Is the Problem Too Much Islam?

Category: World Affairs Views: 10577

LONDON - Today Muslims are being challenged to face up to the fact that crimes are committed in the name of their religion. Like many, I am finding it hard to accept. 

One of the crucial factors about the London bombings, I think, goes right back to school: where did those who carried out the attacks get their teachings from? What curriculum were they following - or not following - when they decided it was OK to blow up themselves and people they didn't even know? What background have the bombers come from and who taught them? 

As a new Muslim - I wasn't born a Muslim and didn't have the customary upbringing - receiving an English translation of the Qur'an as a gift in 1976 was a wonderful chance to learn from scratch what the teachings of this misunderstood religion really proclaimed. You may or may not know that the word Islam is rooted in the word 'peace'.

Yes, some have claimed that there are verses in the Qur'an which endorse violence and fanaticism. But all that proves is that, when you quote out of context to further your own particular brand of extremism, you can choose any book on the shelf. Islam is not alone.

The message I picked up from the Qur'an was quite different. I found the light of knowledge and godliness shining from the verses and stories, linking mankind together as one family, regardless of colour, status or nationality. It told me of the wondrous universal teachings of peace and unity advocated by the greatest of educators, people such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others. Yet the followers of these messengers, in defiance of their noble teachings, have indulged in countless wars. 

You can't blame the teachers. You have to blame the distortions and ignorance of their followers.

Again, Islam is not unique in this. At the end of every Friday sermon around the world, in every mosque, the imam usually recites the following words from the Qur'an: "Verily, God commands justice and kindness and giving to relatives and He forbids indecency, objectionable actions and extremism. God instructs you that you may be reminded."

Yet no matter what the teachings convey, some listeners will be selective, and may choose not to be reminded.

It's uncomfortable but easy to imagine youths today - many of whom are fugitives from the mosques in the first place - growing up against the backdrop of the injustices lambasting the Muslim world, being impressed by the fiery rhetoric of the sharp-tongued dogmatists. Youngsters are naturally attracted to short-cut solutions. This is where many of the problems start.

Education is crucial. Here in Britain, the education system has been slow, at best, in allowing Islamic teachings to be taught in their full breadth. There is a lack of commitment to the rigours of traditional learning. 

In the West, where Islam is denigrated and prejudice abounds, where headlines designed to shock and mesmerize dominate people's minds, the real teachings of the faith are left for people to fall upon by chance. In terms of spiritual and moral nourishment, it has been left to largely irregular and inadequate models of religious education to deliver the goods.

An hour-long mosque sermon, once a week - which most Muslims attend - or a lecture by a visiting scholar who barely speaks English and has little understanding of British and European life, are never likely to deliver the balanced curriculum necessary to build the conscientious believer, one who not only knows his duty to God but also to the society and world he lives in.

The July 7 bombers attended state schools in Britain, not faith-based schools. Some of them, we are told, briefly visited madrassa schools in Pakistan. This may or may not be relevant, but it suggests that they felt they had had insufficient Islamic education in Britain. By going abroad, they laid themselves open to influences outside normal scholastic parameters.

If we fail to provide authentic and traditional spiritual values within everyday schooling, we allow rogue ideologists to distort the essence of religious concepts. We also exclude invaluable wisdom and repress the strong spirit of devotion that many believers naturally feel.

The teachings of Islam have nothing to do with the recent barbarities. The problem, to oversimplify, is not too much Islam but too little. In the same way, Christianity didn't produce Hitler; but the absence of true Christian teachings and a lack of strong spiritual role models must have contributed.

Faith-based education produces major benefits. At, Islamia Primary, the first Muslim school to be granted aided status by the British government, by conforming to and delivering the national curriculum, we are able to balance society's needs with the aspirations of Muslim parents. The results are not perfect, but they are encouraging. 

Children and particularly those disposed to disaffection, need spiritual support and firm moral borders when confronted by the pressures of modern life. We aim to provide these in a context of learning.

Historically, Islamic civilization nurtured the development of science and spurred the arrival of the European Renaissance. "Seek knowledge, even if it is in China", is a much quoted Islamic proverb attributed to Prophet Muhammad. An uneducated Muslim is a dangerous entity to himself as well as to others. Ignorance contradicts the very essence of true Islam, which is based on the love and search for knowledge. So without knowledge, please don't blame Islam.

 

Yusuf Islam is chairman of the International Board for Educational Research and Resources. In 2004 he was honoured with the 'Man for Peace' award by a committee of Nobel peace laureates.



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  44 Comments   Comment

  1. Ameer Raschid from USA

    Education is only hte beginning. We need good examples and a dynamic society where we can interact positively without discord and sectarianism.

    Comment 33329 Talawat Bokhari finds the article truthful but propaganda and quotes the Qur'an

    "Those who are with him (the prophet)are hard against disbelievers". (48/29) in the same manner as non-Muslims who want to emphasize only the verses which dealt with opposing particularly the disbelieving pagan Arabs who were out to destroy Islam and not to compromise by giving up Islamic principles and values. The verses regarding making friends witn non-belivers in preference to believers are similar in nature. Allah does not forbid us from making friends(and dealing justly) with Jews or Christians, only those whose actions clearly shows their enmity to Islam and Muslims.

    There is too much of the wrong understanding of Islam that is being preached and implemenmted by ignorant Muslims that want to respond to attacks by violence rather than beautiful and consisten arguments and dignified but faithful behavior.

    One group is a secular one that has no interest in seeing Islam implemented but accepts its role as a cultural identiy. The other extreme wants a firm implementation of Islam in society and government but fails to recognize that the Muslims themselves need to be brought to the level of full committment and sacrifice for this.S22/78v And strive for Allah8(in His cause)with the endeavor which is His right.jahidu fillah haqqa jihaadihi. The so-called middle group only wants to keep stability to conform to the wishes of Western countries and the upper middle class of westernized Muslims. They forbid veiling, headcovering or beards as a sign of fundamentalism that they see as equivalent to a call for violence They accept a traditional society,a passive Islam that is tolerant of every kind of behavior to get Western approval. We need a balanced group that has its goal the pleasure of Allah and sincerely strives with humili

  2. BASHIR KOLAWOLE from BRAZIL

    I agree with every word in the article.All TRUE Muslims must rise up against the nefarious activities of the extremists who are portraying Islam as a violent religion.All hands must be on deck to clean our great religion from these few elements amongst us.PROPHET MOHAMMED never preached violence,I wonder where they got their own doctrine.

  3. Ebony Khadija Davis Hamani from Germany

    I agree with what Yusuf Islam has written in his article. However,

    this does not change the thoughts of the mass of people

    towards Islam. I live in Germany now for over 20 twenty years

    and the scares of Hitler are still being felt even by the younger

    generation that has had nothing to do with the last World War

    not to even mention Hitler. It will take many years for the scares

    and wounds of what has happened in USA (Sept. 11) and

    wherever in the World where Islamic Terrorist have done there

    work. Scares do heal, but remember one thing, scares are often

    felt for a long time after they have healed and one does not

    forget.

  4. Maline Hydara from UK

    A-ouzou Bilahi mina sheytan rajim.

    Bi-ismi Ilaahi Arahman Arahiimi

    Assalatou wa Salamou ala Seyidul Moursalina

    Assalamou Aleykou, Ya Sheikh Yusuf Islam, wa Rahamatou Lah wa Barakaatouhu.

    Praise be to Allah, the Most High; in this day and age, for granting the Umma with people of your statue.

    Aren't we truly complex in all nature? Allahu Akbar, Allah Akbar, Allahu Akbar Kebira, wa Laa Illaha Illa HOU.

    Yes, knowledge is very good, without we are nothing. Yes, knowledge is the second best gitf, we have been given by the Most High,right from the beginning, when we (ADAM) had to fight for our place before the Most High (...wa alaama Adaama assmaa-a koulaha...), remember?

    Yes,knowledge is the Key to everything. By the mean of learning, have not changed our world? Remember,when we are urged to learn for sake of our LORD the MOST GRACIOUS, (...ikra bi-Ismou Rabikal lathi halaqa... bil qalam alamal insaan maa lam yaolam...)

    Of course, by learning to activate the seed of knowing withing us, we are almost succeeding to prove who are we, in this infinite creation of the Eternal/ever Linving KING of the kings. Subhaana Lahh Allahu Akbar Kebira.

    Knowledge is power, they all agreed on. Indeed it has made us dominant upon all other beings we have encountered so far; that of course, by the Will of the ONE whose Will only matters. Remember, when the Angels and the enemy(iblis) gave up, and then secure our place, ready for survival.

    Is knownledge truly all that we need, to fulfill our purpose in this world during this short time of transit? Knowing is good. Knowing is to become powerful. The irony is this knowledge is the very danger to our survival.

    Unless the two important key ingrediences are sought and added. UNDERSTANDING and WISDOM

    They are indeed the two remaining, most valuable of all gifts, that we have seek and acquire in order to become successful in our life time engagements.

    "...knowing is nothing, IMAGINATION is e

  5. nia from Indonesia

    i've read this article, and i agree with yusuf islam opinion

  6. Omar from Australia

    I agree that Islam is perfect and that it does not need changing. I also agree that Muslims should not change to suit others, and that Allah (SWT) will ultimately protect His religion. All this does not mean, however, that individual Muslims are not accountable and do not have any responsibility for matters beyond their own personal thoughts and actions. We are commanded by Allah (SWT) to enjoin the good and forbid the wrong. When we witness wrong doing, injustice etc., we are commanded to rectify the wrong, preferably, with our own hands if possible, or, if that's not possible, we should speak up against the wrong doer and his or her actions. If we are unable to either act or speak out against a wrongful action, we should at the very least give thought to the deed and consider it to be wrong rather than just being apathetic about it.

    The question here is not whether Islam is in need of change, we all know that it is beyond reproach. Rather, the point of the article was that some people, in ignorance, are committing acts which they think are sanctioned in Islam but, on the contrary, they are in fact sinning. What Brother Yusuf is rightly saying in his article, is that with more Islamic based education these wrongful incidents would be less likely to occur. When atrocities occur which are attributed to Muslims it is, in the aftermath, incumbent on all Muslims to denounce the wrongful deed and to point out, in no uncertain terms, that the action is not condoned in Islam. Furthermore, it should be made clear to the world at large that since the perpetrator acted against the Will of Allah, as is plainly indicated in the Qu'ran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), he/she can not then, by definition, be considered to be Muslim. In this way the stain cast on Islam by the perpetrator will be wiped off by way of human intervention.

  7. khadija from U.S.A

    Asalaamu aleikum,

    Islam as a religion is perfect. it does not needs protection Allah (S.W.T) will protect his religion. we should eveluate our ways of life and its our responsibilties to ask ourselves am i practicing the teaching of the quraan and the sunnah?. We should stop being so defensive, Islam does not need a change, as muslims we need a change not to plisse anyone or any gorvernment we should practice what we are preaching which is ISLAM(PEACE). we have the best foundation laid out for as and all thats needed for as is KNOWLEDGE and ACCOUNTABILITY, We are responsible of our lives and our actions. always have in mind we will be judged according to our deeds. may Allah (S.W.T) forgive us for wrong that we do, say or think. We are going through tough times may Allah give us the strength and petience to do good.

  8. Abdul Rasheed from India

    Islam is peace that what you are not describing but your view is Happiness life; birth, work, wife, kids and death there you are right but as per this life and being a Muslim you are not in peace 'cos a man loosing everything if he doesn't have the aim or he would be a real Muslim he might have faced so much trouble but his mind and body in peace 'cos he has an aim even he is an uneducated.. { I am not an extremist and I enjoy life with happiness but I don't have peace:) }

  9. Ashraf from India

    I read the message of Yusuful Islam, which makes some general assessment of the currnt sitaution. I don't in any way support the viewpoint of him, I am sure that he has not much knowledge about Islam as he always linking Islamic teaching to those of old-outfashioned one.The current curriculum is the best one to mould the Islamic socieity and in my opinion no need to change to the interests of the anti-Islamic western idealogists....thank you.

  10. Hudd d'Aelia from Canada

    Mr Stephen Hood, I don't live in UK, but I still know what the problem was. The topic was not whether students would be informed about Islam, but actual Islamic education. Islam is a far larger religion in UK than all the rest(except Christianity), therefore it would be right that more than just general information to be provided. By this, I do not suggest that the British public schools should be transformed into madrasas. In order that young Muslims should have the right concepts and principles in their practice and thinking in Islam they should be taught these in the school system. If this comes from the government, they will feel more connected to Britain, because they will interpret that as 'respect' and that is what young generations want from the society. Islamic principles are not incompatible with true Judeo-Christian values.

    About your question regarding Christian students in Muslim countries I can inform you at my best. In Muslim countries there are Islamic and Christian schools to start with alongside state or public schools which in most countries are secular, with the exception of Iran which is an Islamic republic and as such we would compare it to sabatical Christian countries like Ireland or fanatical Christian like Greece! In puplic schools it is learned Islamic history for the simple reason that the country belongs to that history as in contrast with Italy or Denmark who belong to Judeo-Christian history. Being a native(not new settler) Christian in a Muslim country, you belong to an Islamic history because that is what your country prophesizes. You can be a Communist in UK still you will not learn Soviet history but British Judeo-Christian-Capitalist history. However, in ME, Christianity is touched in the Muslim and puplic schools as well as Islam is touched in Christian schools. There is no enmity between Muslims and Christians beyond what evangelists and missionaries have generated in order to serve Israel's agenda of propagating hate.

  11. A. S. K. ASSABIL (YOUTH SECRETARY) from GHANA

    normal, and may Allah bless you all for your doings.

  12. Grand Sen~or from NZ

    In the Qur'an several ayats establishes that the highest position humanbeings will get in the presense of the God next to the Messengers and Prophets of the God are the people who have knowledge then will come the martyrs. But somehow this order of position is shifted by misunderstandings and political orientations and martyrdom started to be marketed as the highest position a humanbeings can reach. It is understandable that to gain knowledge is hard work, it needs constent suffering, patience dedication and sacrifice - it is hard to choose to give once life to gain knowledge. But that is what Muslims need most today. The onces who choose this will gain a position higher than martyrs in the presense of the God. Unfortunately this is forgotten and the ignorant political leaders reaps the lives of innocent but equally ignorant muslims for their ends for nothing. At this stage of Muslim era we need man of knowledge more than martyrs. I cannot see any! I cannot even see some-one who realizes this order of importance between those two concepts - knowledge and martyrdom.

  13. Omar from Australia

    Continued from previous posting...

    Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Islam; but know that the way to their heart is not through violence but through their hip pocket and by exposing falsehood in the true light of Islam.

    Allah (SWT) informs us that He protects the Qu'ran from corruption. By naming us Muslims and providing an undisputable, clear definition of the word, and the Criteria (the Qu'ran) by which Muslims must abide, Allah (SWT) has given us the way and the means to protect the name, dignity and reputation of those who submit to His Will through Islam. Muslims need to effectively utilise the resources at their disposal (the laws of the land) and fulfil their duty of upholding the Honour of Allah's religion and of those who rightly follow it; this duty is especially bestowed on organisations that have taken on the burden to represent the best interests of all Muslims and Islam in general.

    By effectively adopting the above stance, the following should, Insha'llah, be achieved:

    It should encourage many people to actually read the Qu'ran and Hadiths and thereby eliminate all doubt about Allah's Will.

    It should stop the enemies of Islam from committing atrocities and laying the blame on Muslims.

    It should stop the media from, wittingly or unwittingly, inciting hatred against Muslims and promoting misinformation about Islam.

    It should stop the enemies of Islam from coercing ignorant people to commit atrocities in the so called 'name of Islam'.

    It should expose as 'false messiahs' and 'enemies of Islam', those so called Imams, Muftis and charismatic leaders who encourage their ignorant followers to wrongful actions in the eyes of Allah (SWT) and all fair minded people.

    Continued below...

  14. Omar from Australia

    Continued from previous posting...

    Moreover, how can Muslims allow these perpetrators, the media and others to call them or themselves Muslims knowing that, by committing such heinous acts, they are clearly outside the fold of Islam and are, therefore, not Muslims in deed.

    I contend that they, in fact, qualify as enemies of Islam because, by their actions, they create and spread hatred against Muslims and Islam. Their witting or unwitting partners in this crime are the media, who perpetuate the myth by always preceding the words 'terrorism' and 'terrorist/s' with the words 'Muslim', 'Islamic' or 'Islamist'. The phrase 'Muslim terrorists' is an oxymoron which defames, vilifies and incites hatred against every Muslim in the world.

    The Islamic Councils of the world should, on behalf of all Muslims, sue for defamation, incitement to hatred and religious vilification, anyone who describes terrorists as being Muslims and, furthermore, sue any media outlet which broadcasts or publishes such outrageous lies. If anyone wants to claim that terrorists are Muslims, they should be forced to prove, in a Court of Law, that those who commit such heinous acts do so because they have submitted to Allahs' Will and are, therefore, Muslims acting in accordance with Islam but, clearly, they will never be able to do that.

    Truly those who commit terrorism are enemies of Islam, but those who commit such acts, calling themselves Muslims, are even worse enemies. Moreover, those who broadcast or publish the terrorists' false claims and defamatory lies are aiding and abetting them and they should all, as a consequence, be brought to account. Enough apologising for the actions of our enemies, it's time to close ranks and act swiftly and decisively, within the law of the land, to eradicate the scourge.

    To be continued...

  15. Omar from Australia

    Faith based education certainly helps shape proper Islamic thought and behaviour in those lucky enough to participate in it. We should also expect proper Islamic thought and behaviour from those who embrace Islam because they do so, one would imagine, after having read the Qu'ran, been struck by its truth, wisdom and beauty and are, consequently, convinced that it can only be the word of Allah (SWT) and that it must, therefore, be followed. But what about those who haven't received Islamic based education or even read the Qu'ran in its entirety; how can they be prevented from going astray and how should they be dealt with when they have earned Allah's wrath by committing acts which are not Islamic? Here is a suggestion that goes back to the basics and should, Insha'llah, help solve a wide range of problems including terrorism, religious intolerance, vilification, incitement to hatred, etc. There is, of course, varying opinion among Muslims as to the actual source, cause and reasons behind these evil acts. My suggestion should, Insha'llah, effectively hit at the very heart of those responsible and, in effect, help eradicate these evils regardless of where they emanate from, who's behind them or why they occur. It is, I believe, a simple all round solution to a very complex set of problems...but, Allah (SWT) knows best.

    By definition, the word 'Muslim' (as a verb) means to submit to Allah's Will. A verb, as we all know, is an 'action or doing' word. It, therefore, follows that only those who act in accordance with Allah's Will are actually Muslim. What is the Will of Allah (SWT)? It is contained, and easily accessible for all to read, within the Holy Qu'ran and the Hadiths. Does either the Holy Qu'ran or the Hadiths advocate suicide or the killing of innocent people? Certainly not! How then, can those who commit atrocities, such as terrorism, call themselves Muslims if, by doing these deeds, they are opposing the Will of Allah?

    To be continued...

  16. Omar from Australia

    Continued from previous posting...

    Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Islam; but know that the way to their heart is not through violence but through their hip pocket and by exposing falsehood in the true light of Islam.

    Allah (SWT) informs us that He protects the Qu'ran from corruption. By naming us Muslims and providing an undisputable, clear definition of the word, and the Criteria (the Qu'ran) by which Muslims must abide, Allah (SWT) has given us the way and the means to protect the name, dignity and reputation of those who submit to His Will through Islam. Muslims need to effectively utilise the resources at their disposal (the laws of the land) and fulfil their duty of upholding the Honour of Allah's religion and of those who rightly follow it; this duty is especially bestowed on organisations that have taken on the burden to represent the best interests of all Muslims and Islam in general.

    By effectively adopting the above stance, the following should, Insha'llah, be achieved:

    1. It should encourage many people to actually read the Qu'ran and Hadiths and thereby eliminate all doubt about Allah's Will.

    2. It should stop the enemies of Islam from committing atrocities and laying the blame on Muslims.

    3. It should stop the media from, wittingly or unwittingly, inciting hatred against Muslims and promoting misinformation about Islam.

    4. It should stop the enemies of Islam from coercing ignorant people to commit atrocities in the so called 'name of Islam'.

    5. It should expose as 'false messiahs' and 'enemies of Islam', those so called Imams, Muftis and charismatic leaders who encourage their ignorant followers to wrongful actions in the eyes of Allah (SWT) and all fair minded people.

    To be continued...

  17. MULIKAT HASHEEM from LAGOS, NIGERIA

    ALLHAMDULILAHI. MAY ALMIGHTY ALLAH INCREASE US ALL IN KNOWLEDGE.AMIN.

    I agree with this article . Human beings should at least endeavour to understand and respect each other , also seek knowledge and should not short change ourselves in understanding ISLAM.

  18. Talawat Bokhari from Pakistan

    I believe the truth should be placed above faith. I don't find this article truthful but propagandist of a particular political line. By the way, what do yoy say about Quran when it says, "Those who are with him (the prophet)are hard against disbelievers". (48/29)

    I think we need reinterpretation of the entire Islamic literature, including the Quran, to make it compatible with the global environment creared by the global village.

  19. Stephen Hood from UK

    I disagree with your comments on religious education in British state schools. Islam is part of the nationally agreed RE syllabus and is taught at primary and secondary schools throughout the UK. I would expect most secondary school pupils would spend 1-3 terms studying Islam. What they learn about Islam isdecided by the local Muslim community through the Standing Committee on Religious Education which determines how religion is taught in local schools. They would also study Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism too of course.

    I wonder how much pupils in Muslim countries learn about Christianity "in its full breadth" and follow a syllabus drawn up by representatives of Christian Churches.

    Finally, although mnay Christians freely recognise that the rise of Hitler was in part due to the failure of Christianity, Hitler himself didn't claim to be a Christian - a religion he reviled for its Jewish origin - and didn't claim his policies were grounded in the Bible or Christian theology. In contrast the recent suicide bombers/terrorists or whatever one wants to call them do claim to be Muslims and to be motivated by the teachings of Islam.

  20. nadia from usa

    It was a very balanced article and I think articles like these should be posted in main stream media , where nonmuslims can read it too and get a fair idea about Islam and Muslims rather than one sided blatant lies they get to listen and watch in a very powerful media driven society .

  21. abu zainab from UK

    brthr yusuf your article is very much relevant to the problems facing young muslims in this day and age. However, I would like to see ppl such as your self presenting such views to the non-muslim media as opposed to websites such as islamiciy which have a largely muslim based readership. It is important that we try and present the beauty of islam to the common person on the street who's view of islam is very much distorted due to the propaganda presented in the tabloids and television. Also, I would personally try to refrain from assuming that muslims are responsible for these despicable acts of violence until we are presented with solid evidence. Besides, how can we trust any evidence presented by the Bush and Blair regimes as they continue to wipe out innocent people in afghanistan and iraq all in the name of the war on terror. Oh, and they still have not found Bin Laden or any weapons of mass destruction which were presented as key reasons for invading these two countries. As for their stance on Palestine, Chechnya, China etc, I will leave this for a separate debate. May allah reward you for your efforts in spreading the message of peace.

  22. Abdu from Ethiopia

    Gezakelah brother.I agree with most of your thoughts but you did say nothing on the very cuase of the tragedy.The suffering of muslims all over the world.These spritual leaders you mentioned found islam the only available means to motivate the young muslims to die for the cuase

    But brother ,do you think that there is no a conscerted effort to diminish the role of islam and muslims by these who are in power in the west?

  23. oumar diallo from GUINEA

    mi i am mouslum

    i am for it because the american and the england

    is not honest he kild the muslim people every day it is the cause i sait i am fort it

    (un jour la verite trionfera et la mansonge tonbera et il un seal et unique relison sur terre)

    thank you

    a salah moualaykom

  24. Slave of Allah from India

    What a man Yusuf Islam? Do you think those who fought for Islam (Sahaba) and Islam came to us through them were all not educated. Stop all foolish things for your benefits... Same like some islamic scholars do for their benefits. Allah Please give us the true understanding of Islam...Aameen

  25. Hassan Gambia from UK

    Yes! Terror is Error (without the "T").

    Muslims should midfully READ that which spaeks above the tongue of man!

    We are all caught up in an experiment!

    The evil we all do lives after us.

    We give only to recieve ( we will recieve what we dish out)

    We will swim or drown together. Thats the family mankind is in reality. Saving one is saving all. Killing one is like killing all.

    love of this world creates the disease of a mixed-up kalima.

    And what is a mixed-up kalima "Love of the world and the commission of sins."

    When muslims love the world....

    When muslims abandon Allah's mandate (enjoin/forbid)...

    When muslims start fighting among themselves...

    The quranic promises are gaurantteed for mo'mineen and mo'minaat.

    Sometimes I get worried when I fail to worry enough about what I have done to aleviate human suffering!

    What have I done to sincerely advice those who mistakenly love to live in the West but love to hate the West...

    And by the way loving to live HERE and loving to hate HERE is the sign of a mixed-up kalima!

  26. Jonathan Woodhall from England

    A clear refreshing article to set against what the media says. Consider also the words of the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

  27. Lee Spurgeon from United States

    Dear Yusuf Islam:

    Thank you for your well reasoned article. I have lived in

    an Islamic Country for a year when I was much

    younger. It is very difficult for me to understand how the

    peaceful religion I saw in Abu Dhabi can be reconciled

    with the images of September 11th which will be

    burned into the consciousness of every American for

    years to come. I know that the acts of terrosists are the

    actions of a group of deranged mad men. I have seen

    the harm that a few sensational headlines can do to the

    cause of Islam. It is all a very sad affair. I am glad to

    see that someone has given some thought to solutions

    to this problem. The terrorists will always do more harm

    to Islam than they could ever do to the perceived

    enemies of Islam.

    I believe there is a God, that there is one God, and that

    Mohamed is his prophet. Even still, I think it is very

    important that Muslims around the world take the

    problem of terrorism as seriously as the Western

    governments do. After all, who, in the end, is going to

    be harmed the most by this?

    Lee Spurgeon

  28. Muhammad Ilyas from Indonesia

    Assalammua'laikum wr.wb. I think problem in Islam comeform us. why because our belief for ALLAH and Muhammad isn't 100%. if we belief to ALLAH and Muhammad has 100%,ALLAH will help any problem in My life. sorry my english not good.ass.wr.wb

  29. yasmin from india, bombay

    asakwrwb, may Allah bless u & all for your efforts.

  30. Shawn from USA

    As-salamu 'alaykum,

    JazakAllahu khayran Brother Yusuf for your inciteful diagnosis of our ummah's true problems. I would have to agree with you that the lack of proper Islamic education is a major contributor to our current decadent state. Although, it is there, it is not influential in the sense that true Islam is not in the mainstream but rather, it is the EXACT opposite of Islam which is being pushed in the mainstream. I think we should act as models ourselves for our young ones so that they too will feel encouraged to want to learn about the real and great teachings of our faith. May Allah bless you brother. was-salamu 'alaykum

  31. Auwalu Ado from Nigeria

    Eexcellent.This is a good comment. A person of knowledge can not commit such an act knowing fully that killing oneself is prohibitted in Islam same as killing innocent people muslims or non muslims. May Allah SWT guide us.

  32. asif from Ireland

    i feel that in europe we have to give equality to the people plus education.still we are far behind to give equal status to the new comers.europe has to open up to make the new comers feel european.i am totally aggree that we have to accept islam and have to be more open and positive towards it.the younge generations of foriegners is looking their identity.where we are wrong? that they dont feel themself from here.yes , we need education, on both side with acceptance.may allah bless us all.

  33. Zubair from Canada

    This article is the usual "Islam Means Peace" mantra that you keep hearing from the spiritual leaders and notables of the Islamic world.

    This stuff falls on deaf ears in the Western world which is well into carrying out Act 3 of its Clash Of Civilizations (AKA War On Islam). These types of articles and messages are irrelevant to Westerners who keep insisting that they never hear Imams or Muslim leaders speaking out against terrorism, even though the Imams and Muslim leaders keep speaking out against terrorism at every khutbah, every darss, every interview. And for Muslims, these articles and pronouncements from our leaders keep restating repititiously the obvious, that Islam IS a religion of peace and justice. It got old and tiresome a long time ago, for both the Kuffar and the Muslim.

    Why do our so-called Muslim leaders unquestioningly accept the summaries of the terrorist act or the cover-stories of the suspected terrorist that are put forth by the Kuffar media - BBCNNBCBS? From 9/11 to 7/7, none of the alleged accounts of the terrorist acts and associated suspects stands up to scutiny when you do your research and apply some basic critical thinking.

    A very basic question - why would 4 Pakistanis with a lot to live for, by all accounts, want to blow themselves up in SUICIDE BOMBINGS on the trains and bus. If they were terrorists, why did they not detonate the 4 bombs by timer or remote so that they could live to kill another day??? Just like the attacks in 9/11 and Madrid bombings, the alleged muslim terrorists were all conveniently wiped out leaving no one for questioning or trial.

    There are many, many questions like these. Muslim leaders should ask them before accepting, at face value, the assertions of the Kuffar and immediately launching into the usual begging and pleading for understanding of Islam when the Kuffar did it all along. They sound like pathetic bleating lambs while the Ummah is being led to the slaughter. We need to

  34. rashid alam from usa

    i agree with for a much needed education reform, but as far as there being "too much islam", i dont really think there is something as this. educatating people begins with one's own character, people only base their opinions on what they are told, but put preference on what they experience and see. also, i attended a madrasa in pakistan for two years for quranic memorization, and i feel it was the best thing i could have ever done. i think madarasas are getting a bad rap due to western media.

  35. H.A. from Yathrib

    The problem today has nothing to do with Islam and Muslims...

    It is solely the problem of GREED of the west on others' resources...no buts or ifs... How do I know that? Just read world history...

    Solution to the problem: Declare a worldwide WAR ON GREED & Arrest Bush and all the other criminals in the US & Arest Blair and the Queen (for present and past crimes) and put them on trial and make an example out of them so that no other criminals in the west think about copycatting them in the future....

    The criminals nowadays ask..."Where is Muslim Gandhi? Where is Muslim Gandhi?" Hello! stop committing crime in the first place in the name of greed...

    There was no need for Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mendella, Gandhi and many others like these "greed-fighters"...These people had to stand up to fight off the evil committed by the West in the name of greed...Just stop committing crimes!

    The only person the West produced is Hitler...& you know the rest...

    To summarize, ARREST BUSH, BLAIR, AND THE QUEEN...They are ALL crimianals and must be brought to justice...& DECLARE A WAR ON GREED..

    The criminals are so greedy and brain-dead that if I say that the Muslim Ghandi is swimming in the oil in one of the oil reserves in the Middle East, the criminals are going to believe me. In fact, the criminals are going to go and look for him only to extract any extra-oil accidently got stuck in his nostril...This is what the world is dealing with...

    & That's the TRUTH. If anyone has hard time swallowing the truth then that's just too bad...

  36. Valerie from United States

    As'salamu Alaykum Yusuf Islam

    As a new Muslim, I have found my own family very hostile towards me. They associate Islam with poor, third-world, uneducated countries or Islam with Timothy McVeigh who are those people of "White American Heritage" who feel that the US Gov't failed them and even have said things such as traitor to me. My own older brother would likely become extremely violent towards me if he knew I became Muslim. Now my husband is a bit more tolerant, but insists I do not wear hijab but does allow me to wear a headband that covers most of my hair yet he gets upset if I go to wear hijab that covers all of my hair as he does not want me to "stand out" he says. I tell him of the import for me to cover my hair. I have spoken to him about true Islam from my readings of the Koran and other writings of Mohammad PBUH, and he still believes that Islam is for the poor and oppressed. You are so very right that there are verses in many religious texts and especially the Holy Bible that have phrases that can easily be misconstrued to make someone believe acts of violence in the "name of God" is acceptable. I wish the major news media would talk more about those that are caught in war-torn countries that they, Muslims, are also victims of terrorist activities by those "claiming their acts in the name of Islam" ; such as those so-called Christians who have committed acts of hate and violence and even killing of their own children in the name of God-as they are not true Christians as those that engage in Terrorism in the name of Islam are not true Muslims...again, victims especially in Iraq are Muslims. Anyway, your article I will share with those in my family that will read it, such as my step-mother, who is accepting of my faith. I really enjoyed reading this report from you, and found myself more than ever to want to share the truth of Islam with others, especially those who should be more supportive of me. Shookran Jazilan and many blessings for you for sharing

  37. Dr Edriss from US

    It is clear the war waged by America in first place and it's allies is against Islam. I don't see any difference between the Irish bombing london or someone that you call muslim doing so. a criminal is a person who does crime following the law of the country where he did it. if someone bombed something in London or Paris or whatever, the law of this countries have to be appliqued on them without waging a war against the Islamic faith.

    in my opinion, there is no terrorism! there is unjustice who brings more unjustice and as long as some people believe the can harm others and runaway with it, others gonna believe to stand against their oppression. we gonna live like this untill Allah sees we don't deserve His mercy anymore and take us all to be counted for what we did.

    I wish islam.org post this message?

  38. Hudd d'Aelia from Canada

    I couldn't said it better myself. An excellent point omitted by many. May Allah shower His blessings upon you Yusuf Islam.

    As-Salamu 'alaykum!

  39. Adhal from UK

    The Muslims should not fall for the guilt trip. Everyone is responsible for their own actions.

    The Serbs are Christians, but was it labelled as Christian massacre of Muslims? The Rwanda massacre was Hutus vs the minority Tutsis, but what was not publicised was the church role in this and the lack of participation of Muslims... they (Muslims) refused. The Muslims however did shelter those who came to them for aid.

    I think it is partially our fault; some Muslims insist or play along with the Christians by accepting apologises for the crusades. Why? These Christians had nothing to do with it and they should not apologise; they should just learn from it. Fools the lot of them! They are not responsible for something that happened almost a thousand years ago.

    Don't fall into this guilt trap. Extremism has always existed and will always exist; esp. when there is great injustice by those who claim to wage wars of peace and freedom.

    The fact is the biggest terrorist are the ones that are currently label themselves as the protectors of peace and freedom. They lie.

    "An uneducated Muslim is a dangerous entity to himself as well as to others."

    How's that? People might get the wrong idea. I think the word miseducated is better.

    Anyway I'm a conspiracy "theorist".. so naturally I don't believe our (corporate) government. There are too many holes in the 7/7 and 9/11 official story.

  40. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria

    Yes Brother Yusuf, that's what they (the infedels) think. Too much Islam is what drives these "crazy" muslims to "terrorise". Well if this is the case as an unforgivable believer and defender of Islamic norms, I want to say to the western govts YOU AINT SEEN NOTHING YET.

    Millions of the like of Brother Yusuf are springing up from the backyards of the antagonists, so therefore ISLAM is here to stay!

  41. Mokaddes from United States

    I believe it is high time us Muslims start to accept the fact that we have failed ourselves. The Ummah is disunited and nobody has any idea about how we can be united. It is this disunity which allows those who are weak among us to be oppressed. And this blinds certain individuals to take actions which are beyond the pale of Islam. We talk a good talk about Muslim unity and the oneness of the Ummah. But it all sounds like lies when we fail to actually take any kind of action.

    We talk a good game, but when we come to the court we got no game. It is high time we start discussing the paths by which we can achieve a United Muslim Ummah; a United Islamic Caliphate. We should all swear allegiance to Allah (the only one worthy of allegiance) and by extension the Ummah. Every Muslim should consider their wellbeing as being secondary to the well being of the Ummah, and realise that the well being of the Ummah is closely associated with the well being of the individual self.

    La-ilaha-illallah-Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah.....Ummah Wahdah.