How Islam Challenges Traditions and Established Religions

In a world where the Nazis and the Communists are being systematically replaced by Arab-Muslim Terrorists, we need to ask the reader to take a step back and ask a few simple questions. Lets start with the Nazis. Were The Nazis Muslims or Christians (or Catholics)? What about the Soviets, or take any communist for that matter, which faith did they belong to, wasn’t it atheism? What about the soldiers who dropped the nuclear bomb on two residential towns, what faith were they, Protestants, Methodists or Baptists, or Muslims?

For all the genocidal murderers of monumental proportion, their faith was never held accountable for what they did. Never. In the case of Muslims, its always about their faith. Always. I don’t want to fight Hollywood’s justification for doing what they do, but I would like to ask a few questions concerning your beliefs, if you don’t mind. Here is a conversation with a great friend of mine called Bob (real name).

Would you like to become a Muslim?

No.

Why not?

I am happy with my faith, my religion, my culture.

Why do you believe in your religion?

I was raised as a ******** and I believe in my culture and in the Traditions which go back centuries.

You mean to say, “We saw our forefathers following this tradition. We are guided by their footsteps….(Q.43.24)”
That’s fine. I respect traditions and cultures. But what if your forefathers were wrong? What if your forefathers had been misled by their elders. If you could come to the conclusion that you are following a wrong set of traditions, would you still insist on following those same “wrong” traditions?

What do you mean by “wrong” traditions. How can they be wrong? I told you, our traditions go back centuries, indeed generations.

But if the traditions started with the wrong idea then it doesn’t really matter how many centuries they’ve been around for, they’re still wrong.

They cant be wrong. Somebody must have noticed it in these past centuries. We have within our culture and civilizations, scholars, philosophers and thinkers of great repute.

Let me show you how far wrong that assumption is. Surely you heard of India. A land of 1 billion people. It produced some of the world’s best scientists, mathematicians, philosophers and inventors, going back few centuries and millennia. The world of Computer Science is genuinely thankful to brilliant coders and software architects from India. In Philosophy, political science, literature and just about every field of learning and scholarship, Indians have left their footprint. In spite of all their high achievements, the vast majority of Indians worship cows, snakes, monkeys, trees, human reproductive organs and many other stranger things. They believe in 3 million gods. Widows, in classical Hindu law, should be burned with their dead husbands. This ancient culture also believes in “caste” system for its socio-economic organization, which basically splits the society into certain classes which pass from one generation to another – till eternity. The lowest caste (called Dalits) are given the status of “Untouchability”. For centuries, Dalits suffered from this most inhuman form of religious segregation and discrimination that damned the human race of Dalits into hell on earth. Yet, my friend, Indian Hindus stick to this faith, despite all their learning and scientific and economic progress. Why do they believe in it? Because their forefathers trained them to do so, to idol worship since childhood and to accept the caste system and to honor their 3 million gods. With respect to its laws, no matter how inhuman or evil they may be, it was termed as holy.  Do you still want to ground your faith to Tradition of forefathers?

Hang on, not so fast. In our religion, we have our Scripture, which clarified our concepts of Man, God and Universe. They should be following us as bearers of True Light.

What would you do if you were proven wrong about the very basics of your belief?

What do you mean?

The foundation stone of Hindu faith lies in the worshipping of multiple gods. Idols, hand crafted in the shape of hindu gods, which are prayed to. Does idol worshipping and animal worshipping make sense to you? How can idols and animals be accepted as the concept of god?

No. never. You need first to have the correct concept of God and the rest builds on top of that. I agree with you.

Then, will you also agree that there cant be more than One God, the Creator of the Universe? ne God, One Sovereign, One Owner of everything in the UNIVERSE.

Yes I agree.

Do you also agree that GOD is ALL POWERFUL, ALL WISE, HE answers to none, but everyone answers to HIM? He is not Dependent but everything is Dependent on HIm?

Yes absolutely. He is ALL POWERFUL.

Do you also agree that He can never share His Powers with anyone. If HE did then the other god would also be a God and its impossible to have more than One God?

Absolutely. Only One God. If there was a second, then all the other assumptions would fail, I understand that.

Will you also agree with me that God cant have parents?

Yes, otherwise He is also a Created Being and that cant be because GOD should be EVER LIVING and EVER PRESENT.

Ok, then will you agree with me that God cant have children either? Otherwise the concept of Sole Sovereignty would fail?

(silence)

God cant have a son.

(silence)

Because the son would be god too, the son-god, he should be ALL POWERFUL and SOLE SOVEREIGN of the Universe as a god should be. If that happens, wouldn’t the world, as know it, collapse?

(silence)….. hmmm.

If the son-god is dependent on father-god, then the concept of GOD further weakens and shrinks to meaninglessness.

(silence)

God has no parents, so how can He have children?

(silence)

If the son-god can be sacrificed like a lamb, then it is not an ALL POWERFUL god. If the son-god dies, then again the son-god is not an EVER LIVING, EVER PRESENT god.

(silence)

Why does Belief need to be complex? We already agreed on the concept of God. All we need to do now, is check if the Traditions we follow support the concept of God or not.

Yes. But I think I know where you’re going with this. Although I agreed with you, but I don’t think I will accept your offer to change my religion.

Even if I show you a belief system that meets the conditions of the correct concept of God?

Yes, I think so.

Why?

I cant betray my family, my community, my society, my country. I like following the traditions I am familiar with. I grew up with these teachings and I am comfortable believing them, practicing them. I don’t want to convert to Islam.

You are accustomed to your traditions, I understand that. You were raised in a certain cultural setting, which shaped your idea about the world and about God Himself. I understand that too. You live in your comfort zone, I understand that too. But these answers are, as you may appreciate, not very Rational, or logical.

It about my emotions, feelings, sentiments and basically its about loving something and holding on to that. Its not about logic or science.

Fair enough. Its about emotions. Its about the Heart. I’ll give that to you. But what about your mind? You cant walk away from your mind just like that. The question “are you overlooking the correct faith?” will keep coming back to ask you for answers. Don’t you see, why so many people have chosen unfaith (atheism) over belief in God in the last few centuries? Don’t you see the number of atheists growing each year? Don’t you see how Big Finance has slowly taken control of our societies and in some cases, entire countries? Don’t you see what’s going on around the world – how thousands have been killed “in your name”? Its simply not good enough to sit back and say ” We saw our forefathers following this tradition…(Q.43.24)”. You will have to do better than that! try to reconcile your heart and mind over all these questions. I didn’t ask you to convert. No. But I do ask you to Reason with yourself. Cover your emotions, at least for a short while. Think. Take the challenge….

“…… Whenever we sent a Messenger before you (Muhammad) to warn a township, the corrupted by wealth said, in the same way, “We saw our forefathers following this tradition, we are only following in their footsteps. (Q.43.24)”

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Learning About Islam – What is Bismillah

IN the name of God (Bismillah), the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy! Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgment.
It is You we worship, it is You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path; the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone stray. (AL-Quran, chapter 1).

Seven Verses from the HOLY QURAN define the Islamic faith. Muslims memorize these seven verses (also called Ayats) in the original Arabic and recite it during prayers 5 times a day. For those of you who want to learn about Islam, and also for those Muslims who want to clarify thoughts on Islam, this is the starting place, the opening verses of the MAJESTIC AL QURAN AL KAREEM.

Lets get started. How do we know these Ayats were not made up by a man? What is the proof that the verses were “revealed” from the Heavens?
Belief can be of two types, either one believes its truly from the heavens or one believes it was written by a man or a team of men and women. Lets say we have the belief that it was written by humans. Fair enough, who were these men and women? Were they Arabs or non Arabs? Were they followers of One God or multiple gods? Did they have a portfolio of written or oral literature as was the custom in Arabia in the 6th century? It is very natural for humans to want to pen their names (real or fake) on their works, and even more so when they gather together to write the verses for a new religion. Who were these “humans” who acquired PhD level linguistic, historical, scientific, psychological and above all civilization knowledge. Surely they must have left behind track record of discussions and debates with their locals before embarking on such an advanced form of philosophical cum literary adventure that would go on to become a watershed in human history of civilization. I understand, for 1400 years not a single convincing idea could prove human intervention behind the formulation of the Ayats. So, lets leave it at that.

Wait a minute, what about the Prophet of Islam, the Holy Messenger Nabi Muhammad (sallillahu alihi wa alihi wa sallam, Peace be Upon Him, PBUH) wrote the verses. He (PBUH) recited the verses to his companions which makes the idea convincing that he must have drafted the verses himself. Lets look at that more closely. First of all, Prophet Muhammad (Sallillahu alihi wa alihi wa sallam) was known as the un-lettered prophet, that is at the start of his mission he had not acquired the skills for reading and writing. For 40 years he (PBUH) lived in Makkah with very high honor and prestige, he was called Sadeq and Amin (the truthful and the trustworthy) by the Makkans due to his honest personality without ever being credited for reciting any kind of poetry or prose, let alone writing Ayats of the highest classical (Fushat) Arabic language which would become the standard for Arabic grammar.

Would you believe it if I told you that the greatest work of English language was written by someone who was not only un-lettered but had never written or expressed English literary or grammatical skills ever in his life? Obviously not. You might call it an “obnoxious idea”. Lets be fair and apply the same thought for the author of the Verses above. It could not have been written by any man or woman, therefore the only author must be other than what we know or understand as humans. Lets stop here, and move on with the verses.

The opening verses have combined two important ideas of our age. Science and Philosophy. Science because we know from Quantum Physics about time, space and matter. The first cause behind these three has to be the will of God. It is only after the First Cause has been established that the process of matter and antimatter, evolution and the development of human civilization can be discovered scientifically. Let say then today is the very first day for the first cause, the starting point of Time itself, how would the beginning look like, what would it begin by, under whose authority would the beginning take place? These questions are generally asked for any major event. Its like a person while inaugurating a ceremony says “on the authority given to me by and so and so….”.

Should Time, space and matter (humans, the milky way, the solar system, the galaxies, the nebula etc) start its journey by the will of God, by the authority given to the properties of matter and atoms and by the Power of God, then it makes absolute sense that this journey should start by the name of God. That is “BISMILLAH”. the starting point of all that we know on Earth, in the Oceans and in Space.

Muslims will thus say BISMILLAH at the start of anything. At the time of waking up, before a meal, before starting a journey, before starting work, before getting into a transport, before take off, before reading and so on.

Thanks for reading. Take care…