The Spirit of Islam


Religion and Human Life page 1 | The Islamic Approach Page 2

Perfection: The Islamic Ideal Page 2 | The Middle Way Page 2

ONE of the slogans most characteristic of the present age is ‘the conquest of space.’ Means of communication have been developed which are far beyond the dreams of former generations; and these new means have set in motion a far more rapid and extensive transfer of goods than ever before within the history of mankind. The result of this development is an economic inter-dependence of nations. No single nation or group can today afford to remain aloof from the rest of the world. Economic development has ceased to be local. Its character has become world-wide. It ignores, at least in its tendency, political boundaries and geographical distances. It carries with itself- and possibly this is even more important than the purely material side of the problem -the ever-increasing necessity of a transfer not only of merchandise but also of thoughts and cultural values. But while those two forces, the economic and the cultural, often go hand in hand, there is a difference in their dynamic rules. The elementary laws of economics require that the exchange of goods between nations be mutual; this means that no nation can act as buyer only while another nation is always seller in the long run, each of them must play both parts simultaneously, giving to, and taking from, each other, be it directly or through the medium of other actors in the play of economic forces. But in the cultural field this iron rule of exchange is not a necessity, at least not always a visible one, that is to say, the transfer of ideas and cultural influences is not necessarily based on the principle of give and take. It lies in human nature that nations and civilizations, which are politically and economically more virile, exert a strong fascination on the weaker or less active communities and influence them in the intellectual and social spheres without being influenced themselves.

Such is the situation today with regard to the relations between the Western and the Muslim worlds.

From the viewpoint of the historical observer the strong, one-sided influence which Western civilization at present exerts on the Muslim world is not at all surprising, because it is the outcome of a long historic process for which there are several analogies elsewhere. But while the historian may be satisfied, for us the problem remains unsettled. For us who are not mere interested spectators, but very real actors in this drama; for us who regard ourselves as the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) the problem in reality begins here. We believe that Islam, unlike other religions, is not only a spiritual attitude of mind, adjustable to different cultural settings, but a self-sufficing orbit of culture and a social system of clearly defined features. When, as is the case today, a foreign civilization extends its radiations into our midst and causes certain changes in our own cultural organism, we are bound to make it clear to ourselves whether that foreign influence runs in the direction of our own cultural possibilities or against them; whether it acts as an invigorating serum in the body of Islamic culture, or as a poison.

An answer to this question can be found through analysis only. We have to discover the motive forces of both civilizations – the Islamic and that of the modern West -and then to investigate how far a co-operation is possible between them. And as Islamic civilization is essentially a religious one, we must, first of all, try to define the general role of religion in human life.

Religion and Human Life

What we call the ‘religious attitude’ is the natural outcome of man’s intellectual and biological constitution. Man is unable to explain to himself the mystery of life, the mystery of birth and death, the mystery of infinity and eternity. His reasoning stops before impregnable walls. He can, therefore, do two things only. The one is, to give up all attempts at understanding life as a totality. In this case, man will rely upon the evidence of external experiences alone and will limit his conclusions to their sphere. Thus he will be able to understand single fragments of life, which may increase in number and clarity as rapidly or as slowly as human knowledge of Nature increases, but will, nonetheless, always remain only fragments -the grasp of the totality itself remaining beyond the methodical equipment of human reason. This is the way the natural sciences go. The other possibility – which may well exist side by side with the scientific one -is the way of religion. It leads man, by means of an inner, mostly intuitive, experience, to the acceptance of a unitary explanation of life, generally on the assumption that there exists a supreme Creative Power which governs the Universe according to some pre-conceived plan above and beyond human understanding. As has just been said, this conception does not necessarily preclude man from an investigation of such facts and fragments of life as offer themselves for external observation; there is no inherent antagonism between the external (scientific) and internal (religious) perception. But the latter is, in fact, the only speculative possibility to conceive all life as a unity of essence and motive power; in short, as a well-balanced, harmonious totality. The term ‘harmonious’, though so terribly misused, is very important in this connection, because it implies a corresponding attitude in man himself. The religious man knows that whatever happens to him and within him can never be the result of a blind play of forces without consciousness and purpose; he believes it to be the outcome of God’s conscious will alone, and, therefore, organically integrated with a universal plan. In this way man is enabled to solve the bitter antagonism between the human Self and the objective world of facts and appearances which is called Nature. The human being, with all the intricate mechanism of his soul, with all his desires and fears, his feelings and his speculative uncertainties, sees himself faced by a Nature in which bounty and cruelty, danger and security are mixed in a wondrous, inexplicable way and apparently work on lines entirely different from the methods and the structure of the human mind. Never has purely intellectual philosophy or experimental science been able to solve this conflict. This exactly is the point where religion steps in.

In the light of religious perception and experience, the human, self-conscious Self and the mute, seemingly irresponsible Nature are brought into a relation of spiritual harmony; because both, the individual consciousness of man and the Nature that surrounds him and is within him, are nothing but co-ordinate, if different, manifestations of one and the same Creative Will. The immense benefit which religion thus confers upon man is the realization that he is, and never can cease to be, a well-planned unit in the eternal movement of Creation: a definite part in the infinite organism of universal destiny. The psychological consequence of this conception is a deep feeling of spiritual security -that balance between hopes and fears which distinguishes the positively religious man, whatever his religion, from the irreligious.

Religion and Human Life page 1 | The Islamic Approach page 2

 Perfection: The Islamic Ideal page 2 | The Middle Way page 2

 

 The Islamic Approach:

This fundamental position is common to all great religions, whatever their specific doctrines be; and equally common to all of them is the moral appeal to man to surrender himself to the manifest Will of God. But Islam, and Islam alone, goes beyond this theoretical explanation and exhortation. It not only teaches us that all life is essentially a unity – because it proceeds from the Divine Oneness – but it shows us also the practical way how everyone of us can reproduce, within the limits of his individual, earthly life, the unity of Idea and Action both in his existence and in his consciousness. To attain that supreme goal of life, man is, in Islam, not compelled to renounce the world; no austerities are required to open a secret door to spiritual purification; no pressure is exerted upon the mind to believe incomprehensible dogmas in order that salvation be secured. Such things are utterly foreign to Islam: for it is neither a mystical doctrine nor a philosophy. It is simply a program of life according to the rules of Nature which God has decreed upon His creation; and its supreme achievement is the complete coordination of the spiritual and the material aspects of human life. In the teachings of Islam, both these aspects are not only ‘reconciled’ to each other in the sense of leaving no inherent conflict between the bodily and the moral existence of man, but the fact of their coexistence and actual inseparability is insisted upon as the natural basis of life.

This, I think, is the reason for the peculiar form of the Islamic prayer in which spiritual concentration and certain bodily movements are coordinated with each other. Inimical critics of Islam often select this way of praying as a proof of their allegation that Islam is a religion of formalism and outwardness. And, in fact, people of other religions, who are accustomed to neatly separate the ‘spiritual’ from the ‘bodily’ almost in the same way as the dairyman separates the cream from the milk, cannot easily understand that in the un-skimmed milk of Islam both these ingredients, though distinct in their respective constitutions, harmoniously live and express themselves together. In other words, the Islamic prayer consists of mental concentration and bodily movements because human life itself is of such a composition, and because we are supposed to approach God through the sum-total of all the faculties He has bestowed upon us.

A further illustration of this attitude can be seen in the institution of the tawaf the ceremony of walking round the Ka’bah in Makka. As it is an indispensable obligation for everyone who enters the Holy City to go seven times round the Ka’bah, and as the observance of this injunction is one of the three most essential points of the pilgrimage, we have the right to ask ourselves: What is the meaning of this? Is it necessary to express devotion in such a formal way?

The answer is quite obvious. If we move in a circle around some object we thereby establish that object as the central point of our action. The Ka’bah, towards which every Muslim turns his face in prayer, symbolizes the Oneness of God. The bodily movement of the pilgrims in the tawaf symbolizes the activity of human life. Consequently, the tawaf implies that not only our devotional thoughts but also our practical life, our actions and endeavors, must have the idea of God and His Oneness for their center-in accordance with the words of the Holy Qur’an:

‘I have not created Jinn and Man but that they should worship Me’ [Qur’an 51: 56]

Thus, the conception of ‘worship’ in Islam is different from that in any other religion. Here it is not restricted to the purely devotional practices, for example, prayers or fasting, but extends over the whole of man’s practical life as well. If the object of our life as a whole is to be the worship of God, we necessarily must regard this life, in the totality of all its aspects, as one complex moral responsibility. Thus, all our actions even the seemingly trivial ones, must be performed as acts of worship; that is, performed consciously as constituting apart of God’s universal plan. Such a state of things is, for the man of average capability, a distant ideal; but is it not the purpose of religion to bring ideals into real existence?

The position of Islam in this respect is unmistakable. It teaches us, firstly, that the permanent worship of God in all the manifold actions of human life is the very meaning of this life; and, secondly, that the achievement of this purpose remains impossible so long as we divide our life into two parts, the spiritual and the material: they must be bound together, in our consciousness and our action, into one harmoniousentity. Our notion of God’s Oneness must be reflected in our own striving towards a co-ordination and unification of the various aspects of our life.

A logical consequence of this attitude is a further difference between Islam and all other known religious systems. It is to be found in the fact that Islam, as a teaching, undertakes to define not only the metaphysical relations between man and his Creator but also -and with scarcely less insistence -the earthly relations between the individual and his social surroundings. The worldly life is not regarded as a mere empty shell, as a meaningless shadow of the Hereafter that is to come, but as a self-contained, positive entity. God Himself is a Unity not only in essence but also in purpose; and therefore, His creation is a Unity, possibly in essence, but certainly in purpose.

Ceiling of Cordoba Mosque from
the 10th century seems to shine down
on a time when the learning of the
Islamic East first came to the West,
paving the way for the Renaissance.

Perfection – The Islamic Ideal:

Worship of God in the wide sense just explained constitutes, according to Islam, the meaning of human life. And it is this conception alone that shows us the possibility of man’s reaching perfection within his individual, earthly life. Of all religious systems, Islam alone declares that individual perfection is possible in our earthly existence. Islam does not postpone this fulfillment until after a suppression of the so-called ‘bodily’ desires, as the Christian teaching does; nor does Islam promise a continuous chain of rebirths on a progressively higher plane, as is the case with Hinduism; nor does Islam agree with Buddhism, according to which perfection and salvation can only be obtained through an annihilation of the individual Self and its emotional links with the world. NO: Islam is emphatic in the assertion that man can reach perfection in the earthly, individual life and by making full use of all the worldly possibilities of his life.

To avoid misunderstandings, the term ‘perfection’ will have to be defined in the sense it is used here. As long as we have to do with human, biologically limited beings, we cannot possibly consider the idea of ‘absolute’ perfection, because everything absolute belongs to the realm of Divine attributes alone. Human perfection, in its true psychological and moral sense, must necessarily have a relative and purely individual bearing. It does not imply the possession of all imaginable good qualities, nor even the progressive acquisition of new qualities from outside, but solely the development of the already existing, positive qualities of the individual in such a way as to rouse his innate but otherwise dormant powers. Owing to the natural variety of the life-phenomena, the inborn qualities of man differ in each individual case. It would be absurd, therefore, to suppose that all human beings should, or even could, strive towards one and the same ‘type’ of perfection -just as it would be absurd to expect a perfect race-horse and a perfect heavy draught horse to possess exactly the same qualities. Both may be individually perfect and satisfactory, but they will be different, because their original characters are different. With human beings the case is similar. If perfection were to be standardized in a certain ‘type’ -as Christianity does in the type of the ascetic saint – men would have to give up, or change, or suppress, their individual differentiation. But this would clearly violate the divine law of individual variety which dominates all life on this earth. Therefore Islam, which is not a religion of repression, allows to man a very wide margin in his personal and social existence, so that the various qualities, temperaments and psychological inclinations of different individuals should find their way to positive development according to their individual predisposition. Thus a man may be an ascetic, or he may enjoy the full measure of his sensual possibilities within the lawful limits; he may be a nomad roaming through the deserts, without food for tomorrow, or a rich merchant surrounded by his goods. As long as he sincerely and consciously submits to the laws decreed by God, he is free to shape his personal life to whatever form his nature directs him. His duty is to make the best of himself so that he might honor the life-gift which His Creator has bestowed upon him; and to help his fellow-beings, by means of his own development, in their spiritual, social and material endeavors. But the form of his individual life is in no way fixed by a standard. He is free to make his choice from among all the limitless lawful possibilities open to him.

The basis of this ‘liberalism’ in Islam, is to be found in the conception that man ‘s original nature is essentially good. Contrary to the Christian idea that man is born sinful, or the teachings of Hinduism, that he is originally low and impure and must painfully stagger through along chain of transmigrations towards the ultimate goal of Perfection, the Islamic teaching contends that man is born pure and – in the sense explained above – potentially perfect. It is said in the Holy Qur’an:

‘Surely We created man in the best structure.’

But in the same breath the verse continues:

‘…and afterwards We reduced him to the lowest of low: with the exception of those who have faith and do good works.’ (Qur’an 95:4-5)

In this verse is expressed the doctrine that man is originally good and pure; and, furthermore, that disbelief in God and lack of good actions may destroy his original perfection. On the other hand, man may retain, or regain, that original, individual perfection if he consciously realizes God’s Oneness and submits to His laws. Thus, according to Islam, evil is never essential or even original; it is an acquisition of man’s later life, and is due to a misuse of the innate, positive qualities with which God has endowed every human being. Those qualities are, as has been said before, different in every individual, but always potentially perfect in themselves; and their full development is possible within the period of man’s individual life on earth. We take it for granted that the life after death, owing to its entirely changed conditions of feeling and perception, will confer upon us other, quite new, qualities and faculties which will make a still further progress of the human soul possible; but this concerns our future life alone. In this earthly life also, the Islamic teaching definitely asserts, we-every-one of us -can reach a full measure of perfection by developing the positive, already existing traits of which our individualities are composed.

Of all religions, Islam alone makes it possible for man to enjoy the full range of his earthly life without for a moment losing its spiritual orientation. How entirely different is this from the Christian conception! According to the Christian dogma, mankind stumbles under a hereditary sin committed by Adam and Eve, and consequently the whole life is looked upon -in dogmatic theory at least – as a gloomy vale of sorrows. It is the battlefield of two opposing forces: the evil, represented by Satan, and the good, represented by Jesus Christ. Satan tries, by means of bodily temptations, to bar the progress of the human soul towards the light eternal; the soul belongs to Christ, while the body is the playground of satanic influences. One could express it differently: the world of Matter is essentially satanic, while the world of Spirit is divine and good. Everything in human nature that is material, or ‘carnal’, as Christian theology prefers to call it, is a direct result of Adam’s succumbing to the advice of the hellish Prince of Darkness and Matter. Therefore, to obtain salvation, man must turn his heart away from this world of the flesh towards the future, spiritual world, where the ‘sin of mankind’ is redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Even if this dogma is not – and never was – obeyed in practice, the very existence of such a teaching tends to produce a permanent feeling of bad conscience in the religiously inclined man. He is tossed about between the peremptory call to neglect the world and the natural urge of his heart to live and to enjoy this life. The very idea of an unavoidable, because inherited, sin, and of its mystical – to the average intellect incomprehensible – redemption through the suffering of Jesus on the cross, erects a barrier between man’s spiritual longing and his legitimate desire to live.

In Islam, we know nothing of Original Sin; we regard it as incongruent with the idea of God’s justice; God does not make the child responsible for the doings of his father: and how could He have made all those numberless generations of mankind responsible for a sin of disobedience committed by a remote ancestor? It is no doubt possible to construct philosophical explanations of this strange assumption, but for the unsophisticated intellect it will always remain as artificial and as unsatisfactory as the conception of Trinity itself. And as there is no hereditary sin, there is also no universal redemption of mankind in the teachings of Islam. Redemption and damnation are individual. Every Muslim is his own redeemer; he bears all possibilities of spiritual success and failure within his heart. It is said in the Qur’an of the human personality:

‘In its favour is that which it has earned and against it is that which it has become guilty of.’ [Qur’an, 2: 286]

Another verse says:

‘Nothing shall be reckoned to man but that which he has striven for.’ [Qur’an, 53: 39]

The Middle Way:

But if Islam does not share the gloomy aspect of life as expressed in Christianity, it teaches us, nonetheless, not to attribute to earthly life that exaggerated value which modern Western civilization attributes to it. While the Christian outlook implies that earthly life is a bad business, the modern West – as distinct from Christianity – adores life in exactly the same way as the glutton adores his food: he devours it, but has no respect for it. Islam on the other hand, looks upon earthly life with calm and respect. It does not worship it, but regards it as an organic stage on our way to a higher existence. But just because it is a stage and a necessary stage, too, man has no right to despise or even to underrate the value of his earthly life. Our travel through this world is a necessary positive part in God’s plan. Human life, therefore, is of tremendous value; but we must never forget that it is a purely instrumental value. In Islam there is no room for the materialistic optimism of the modern West which says: ‘My Kingdom is of this world alone.’ – nor for the life – contempt of the Christian saying: ‘My Kingdom is not of this world.’ Islam goes the middle way. The Qur’an teaches us to pray:

‘Our Lord, give us the good in this world and the good in the Hereafter.’ [Qur’an 2:201]

Thus, the full appreciation of this world and its goods is in no way a handicap for our spiritual endeavors. Material prosperity is desirable, though not a goal in itself. The goal of all our practical activities always ought to be the creation and the maintenance of such personal and social conditions as might be helpful for the development of moral stamina in men. In accordance with this principle, Islam leads man towards a consciousness of moral responsibility in everything he does, whether great or small. The well-known injunction of the Gospels: ‘Give Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, and give God that which belongs to God’ – has no room in the theological structure of Islam, because Islam does not admit the existence of a conflict between the moral and the socio-economic requirements of our existence. In everything there can be only one choice: the choice between Right and Wrong – and nothing in – between. Hence the intense insistence on action as an indispensable element of morality.

Every individual Muslim has to regard himself as personally responsible for all happenings around him, and to .strive for the establishment of Right and the abolition of Wrong at every time and in every direction. A sanction for this attitude is to be found in the verse of the Qur’an:

‘You are the best community that has been sent forth to mankind: You enjoin the Right and forbid the Wrong; and you have faith in God.’ [Qur’an 3:110]

This is the moral justification of the healthy activism of Islam, a justification of the early Islamic conquests. It has meant, as it means today, the construction of a worldly frame for the best possible spiritual development of man. For, according to the teachings of Islam, moral knowledge automatically forces moral responsibility upon man. A mere Platonic discernment between Right and Wrong, without the urge to promote Right and to destroy Wrong, is a gross immorality in itself. In Islam, morality lives and dies with the human endeavor to establish its victory upon earth



By: muhammad asad | Source: IslamiCity | Category: Americas, Articles, Faith, Featured | Topic: islam | Views: 10,036 | Comments: 95

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95 Comments

  1. H.A. is proud of Muslim converts like Yahya Bergum and others like her WHO SEEM TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ISLAM than “Mozlems” who inherited the religion…(and who ONLY remembers ALLAH during BIG OCCASION associated w/ Food and NEW DRESS EXCHANGING EVENTS- the real infidels. H.A. was like that whe H.A. was a toddler.)

    I think we have enough converts in the WEST to completely flush the “fanciful” ideas of infidels like James Graham down the toilet…

    Yesssss..H.A. can take a long flight to Baghdad Cafe’ and drink TEA w/o worrying… and to later sneak into the _________ Triangle to get rid of …

  2. Peace be with you, James Graham. Your lesson plan for confirmation classes appears to have differed from mine. Regardless, if you can convince the Trinitarians that this is all there is to their “Doctrine of Trinity” than good for you!

    However, you might consider proposing that they change the name to something other than “Trinity” – to facilitate its acceptance by members of the Islamic community. How does “Unity” sound – so instead of Three you would refer to God as One?

    –Yahya Bergum

  3. Very unfortunate Mr. James Graham … your misguided interpretations of The Holy Quran fall short of strength. Desist from spreading corruption on land if you seek to do well in the here-after when you stand in front of your Creator. Here … read the following verses and correct yourself … please !! for your own sake !!

    4:171. O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.

    15:29. “When I have fashioned him (Adam, pbuh) (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”

    James, every human’s spirit is from his Creator.

  4. Sura al-Nisa 4:71 provides readers of the Qur’an with the definition of the ‘Trinity’ which the Christians hold. “But Jesus Christ, son of Mary is the messenger of God and His Word and Spirit of Him that He gave to Mary”.

    In this verse it is clear that God has:

    a personality – “messenger of God”

    a word – “and His Word”

    a spirit – “and a Spirit from Him”

    This testimony of the Qur’an for the creed of the Trinity is what the Christians proclaim and NO MORE

    James

  5. One member has commented, “there is no punishment in Islam which has no corresponding right”. Without expressing either agreement or disagreement, may I add that the so called “punishment”, is, in actual fact, the inevitable consequence of our action. Thus if a person sticks their hand in fire, getting burnt is a natural consequence. As a Muslim I believe that Bible, despite human interference, still contains glimpses of the revealed truth. There is a beautiful saying in it … “the wages of sin is death”. This corresponds with Qur’anic concept that those who do not submit (Arabic ‘Sallim’) to the will of Allah, create their own doom. Qur’an repeatedly states that Allah is not cruel to anyone, it is the individual (or a nation) that is cruel to itself.

  6. Tonya, I too was catholic, and am now Muslim, I too well understand your words and your happiness of finding the beauty, truth, and peace of Islam. I know how hard it is for christians like Alan Jean…I didn’t read any of his comments, I don’t have to, I know he fed upon propoganda and is throwing it like mud. We have a phrase in turkish (i’m here in istanbul learning turkish) “you can’t cover up the sun with dirt.” I learned a great deal about islam from a cultural education perspective, and when I saw it in practice, I was overwhelmed with the altruisms. I can assure you every day that’s past since I said “Ashahaduan La Illaha Illullah, Wa Ashahaduana Muhammadar Rasul-Ullah” has been better than every day prior to that moment. I have since then had the pleasure of hearing 2 of my brothers take shahada and witness their growth and happiness to be found in this truth. Following them 3 of my friends took shahada this year, and the umit of Muhammad (peace be upon him) continues to grow. Please anyone who wishes to share, feel free to contact slaveofthefriend@excite.com Abdul Walyy is the name I prefer to be called from musims, but any christian out there who is afraid of one of the 99 names (Al-Walyy) please feel free to call me Paul Christopher, for I still bear Christ’s truth (peace be upon him), I bear it more vigoursly now than ever, as I now am aware of the whole truth.

  7. Well, I’m going to have to pick this book up at the bookstore if I can find it here in turkey. In the meantime, all I can say is Mashallah!

  8. Why Is Islam The Best?

    – Reading The Amazing Quran

    – And Hadiths of our Lovley Prophet Muhammed pbuh

    – The Famous Night Journey of Prophet Muhammed pbuh

    – Description of Jannah

    – Acceptance of all Allahs messengers

    – And Lastly Bearing Witness there only 1 god unseen and Muhammed pbuh is the completion of messengers!

  9. Alan Jean Marriet,

    Surely as Moslem what I consider you is a Kafr, the disbeliever and I’m not worry a bit, and that’s about it.It is not the religion who we can blame but the person who has misunderstood about their faiths! either they are Islam, Christian, Jews etc.Yes some people has misconduct and become extremist, but it’s not only moslem people, do you ever consider the way european started what the called a colonization of all parts of the world back in 15th century with colombus, how many people they have slaid in order to put them into power and using all their natural resources and left nothing for the natives???, yes you can say it’s a civilazation of the people but actually it’s the beginning of terrorism itself. You people who started all this not us! And now with the era of industrialization, do you think is there any good? What do you think all those sports, movie industry, hi technolgy do you think they all make this world good? surely not they become more greed and greed and greed.And worst is All they think about is money! and money is all their GOD!, you can not say anyhthing cause God has blinfolded people’s eyes.And what they after is only to live in this world which is this world in Islam is only temporary, none is for granted.Sure you can get higher educations,pursue your dreams in this life but us as moslem what we are pursuing is the safety on lifeafter.Dun’ya or the world that western people has brought has just make this world a worst place to live!!!.So congratulation on your decision to live here in this world forever.As I can say if I meet you in later on I will be laughing at you.Good luck on your life!

  10. Things that make Islam so unique:

    – You still love and respected in Moses and Jesus while you are a Muslim.

    – The challenge from God in his book – Qur’an 2:23.

    – The completion of Islam – Qur’an 5:3

  11. i am a canadian women who has been married to a muslin man for 3 years. in the last 2 years i have been reading alot about Islam and i have been really wanting to become muslim. i was raised catholic and when i married Mohammad he changed my life. before i was with him i was what we call a lost soul, i had no direction and i was one messed up girl.. when i first met him i was scared from him because i knew that he was going to change my life and that god put him in my life for a reason.. now after being with him for almost 4 years i have chaged my whole life.. the love i have for my husband has opened my heart and life to the grace of god. Mohammad showed me the right way in life and loved me enough to teach me and be patient with me.. at first it was hard because i was used to a different life then the one that he had offered to me. i never loved till i met him. i never cared about life till he taught me about islam. Islam has saved my life. God saved my life from pain and put love into my life for the first time. i know now that god was always there i just never saw him till Mohammad showed me. i am glad that i learned the right way of living and that my husband loved me enough even after i was stubborn and led me to god… i thank this web site because i learned alot from it and i will continue to do so

  12. to further mr “king” s word to Alain jean truc, not only was mr Muhammad Asad named Leopold Weiss but he came from a long Rabbi familly, and had GREAT knowledge of the holy Torah and the Talmud, was fluent in ancient hebrew and could read Arameen ! this is a man who should be studied in all the universities.

  13. This may be regarded as a commendation and not necessarily a comment. The site Islamicity.com has been very encouraging to a young muslim like me and i have been made to understand the position of Islam on very many contoversial issues through the very articulate analysis of events in the site. I am absolutely impressed, keep up the good works.

  14. Actually “Alain Jean-mairet” you’ll be happy to know that the author of the this great peace Muhammed Asad was formerly known as Leopold Weiss, from Austria.

    ..

  15. Toto Hadiarto,

    I cannot second your recommendation about those sites. Both lack the necessary rigor of information and clearly try to promote a specific view of Islam, a sympathetic but not quite honest one, in my opinion.

    There is a kind of miracle in the story of Islam, indeed, in the calling of that man, Muhammad. And if you read his original words of inspiration (the Qur’an) with a faithful mind, you possibly will be delighted by the approach of the divine that this act permits. This is the good part of Islam. This is a personal experience I think each and every conscious being will enjoy, like a return to one’s home, like fresh water in the heat… It is a very powerful experience too to get nearer an almighty being (Allah), and also to take part into what has become a widely and intensely practiced religion.

    But those feelings can be reached by the faithful study of each religion, ideology, philosophy, or science. In fact, anything you do can become that strong, deep, and true if your state of mind is appropriate. Now, is Islam (or any religion) the right support for such an effort? My answer is no. As you leave the realm of personal experience, the subject becomes a cause of separation, of conflict, of discord more than anything else. And it has not much to do with the very content of the message, it is just a basic human (social) phenomenon. Religions create frontiers between people (here dar al-Islam vs. dar al-Harb) and offer no real soul guidance. The faith does that, i.e. the inspiration that comes when you listen to your conscience–true: God comes to those who try to approach him. But religions are structures of thoughts used for guiding communities. And this mix is bad at heart.

    Faith is a living thing, never repeating itself. Religion is a rigid set of rules, ever repeating. Faith is what the believer needs and actually strives for. Religions are the worst traps on his way.

  16. To Alain Jean-Mairet, I started to learn more about Islam only three years ago. Since you are not ignorant about Islam (according to your statement) I strongly suggest you to open http://www.islam-guide.com. There, hopefully, you will be confinced that Qur’an is really the words of Allah. There is no doubt about it. Also,

    http://www.harunyahya.com is a very very interesting site. There you will find that Islam denounces terrorism. In addition, http://www.islam-online.com is good as it has section called ‘Ask about Islam’ with answers from Moslem scholars.

  17. Toto Ardiato, you wrote:

    —-

    When you see a Christian or Buddhist or a person with a belief committing a crime, would you blame it on the religion?

    —-

    If the (death) crime is committed out of, or thanks to, religious conviction, or is supported, backed, or not loudly condemned by the whole body of the concerned religious authority, I sure do.

    —-

    “They (Moslems) are producing the most terrible assassins”. If I am not mistaken, those accused by the US as the ones responsible for the 9/11 are just SUSPECT.

    —-

    Thank you for mentioning the important juridical concept of the presumption of innocence. But do *you* believe they were not Moslems? Do *you* believe they were not praying “Allah!” that very second?

    —-

    I kindly ask you to refer to Qur’an and Hadist if you want to know about Islam, not from some peoples behaviour.

    —-

    I am not ignorant of what Muhammad is supposed to have sung, said and done. Do *you* know how these things were transmitted to us? Do you know how it was insured that there was only one Qur’an? Do you know how the sources looked like? Do you know how the hadiths were gathered? Do you know of what real base Moslems are grounding their faith?

    —-

    oh, and about the hate for the Israel?! I am wondering how you would feel if your brothers and sisters were being slaughtered or if you cradled your 6-yo dead daughter from the Israel bullets?

    —-

    I’d sure feel hatred, and I don’t think I would pardon. But I pray that I’d be wise enough for not urging to kill a whole people because of that.

  18. What people need is to feed their sense of the divine. But there is no, and there sure will never be, a true “religion of God”. For a clear eye, Islam is a holy lie. As are all religions and ideologies pretending to possess the truth. The truth is “talking” and “writing” through reality. It doesn’t use our words.

    It is true to say that studying the Qur’an will possibly lead a sincere mind to find God. But the studying of the growing of flowers, for instance, is just as good at it, and no-one can use it for leading fools towards murdering. When mankind will be adult, all religions will be history.

  19. In response to Alain Jean-Mairet: I disagree with you. I regret to say that the comment you made shows that you have very little knowledge about Islam and even lack of common sense. “They (Moslems) are leading to poorest and most corrupted countries, and promoting ignorance”. When you see a Christian or Buddhist or a person with a belief commiting a crime, would you blame it on the religion? “They (Moslems) are producing the most terrible assassins”. If I am not mistaken, those accused by the US as the ones responsible for the 9/11 are just SUSPECT. and, how reliable is the US intellegent?? (when they can not find WMD in Iraq, for example). I kindly ask you to refer to Qur’an and Hadist if you want to know about Islam, not from some peoples behaviour. oh, and about the hate for the Israel?! I am wondering how you would feel if your brothers and sisters were being slaughtered or if you cradled your 6-yo dead daughter from the Israel bullets??

  20. This is in response to Mr. Jean-Mairet, one of the commentators on this one-of-a-kind article. My best regards to the author: Muhammad Asad.

    Having read your comment Mr. Jean-Mairet, I have come to the confirmation that Islam like any other reality will have to go through all sorts of trials before it proves itself to the world. I am a Muslim and I do agree with you that most Muslims have made a mockery of “their” religion. I find them to be some of the most hypocritical of any religious people in the world. You have to understand that most “Muslims” and Islam are antithetical in many ways. I personally lived under a semi-dictatorship which did very little for us. You could not criticize the govt. for raising bread prices in the market, etc. Life under any Muslim regime is worldly Hell. Now, let me tell you that it is the regimes that are to blame for their mis-governance and the people for their tacit consent to those regimes. What has become of Islam is a “huge joke.” However, I whole-heartedly advise you to study Islam on your own. That way, you will see for yourself what Islam in the Koran is. All those among Muslims who hate Christians and Jews and others do belong to satanic cults and they are a curse on our faith: Islam. We, “Muslims,” have a long journey to go before we can truly emulate our cherished prophets: Mohammed, Jesus, and Moses. Given the reality on the ground and the fact that I had to leave my native country to live in the USA has almost pushed me away from all those who claim to be “Muslims.” Even the mosque doesn’t attract me anymore, for I vividly remember when the Imams, during my childhood, were inciting hate for the Christians and the Jews equally. Those Imams were and are still supported by their countries’ leaders; this way, the masses could focus on hate and not their miserable lives and consequently overthrow their governments. I am glad the US went into Iraq because she will help the Iraqis in better ways than Saddam ever did.

  21. It is easy to point out the shortcomings of religions. And it is easier to pick up the qualities of one’s religion of choice. But it doesn’t make a demonstration, unless you can show that following the given path brought you (your religion) to a factual superiority.

    The author says that the Qur’an teaches to pray:

    ‘Our Lord, give us the good in this world and the good in the Hereafter.’ [Qur’an 2:201]

    What good do Moslems have in this world? They are leading the poorest and most corrupted countries. They are producing the most terrible assassins (9/11, suicide bombers). They are promoting ignorance (no schools for women, no learning of foreign arts and science), hatred (Israel). They clearly are trying to restrict people’s freedom anytime they can (jihad, sharia, dhimmitude).

    All this because they won’t tolerate any other view on god. But where is their proof that they do have the word of God?

    All Moslems will tell Islam is the wonderful, marvelous, superb, tremendous, divine, [put here all adjectives you like] message of the sole real god (may he be glorified). But behind the curtain of words, Islam doesn’t look like anything worth worshiping. Evidently, the real god, that is the one who is creating what we call reality, is not quite satisfied with them. What does he want from Moslems? More restriction? More blood? More ignorance of everything that is not Islam? More rigidity? More self-glorification?

    Does god want that people prays him around a black stone? Does he create this world in order to have all creatures bend over five times a day towards Mecca? Can that be a divine idea? Can that be of the same mind that gave birth to the universe? Does Islam make any divine sense? Does any religion make any sense?

    Religion is what you resort to when you loose the genuine faith, which is the direct contact with the divine essence of reality. I think that if faith is a pair of legs, religion is a wheelchair. And I think God wants man

  22. Very interesting article. I am studying Islam now and I find that there are far more simililarities than differences between Islam and Christianity. Some of the “gloomy” and obscure dogmas the author mentions are not really representative of what is taught or believed by all Christians. Original sin, is something that is taught in the Catholic Churches, but not in any Protestant sects that I know of. I do not say this to criticize. I want only to point out to my Muslim brothers and sisters that in the most important issues in life: the manner we treat our fellow man, what God expects of us, and things like charity, love, forgiveness and understanding, we Christians are very much like Muslims. And like people of all faiths, many people today have strayed from these basic truths.

  23. It’s funy you know that the beauty of Islam and the logical teaching of Islam is so remote and so foreign to the modern people. Instead, they fought hard to cling on the “illogical religion”

    Why? because Islam is only for those who think. Afala ta’qilun (Don’t they think?)

    This accurate question proves that most people don’t think… and that is why they don’t believe in Islam… or just prejudice..or arrogant..????

    Well, life is short my friend, and the hereafter is forever.. so please think….

  24. assalm arz

    iam very fine and i hope that you also same there

    they are good persion you.i read in class i.sc.

    please prey to allah help on iraq.thanks

  25. I agree with this article. The ‘pilgrim invaders’ rationalized their conquest of America by something in their bible called “manifest destiny” – that is their duty to subject and transform and, therefore, save the native American people. Since that time, Americans (Christians) have used the same rationale to disguise their lust for natural resources. The U.S. persists in democratizing other countries because that is the best way to have some control of them.

    I think that the current situation in the Middle East is different. Yes, the U.S. wants Iraq’s oil by way of democratizing them; but this determination to destroy their government, I believe, is really about the much grander plan of the zionists to create a larger Israel. And, since Iraq is the heart of the Muslim world (as Saudi Arabia is the soul), then Iraq is a good place to start this conquest. Thank you.

  26. Asalam Alekam ,I believe the most “harmonious”situation of man is when he is at peace with Allah, to let the outer man manifest what is his inner guidance, We can ,as muslims, do things within our communities to promote more harmony as to equality of shared ideas and our sharing of our Islam by public speakers any time allowed, in a peaceful way. NOt to criticise the bad west as we see it, but to see how we ,living amoung all this, can be a light to change things, we always must be on our very best behaviour ,dress, speech and be learned people .,social, and friendly and easy to accept those realy wanting to learn our Islam,sorry to say, i was a christian all my life ,(with so many muslim feelings that i never knew were muslims, )because the education of christians to this greater religion, just wasnt available, its like it is kept secrect almost, so that we dont do away with the christians. Let all our new muslims begin to make this loss noticeable and this learning available. we must do it in peace, and i believe maybe Allah will bless us, thanks, if you disagree sorry, it is my heart.

  27. the bulletin tries to explain a common problem facing humanity ie getting purpose for this life. iwill say it has tried and is quit convincing

  28. well,

    assalamaa,

    thanks for the well recieved article,

    what do you say about.,

    laden,

    the rich learned fellows,

    the person who torn the innocent,

  29. It is heartening to see so many people across the world are reading this truly great man’s (Allah have mercy on him) words and more so to feel so many Muslims are moved by the ideas and sentiments expressed by him. I first read “The Road to Makkah” (his autobiography)five years back and was so touched that I would take the book with me wherever I went. Asad’s words sound like the words of a loving elderly brother – critical but not dismissive, great intellect without a trace of arrogance. Muhammad Asad is one of the great Islamic thinkers the world has seen. I pray to Allah that he has mercy on him and I also pray to the Almighty to bless my many Muslim brothers and sisters who are reading his work. Peace and the mercy of Allah be on all, (Amen).

  30. Mrci Baucoup pour votre information que je suis dans de suivre toujour et votre pays que j’aime tres fort pour cl j’aimerai que une jour je vien visite votre pays et surtout sur votre lieu de travaille. Dans notre pays le CONGO Actuale nous souffront Baucoup avec la guerre que vous connance bien. comment je peut fair pour visite votre pays? et j’aimerais fair une site de information pour votre nom de islamicity ici a kinshasa dans notre pays. votre abonne Mathieu kashindi wa kashindi.

  31. i have a friend who wants to convert to Islam, we are going today to the Regents Park Mosque in London to do this, could you please email me anything to do with converting to Islam, shokran

  32. I appreciate the work that you’re doing to teach the word of God especially in countries like mine where the resources in literature are expensive.

  33. I think the usa is wrong for blaming all muslim’s.

    I’m italian/german and i’m told that i’m not a real muslim because i’m not from over there.Isn’t a true muslim one who believes in allah and his book?I was tought that islam is for everyone not just a certain race. insha-allah they’ll reallize what they are doing wrong

  34. i’ve just read the bulleting about “Religion and Human Life” and i felt like i was reading a christian bulleting and it was also so precise and interesting the way they explain it to me and im alse a science person as well as a religion person, and it would be my plesure to find someone that i could talk like this so email me. God bless you all!

    Massiel Del Pozo.

    20 years old–christian-methodist-chemistry student

  35. In response to Syed Sadiq Hussain Ref.9947

    Dear Syed,

    I am not a practicing Moslem but I do have a lot of faith in Allah and that faith has been proven time and time again to the point that if I wish to deny it I will call myself a liar. But to answer your question in the way I understand things is that we as human beings only use less than 5%of our brains. Who are we to question things that are beyond our comprehinsion. This is why we have Faith.Good and evil are both from God it is his “Hikma” wisdom that we do not have the capability of remotely understanding.Therefore, faith is the only thing that keeps us going and gives us hope. I hope this helps.

    God Bless

  36. Man see nature as his enemy but a religious man see nature as the will of God. Nature and man is same in either case but it’s perception that what makes them different.

    Religion creates perceptions and religious men lives is propelled by these perceptions.

    I have never read M. Asad, will get this book to read it, inshallah.

    Azam

  37. Assalamualaikum

    Whatever was read, we should think about the path that we choose smartly. The resulting outcome is already known, and that gives us a better chance of seeing which one is a correct path. Islam is a perfect tool, and Allah says that in the Quran that Islam is a way for all of humanity, and a straight path. Therefore, he strongly encourages you to follow Islam and he has made it easy for us. He has sent a book, and an example: Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. This religon is so easy for everyone to follow. This is the case with even illiterates. The Quran gives us guidelines without doubts not like other books. Other books say maybe, or perhaps. The Quran gives us a straight message. This is it. Inshallah, may Allah give you all the Hidayah to choose the correct path.

  38. YOU HAVE MADE AN EXCELLENT COMPARISON BETWEEN BELIEVERS AND NON BELIEVERS. AS BELIEVERS LIVE THEIR MATERIAL LIFE ACCOMPANIED BY PEACE WITHIN THEMSELVES, NON BELIEVERS SPEND THEIR LIFE WITH AN EMOTIONAL FLUCTUATION OF FEAR, ANGER, AND DEPRESSION. IT IS UP TO THE HUMAN INTELLECT TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A PEACEFULL LIFE AND A REBILIOUS ONE. ANY MAN WITH SOME REASON KNOWS WHAT TO CHOOSE.

  39. dear sir,

    i have one problem regarding the concept of destiny, when everything is predestined, why do we blame ourselves for our wrong doing. Infact, its written earlier the things which we would do.

    For eg. if i kill somebody am destined to kill him, since its in my destiny, why am to me blamed for killing, when am destined to kill.

    Why do we fell guilty when we commit a mistake, since its not we who decide our actions. It’s already been preconceived the things which we are going to do.

    one more thing of note is, if jannat is only for muslims, why are nonmuslims to be cursed for no fault of theirs. Since, it was ALLAH, himself who created them.

    plz help me out in this regard

  40. Hullo Dear,

    i would like to discover from the Muslim point of u how did Jesus die, because i heard that Muslim are mocking and criticizing the faith of xtians who believes that Jesus is the Messiah of the world, the Jews are still expecting the Messiah, from the book of Isaiah so u help me to discover who is Jesus in Islam, how did he die? thank u.

  41. Sir

    Assalam-o-Allaikum

    May Allah bless you with more knowledge to analyse this world. This is a wonderful and the most important fact of life, which every human should accept and lead his life accordingly, not in fear but hoping for benevolence of Allah.

    May Allah bless you

    Asim

  42. I want to congratulate you for the efforts you are doing in the way of Islam.I am glad to be the member of Islamicity.com.Pl keep me posted the news bullitens,thanks.

  43. Salamu-Alaikum,

    Your articles on the IslamiCity Newsletter are very good. The topics are always very phylosophical and interesting, yet I find one inherent problem in them. They are too hard to understand. You must realize that not everyone who reads your newsletter is a Ph.D. and that people of all ages and races read it. Therefore I recommend that you make it simpler to understand, and as you have already done, include a link to the real article. This will make it much easier for everyone to get the full message of Islam without having to struggle to understand a “simple” article.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you would make these changes. May ALLAH be with you all. Thank you.

    Aaron El Campeon

  44. The third possibility, my humble experience suggests, is through the investigation of all ways–both religious, personal, natural, and supernatural. And in searching for answers that include all resources, I’m inclined to believe that we find greater acceptance and compassion for all religions, individuals, and those things of nature and beyond.

    I will think of you with thoughts of peace and look forward to further interaction.

    Respectfully,

    Kevin

  45. I knew people would argue with this article saying it was unislamic and so on. Unfortunate, because that is exactly the problem we are talking about. First the kind of change we are talking about is not a change of the 5 pillars or the Shahada.

    fasting, prayer, charity, witness, and hajj will never change.

    We don’t need to shave are faces, it doesn’t change anything.

    What we need to do is change our blaim from the west to ourselves. All we do is complain about the west, when the real enemy is ourselves. The real enemy is uneducated versions, interpretations of Islam that exist across the word, the problem is the evil hateful Salafi missionaries around the world. Islam is not Salafi, Islam Isn’t Shia, Islam isn’t Sunni, or Sufi. Islam simply is. Salafis preach hatred for Shia’s. Groups like Hezbullah and the Iranian government think if you aren’t Shia you are a fool. Nigerian Muslims participate in ancient tribal rituals that are not only not from Islam but affronts to Islam. Muslims have broken Islam, we now must fix it and stop putting blame outside which is the entire point of this whole article.

  46. Edward,

    they do condemn it in Arabic. Oh you mean you don’t understand Arabic or have never been in an Arabic Mosque? REALLY?

    So where did you get this entirely false opinion, I’ll guess CNN

  47. Religion has been there since the first man Adam. Man has not found religion. It was offerred to men, through the many messengers. Some have believed but most have not. Some have been misguided by taking religion through Satan. People who do not believe in religion will invent to believe on something which is an essence a religion. There can only be one which is the truth and the rest false. It fits well with the existence paradise and hell. Men guilty of rebelliousness against the true God deserve to be punished in hell.

  48. i’m a first semester freshman in new york. i was given an art class to fill in full time requrement. it deals with histry, not painting or drawing. from my first week experience i have realized that i’m going to have a problem with the subject. the repetition of “we don’t know for sure, but we think”, doesn’t sit well with fact-knowing or searching. art through the eyes of professor, and book authors is discimitive towards God and any religion that believes in God and refers to them as legends and myths. scientist and artist openly disrespect intelect of religious people, yet they think so highly of themselfs, even though they have more questions than ansewers. they even have apes and monkeys as their ancestors. they forget that some of their important findings that they ‘discovered’ recently have been revealed and know since 7-th century. what is important to the believer in this grat age of ignorance is to contnue to worship God, learn the qur’an, pray and fast. forget about science, media, and philosophy of modern age. it has long forgaten about you. selam.

  49. Written in 1969, this article seems to answer our longing for guidance through this era of obscurantism and ignorance. Despite the fast scientific development of the west,tragedy and despair have taken a heavy toll on our “humainity”. It has been long over due for muslims to transcend their differences and unite for the sake of Allah the merciful.

    ” Muslims of all countries unite” to paraphrase Lenin’s.

  50. Today’s reading from “Spirit of Islam” – “Religion and Human Life” is exceedingly well-crafted. It exudes a clarity of thought too often lacking in articles of this nature.

  51. It is wonderful that your occasional messages show the “rational” and “tolerant” writings of Muslims over the ages. However, until recognized religious “leaders” – be they called “imams,” “mullahs,” etc., stand up and publically – – AND IN THE ARABIC LANGUAGE – – announce tolerance, peace, love and respect for all peoples and religious – – INCLUDING JEWS, AMERICANS, CHRISTIANS, HINDUS – – and categorally state that “SUICIDE BOMBERS ARE GOING TO HELL, NOT PARADISE ACCORDING TO THE QURAN, MUHAMMAD, HADITH, etc., then all of your beautiful writings and teachings from all of your teachers and scholars over the centuries are totally lost on we westerners and non-Muslims. World Islam needs desparately to re-establish religious and spiritual credibility in the world since 9/11/01, and, so far, World Islam has failed miserably to do this, especially by failing to denounce the concept of martyrdom for suicide bombers. You are wonderful people, and I pray for Muslims of good will daily. Thank you. Edward

  52. I benefited from this article. I differ, however, with his interpretation of Jesus’ statement, “Give what is Caesar’s to Caesar, and give what is God’s to God.” When Jesus said this, he meant it to be understood according to the listener’s capacity, and to perhaps provoke thought and better understanding. His audience knew that everything belongs to God, they were Jewish authorities who preached this constantly. The question that provoked this response from Jesus had the faulty presupposition that somehow anything does not belong to God. They were trying to provoke Jesus to say something that would lead to his arrest by the Romans. Jesus knew that the Romans thought Caesar was a God, that they would probably take him literally. The genius of his response was that it could slip past the sociologically conditioned defenses of the Romans as well as the Jews trying to do him harm and perhaps expose the falsity of their beliefs to themselves or others present, each according to their understanding. He was actually using it as an opportunity to teach these men. Jesus made a statement which on the surface is idolotrous but after self-examination forces us to think about where we stand on the issue of money and power and status and God. Jesus knew that the relationship with money and God and government is up to individuals. Look at yourself if you want the answer. Jesus used words to help people come to know the truth, that was his job on earth, not being ‘politically correct’. His reponse was a multilayered saying – not to be taking literally. And I have only just scratched the surface.

  53. Mike Brown

    God bless you in his own name, “I am”, “the one who is”, “the merciful”, “the forgiving”, “the greatest”, “The God” (which is the literal meaning of Allah, or Al-Ilah.)

    I converted because I don’t need a go between, and because I’m too arrogant to pray to a man, but not too arrogant to require that man to be God before I will follow his example.

    May God’s peace find you

  54. It is wonderful explanation about the reality of human search and the good explantion of necessity of God and His guidance for mankind.I read this book 25 years back when i was studying for my graduation.There are so many mysteries that human mind can not comprehend them leave alone unravel them.They only way remains for man is to rely and follow the explanation from the creator himself.Thus religion comes to play an important role in human life.Therefore man has to believe and believe firmly in his creator that is God and comes the following the rules or laws laid down by the creator for his peaceful development and for his life hereafter.God has sent the perfect model for humanbeings in the form of Hazrath Muhammad sallalahu alaihi wa sallam for entire human kind and chosen him for His revelation for ever that is qur’an.These two perfect models one in the shape of book and other in the shape of human being is final shape or design which God wants man to follow.This will lead a human being to fullfillment of his physical, mental and spritual desires and finally to the attainment of highest desire and purpose of life i.e to achieve the fazal and raza of his God.The essence of life is love the Almighty Allah and His creatures through the teachings of Islam.

  55. Fascinating article.

    Fundamentally, I do not dispute the comments on Christianity except to say that ‘gloomily’ is not an accurate depiction of a Christian outlook on life. Jesus, when asked about the importance of the commandments of Moses, replied that above all we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.” This commandment instructs me to glorify the creator in all of my actions. To submit to the will of God and seek his glory in my life is to lead a joyous existence. My Christian experience is not a pious one, rather a celebration of life and the Gift of Jesus Christ. I know that the path I am on is the right one because I feel the loving embrace of the Holy Spirit on my heart.

    The other point I think is widely misunderstood about the western world is that the prevalent tide of consumerism and materialism is, in my opinion, not representative of our Christian heritage. My belief is that the decline of morals in the United States stems from the liberal acceptance of “Godlessness” and the rejection of spiritual and religious influences in the society. Clearly, America is not what it once was morally. As an American, this saddens me beyond belief. As an individual, I can choose the right path regardless of the society I live in. There are many Americans like me who do not agree with the direction our society has taken morally. But it is inaccurate to depict the entire western world as self-driven and “Godless”. The balance of power in America has continually flowed to the left but there is a rising surge back to our Christian heritage.

  56. superbly written article.. articulate, intelligent and punctured with factual proofs. I hope more intelligent people like this write on behalf of Islam.. it will take us a long way into respectability in the eyes of even our worst enemies

  57. I agree with Brother Ameen. Islam is good no doubt. But who made it unpopular or something not of any interest even among the Muslim community especially to their youth ? Is it only the West or Muslim themselves? See the profile of those people who are supposed to be role model of Islam in Muslim countries including Arabs and non Arabs. See the way they dress, the way they behave, the way they talk, the way they think and the way they preach. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)was in a society which had its own local culture. If Islam is for global then we must realize that every local culture of a Muslim country can not be the Islamic culture. Similarly every fashion of a certain age can not be the fashion of all the ages.

  58. Islam is the way, the best way but things can be learned from other religions and philosophy and from science. These are knowledges open to looking and interpreting as long as they do not go against our main principles.

    18:109 Say: “If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid.”

    Allah’s truths ae much longer and more complicated that what the Qu’ran or Haddeth or all the books in the world show.

    Those who say we can’t live amoung westerners because they are too corrupt and their system is so corrupt needs to rething. Every Muslim country in the world has major problems right now, because of exertnal AS WELL AS INTERNAL problems. You say the Muslims system is best but show where the Muslim system is? I haven’t seen since Salah Adin. This is the reason Allah let us fall to the Mongols to th West and then to ourselves. After the last true Jihad the crusades we became corrupted we have lost our faith, our system. We must rebuild are attitudes our philosopy and our science if we wish to lead the world to truth. Not weapons excpet in defense, and never resulting to insult. The laws of Islam are simple. There is still much room for cultural diversity even while implimenting them. Many things in the Hadeeth are old traditions older than islam and not particularly important. The prophet PBUH wore a beard? Ok let him. The prophet didn’t like onions? I can stilll eat them. There are some things from the Prophet that help us how he was a unique individual and are no necessary to emulate. Some opinions he had that are not in Quran are from his culture not Allah.

  59. This is response to Shakir Ebrahim.

    I don’t even know where to start with your post which is full of conjectures!!! What kind of non-sense point to make by saying Arabs can relate to heat more than people living in England. Don’t they see and feel the sun there or cook in England ???

    You’ve been living too long amongs the Christians who probably influenced your thinking that Islam needs to be reinterpreted. You don’t seem to understand thats precisely why the Christians left their belief after too many reinterpretations, then it turned out to a secular religion.

    And when you said that Islam does not hold monopoly to the only Truth, common sense tells there is only one truth for everything. One cannot be two, and two cannot be one. Islam is either the truth or not. You cannot say Islam is true and Christianty is true, and Buddism is true, etc etc. You are defying common sense. For us who are Muslims, we believe it is the only truth out there, because the Quran demands that we believe that, and if we don’t then we CANNOT CALL YOURSELVES MUSLIMS….

    Your kind have been spoken about in the Quran in many places : Those who follow nothing, but conjectures.

  60. It is a hame that the so called “Muslim World” is dependant on the West for economic progress causing the influence of Western culture to penetrate into Muslim nations who adopt this culture and repress Islamic virtues. Instead of moving in this direction, Muslim leaders and their people need to revive the fundamentals of Islam as a culture and a force of advancement in science,technology,economics and knowledge in general. Globalization may not be a threat to the Muslim world if it can use this trend to influence other nations in a positive way. But first it must start with changing it’s own political and soceo-economic approach to solving it’s own problems and trying to catch up with developed countries. Technology can be used as an advantage to transfer the message of Islam to the world at large. This message is best conveyed through communication and so if communication is easily accessible today, then it should be used to reach people across the globe. Muslims should not fear technological advancement, but should rather use it to their advantage and the benifit of others.

  61. Assalamu Alaikum,

    In response to your news letter which seemed to pose a question. It is quite clear to me that the western ideology is undoubtedly a poison. We as muslims should have clear in our minds that western thoughts and culture eminates from a corrupted concepts of freedom and benefit, which are not from the islamic ideology. Where as the our idea and action are soley for the pleasure of Allah(swt). Therefore it is clear that our basis of life are worlds apart. Even if it seems that we agree on certain issues, we are like leaves from two completely different plants.

    The kufar make up there rules and regulations and attempt to form public oppinion on these issues, believing that it is their right to legislate their personal and societies affairs. The muslim ummah should have clear that the right of legislation is only with Allah(swt) and we need to implement He(swt) laws.

    The fact that we are so different means it is impossible for us to integrate into such a corrupted society. Integration means compromise and it is clear that from the example of our beloved Prophet(saw) and the Sahaba(ra) that compromise in our deen is not aloud.

    We are all well aware and heard the statement ‘ Islam is not just a religion but a complete way of life’ but do we know what it means? In my limited understanding, it means in islam we have a system of life. So we have a complete social system, economic system, political system which governs from how we drink a glass of water, to how we trade to how we govern a state.

    Because we already have a political system, for the west to push there corrupt politics on us will inevitably lead to a clash of civilisations. This is why the ummah must work for the revival of the islamic state so that we may rule in accordance with shari’ah and Allah’s laws be obeyed.

    Salam

  62. Usman, stop misinterpreting the word crusade. There is Crusade with a capital C and crusade with a small c,, Here is the webster definition

    1 capitalized : any of the military expeditions undertaken by Christian powers in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to win the Holy Land from the Muslims

    2 : a remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm

    I’ve seen news articles saying “Usama’s crusade against America” or “the ACLU’s crusade against prayer in schools” These are normal uses of the word, and most people who were born speaking American English know this, if you didn’t learn that’s ok English is a weird language and not particularly beautiful, but at least now you know the truth. I’ve seen Arabic press translate this as Harb AlSaleeb but that was not the context or meaning when the president said this. It was a cultural mistake by the translators and the speech writers (maybe not a mistake from the speach rioters trying to stir up trouble)

    I will agree that Bush isn’t truely fond of Muslims and has a severe dislike for them, and then I will disagree and say Bush doesn’t care, Muslim Christian, wheres the money

  63. Assalamu alaikum,

    You see my brother, i also wonder in my hood and asked myself certain questions; thats, what in this present biased world continue to hinder the unity of both the Arabs and Muslim world at large? what the hell a we afraid of? Death again? Or what on earth? lets all re-afirm the believe that we will all someday be no where on this earth.

    However, with this obvious twist of world politics over Islam; i imagine we are approaching an era of perhaps confrontations, of which we all have to bear and fight. Because you could imagine a five year old boy feeling the pains of the way this religion simply and clear becomes a target; first, a crusade as said by Bush and later readjusted the statement as a declared against terror. I want as all to believe the non-existence of a terrorist, and if so-carelessly handled as today’s, these evil genius would atlast extend this terror wars through all the muslim nations,I strongly have this believe.

    Therefore, I guess we shouldn’t have to sit back and be looking at the Palestine’s suffer these brutalities daily in their houses; where else, do we have for them to go and seek shelter afresh. OR do we have to sit in our countries and be following long and unreasonable diplomatic processes, while we still feel they are our brothers and sisters and therefore, should not treated this way. Not to talk even about Iraq’s face-off with the Bushes or to remember the delibearate shelling of the Al-amiriya shelter in Bagdhad during the gulf crisis in 1991; the Chechen’s, the phillopino muslims (Abu Sayyaf’s) and the Sebrenidzar mayhem by the Serbs in Bosnia. I believe Osama wouldn’t have entered the guiness book of record, if really muslim leaders are acting properly and efficiently.

    We got to strongly unite ourselves in many respects in this present world, and voice a single voice and also target them the way we are targeted. And i always remember this “If not by man then definitely by God” (Q:2-190, Q:2-195).

  64. Dear Sir,

    As Salaam Alikum

    Today i have received your mail and open your website. Thanks Allah that you have created wisdom of Islamic Knowledge that benefit all muslims around the world.

    Thanks & Regards

    Mohammed Khaleel

  65. I saw a program on C_SPAN where a Canadian official wanted to renegotiate the NAFTA treaty making exceptions to free trade related to cultural property such as films. So this is an issue which goes into other areas.

  66. This is with reference to Madison Muslim’s comments at Ref: 9475 about the article “The Spirit of Islam”.

    Religious opinions in Islaam are based upon the text of Al-Quraan-ul-Kareem as understood and practised in the light of Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Issues not fully covered by such opinions/decisions are decided through Ijtihaad but for this there should be a conscensus of the plurality (Ijma’) of the pious scholars of the Islaamic teachings (Al-Quraan-ul-Kareem, ‘Ilm-ul-Hadith, and Al-Fiqh-ul-Islaami) and individual opinions are not considered as the binding authority. However, in the case of “Ribaa” there are many clear injuctions in the text of Al-Quraan-ul-Kareem and Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that prohibit exchange of the same kind of commodities, cash as well as in kind, in excess of the amount / quantity borrowed / lent / exchanged. For further guidance on this issue I suggest my Madison Muslim brother to study the material contained in the links in the web page at URL: http://tyo.ca/islambank.community/index.php

  67. At a recent Halika, several Muslims questioned the

    use of Riba and defended it, saying a scholar has

    come forward to approve the use of interest in the

    Western culture. Yes, it is clear that some aspect

    are a poison. The aspect of “being thin” has caused eating disorders in young women, and became

    apparent after commercials appeared featuring Western values. May Allah protect us.

  68. This refers to brother Shakir Ebrahim comments at Ref: 9420. In this regard I would like to quote the following observation of Muhammad Asad (who was indeed a great Islaamic scholar of the last century)from his book “Islam at the Crossroads”, chapter ‘Conclusion’, 8th praragraph from the end:

    ‘We need not “reform” Islam, as some Muslims think – for it is already perfect in itself. What we must reform is our attitude towards religion, our laziness, our self-conceit, our short-sightedness, in one word our defects, and not some supposed defects in Islam…we cannot substitute the perfect fabric of Islam by anything non-Islamic…Islam as a spiritual and social institution, cannot be “improved”….but it should be a change from within ourselves – and it should go in the direction of Islam, and not away from it.’

    Opinion of brother Shakir Ebrahim thus goes contrary not only to what is the general consensus of the great scholars of the Islamic teachings [Al-Quraan-ul-Kareem & Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)]but also to the expert opinion of the scholar under reference, Muhammad Asad (Rah.ima-ullah), in the light of these teachings.

    May Allah bless us Muslim wih correct knowledge of His Deen, Al-Islaam, and give us courage and strength to practice the same in all spheres of our individual as well as social lives! Aameen.

  69. Hi. I found this site recently and decided to subscribe to it hopefully to learn more about Islam. I am a happy Roman Catholic active in my local parish but lately have realized that I know little about Islam or other religions such as Hinduism, etc. There is so much new information available these days about Islamic countries and the religion in general that it is hard to sort it alll out. While I served in the United States Army for 10 years I was stationed in Germany for 8 years. I visited most of Europe and even traveled down to North Africa so I am not entirely ignorant of the way the rest of the world lives. I love my country and feel that America has much to contribute to the world but that we should also remember that we are not alone the world; that is, that we are, although a powerful one, just one nation and culture among many. In responding to your current editorial, I wanted to ask if there a time when Islam and its followers exerted an influence on the smaller, less powerful communities in its geographical and culteral sphere? Isn’t it simply human nature for a group or individual to try and extend their ideas or beliefs? Don’t all of us hold our beliefs because we feel that they are the correct beliefs to hold? Also, I wonder, do Muslims of Western extraction feel a pull from several directions because of their allegiance to country and/or belief? Thanks, Miriam Witherspoon-Wheeler

  70. Islam does NOT have a clearly defined set of values as you say. The values defined as per the various schools of thought were based on dynamics prevalent then and were meant to be reinterpreted as generations progressed. Clearly this has not happened and Islam is stuck in a time warp. Even what we consider as plain verses of the Quran need to be reinterpreted according to who the reader is and in what environment he exists eg. The verses on Hell (except a few) define Hell as burning fire. Arabs living in the desert can identify with heat, but if Islam is for a person living in England, where the temperatures don’t rise above 20 degrees for more than 25 days a year, how can you describe heat to that person?

    Islam also does not have a monopoly on “TRUTH”. Other civilizations have made better instruments, better personal and criminal laws, more suited to the people of the 21st Century, and we, as Muslims should follow that and not stick to a rigid interpretation of law based on a primitive society.

  71. Thank you for posting this first chapter of Muhammad Asad’s book “Islam at the Crossroads”. I would strongly urge you to similarly post the remaining 7 chapters of this book because the opinion leaders of the the Muslim Community need to be guided by the excellent analytical views of this Muslim scholar for tackling the current problemm of the Ummah. If we, as a Community,had paid due attention to the findings and recommendations contained in this small booklet (of less than 100 pages) over the past about 70 years since its first publication then we would have avoided the pathetic situation currently confronting the Muslim Ummah. May Allah help wake us to understand demands of our present problems and bless us with wisdom, courage, and perseverance to successfully tackle the same! Allahumma Aameen.

  72. Every aspect of our lives falls within the spectrum of all that is good to all that is bad…For all that the West has to offer that spectrum exists within that offering. To the West Government, Industry, Finance,Military, Academic, Media and Religion as separate systems independent of each other but to ISLAM all these systems are all part of one system where they are all dependent ob each other. The wellness of one is dependent on the wellness of the whole. For this reason this war must take place. Over seven hundred million children of Islam who are about to be educated and they will not be educated into a corrupt systems. As a prophet watching over a peoples I promise you the West will not be allowed to interfere with the development of Islam as a whole. It is for this reason Osama triggered a change in that direction that is ongoing to this day. The influence of the West is self serving which goes against the fundamental beliefs of Islam to begin with. By the Will of our GOD who is truly the one in charge a “Catch 22” was put in place. Islam has had only one structure point developed…Religion….by their obligation to their Qu’ran and the Prophets Islam is forced to openly fight against the corrupted influences that have become incorporated into our societies. One side corrupts the knowledge while the other side has the knowledge suppressed by oppression. If the President thinks he can topple Saddam then develop the country he is unaware that it will be developed without that corruptive influence and as each system is developed it will be under Islam rule and not the rule of the West. This war brings the body of all Islam together into one system my friends and is long overdue. The peoples of Islam follow the Will of our GOD while their leaders like those of the West have to an extent become self serving because of that influence of the West.Isreal acts as Finance, my Roman Catholic Church as Government and Islam my friends is the military wing of RELIGION…

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