Muslims have always been accustomed to living with people of diverse faiths. Islam is in fact the world's first ecumenical religion, not only accepting but guaranteeing a structural pluralism. Allah instead of promising Muslims to become the dominant religious community on earth wants them to compete with each other in piety and good work (Quran 5:48).
Islam was meant from the outset to be a universal religion, and today thanks to massive migration in the West and new communication mediums, Islam is a truly global phenomenon. It is the second largest denomination even in places like Sweden. Yet increased contact has not reduced prejudice against Islam and Muslims. This is partially the Muslim' fault. Many 'cultural' assimilated Muslims are an embarrassment for the entire Ummah. Also, many traditionally Islamic scholars are in capable of reaching Western hearts and minds.
There is no better way for Muslims to promote the message of Islam than living Islam and not just performing it. Their neighbors will not know they are Muslim by the number of times they pray or fast but by their honesty, truthfulness, compassion, reliability, cleanliness, sense of justice and civic responsibility. Such an approach is not to lead to a specific "American Islam" but the avoidance of a subculture that would seem alien and remote to the local population. Muslims can avoid such a trend if they become an expert in distinguishing between what is truly Islamic in terms of religion, and what is merely a cultural import from their homes countries.
For Muslims to live in non-Muslim countries is not a new situation. The first such experience was made by those early Muslims who temporarily migrated to Christina Ethiopia. All Muslim legal schools (madahib) developed doctrines for that eventuality. In particular Imam Jaafar as-Saadiq, Imam Shafei' and the Hanafi school considered Muslim minorities a legitimate and even advantageous to Islam. Admitting pockets of dar al-Islam (abode of Islam) could exist wherever Muslim enjoyed justice and religious toleration.
The Message of Islam cannot be transmitted in the West as along as Muslims play hide and seek with the issues of "democracy" and "human rights", including the rights of women. The fact that some of these concepts may not be specifically mentioned in the Quran and that they have been abused by Western imperialist colonizers, it does not mean that they are incompatible with Islam. What counts are the relevant Quranic principles (maqasid), including al-shura and the institutions of amir or khilafa (vicergerency of all human beings) and the early Islamic political history with its record of elections and free speech. One of these foundations is that it is possible to construct the model of an Islamic State - like - Malaysia - is democratic, essentially republican, pluralistic, with division of power, the rule of law, the protection of minorities and a parliament.
There is no doubt that all sovereignty rests with Allah . It is, however, equally true that it takes people to translate that sovereignty into policy. Undoubtedly, Islamic Law is not made but discovered from the Quran and Sunnah and further developed into fiqh. If Muslim lawyers had been more imaginative they would have been quick to point that the core of the Western universal human rights charter are anchored in the Quran - and therefore more secure than rights invented at a conference table. Men and women are biologically not identical (Quran 3:36). In theory only, the West refuses to draw legal conclusions from this reality. The less fictitious Muslim standpoint says that it is not discrimination if Islamic law deals differently with the genders, as far as this is biologically warranted, for instance in the different codes of Islamic dress. The Quran does, however, not confer on men a superior status nor is it justification for reducing Muslimat in practice to second class citizenship.
Muslims should highlight Islam as the most rational, without sacraments, a clergy, a Pope, a church, or a hierarchy and thus the religion for emancipated and pluralistic minded, post-modern people.
Finally, we need to inform the world that the Muslims form a warm-hearted, mutually supportive, worldwide community of committed people-the very thing Western people are craving for. The business community might be particularly impressed if the prohibition of riba is presented to them in its correct form: profit-and-loss sharing being a safeguard for the maintenance of the entrepreneurial spirit on which the capitalist economic system depends.
Dr. Murad Hoffman is a retired German diplomat who has been an Ambassador to Algeria and Morocco
Abdulazeez Muazu Mafindi
I agreed with you article 100% and I'm informing you that the case is the same here in Nigeria. With regards to the case of interest..... an islamic bank was introduced but government did not allow it to run yet. God so kind, one bank introduced a non-interest mode of account We're very gratefull. One other problem with us is lack of Da'awah. May God Almighty help and strenthen you and us, ameen.
disagree with the mention s about the human rights and rights
of women. Islam is the first religion who has given womens
equal rights from Rooz-e-awwal (first day). Women without
hijab is what means equal righs to women, if its so, than I think
the person dont know the meaning of rights. As far as Human
rights are concern what they do for the people of Lebnan. And
what they are doing for the people killed everyday in Palestine.
Islam tell its followers to respect other rights, take care of
neighbour which includes many things. Islam has given the
concept of Human rights long time ago. The human rights what
exists in the world is not a true human rights department.
Different rights for people of palestine and different for other
people. Why because they are muslim.
I am a revert muslim and I also have two Masters: Cultural Anthropology and Theology. I have also been blessed with a greater understanding for ideals from Allah ~ Ayat Kursi " Allah will give knowledge to whom He will".
It is a true fact that Muslims have come to USA and other countries and kept Islam a secret. This has been the worst experience for the ummah because the media had time to discredit Islam and Muslims, ah harami.
After the World Trade Center experience, Islam has come out and the truth has prevailed, but the media has corrupted Islam so much that many people are now more against Islam than before, but many people have also made their shahadah, al hamdu lillah.
One's actions speak louder than words and it is more important for Muslims to show "face" to behave according to the Qur`an. Islam is a wonderful lifestyle and ideal and the Qur`an is perfectly written, so not one person should have difficulties in performing the duties of the mu`mineen. The only issues are the schools of thought and certain imams who think that they know how Muslims should behave. These individuals have corrupted Islam and shown the world an oppressive side of Islam. Al Kafirun is one of the best chapters of the Qur`an because it helps people to understand how to accept other's beliefs and to allow others to believe how they want and not to degrade or discriminate against others for how they believe and to stand strong in one's own belief.
We, as Muslims, must come together within the Qur`anic thinking and behave in a way that helps others to understand Islam as a perfect way of life, organized and democratic, for which the Qur`an dictates.
The world is looking at us. Let us arrange the ummah for the evidence that we are a democratic society and that we accept others and do not discriminate or degrade others for what they believe. The most work needs to be in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, for example, in teaching others the truth w
We are asked why muslims are cutting each other's throat. Well, it is all about political power-play and has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is the only religion who tolerated other faiths in their golden days. The muslims who are performing atrocities in the name of religion should be prevented to do so and questioned by the real muslims.
I am equally frustrated by western media and the destructive muslims. But, we can inshallah overcome all this by being a muslim not by practice only but also by living.
totally on his over all view. My point is that a good Muslim if he
follows all the rules and regulation he would be automatic a
burning example for the neighbours and for the society. A good
Muslim is a good neighbour, a good Muslim is good social
worker, a good Muslim has to be kind and helpful to all in form
charity and offer helping hand to needy. Having said that I do
agree that we do have the tendency to remain good Muslim only
by saying 5 times prayer, fasting in ramadan and not being of
any help to neighbour, keeping himself away from any social
activity etc etc. Yes we should be more exposed and should try
to have more interaction with non Muslim as much as possible.
The main hurdle for this is I believe is due to lack of confidence
due to proper knowledge about own religion, language and fear
cultural influence on the family and loosing own identity.
However; let me add that this is not only in non-muslim countries.. or in the west.. this is a problem that many muslims face also in muslim countries and arab countries too.. Islam is a wonderful peaceful message that rests in the heart and is proved by all the senses , organs and being of a Muslim !! Alhamdulellah that there r people who understand the message and deliver it in perfumed dosages to the hearts and minds of our muslim brothers n sister who might have gone astray a little !! Inshaa Allah we all meet in highest PARADISE !! Amin !
It is a general misconception here in the West that Islam is incompatible with Democracy when in actuality, Islm influenced it,promoted it and condoned the principle of human-right,the right of women etc. with humanity as the beneficiary of that principle not the other way round. May Allah bless you Dr. Hoffmann.
For all the respected people on this site, I would like to thank you for inputting in this particular article because I have learned from peoples point of views. I was reading the below discussion between Hud and Muhammad and I cannot agree more between you both although you both have differing opinions about subjects. Difference in Islam has lead to judgmental attitudes and hate, bitterness and envious attitutes towards each other which is the ultimate game of Shaytaan and if we do not change the situation than, we will always be disunited as Allah says in the quran that HE DOES NOT CHANGE THE SITUATION OF A PEOPLE UNTIL THEY CHANGE WHATS IN THEMSELVES. If there are valid disputes and differences that they must be there for a reason as the Prophet MUhammad (PBUH) said in a sahih hadeeth that "THe differences in my Ummah will be a mercy". We should take the differences that we have about minor things and not let these get to us...
(There is no deity worthy of ANY form of worship except Allah, (and) Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)
Articles like this one and some comments of brothers to them make it imperative to analyse the situation we find ourselves today. Abu Jahl and his cohorts, those stunch kuffar of the time of the Prophet (SAW) knew the meaning of the opening phrase of my comment above fully well and that is why even though they believe there is a Rabb that creates and sustains all, they did not utter that kalimah even once! Why? Cos they know what it means was that it (the kalimah) will do away with all of what they believed ( as per customs, enjoyment of wine, illict sex, magic, usury etc) and also of most important do away with all the folk tales of their forefathers and objects of worhip and to give their ears and minds to the one and only Prophet Muhammad (SAW): by doing as he does and living as muslims.
I'm sorry to say but the situation today is similar or even worse in that we say the kalimah and still do the opposite. How? Why do we insist in doing Islam our way? Why do we insist in changing Islam to suit our new found "democracy"? Why not doing the opposite as the kalimah clearly dictates; vis change the TIMES to conform with the teachings of that great teacher the Prophet as revealed to him by Allah.
One thing should be clear if the muslims adhere strictly to the kalimah, by utterance, and living it by actions then you can bet the kuffar will come begging for this beautiful way of life and our job of changing societies to conform with Islamic tenets will have been made much easier. So let us learn to quote extensively (always) the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from his AUTHENTIC Ahadith in trying to potray Islam and not just our "fiqh" of the religion which more often is not only misleading but very much illogical to common sense! This is the only in my humble understanding to living and performin Islam.
I am skeptical of unwarranted tafsirs as well but not everything is lost in translation. Ibn Kathir explains less and supports all its tafsir through hadith which is why it is considered the most authentic tafsir in the world and it is not recent. It dates back centuries. None of todays interpretations. I agree not every word can be translated for what it is but the tafsir and translation I refer to is more than 95% accurate. Quran is a book of guidance not history (atleast not entirely). To understand the historical aspect of revelation you need to read the hadith and tafsir, translation doesn't say it all. Certain things are black and white but not all. I can see why you would be in a dilemma if you are following modern scholar versions of Quran and tafsir. The best way to understand things of old is to read them from things of old. A principle when explaining quran is to not reinterpret it because that is what gives the heritcal offshoots in religion as you see today borne by Mullah X & Y. Its better to understand quran through the hadith instead of reading every Tom, Dick and Harry's interpretation. And in the hadith all points I mentioned are supported. If you need evidence I will be glad to give you. Just the most commmon example is Quran does not mention anywhere how to pray but it is the most vital pillar of our religion. Ofcourse thats why we read hadith to learn all that thereafter. Quran is the word of Allah and Hadith o Sunnah is its explanation for us. Both things put together with verbiage connecting it, is what gives you a tafsir.
May Allah guide both of us to the right path Inshallah. Aameen.
Anyway, I don't speak from arrogance, but I'm mad at misinterpretations and mispractices of Islam.
I bid you Salam for now, brother, may Allah guide us both to the truth we all thist for!
As for the quran not mentioning the woman to cover most of her body I suggest you read Surah Al Nur (24) from Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Rulings of Hijab) verse 31:
"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful."
Br. First stop exagerating and insulting. We can keep this civil.
For the meat issue. Who was the predecessor Jews or Christians? Jews obvisouly, if they are required to say Gods name how could it be omited from Christianity other than by themselves. Jesus only complimented what Moses was revealed as said in the Quran (read Surah Al Qasas). Each religion only came to add more and correct what was corrupted by its predecessors. Again translating just Quran doesn't mean much in certain cases unless you read its tafsir or proper context. The same ayah (4 categories) you quoted read its tafsir from Ibn Kathir. And don't come back and say you do not recognize Ibn Kathir as authentic or scholars will laugh at you
Sorry, Muhammad, I don't buy what you say, because has no quranic evidence or mention in Hadith Sahih. It is again, tradition and accepted practice in certain Muslim countries. Quran mentions modesty, which is a broad word with an open interpretation. Hadith mentions a woman in prayer, not in other activities. The fiqh us-sunah by as-Sayyid Sabiq(appointed by Hasan al-Banna) mentions believing women with their head-covers tied behind their nape and legs bared to the knee and arms bared to the elbows for women involved in work. Once you saw that much of a working woman it would be hypocritical to force her into a burka while socializing in public. What you said about a woman's code of dress has no Quranic basis nor is it found in any Sahih with a direct link to a reliable source. Be careful, I studied Islam from many sources, however the authority of Hasan al-Banna is what I apply myself to. In the fiqh is mentioned the following, if a believing woman has to choose between a tight gornment or a transparent one, she should choose the tight. Are you more knowledgeable than Hasan al-Banna? Thus a believing woman can wear tight clothes over transparent ones and she can reveal her lower neck, shanks(to the knees) and forearms(to the elbow). A believing woman needs to be like her male counterpart more decent in prayer. The single reliable hadith we have is that of Aishah with concerns to Ali:"A praying woman should have a head cover and a long flowing shirt." Where are mentioned here what you mentioned? Your explanation for this kind of dressing make us Muslim men a bunch of coveting sex maniacs that when we see the shape of a woman we get rampant in our desire to lay her!
1)"A womans aurah is from heda to toe meaning only the hands, face and feet should be exposed in front of her mahram."
On what, other than traditional practice, are you basing your statement? What you said is not to be found neither in Quran or Sahih Bukhari with direct link to a reliable source. You are wrong here and you cannot make your own judgement in Islam and declair it Haqq. This article is about this sort of behaviour. In the fiqh us-suna by as-Said Sabiq at the instructions of Yousuf al-Bana the following are derived. Believing women in the time of the prophet and rashideen used to tie their head covers at the back of their necks exposing their lower neck, tie behind their loins their skirts having their tuban(capris, if you will) below their knees and the sleeves of their shirts rolled up to the elbow. They were in this state while washing clothes in the river, working around households, markets, farms, etc, in the sight of stranger men. The fiqh goes to the hadith I mentioned about the atire of a praying woman. I reiterate, . A working woman does't need a burka or purda.Thus the fiqh states that other than in prayer, a believing woman doesn't necessarily need to look like she was in prayer.She needs to be modest tho' like any Muslim person.
However I want to comment on Hudd A' Aleia. Sister your definitely correct in some of the things you speak about as portraying muslims by measuring them against the yardstick of being Indian, Pakistani or Arab. However I do not totally agree with your interpretation of the hadith and quran you have written. A womans aurah is from heda to toe meaning only the hands, face and feet should be exposed in front of her mahram. Covering here implies that it should be difficult for an onlooker to determine the size and shape of your body. So saying this if you were to wear skin tights that still cover all your body would not be Islamic because everyone can figure out your figure whether fat and ugly or sexy and beautiful. The purpose of hijab is to gaurd you from lustful eyes and if your clothing does not serve that purpose then it is not compliant with the Islamic dress code. To the westerners eye it may be fine because they are used to watching their women in bikini's but not for muslims who observe the proper dress code. Quite frankly speaking a perfect pair of jeans does expose the shape and size of your posterior and legs unless you don't have one.
As far azs the quranic ayah you mentioned about food from the people of the book. Quran needs to be read in the context of its history to understand the translation. Food from the people of the book is allowed provided it has been sacrificed with Allahs name on it. In christianity and Judaism they are also required to sacrfice in the name of God which they don't so they are not really following their religion correctly either. Let me put a question to you. According to quran any animal killed by means other than slaughtering without pronouncing the name of Allah is considered maitah (Dead animal), so how can you make a dead animal halal by reading Bismillah if slaughtered by people of the book.
Muslims should fellow what the Quraan and Hadith say and not fellow cultural wrongs. With so many Muslim communities and their different cultures around the world. The West and some of the Muslims mistake Culture with Islam. Islam is a way of life from the teaching of the Quraan and Hadith not culture. Muslims need to educate them self about Islam. The Quraan tells every Muslims to educate them self. The West can't be blamed for this. Muslim scholars need to learn who to teach.
Saleem, your extremism in what you believe was Islam is alarming! What are you trying to say, "Islamic clothing"? What Islamic clothing? Kamis and sharwal? Jilhabs? You are infected with your mullas' misteachings. What does the Quran or Hadith say about clothing more than: "Any type of garment is fit for a Muslim as long as it covered one's aurah." This is the deen of Islam, period, the rest is Arab,Indian,Pakistani,etc way of dressing. In your right judgement, tell me why a Pakistani sharwal would be more Islamic than western jeans? Obviously you came from the woods and your Islamic interpretation of the world is at a tribal level. Islamic clothing for women? More than I mention is another hadith concerning a praying Muslim woman, a hadith about Aishah,ra and Ali,ra, "A praying woman should have her head covered and wear a long flowing shirt/light robe. This was the fashion of Arabia at that time, it doesn't mean that a woman cannot wear sharwal or western type of clothing(provided they cover her aurah) in prayer. My wife and daughter are in hijab. Their choice of hijab is not merely restricted to those from Muslim countries, they wear Western Fashion scarves as hijabs, names like Gloria Vanderbilt and many imports from France and Italy. Why? They are nicer and classier. They wear dresses and pants designed in Canada for the general public, they must cover their aurah though. Guess what, they are not alone. More and more Western Muslim women look for alternative clothing in the Western fashion industry which caters better for the needs of the life we live here. If you try to compare life in Canada with that in either Pakistan or India, you must be mentally blind.
Overall, I agree with Dr. Hoffman's points. In addressing the title of the article, Living Islam, not just performing it, I believe his point became a bit diluted. In simple terms, I understand him to say that we, as an Ummah must practice our deen fully. Living is the keyword. How many of us know people who pray 5 times a day yet involve themselves in things prohibited? Yes, we are all human and make mistakes, that's why Allah (SWT) bestows his mercy on us for the asking. On another point, I'd like to add that the Muslim migrants who came to America years ago did not come here to do dawah, they came to earn money; provide a better life for their families. It was the African - American people ( at least in America) who took the most trustworthy handhold of Allah and spread the message. Before 911 and even after, with the seeds planted and the flowers blooming, people from the East wear their true names on their shirts while some still use Mike for Muhammad etc. In discussing Islam with Muslims from Overseas, I have found that many may not care for the openness here, but, most would agree that we are able to practice our faith openly. If there are Muslims who choose not to then that is indeed their chose. It's not an embarrassment to me for they have to answer to Allah, only he knows what's in their hearts.
For sure, being able to make an honest living, providing both the primary needs and the wants of the family leaves room to grow spiritually, poverty is a cause for disaster, I make Duaa' for people who are oppressed and suffering that they will not lose their Iman. Allah (SWT) asks us to pray that we will not be under the leadership of an oppressor. While governments can oppress, it is of benefit to live in a democracy where the majority can vote them out; Albeit that elections can be fixed by one means or another, democracy gives us the freedom to be who we are. And yes, our deen is the most rational;it's from Allah.
Muslim who live their life according to koran is always seen by our neighbours. And by everyone else no matter what.
Especially in the west.
But when you try to look and live invisible then it plays against you and is actually a disgrace.
Your actions are stronger than your words.
Its Not the other way around.
Muslim in west do that by living in mortgage houses and businesses and by wearin unislamic clothes and eat unislamically. And involving themselves in unislamic matters.
How many muslims in west have proper beard and how many of female muslims wear proper islamic dress.
In this way you look and sound pathatic. To the west and live in a sorry state today.
You look like just another family/ person from the east trying best to be a middle class working group of the west.
How many of muslims in west eat only zabiha/halal (or in other words kosher food) or in other terms eat according to the sunnah of Prophet Abraham.
Well I think I differ slightly with the writer Cos We are asked to live and perfom Islam, not doing one at the expense of the other.
"The fact that some of these concepts may not be specifically mentioned in the Quran and that they have been abused by Western imperialist colonizers, it does not mean that they are incompatible with Islam."
THEY ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH ISLAM period. The Prophet (SAW) and the Sahabas whose teachings of Islam we are asked to follow would have given us (by their practiceS) democracy as a form of governance to follow, but they didn't. You know why? Cos it aint Islamic.
Are you indicating that Malaysia is now a muslim Country? No this is far from the truth? We don't have a khilafa yet, and we may never see any in our life time because there is no way that DEMOCRACY will give us one. Lets not be deluding ourselves.