Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Books about Islam are mostly misleading? (cont.)

Q: The pattern of their thinking is that the good verses of the Quran are generally applicable and the passages that call for violence are contextual and only meant for a specific situation. The Quran however does not make this distinction. These books justify the negative side of Islam by very “creative” reasoning, by concealing things, by wrong translations from Arabic and by outright lies.

A: The Quran, the final revelation, is the word of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, and is a guidance for all human beings for all times to come. It was revealed to Prophet Muhammad and the immediate addressees were the Prophet and the people of Makka and Medina. There are verses which are general in nature, and there are verses that are specific and time-bound. One need not be a scholar to figure out which verse will apply to whom and when…… all that is required is an honest, reference to the context, study of the verses. There are different shades of guidance even on the same issue, for example, where intoxicants are mentioned, there are three different advice given depending on the readiness of the person: we are told that there is great sin and some profit in it, then, at another place the advice is to not to pray while intoxicated, and finally, the advice to eschew it ….the scholars say that the final call to completely give up intoxicants came in 6th year after migration to Medina, i.e. a total of 19 years after preaching. So, you see, as the Quran was itself revealed over a period of 23 years, and as, in the Quran itself, we are asked to study it slowly, contemplating upon and absorbing the message of each verse as we move along, Allah does not expect us to change completely overnight only to regret and revert later, but rather he wants us to gradually and completely submit ourselves to His way with our heart and soul…. With conviction, love and piety, knowing that we are on the right path.

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