conflict emanates from managing the resources (political) and fear that some one may deny you the right and may tempt one to pre-empt in denying other’s right. Religion (Islam or otherwise) teaches one to practice Justice and also shares the idea that everything is owned by God, as we did not bring it with us when we were born nor are we going to take with us.



I am yet to read the book, but agree with him when “he urges Muslims to seek a "state of Islam" within them”. Each one of us has a different approach to solutions, Fatah is confrontational and that approach simply reduces his embrace of possibly a larger audience. He may want to re-consider that. If we want to bring a change, we need to bring more people into our envelope.



Aisha writes “I was even to see some Muslims carry out atrocities in the name of God.” It is human to make mistakes, you will find same percentage of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus or others carry out atrocities in the name of God. It is wrong to single out Muslims, all are guilty. In fact, the idea of – 1/10th of 1% of all people, however you categorize them are extremists, may have some validity.



The comment by Aisha’s Imam “Islam as a religion is perfect. But some Muslim people can be terrible!" Could have been wiser, “every religion intends to bring goodness, some followers are wicked” Some Muslims are terrible so are “some people of all faiths”. Bottom line: You are individually responsible for your acts, today, tomorrow and on the day of judgment.





Turning to Farazana’s book: Indeed, the Neocons are preempting Armageddon. Neocons are as relevant to the teachings of the Christ as the Islamists are to the Prophet Muhammad's teachings. Neither group understands the essence of the religion, instead they thrive on fear and are driven by an imaginary conquest.



The introduction by Dr. Akbar Ahmed is a huge endorsement of Farzana's work.



I have admired the articles and work of Farzana Hassan, president of the Muslim Canadian Congress who has taken a firm stand on moderation in approach that the Prophet taught, I hope and pray more and more Muslims join her in her Jihad to keep Islam pristine, simple, all embracing and peaceful



Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. He is the founder of the World Muslim Congress, a group committed to building bridges and nurturing a world of co-existence. He also heads the foundation for pluralism, an organization committed to studying religious pluralism and pluralistic governance. His personal website is http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and his writings are on the above websites as well as several of the ancillary Blogs listed on the sites.


 


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