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  Islam     

Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best. For Satan doth sow dissension among them. For Satan is to man an avowed enemy." (Quran XVII: 53)

According To The Muslim Faith, When the Almighty God created Adam (the father of the human progeny) out of a lump of clay, and commanded the angels to greet him with a 'Sijda' (prostration in humility), Ibless the Satan hesitated to obey and accept Adam as his superior because he claimed his own superiority over Adam by virtue of his age long devotion to God and creation out of fire. His reluctance to obey and bow before Adam, however, resulted in his condemnation and he was therefore, eternally banished from the pleasure of God. Under this great humiliating disappointment, the Satan, however, pleaded with God that he and his progeny (the Satan belongs to the progeny of the genii) may be granted an everlasting opportunity to mislead mankind into error and sin in order to test the devotion of Adam and his progeny to God. This request was granted by the Almighty God with the commandment that whosoever followed the Satan's path will forfeit His pleasure and that his abode will be in the fire of hell eternally. To accept either of the two options for the creation Adam and his progeny, would not have been in the best interests of mankind just like illness and health, blindness and clear vision, night and day, heat and cold, good and evil, and so on.

The first treacherous act of Satan under this arrangement started with the beguilement of Adam himself in the well known episode of Eve and the "forbidden fruit" which resulted in the banishment of both Adam and Eve from the heavenly paradise as a punishment against God's pleasure and thus the treachery of Satan, the avowed enemy of the progeny of Adam, has continued throughout the ages causing perpetual misery among the best majority of those people who succumb to his mischievous allurements in defiance of the commandments of God.

In this respect there are two kinds of people in the world, those who follow the commandants of God, and those who are susceptible to the beguilement of Satan. There has always been a mighty struggle between the followers of Satan and the believers of God ever since the creation of Adam in which the latter have always vanquished the former
 

 Injunction Of Islam

According to the Holy Quran, those who follow the Satan's enticement are rebels of God. They will have to render an account of their misdeeds and sins on the Day-of-Reckoning and suffer punishment in hell for they acted against the pleasure of God, but those who defy Satan and stick steadfastly to the path of Righteousness and Truth as ordained in the Holy Quran and preached by Prophet Mohammed, are promised salvation and eternal bliss in paradise. This is one of the principal articles of faith in Islam.

 

Retribution
 

The pages of the history and all religious books of the world are full of the terrible stories of God's retribution upon those past rebellious generations of mankind who defied the teachings of His Prophets and apostles under the mischievous influence of Satan. There have also been numerous bloody wars between the forces of evil and good, Truth and falsehood, the followers of Satan and the devotees and believers of the Almighty God in which the latter few have always vanquished the over -whelming many. As stated above again and again God has sent His Prophets and apostles to all races and nations of the world in order to warn and keep them on the right path of Truth. As it happened, after their death people forgot their sacred lessons and became victims of Satan's treachery only to forfeit the pleasure of God and earn His retribution. This is a divine decree which no civilisation or modern progress can change in spite of all our scientific and material advancement.

 

The Holy Prophet Mohammed


When the holy Prophet of Islam Hazrat Mohammed (May peace and blessing of God be upon his soul) appeared on the scene of Arabia in 750 AD, Satan had virtually established his devilish kingdom over the Arabs who were steeped into abysmal ignorance and sin.

What was the actual condition of Arabia before the birth of holy Prophet Mohammed? According to the holy Quran, "It was on the verge of fiery abyss." The barbarous Arabs were completely submerged under the evil influence of Satan. They were soaking in superstition, ignorance, cruelty and idolatry and were torn asunder by internecine feuds and wars. They had no settled government and lived a nomadic life. Wine, women and every kind of vice and crime summed up their general attitude towards life. Even the Jews and the Christians had forgotten the teachings of their Prophets Moses and Jesus, and had become idolaters. Writing about the condition of Christianity in the 7th century was itself decrepit and corrupt. It was disabled by contending schisms and had substituted the peculiarities of superstition of the pure and expansive faith of the early ages."

The teachings of the Prophet of Islam, however wrought a dynamic transformation in the sinful life of the Arabs within only a few years despite all the worst type of oppression, insults and persecution by the evil forces of Satan in order to stick to their devilish ways of life. But, in spite of all these obstacles, Prophet Mohammed succeeded and succeeded triumphantly in completely routing the forces of Satan and religion of Peace and Prosperity happiness of the whole world as well.
 

 Purpose Of Islam


The true purpose of religion is that human beings should follow the right path according to divine teachings. But before asking people to follow these teachings, it is first necessary to explain the teachings and whose teaching they are: secondly, about the one who is preaching them, and finally, the great benefit that will be derived by following them. These are the fundamentals on which religions are formed. To have a comparative study of Islam in the light of the teachings found in other sacred books, is to know what a comprehensive world religion Islam is pointing out also how the author of such a religion was decidedly the last great Prophet, there being consequently no further necessity at all for another Prophet to rise. Quran is the final revealed Book of God and Mohammed is the last Prophet.
 

 Islam - An Ancient Religion


As a matter of fact, Islam which means peace and which represents the Divine Code for a disciplined, contented and harmonious life of man on earth already existed in one or the other form long before the advent of the Holy Prophet Mohammed. It however needed a revival in an up to date form because due to individual and political intrigues, certain abuses had crept into it. The preceding generations had altered the true spirit and version of the former Holy Scriptures to suit their own selfish ends and conveniences. Thus mutilating the original commandments of God and bringing an ugly slur on the fair name of Religion. These unauthorised intrusions and mutilations therefore necessitated up to date 'divine code' in its pristine glory and that is why a final and perfect religion in the form of Islam was revealed through the Holy Quran and Prophet Mohammed with the explicit warning that no more Prophets were to come after him. Islam is therefore, a perfect religion for all humanity and for all time, and not for the Muslims alone, whether the world accepts this divine claim or not.

Unlike the past, Islam is now preserved in its up to date perfection in the Holy Quran and because the past generations proved themselves incapable of preserving the original commandments of God in theory and true perspective had, as stated above, tampered with them to suit their own intriguing conveniences, therefore the Almighty Allah promised in the Quran to be its preserver Himself this time. One of the living instances of this jealous guardianship is that millions of Muslims easily commit this 'Book of God' to memory- a feature unique in its own way which is nothing short of a miracle. There is no instance in the living memory of mankind to show that any of the ancient religious books or any other kind of book of such a voluminous nature as the Holy Quran is, was ever committed to memory. This fact alone proves that God's original words have been preserved as He willed, and that there have been no tampering whatever with them after the death of the Holy Prophet Mohammed through whom the Quran was delivered

 Unique Virtues Of Islam


There are many unique virtues of Islam and its holy Prophet as compared with his predecessors. While the preceding Prophets were endowed with only one 'divine' virtue to help them to make their mission successful, Prophet Mohammed had the exclusive distinction of possessing all those 'divine' virtues in him which were bestowed upon his predecessors individually. For instance, Prophet Mohammed was endowed with the exemplary patience granted to Prophet Ayub, the miraculous virtues possessed by the 'staff' given to Prophet Moses, the healing spell possessed by Prophet Jesus, the perfect human beauty bestowed upon Prophet Yusuf and the supreme faith owned by Prophet Abraham.

Further, no Prophet ever since the creation of Adam, had the unique distinction of being succeeded by illustration saints and divines among his followers as the Prophet of Islam had a venerable line of religious teachers and saints who shunned all pomp and show of the material world in order to serve the cause of Islam and humanity selflessly and faithfully. Both morally and spiritually they were pictures of perfection and stood out alone in the multitude of intelligentsia, never deviating from the teachings of the Quran or the tradition of the Prophet. Their one paramount aim of life was the selfless service of mankind, strictly in accordance with the teachings of the holy Quran both, in letter and spirit these holy teachers of Islam in the garb of Sufi dervishes continued to keep the banner of Islam flying for a period of nearly 900 years after the death of the holy Prophet Mohammed by their matchless zeal, abstemious character and amazing spiritual powers and it is due to this unique dedication to the service of mankind that there are today 90 crores of Muslims spreading all over the world whose 'faith' in their religion remains as staunch and unshakable as it has ever been in spite of all the political and social revolutions of the world ever since the death of Prophet Mohammed.

 Khawaja Shaib


On the illustrious list of these great Sufi Saints who preserved the spirit and promoted the cause of Islam by their strict religious devotion and amazing spiritual powers under all sorts of cruel persecution like the holy Prophet himself, the name of Hazrat Khawaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer stands high in perpetual glory. For the spiritual salvation and moral uplift of the people of Hindustan by peaceful means and universal love. In fact, this lonely saint actually changed both the map and the course of Indian history at a crucial period of her destiny not by sword or cannon but by the sweet and melodious spell of his spiritual sway plus unparalleled moral and religious character, a revolution which ushered in quite a new era of peace and prosperity for millions of Indians, and a revolution which the march of history and the present civilization cannot afford to forget in the interests of mutual love and peace for which the people of the world are so intensely thirsting today.

Because mutual goodwill and confidence between man and man and nation and nation are once more rapidly deteriorating, and because the world is searching for a lasting peace against the forces of Satan that have once again raised their monstrous head under the intoxication of new kind of scientific materialism, the teachings of Hazarat Khwaja Munniuddin and Islam must, therefore, be revived in the interests of world peace, as much as other recognised religions.

We are sure, these lessons will prove of immense value in easing the political and religious tensions and restoring the waning faith of man in God and Religion without which there can be no lasting peace in the world.

Subject Of Islam

One of the strangest facts in today's world is that Islam, a religion which in many ways is almost identical to Christianity and Judaism, should be so poorly understood in Europe and America. Since there are millions of Moslems in the world, and since they control many strategic areas of the earth it is essential that we understand them better.

Mohammed, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about 570 AD at Mecca. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor, needy, widows, orphan, slaves and the downtrodden. At 20 he was already a successful businessman and soon he became the director of camel caravans of a wealthy widow. When he reached 25, his employer recognising his merit proposed marriage. Even though she was 15 years senior, he married her and as long as she lived, he remained a devoted husband.

By 40 this man of the desert had secured for himself a most satisfying life, a loving wife, fine children and wealth. Then, Moslems believe, in a series of dramatic and terrifying events, he began to revive through Archangel Gabriel a revelation of God's word.

Like almost every major Prophet before him, Mohammed fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God's word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel commanded, 'Read'. So far as we know, Mohammed was hardly able to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large part of the earth; "There is but one God".

Mohammed's message infuriated those rich Arabs whose faith required many idols, and he and his few followers were driven from Mecca, his home. Forced now to fight in defense of the freedom of conscience which he preached, he became an accomplished military leader. He repeatedly went into battle, out-manned and out-speared as much as five to one, he won some spectacular victories.

Later he became head of the state, and the testimony even of his enemies is that he administered wisely. The wisdom he displayed in judging intricate cases became the basis for the religious law that governs Islam today. In his final years, he was invited to become a dictator or a saint, but he rejected both temptations, insisting that he was an average man to whom God had sent another of his periodic messages to the world.

By the force of his extraordinary personality, Mohammed revolutionized life in Arabia and throughout the Middle East. He preached a religion dedicated to one God and he lifted women from the bondage in which desert custom held them and preached general social justice.

Moslems think it particularly ironic when Mohammed is charged by Western writers with having established a voluptuous religion. Especially considering the fact that he abolished alcohol so that even today all good Moslems are teetotalers. He ordered individual prayers five times each day. In a nation that reveled in feasting he instituted a most rigorous daytime fast lasting a full month each year.

Western critics have based their charges of voluptuousness mainly on the question of women. Before Mohammed, however men were encouraged to take innumerable wives, he limited them to four only and the Qoran is explicit that husbands who cannot maintain strict equality between two or more wives must confine themselves to one.

A widespread misunderstanding arises from Mohammed's promise of paradise. In a land of blistering drought and sandstorms he predicted that evil men would suffer the tormenting fires of hell. Whereas good men will experience cool breezes, comforting streams and beautiful hours.

Western imaginations, unfamiliar with this last word hour, defined it by analogy with one of the ugliest words in English and jumped to the conclusion that Mohammed's paradise was to be a sexual debauch. They were wrong. A hour is a fair-skinned, blacked woman created from musk and spices, incredibly beautiful and perpetually virgin.

In all things, Mohammed was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumours of God's personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Mohammed is said to have announced-" An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the birth or death of a human being."

At Mohammed's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history. "If there are any among you who worshipped Mohammed, he is dead. But if it was God you worshipped, he lives for ever."

These things explain why people who follow the religion of Mohammed do not like to be called Mohammedan

  The Book

The Quran is probably the most often read book in the world, surely the most often memorized, and possibly the most influential in the daily life of the people who believe in it. Unlike the New Testament, which is written in an exalted style, it is neither poetry nor ordinary prose, yet it possesses the ability to arouse its hearers to ecstasies of faith. Its rhythms have been compared to the beat of drums to the echoes of nature and to the chants which are common in all early societies.

It is written in Arabic, and devout Moslems have often insisted that it must not be translated into any other language. One might expect that such a wish would have limited the spread of Islam. On the contrary, all over the world men have laboured to learn Arabic, not an easy language just to be able to read their holy book and pray in the original.

The Qoran was revealed to Mohammed between the years 610 and 632 AD in the cities of Mecca and Medina. Devoted scribes wrote it down on "scraps of paper, bark and the white shoulder blades of animals. The early revelations were dazzling assurances that there was only one God, Merciful and Compassionate; He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, and the Fashioner. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth declares His glory and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

It was this message that inspired men to revolutionize their lives and their nations. In later years, when Islam began to penetrate large areas of Arabia and had acquired much power, the revelations dealt with the organisation of society its laws, procedures and problems.

The Christian or Jew who reads the Qoran finds himself on familiar ground a good deal of the time. Many revered names from Christianity and Judaism appear in the Qoran. For example, five of the important chapters are entitled Noah Jonah, Joseph, Abraham, and Mary. Lacking specific chapters of there own, but playing quite important roles are Jesus, Adam, David, Goliath, Job, Moses, Lot and Solomon.

Islam is partly founded on the words of four Prophets who lived before Mohammed; Jesus, Noah, Abraham, Moses. The Qoran does not acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God and that He suffered death upon the Cross. If Jesus were acknowledged the child of God, Moslems believe it would compromise God's oneness, the belief which is the cornerstone of Islam. It would, moreover be difficult thereafter to contend that Mohammed was the bearer of the final perfect revelation as Moslems do.

It is this dedication to one God plus practical instruction that makes the Qoran unique. Each Islamic nation contains many citizens who are convinced that their land will be groaned well only if its laws conform to Quran

   Traditions

In addition to the Quran Islam relies upon 'traditions', what Mohammed said and did. These are largely affectionate campfire gossip, the odds and ends that would be remembered after a great man had died.

About 200 years after Mohammed's death, more than 6,00,000 separator anecdotes about him were still current, and several great scholars undertook the job of checking them for historical validity. More than 5,97,000 were rejected. The remainders called the Hadith, are accepted by all good Moslems.

Much of Islam's common sense comes from them. For example, one dark night Mohammed had to escort his wife home from the mosque. On the way he saw two men giggling in the shadows so he called them to him, lifted his wife's veil and said, "See, it is my wife with whom I walk." When the strangers protested that they trusted him, he said; "I was not worried about your trust of me. I did not want your faith to be affected by your suspicions.

Once a Jew came to the Prophet and protested that Mohammed's chief assistant had outraged Jews by claiming that Mohammed was more exalted than Moses. The Prophet said to his assistant: "You should not have said this. The feelings of other people must be respected."

Also some of the profoundest elements of Moslem faith and culture derive from these traditions. Every Moslem, before beginning a meal or entering upon any other task, repeats 'In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Beneficent'. This is the opening verse of the Qoran. Moslems greet each other with the traditional salutation "peace be on you." The whole ritual of congregational prayer is taken from the traditions, including the well-known call to worship.

Some traditions influenced Western behaviour. On one occasion, Mohammed saw a donkey being branded on the face. When asked why this was being done, the herdsmen said, "The Romans taught us this to prevent theft". Mohammed reflected a moment and said: "An animal's face is the most sensitive part of its body. If you must brand, then do it on the flanks, where the flesh is thicker". And the custom spread.

As a successful general, Mohammed left many traditions regarding decent conduct in war. "Faithfully carry out all covenants and agreements. Avoid treachery and do not disfigure the enemy dead. Do not slay children, women, old men or persons dedicated to the service of religion. Do not destroy sacred objects, orchards or crops.

Throughout the traditions Mohammed appears as a saintly man, one whom devout people of all religions would have recognised immediately as deeply concerned about the nature of God. He preached that slaves should be set free, that fathers should not kill unwanted baby girls, that those oppressed by society inherit the earth, that peace is much proof that Mohammed hoped for the day when all who shared a common belief in God would exist together in peace. It is well documented that, on one occasion, when a deputation of Christians visited him, he said, when time for prayers arrived, "Conduct your service here in the mosque. It is a place consecrated of God.

No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. By the time of Mohammed's death (AD 632) Islam controlled a great part of Arabia. Soon it triumphed in Syria, Persia, Egypt, and the lower borders of present Russia and across North Africa to the gates of Spain. In the next century its progress was even more spectacular.

The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts that idea, and the Quran is explicit in support of freedom of conscience. The evidence is strong that Islam welcomed the people of many diverse religions, so long as they behaved themselves and paid extra taxes. Mohammed constantly taught that Moslems should cooperate with the "people of the Book" (Jews and Christians).

 
Important Facts

Many Westerners, accustomed by their history books to believe that Moslems were barbarous infidels, find it difficult to comprehend how profoundly our intellectual life has been influenced by Moslem scholars in the fields of science, medicine, mathematics, geography and philosophy. Crusaders who invade the Holy Land to fight Moslems returned to Europe with new ideas of love, poetry chivalry, warfare and government. Our concept of what a university should be was deeply modified by Moslem scholars who perfected the writing of history and who brought to Europe much Greek learning.

More than most religions, Islam preaches the brotherhood of all races, colours and nations within its fold. Mohammed himself probably had the same skin colouring as Jesus, a very suntanned white but today his followers embrace all colours: black men from Africa, yellow men from China, brown men from Malaya, white men from Turkey.

For long periods in history Moslem nations strayed far from the spirit of Mohammed. If one focus only upon the worst Persian and Turkish caliphs one can easily condemn Islam as a religion that failed. But one can find such similar dark spots in the history of Christianity. If one looks at the enormous good that Islam has achieved, however, one sees the permanent greatness of this religion.

"The Brotherhood of Truth is one in all ages, it is narrow men who create sects. Let them not think that the goods of this world can shield them from evil or its consequences. God's Truth and His messenger can be known to all: for He in His mercy has given us faculties and judgement if we would but use them. The message is not new: all Creation proclaims it, High above all is the Lord of Glory Supreme." (Holy Quran: XXIII C. 155)

  Clarification


Besides the various old scholars and impartial historians belonging to other religions, many of the recent writers on Islam, like Khawaja Kamaluddin (author of "The Ideal Prophet");, Syed Amir Ali (author of "The Spirit of Islam") and Al-Haj Dr. M. A. Salmin (author of 'The Holy prophet Through Different Lights) have also refuted this fallacious charge. We are reproducing here a few relevant 'extracts' from their works:

Writing about Prophet Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina, Dr. M. A. Salmin says: " The Prophet next turned his attention to another important affair, namely to establish friendly relations between the various tribes inhabitance in and around Medina. He was not satisfied with the brotherhood that he had established between Muslims in Medina and the resident-emigrant Muslims there. He concluded a pact between Aus and Khazraj, (who had now embraced Islam) and the Jews. The terms were:

(1) The Muslims and the Jews shall live as one people.

(2) Each one of the parties shall keep its own faith; neither shall interfere with that of the other.

(3) In the event of war with a third party, each was bound to come to the assistance of the other provided the latter were the party aggrieved and not the aggressors.

(4) In the event of an attack on Medina, both shall join hands to defend it.

(5) Peace, when desirable, shall be made in consultation with each other.

(6) Medina shall be regarded as sacred by both all bloodshed being forbidden there.

(7) The Prophet shall be the final court of appeal in case of dispute."

These terms which from the starting point of Islam, themselves refute the baseless charge of spreading it by the force of sword. On the contrary, they prove "how the prophet was anxious to maintain an atmosphere of peace and harmony among all classes of people in Medina from the very beginning of his hijrat (migration) there." Bloodshed was and is entirely against the spirit of Islam and repugnant to the teachings of the Prophet. The warfare which the Muslims were forced to resort to was purely defensive. It was certainly not to propagate their faith. It was only to defend themselves against their archenemies that always took initiative to attack with a view to destroy Islam and its Prophet. The instinct of self-preservation is as natural to man as breathing to his life; therefore to fight in self-defense does not mean that Islam wielded sword for the propagation of its faith. "All religions, all governments, all people have the right to fight for their protection." On the other hand, in the latter history of Christianity we see that sword was used indiscriminately for the slaughter of all non-Christians. Even among the Christians themselves, those who did not follow the Church of Rome were slaughtered mercilessly. If any haughty Muslim ruler or exploiter acted contrary to the teachings of Islam, it was his personal fault which cannot be laid at the door of Islam and for which he will be answerable to God according to Islamic restrictions. Against the militants, the Prophet declared: "He who is not affectionate to God's creatures and to his own children would not receive the affection of God." (Abu Huraira). "Charity of the tongue, the most important and least cultivated of all charities was likewise earnestly inculcated by Mohammed", writes Irving. How can a religion that keeps all the finer qualities of human character in the forefront be therefore, aggressive by sword? The Prophet was supremely patient and tolerant when the bitter animosity, sedition and betrayals of the Jews prevailed against Islam in Medina. It was in such a terrible state of affairs that God ordered the Prophet: 'Defend yourself against your enemies, but attack them not first: God hates the aggressors" (Quran: 2: 190).

Citing various examples of coercion to which Muslims were subjected by the Jews and the Christians, Dr. M. A. Salmin proceeds:

"I challenge anybody to show me an instance when the Prophet used sword, or force, or compulsion, for the promulgation of his faith while, on the other hand, history tells of many instances of dreadful wars waged by the Jews, the Christians and the gentle Parsis. In the case of Jews, the force and compulsion were sanctioned by religion and in the case of early Christians, the teachings of the Prophet of Nazareth were soon forgotten for the pride of power. From the moment Christianity became a recognised force, it become aggressive and persecuting. The name of religion served as the plea and justification of aggression upon the weaker nations to lead to their spoliation and enslavement. Thus it is Islam that has suffered endless persecution patiently at the hands of its enemies at every step of its peaceful propagation and progress."

Referring to the 'diplomatic' toleration of Christianity, Dr. Salmin continues: "In the history of religion as well as individuals expect in Islam, we see that the spirit of toleration is preached and insisted only as long as they have been powerless which spirit gave way to intolerance and persecution the moment they attained power. Till the time of the conversion of Constantine, Christianity was weak and in consequence remained passive, but from the moment of the conversion of Constantine, it became safe for molestation. From this moment began a system of religious persecution unparalleled in conception." "From the very moment, writes Lecky, the church obtained civil power under Constantine, the general principle of coercion was admitted and acted upon against the Jews, the heretics and the pagans."

Dr. Salmin multiplies such instances and then deplores yet the followers of this religion have the temerity and impudence to say that Islam became militant since its advent in Medina. Yes, Islam did become militant in so far as it was necessary to fight for self-preservation."

It is a well-known fact that Islam as a religion never took initiative in aggression even against its worst enemies. It was quite contrary to its spirit and teachings. Islam was always ready to say to its enemies; "Cease hostilities, be our allies and we shall be faithful to you; or pay tribute as a cost of protecting your life and property and we shall secure and protect you in all your rights." Muslim laws of war are also admittedly more human than those of any other religion. The holy Quran has ordained: "And fight for the religion of God against those who fight against you, but transgress not by attacking them first, for Allah loves not the transgressors."
 

 The Ideal Prophet

The pulpit has always been subservient to statecraft. The clergy further the ends of the state further than guard the conscience of the people. They read homilies of war when the state wants war, as did the Bishop of London in 1914 at the Marble Arch, but they lay special stress on the 'Sermon on the Mount' when the time has come for the sword to return to the scabbard. Humility, meekness, forgiveness and nonresistance to evil are some of the claimed ethics of Christianity, but her history discloses quite a different chapter. There we find heartless, sanguinary persecution of others, want of charity and lack of kindness."

While religious wars and persecution have blackened many chapters of European history, it must be noted that Prophet Mohammed always preached and practiced supreme toleration, allowing his bitterest enemies full freedom of conscience in religious matters. We do not read of the persecution of Galileos, Latimars and others in the annals of Islam. The prophet respected and also preached to his followers to respect other religions. He also protected life and property of the unbelievers without any discrimination whatever. Those Muslims who violate the laws of Islam are not true Muslims
 

  A Grand Mission

Sir Bernard Shaw, the learned philosopher and great novelist of England, predicted: " I believe the whole of the British Empire will adopt a reformed Mohammedanism before the end of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phases of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. The world must doubtless attach high value to the predictions of great men like me have prophesied about the faith of Mohammed that it would be acceptable tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today. The medieval ecclesiastics either through ignorance or bigotry painted Mohammedanism in the darkest colours. They were in fact trained to hate both the man Mohammed and his religion. To them Mohammed was antichrist he must be called a saviour of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness. Europe is beginning to be enamoured of the creed of Mohammed. In the next century it may go still further in recognising the utility of that creed in solving its problems, and it is in this sense that you must understand my prediction."

"Already even at the present time many of my own people and of Europe as well have gone over to the faith of Mohammed. And the Islamisation of Europe may be said to have begun."


  The Spirit Of Islam

To the Christians of Nazareth and the surrounding territories, the security of God and the pledge of his prophet are extended for their lives, their religion and their property-the present as well as the absent, and other besides; there shall be no interference with the practice of their faith or their observances; nor any change in their rights or privileges; no bishop shall be removed from his bishopric, nor any monk from his monastery, nor any priest from his priesthood, and they shall continue to enjoy every thing great and small, as heretofore; no image or cross shall be destroyed; they shall not oppress not be oppressed; they shall not practice the rights of blood-vengeance as in the days of ignorance; no titles shall be levied from them nor shall they be required to furnish provisions for the troops.

Can there be a nobler example of the religious toleration of Islam than this? It can certainly not be the attitude of one who wanted to thrust onto others their religion at the point of sword.

After the death of the Holy Prophet of Islam, who was the founder of true democracy in the world, his four succeeding Caliphs also followed in their master's sacred traditions most scrupulously upholding the dignity of Islam both in letter and spirit by granting complete freedom of conscience and protection of life and property to their non-Muslim brethren. In spite of all the wealth of their expanding empire, these noble Caliphs-Abu Bakr, Omar, Usman and Ali, lived the life of an ordinary humble citizen and ruled in true democratic spirit unseen and unheard of in the history of the world. No ruler of the world has ever lived such an austere and self-denying life. Indeed the history of Islam under these four Caliphs is the history of a new era, a new civilisation and a new prosperity in the life of a medieval and savage mankind. Their selfless rule was strictly dedicated to the noble cause of human welfare. But for their exemplary character and sacrifices, there would have been no such galloping progress which Islam was destined to make within 30 years of its birth.

 Gandhiji's Tribute


Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest apostle of nonviolence and religious toleration of our time said about the holy prophet and Islam:

"I become more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and his own mission."

"In its glorious days, Islam was not intolerant. It commanded the admiration of the world. When the west was sunk in darkness a bright star rose in the eastern firmament and gave light and comfort to a groaning world Islam is not a false religion. Let Hindus study it reverently, and they will love it even as I do."

 
Sir Bernard Shaw's Prediction

Sir Bernard Shaw, the learned philosopher and great novelist of England, predicted: " I believe the whole of the British Empire will adopt a reformed Mohammedanism before the end of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phases of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. The world must doubtless attach high value to the predictions of great men like me I have prophesied about the faith of Mohammed that it would be acceptable tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today. The medieval ecclesiastics either through ignorance or bigotry painted Mohammedanism in the darkest colours. They were in fact trained to hate both the man Mohammed and his religion. To them Mohammed was antichrist he must be called a savoir of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness. Europe is beginning to be enamored of the creed of Mohammed. In the next century it may go still further in recognising the utility of that creed in solving its problems, and it is in this sense that you must understand my prediction."

"Already even at the present time many of my own people and of Europe as well have gone over to the faith of Mohammed. And the Islamisation of Europe may be said to have begun."


 Sir W Muir's Tribute

The prophet of Islam was an ideal embodiment of such virtues as mercy, sympathy, magnanimity, justice, forbearance and forgiveness. There is not a single instance to show that he ever used force or preached violence to promulgate his religion or to revenge against his foes who persistently dogged the early part of his prophetic mission. One of the many noblest examples of his tolerance and forgiveness in history is seen in his peaceful but triumphant victory over Mecca. It was not a military victory. It was the triumph of his magnificent moral and religious character, unparalleled in the history of the world after many years of ceaseless oppression and sanguinary wars waged by his enemies to destroy him and his religion. In this moment of great triumph, the prophet remained god fearing, merciful and forgiving, magnanimously refusing to avenge the Quraish tribe for their past misdeeds. He did not compel even a single soul to embrace Islam under the pressure of his grand victory. Although the city of Mecca had surrendered unconditionally and had recognised his authority, but all its inhabitants had not till then embraced Islam nor had they formally acknowledged his prophetic claim. Verily the ways of the Prophet were the ways of God. Here is a tribute which Sir William Muir pays to the supreme and exemplary religious tolerance of the Holy Prophet: Thus he (the prophet) preached a religious toleration that had never been known to the world before. If religious toleration must be a necessary article of faith in the 'Religion of Humanity' it is surely another cogent justification for Mohammed's claim to the name of the Ideal Prophet.

  

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