The prophet Muhammad was a religious and political figure whose mission was to unite the various tribes of the Arabian peninsula specifically, and the whole world generally, under one religion.  As an example for the world to follow, the life and decisions of the Prophet Muhammad are those from which much benefit and wisdom may be drawn.  From the time of revelation, the Prophet lived a life under the direct supervision of the Creator.  Thus he was under protection of God from committing any error in portraying the religion and correct way of life.  His each and every action is one which ought to be emulated, as God himself said about him:

“Indeed you are upon a high moral standard of character.”

The Prophet was a man bent upon a mission, and his concerns were not those of other ordinary humans.  For these reasons, one must look into the reasoning why the Prophet took certain decisions during the course of his life.  Though some of them may seem easily applicable, others may be unfamiliar to this day and age.  Consequently, taking things from his life at face value may lead one to draw false conclusions without any basis or evidence.

One of those facets of the life of the Prophet which is often misunderstood, or quite frankly misconstrued, is the fact that he had contracted a number of marriages in the course of his lifetime.  In order to understand the wisdom in this, one must do a case study of the various factors which surrounded this decision.  Only then can a proper conclusion be made based upon them.

The domestic life of the Prophet can be divided into four stages.

The First Stage

The first twenty five years of his life were a period of celibacy.  Youth is normally the stage of life when people get reckless, when the passions stirred in adolescence run wild because self-control is not yet learnt.  Moreover, at the period of time he lived in, Arab society did not restrict sexual relations.  Yet, he led a chaste, pure life earning him the title of ‘Ameen,’ ‘the trustworthy.’  A man who can control himself as a young adult is much more likely to keep self control in old age.

The Second Stage

When he eventually married, it was not to a young virgin, junior to him.  Instead, after spending 25 celibate years, his first wife, Khadeejah, was 40 years of age and married twice before.  They stayed happily married for twenty five years until she died, and he did not marry anyone else during that period.  After he received the first revelation, she was the first person to believe in him as a Prophet of God.  Can there be a greater testimony than a wife fifteen years older than her husband being the first one to believe in his calling?

He also had every reason to marry another wife while he was married to her:

First, although she gave him three daughters, Khadeejah did not bear him any male children who survived infancy.  In a society that practiced female infanticide due to their preference for male infants, this was indeed a hard trial.  His adversaries even jeered at him after the death of his second son.  God, however, repudiated them,

“Surely he that insults you will himself remain childless.” (Quran 108:3)

Second, he was an extraordinarily handsome man.  One of his companions described him,

‘I began to look at him and at the moon, he was wearing a red mantle, and he appeared to be more beautiful than the moon to me.’ Al-Tirmidhi

Third, polygamy was widespread and socially acceptable to women at the time.  There were no social barriers preventing him from taking another wife.  He could have easily married a younger, more beautiful, woman had he so chosen, but he did not.  Furthermore, when pressured to remarry after Khadeejah's death, he chose another widow.

Fourth, the pagans of Mecca offered him wealth, trappings of gold and silver, leadership, and even marriage to their most beautiful women only if he would stop preaching; but he refused.  He said,

“Even if they set against me the sun on my right and the moon on my left, I will not abandon my purpose until God grants me success or until I die.” Al-Serah Al-Nabaweyyah, Ibn Hesham, vol. 1, pp. 265-266

Could this be the reply of a man given to the call of his flesh, or one given to the call of God?

The Third Stage

After passing the prime of his life (physically), he contracted marriages to more than one wife from the period 2 A.H. - 7 A.H. (623-628 CE).  This happened between the ages of 55 and 60, and all of the marriages were contracted for unselfish reasons.  These were years of wars for the nascent Muslim nation, when Muslims had to fight in self-defense to protect their lives and the religion.  Consequently, hundreds of his companions were killed, leaving behind widows and orphans without anyone left to care for them.  Prophet Muhammad set an example for the surviving companions to remarry the widows in order to support them, so most of his wives were widows.  If sheer lust was the motive, the choice would not have been widows or divorcees.

The Prophet Muhammad did marry one virgin, Aisha, who was very young.  This marriage is the one that causes the most controversy among critics who impute immorality in the character of the Prophet due to this. He married her on the request of her father, Abu Bakr, who was his closest and earliest follower outside the family.  Abu Bakr was the first among the companions in the Prophet's esteem, and his most trusted ally.  With him he shared the dangerous flight to Medina.  Why would he gratuitously offend such an ally by refusing his request?  Aisha is also the source of much of what we know of the Prophet's Sunnah, without which the legacy left by him would be so much poorer.  Also, the Prophet was fulfilling a commandment of God, which is to marry those who are ready to marry as soon as they are ready.  The consummation, or full wedding (nikah), was three years after the contractual arrangement (engagement), when she was fully mature.  As a child, she lived in her father's house, where Muhammad would visit, often joining in with her play with dolls.

Another reason behind his marriages was to cement alliances.  By marrying into the families of key allies and vanquished enemies, he laid the ground work for cooperation between Muslims of different tribes.  None of the wives the Prophet married after Aisha compared with her in youth, intelligence or desire to learn, but all of them contributed in other ways to the stability of the Muslim nation.  Such a man was a master, not slave, of his passions.  His marriages point to farsighted planning and compassionate interest.  If it was not for this compassion, he would have definitely have chosen, besides Aisha, others similar to her rather than widows or divorcees to be his wives!

 

 

First of all, there is only One God who created the Universe and all of mankind.

 

Throughout history, people have created false gods in their minds and come up with false ideas about Almighty God, but regardless of this there is still only One True God - and He alone is worthy of worship. Unfortunately, some non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This might be due to the fact that Muslims sometimes refer to God as "Allah", but also because over the centuries there have been many lies and distortions spread by the enemies of Islam. In actuality, Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus --- the same God as Christians and Jews.

The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God and it is the same word that Arabic speaking Christians and Jews use to refer to God. If you pick up an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible, you will see the word "Allah" where "God" is used in English. But even though Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God, their concepts about Him differ quite a bit. For example, Muslims reject the idea of the Trinity or that God has become "incarnate" in the world. Also, the teachings of Islam do not rely on or appeal to "mystery" or "paradox", they are straightforward and clear.

Islam teaches that God is Merciful, Loving and Compassionate and that He has no need to become man (nor do humans need for Him to). One of the unique aspects of Islam is that it teaches that man can have a personal and fulfilling relationship with Almighty God without compromising the transcendence of God. In Islam there is no ambiguity in Divinity, God is God and man is man. Muslims believe that God is the "Most Merciful", and that he deals directly with human-beings without the need of any intermediary. Actually, the phrase "In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful" is one of the most repeated verses in the Holy Quran. Additionally, the pure and straightforward teachings of Islam demand that Almighty God be approached directly and without intermediaries. This is because Muslims believe that God is completely in control of everything and that He can bestow His Grace and Mercy on His creatures as He pleases - no Atonement, Incarnation or blood sacrifice is necessary. In summary, Islam calls people to submit to the One True God and to worship Him alone without any partners.


Let us examine closely the square-structured Ka'bah (The Holy House) at Makkah, in Arabia, wherein in its Eastern corner lies the Black Stone set up chest-high.

Every pilgrim in Makkah tries to kiss and caress it fondly first thing upon arrival there. This action marks the start of the act of Tawaf. The word "Tawaf" is an Arabic infinitive noun, which means to circle, compass or move around something.

A pilgrim has to circle the Ka'bah seven times, to complete Tawaf. Each one of the seven rounds begins by kissing or caressing if possible, or by simply pointing at the Black Stone. The Black Stone thus, serves to mark the start of each round. Tawaf is one of the integral parts of Pilgrimage (Hajj), which is also performed, as a separate act of worship at any time. Thus we find the Ka'bah continually being circled by people day and night.

The Real Importance of Tawaf:

Circumambulating the Ka'bah and kissing the stone are in fact considered the Tawaf's outer aspects, apart from its inner significance. They resemble something like the standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting postures observed in the daily Islamic prayers.

Yet, the prayer postures, as well as the circling around the Ka'bah coupled with kissing, both form the outward shell of the chaff, which preserves the grain.

The grain of the Tawaf lies in the lofty meanings of the Pilgrim's recitation and prayers, in the soul-stirring emotions surging in his heart - such as his extreme love for Allah, his awe of Him, and his high hopes in Him. Examine, for instance, the words brimful of God's oneness, which the pilgrim utters.

It is his regular formula, at the start of each round of the Tawaf, as he kisses, caresses, or points at the Black Stone, declaring: "(I begin) in the Name of Allah who is Most Great. O Allah! (I perform) believing in thee, confirming Thy Book, fulfilling Thy Pledge, and following the Way of Thy Prophet, Muhammad - Blessing and peace be upon him!"

As such, the Tawaf around the Ka'bah is done solely in the Name of the One Supreme Allah, and that it is never done in the name of any other deity, nor for the Black Stone itself, as others allege. The operation of Tawaf is in compliance with the Holy promise the pilgrim has committed with His Lord.

He does it as a believer in the One God, not as an idolater, but as a conformer of Allah's revealed Books, and as a follower of His Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). Far from worshipping the Stone, the Pilgrim is kissing it, or pointing at it, just as was done by the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam).

Glorifying the One God:

The pilgrim goes on glorifying Allah the most High, while performing the rounds, with these noble hymns: "Glory be to Allah! All Praise be to Allah! There is no deity save God. Allah is Most Great! There is no handling, nor power, save by Allah's Help."

A monotheist (muwahhid - One-God worshipper) holds these sublime prayers far more valuable than the earth's entire riches. With these, he praises his One and Only Lord, as he circles a spot made Holy by the presence of His House. Is there any remotest trace of Polytheism (multi-god worship) or Idolatry in such an act?

A Select Prayer:

As he has left all his worldly affairs behind, the pilgrim, besides praising Allah, also goes on praying for his worldly betterment, in between. Here is his all-embracing prayer to Allah, the Benevolent: "O Allah! Make me content with my appointed lot, and bless me therein. And make good to me all, my losses and needs."

The Two-world Prayer:

Unlike unbelievers, the pilgrim has a living faith in the coming eternal hereafter. He does not fail here, therefore, to say the best possible prayer man could ever ask.

It is from the Qur'an itself and combines both the good of this world and the world to come in his supplication as follows: "O Lord! Bestow upon us the good in this world and the good in the hereafter. And save us from the torment of the fire" [Al-Qur'an 2:201]

Could a Stone Be God?

Although so reverently kissed and caressed during the Tawaf, the Black stone, in one of the corners of the Ka'bah, is no graven image for the pilgrims to worship. That is the last thing any muwahhid could ever imagine. For a stone is just a mere stone after all. It has no power whatsoever to do good or inflict harm to any one, apart from Allah, the Sole Deity of mankind.

That is a thing cherished either knowingly, ignorantly or figuratively - by those who take to stone-worship instead of God-worship, a belief and practice as unholy as it is senseless. This is why the Black Stone becomes a mystery to such people, and so, some out of ignorance openly charge that Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) did break every Idol in Islam except one - meaning the Ka'bah, or the Black Stone! Even some unwitting Muslims get easily confused about the Black Stone.

It was hence that 'Umar, the second Caliph (radiallahu 'anhu), did well to remove this hidden doubt from the mind. So when he came to kiss the Stone, he cried out publicly to it: "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. Had I not seen Allah's Messenger (PBUH) kissing you, I would not have kissed you. [Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari, Al-Hajj, page 396 No. 808 on the Black Stone]

True Story of the Black Stone:

More than five thousand years ago today, the father of the prophets, Prophet Ibrahim ('alaihi salaam) the Upright (Haneef), had built the present structure of the Ka'bah under Allah's own orders. He ('alaihi salam) built it along with his youthful son, Ishmael ('alaihi salam), forefather of the Arabs.

This is how the Qur'an describes their building it together: "And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Isma'il (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka'bah) at Makkah, (saying), 'Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, all Knower.'" [Qur'an 2:127]

The father and the son, true Monotheists (Muslims), were thus raising the foundations with trembling hearts, for the Muslims are Allah's most devoted servants, ever fearful of his displeasure. While building the Ka'bah, therefore, both of them were afraid that Allah may not accept their humble service, hence that prayer of theirs.

How touching of such fidelity, how moving of such humility towards Allah the Great! It is the essence of Monotheism, the ideal pattern of Faith and Actions great and small for all Muslims to follow. When raised to a certain height, Ibrahim ('alaihi salam) ordered his son to choose a piece of stone to mark the main cornerpoint. Even as the lad was searching for it, the Archangel Gabriel appeared with the Black Stone from Heaven.

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: "The Black stone descended from heaven, when it was whiter than Milk, but people's sins have blackened it". (At-Tirmidhi, Kitab Al-Hajj), the Black stone, Ibraheem ('alaihi salaam) took it up and fitted it in, and there it stands up to this day. It is a heavenly stone, then, and not an earthly one. It was selected by Allah for His Holy House (the Ka'bah).

Teaching the Pilgrimage Rites:

The building thus finished, this is how Ibrahim and Ishmael ('alaihimas salam) went on further praying to Allah, in the next Verse: "Our Lord! And make us submissive unto you and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik (all the ceremonies of Pilgrimage - Hajj and Umrah etc.) and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful." [Qur'an 2:128]

Thereupon Allah taught them through revelation the pilgrimage rites, which includes the Tawaf.

Is Kissing Essential?

We have known the working procedure of the Tawaf, it consists of circling around the Ka'bah seven times. Each circle begins by kissing the Black Stone, or by caressing it, which is its normal procedure. But Tawaf is not a one-man business, hundreds, even thousands, are circling the Ka'bah at one and the same time. How could each person kiss the Black Stone separately?

Naturally, when so over-crowded, the kissing will have to be dispensed with by some or many of them. At such times it is quite enough therefore, to face the Black Stone from any distance, and only point at it by one's right hand, at the start of each round. The pilgrim then recites his formula and proceeds on.

History Unfolds a Rare Aspect:

Assuming that the Black Stone is missing for one reason or another, does it render the Tawaf and Pilgrimage invalid and void on such account? Absolutely not.

This is exactly what has already happened in the history of Islam. The Karamathians (Arabic: al-Qaramitah), the most un-Islamic sect in Islam, had removed the Black Stone during their mad merrymaking in the year 317 AH/980 AD. They carried it away with them to their territory in Al-Ahsa (in the Arabian Gulf). After keeping it there for twenty years, they had returned it back to Makkah in the year 339 AH (see shorter Encyclopedia Leiden 1953, P. 219).

In such an event, the Shariah (Law) maintains that the pilgrim shall perform his Tawaf without the Black stone. Instead of the Black Stone, the pilgrim shall touch its place at the corner of the Ka'bah, or point at its spot, and continue his Tawaf.

Thus the total absence of the Stone itself makes no difference in the validity of the Tawaf and the Pilgrimage. This shows how tiny a part is being played by this stone. How ignorant of others and how childish, therefore, sounds the charge that it is the "most Precious Idol preserved by Islam"!

Does Kissing Mean Worshipping?

Kissing a stone is not a sign of its worship at all. Kissing the Black Stone cannot be twisted into idol worship, for the stone is no image, just as mere kissing is not worshipping by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone might allege that Muslims do worship a certain 'idol', but the fact remains that they do not worship anything save Allah, the One. The idol and its worship simply do not exist.

The Bible is kissed in lawcourts; does that mean then that it is worshipped? Moreover, parents kiss their children lovingly, without any trace of worship in it at all. A big question mark that should come to one's mind is the pre-Islamic Arab idolaters who had held the Ka'bah.

With all their polytheism and idolatry, they too used to circle the Ka'bah and kiss the Black Stone. Had their kissing been an act of idol-worship, why then was there still a need for them - despite the presence of their "almighty" Black Stone - to install three hundred and sixty idols therein?!

This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that it is one thing to kiss the Black Stone under Divine Orders, and quite another to worship a stone or an idol. Most notable, perhaps, is the fact that One-God worshippers do nothing beyond simply kissing the Black Stone.

They neither venerate it with folded hands, nor kneel down, nor prostrate themselves, nor squat before it. For all these is done only by idol-worshippers before their idols.

By: Abdus-Samad Sharafuddin

 

Islam means to submit to Allah, adhere to obeying Him, and be free from worshipping any others besides Allah. There is no good except that which Islam ordered for it to be done, and there is no evil except that which it prohibited. Applying Islam guarantees everyone to be able to live in security and peace in light of its system, which safeguards rights for all.

Allah said:
((Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. He commands that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them; and do not approach immoralities- what is apparent of them and what is concealed; and do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden to be killed except by legal right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason;” and do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity; and give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except with that within its capacity; and when you speak be just, even if it concerns a near relative; and the Covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember.)) (6:151 - 152)



Allah also said:
((Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.)) (16: 90)


Hence, the Faith of Islam is a comprehensive Faith of peace in all meanings of this word. This applies to the internal level of Muslim society as Allah said:
«And those who harm believing men and believing women for something other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin.» (33: 58)


The one upon whom be Allah's Blessing and Peace said:

He also said:
“A believer is a person whom people trust!”


Islam also provides peace on an international level and it is established on forming friendly relationships that are founded on security, stability and establishing the foundations of Islam. Moreover, it is when a Muslim society does not transgress against another society, especially those that do not play with the Faith nor set up enmity against its adherents. This is according to the Words,
((O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely and perfectly and do not follow the footsteps of Shayttaan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.)) (2: 208)

The Faith of Islam enjoins Justice and non-oppression, even with those who set up enmity against them. Allah said:
((O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in Justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to Righteousness; and fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.)) (5: 8)

As-Salaam, The Peaceful, is one of the All Praised’s Names.
Allah said:
((He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.)) (59: 23)

As-Salaam is one of the names of Allah's Garden, jannah. Allah the All High said:
((For them will be the Home of Peace with their Lord, and He will be their protecting Friend because of what they used to do.)) (6: 127)

As-Salaam is the greeting of the people of jannah. Allah said:
((Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, ‘Peace,’ and He has prepared for them a noble Reward.)) (33: 44)

As-Salaam is also the greeting of Muslims among themselves, As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum! It is a greeting which adds tranquility, calmness and ease for the greeting and the greeted person. This is because of the expression of security and safety within this greeting. This, the Prophet (may Allah's Blessing and Peace be upon him) established as one of the perfecting actions of a person’s belief. He said: “You will not enter jannah until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I not guide you towards a thing, that if you do, you would love each other? Spread the Salaam! greeting among you!” (Reported by Muslim)

The one upon whom be Allah's Blessing and Peace established that this was one of the best actions. This is because the greeting brings hearts closer and softens them when it is given or heard. It also removes differences ands hatred. When the Prophet (may Allah's Blessing and Peace be one upon him) was asked, ‘ Which part of Islam is best?,’ he replied, “To feed people and give the Salaam! greeting to those you know and those you do not know!” (Agreed upon)

Hence, the Faith of Islam brought regulations and Legislations at times of dealings, war, marriage, economy, politics, worship etc. It was for an ideal, virtuous society to implement and regulate a Muslim’s relationship with his/her Lord, society and surrounding world, whether the human world or environment. The whole of humanity is unable to produce the like of Islam. A Faith of this Perfection and comprehensiveness is deserving of being embraced, invited towards, care to be taken to spread it, and not to set up enmity against it.

“A Muslim is a person whose tongue and hand is safeguarded against, and an emigrant is a person who has left that which Allah prohibited!.” (Agreed upon)

 

 

It has always been said that the attitude of non-Muslim communities towards Islamic rule is a critical and delicate question, which many people hesitate to discuss for fear of causing dissension between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Let us be frank with the Christians of the Islamic East and put to them these questions: What do they fear from the rule of Islam? Are they afraid of the holy texts of Islam or of the manner of their application? As for the provisions, we may quote the Holy Quran (what means): “God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them, for God loves those who are just.”  [Quran 60: 8].

And (what means): “The food of the people of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the people of the book” [Quran 5:5].

We should also refer to the general principle in Islamic jurisprudence: “They shall have the same obligations and rights as we”. The Islamic holy texts enjoin Muslims to treat non-Muslims in a kind and fair manner. Apart from the rights and obligations involving worship, they are equal to Muslims with respect to all other rights and obligations related to social life and the rights of citizens. In addition, Islamic faith strives to strengthen the links connecting the non-Muslims to visit them and to eat their food, which is the custom of close friends.

Moreover, Islam tries to make the relationship grow closer by permitting inter-marriage with people of the Book, the strongest social bond, between Muslims and non-Muslims. As to the practical application of the Islamic holy texts, we quote a European Christian, who cannot be accused of bias or prejudice, Sir T.W. Arnold in his book The Preaching of Islam:

“That force was not the determining factor in these conversions, may be judged from the amicable relations that existed between the Christian and the Muslim Arabs. Muhammad himself had entered into treaty with several Christian tribes, promising them his protection and guaranteeing them the free exercise of their religion and to their clergy undisturbed enjoyment of their old rights and authority”. (pp. 47-48).

He goes on to say:

“From the examples given above of the toleration extended towards the Christian Arabs by the victorious Muslims of the first century of the Hijrah and continued by succeeding generations, we may surely infer that those Christian tribes that did embrace Islam, did so of their own choice and free will”. (P.51).

“When the Muslim army reached the valley of Jordan and Abu `Ubaydah pitched his camp at Fihl, the Christian inhabitants of the country wrote to the Arabs, saying: “O Muslims, we prefer you to the Byzantines, though they are of our own faith because you keep better faith with us and are more merciful to us and refrain from doing us injustice and your rule over us is better than theirs, for they have robbed us of our goods and our homed”. (P.55).

He also tells us: “Such was the state of feeling in Syria during the campaign of 633-639 CE in which the Arabs gradually drove the Roman army out of the province. And when Damascus, in 637 CE set the example of making terms with the Arabs, and thus secured immunity from plunder and other favorable conditions, the rest of the cities of Syria were not slow to follow. Emessa, Arethusa, Hieropolis and other towns entered into treaties whereby they became tributary to the Arabs.

Even the patriarch of Jerusalem surrendered the city on similar terms. The fear of religious compulsion on the part of the heretical emperor made the promise of Muslim toleration appear more attractive than the connection with the Roman Empire and a Christian government, and after the first terrors caused by the passage of an invading army, there succeeded a profound revulsion of feeling in favor of the Arab conquerors.” (p.55). This is the evidence given by a Christian scholar on Islam. What is it then that the Christians fear from Islamic rule?

It may be that the Christians are afraid of Muslim fanaticism. If this is true, it seems that they have no idea of what fanaticism is. Here are a few examples of fanaticism. Courts of inquisition set up by the Christian Church were primarily meant to exterminate the Muslims of Spain. The said courts tortured Muslims in a monstrous way, which had never been experienced before. People were burned alive, their fingernails were pulled off, their eyes were put out and their limbs were amputated. This torture was inflicted in order to force the people to change their religion and adopt a particular Christian creed.

Have the Christians of Islamic East ever suffered such treatment?

Massacres are carried out for the extermination of Muslims in Europe, Yugoslavia, Albania, Russia or countries under European rule such as North Africa, Somalia, Kenya, Zanzibar or in other countries like India and Malaya. Such massacres are staged sometimes on the pretext of the purging of ranks and sometimes for the maintenance of peace and security.

Another significant example is the treatment of Muslims in Ethiopia, which has ancient historical, geographical, cultural and religious links with Egypt. It has a mixed population of Muslims and Christians. Although Muslims account for 35 to 65 percent of the total population there is not a single school where Islamic faith or Arabic is taught.

Private schools, which the Muslims open at their own expenses, are subjected to exorbitant taxes and inconveniences that lead to their closing, thus disheartening those who may think of opening new schools. In this way, Islamic teaching is confined to a primitive way of teaching.

Until very recently – just before the Italian invasion – a Muslim who could not pay a debt to his Christian creditor was taken in slavery by the Ethiopian Christians. The Muslim was caught, sold and tortured within sight of the government. It goes without saying that there is not a single Muslim in the cabinet or in any key post to represent one-third of the population. Have the Christians of the Islamic world ever experienced such a treatment? Would they accept reciprocal treatment?

That is real fanaticism.

The Communists believe that the real existence of man is essentially an economic existence. If so, have the Christians living in Islamic countries ever been denied the right to acquire and dispose of property or to amass wealth? Have they ever been denied, on account of their religious belief, the right to have education, to join public service or promotion to higher public posts?

As for the moral and spiritual existence, it should be stressed that the Christians living under Islamic rule have never been subjected to any form of religious persecution -- with the exception of the very rare incidents engendered by the British colonialists for sowing dissension and diversion. It is alleged that the imposition of tribute on non-Muslims is the result of religious discrimination. The best refutation of this baseless accusation lies in the words of T.W. Arnold, who says: “On the other hand, when the Egyptian peasants, although Muslim in faith, were made exempt from military service, a tax was imposed upon them as on the Christians in lieu thereof”.

“As stated above, the Jizyah was levied on the able-bodied males, in lieu of the military service they would have been called upon to perform had they been Musalmans; and it is very noticeable that when any Christian people served in the Muslim army, they were exempted from the payment of this tax. Such was the case with the tribe of al-Jurajimah, a Christian tribe in the neighborhood of Antioch, who made peace with the Muslims, promising them to be their allies and fight on their side in battle, on condition that they should not be called upon to pay Jizyah and should receive their proper share of the booty”.

From this it is clear that the imposition of tribute is not the result of any religious discrimination. The truth is that the tribute was imposed on all those who did not take part in military service regardless of their religious belief. It would be useful to refer in this respect to the following Holy verse (which means): “Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission and feel themselves subdued”. [Quran 9: 29].

It should be pointed out that this verse refers to non-Muslims who wage war against Islam. It does not apply to the non-Muslims living in Islamic countries.

In conclusion, I should like to warn that the seeds of dissention between Muslims and non-Muslims living in Islamic countries are sown by colonialists as well as by Communists. The Communist devils address each community in accordance with its particular aspirations.

They address the working classes saying: “If you adopt Communism we shall hand over all factories to you”; while speaking to peasants, they promise to give them the lands. On talking to unemployed graduates they say: “If you become Communists you will get the jobs that fit in with your qualifications”.

As for the youth suffering from sexual repression, the Communists promise them a free society, where every one can act as one likes without intervention by law or subjection to traditions. The Communists address Christians in the following manner: “If you adopt Communism we shall destroy Islam, the religion that discriminates among people on account of their religion”. However, the Quran says (what means): “It is a grievous thing that comes from their mouths as a saying, for, what they say is nothing but falsehood” [Quran 18: 5].

It cannot be said that Islam distinguishes among people on account of their religion, because Islam confers the essential rights on all people without any distinction. Islam brings all people together on a purely human basis and at the same time guarantees them absolute freedom to adopt the religion of their choice, under its own care and protection.

Besides, as the Christians of the East are also anxious to retain their historical links with Muslims and protect their mutual interests, let us hope that they would not listen to these propagandists or dissenters.

By:Muhammad Qutub

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