The real issue is not about who is a Muslim, but it is about the role of a majority in a diverse society.
Should the bad decisions of a few in the name of Islam, reflect on the Muslim community at large? Now, Indonesia is planning to ban the "heretical" Muslim sect, should that reflect on Islam? The least we can do is to speak up against the tyranny of one brand of Islam against the other.
The easy option is to do nothing and let the world believe that it is Islam, and then we lose our right to complain that it is not us, well it is us. The actions are not the work of a Looney brigade or some fringe groups; it is the government of Indonesia succumbing to please the few among them.
In the movie "A Bug's Life," it just took one gutsy Flik to fend off the terrorizing grasshoppers, it takes two boys or two girls to stand up to the classroom bully to end the tyranny. It would take a few passionate Muslims to speak out and persuade the establishment. I suggest everyone to watch this movie to understand how our Neocons (extremist Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others - Jews claim Zionists are not extremists, and I take their word for it) work and how us, the silent majority should act.
The real question that we need to address is should we let a majority determine what one believes, wears or eats? Can the Majority in the United States do that? Can the majority in Indonesia do that? Should that work in India? Can the Sunni Majority in Saudi Arabia harass the Shia? Can the Shia Majority in Iran harass the Sunnis? We have to catch up with our own integrity. Those who were a majority elsewhere are a minority somewhere else.
God is about justice and he wants us to live in peace and harmony, after all, each one of us is his creation, and he will not discriminate any one of us. Qur'an - 49:13 "O men! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all aware."
A majority of Muslims understand that Islam is a religion of peace, a religion of freedom and justice, and a religion that does not force people to behave. Indeed, if we start looking at ourselves, Alhamdu Lillah, Praise the Lord, the majority of us get along with all and live a life of peace and co-existence.
Every now and then, a "few" among us cross that line, when we let Governments, in the name of Islam start judging people's faith; we are making a gross error defying the very God we purport to follow. Don't practicing Muslims recite at least 50 times a day .. Qur'an, Sura "1:4 Lord of the Day of Judgment!" And "1:5 you alone do we worship, and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid."
Is it up to God or the Government of Indonesia? When we object to the Neocons to pre-empt God and bring the Armageddon as soon as possible and justify their ruthlessness in the name of God, then we must object to anyone taking over God's decisions in the name of Islam.
When Abu Bakr was agreed upon to be the Caliph, the consensus was with him and the few who disagreed dropped their opposition and followed the leader in the same manner as Republicans and Democrats who fight within until a candidate is nominated, then everyone rallies around the selected one.
The problem with us or any majority of people is we do not give our consensus; we do not exercise our rights and by default give others, the right to govern us.
Not the Pakistani people, but the dictator in-charge, to appease a few, enacted the laws declaring Ahmadiyya group of people as non-Muslims, but then the Pakistani people start believing and legitimizing it. Americans are no different, if the President thinks Russia is evil, we jump with him and when he turns around and befriends China, and in a heartbeat, we change our minds too. If he declares Islam is the danger... thank God, Americans are getting away from blindly following government and exercising independent judgment.
It is time for Muslims to stand up and speak out.
Remember the Good Samaritan American women during 9/11? They wore Hijab to show solidarity with Muslim women, the time is coming, when a whole mass of the population will declare themselves Muslim to show solidarity with the Ahmadiyya, what are you going to do?
What prevents one from incorporating their group with the name Muslim or Islam? There are a lot of websites with the words Muslim and Islam, but they are actually anti-Islam. What are you going to do about it?
It is time for Muslims to wake up and act righteous and speak out.
Mike Ghouse heads the foundation for pluralism, an organization committed to studying religious pluralism and pluralistic governance.
The same goes for the Muslim view on the Ahmadyyat Jammat. In addition, Ahmadi scriptures suck as Roohany Khazain contain views that are alien to Islam. (Eg. Ahmadis say that resurrection will be spiritual and not physical. They say that its impossible and illogical for God to reassemble our bones and skin on the Day of judgment. This teaching goes against Chapter 75 of the Quran )
Many of Mirza Ghullam's teachings contradict the Quran. If they want to preach its fine with me as long as they state from the beginning that they are Ahmadis or Qadianis. But to call themselves Muslim???
The point is not who is right and who is wrong; NO NO NO, Mike's point is tolerance & justice. If you see things from this corner then you would not ban the Ahmadiya from exercising their rights. If you are Truth driven then you would deny them the freedom of speech. Would it be ok if the Catholics and Protestants of North America deny us Sunni Muslims the right to free speech and the right to build our own masajid? You know that they think we Sunni Muslim believe in a false God!
Have you examine the ruling that led to the outlawing of the Admadiyya ? Do you know that by them recognising another new prophet which is the false prophet is contrary to the hadith of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ( s.a.w) hadith that there will be no prophet after him ? Do you know that the Ahmadiyya rejected a number of authoritative hadith recorded by the companions of Muhammad ( s.a.w ) ?
While I agree that the Quran states that ALLAH Created men and womed, nation and tribes may that they know and love one another. And that the best of you is those who are most righteous. But this verse of the Quran had been grossly misinterpreted by you and even by the author of this article Mike Ghouse.
Just perused at how Mike Ghouse interpret this verse. How very misleading. He interpreted taqwa as " one most conscious of HIM . " Taqwa is one most righteous and it denotes a meaning of higher than consciouness. Taqwa is not just consciousness, it has a higher level than to be merely consiousness. One may have consiousness but still journeys his life without faith and
Thus Chapter 49 verse 13 should not be quoted and interpreted out of context. The Surah does not refer to herectics, and heresy is dealt with differently in many other surahs. While Islam respect the freedom of choice of people on either to embrace the religion or not but when a person embrace Islam, the way to the right path, then he or she would not have the choice of accepting heresy or blasphemous practices in this right path. Otherwise he or she no longer remains in the path of the truth.
I have read Mike Ghouse's writing but I believe his approach to a subject like this one is not correct. Mike's opinion centered around the freedom of practising religion or " mazhab " and it seems that his points weighed solely on this.
The right approach on matters like this is to examine the rulings or " fatwas " that resulted in the outlawing of the Ahmadiyya. There must be good grounds for banning them, and only by examining the grounds in the fatwa, only then can one conclude whether such banning is justifiable.
In Islam, the choice for Muslims is to follow the right tenets of the religion, and the question of the " right to be different " in matters of aqidah is not relevant at all.
Ghouse should adopt the fiqh approach rather than look at this matter from the " freedom " to be different point of view.
Shame on you iviews.com for allowing such a publication, Islam is right and wrong, no shades of gray, it is all clear, all we need is the Qu'ran and the Sunnah for tru guidance, NOT Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and certainly not Mike Ghouse. May Allah t'ala forgive us all.....ameen.
I am surprised at the number of people who have read this article on this site and have sent emails to me to take this off the site, and I do not see their rationale.
Several Imams, scholars and heads of organizations have expressed the need for the Muslim community to put our difference aside and come together for the common good of Muslims and the world. What is good for us has got to be good for others for it to sustain.
Ahmadiyya no doubt differ from the Sunni thought, but Sunnis also differ from Shia in the interpretation of Ahl-e-bait. But we have lived all along for over 14 centuries. Some of us have issues with the newer group in the family of Muslims and are eager to deny them a sense of belonging based on hearsay, fact or fiction. Politically they are not comfortable either as some of us are not. But most of us would like to embrace every one who calls himself/herself a Muslim, just as we boast that Prophet Essa, Musa, Ibrahim and others were Muslims because they believe in a God and the accountability day.
Islam is about Justice and when we deny some one the same rights as we have, then we cannot call it Justice. Our moral standing and Eemaan (faith) will be strong when we truly believe that Justice is not for our own kind, but for every human being, Muslim or not.
We have to take a position and embrace every Muslim and not do the hair splitting. If you give the Danda (stick) to orthodox Wahhabi, Shia, Sunni, Ismaili, Bohra, Ahmadiyya, Kurd or other group to lash out, they would declare every one to be a non-Muslim other than themselves and perhaps give each one of us at least one lash. Isn't this the reason we have Islam where a rich or poor, Alim (scholar) or Jahil (ignorant) can stand in the same line in presence of God Almighty as equals?
We have to work for it, we have to do the Jihaad within, we have to fight the "desire" to compel others to be like us, isn't this Jihad a legitimate Jiha
While Mike Ghouse's intent is very good, unfortunately he has mixed up a few issues with each other and this has led to wrong conclusions.
One issue is how Muslims treat those who disagree with them.
I agree with him that these days many Muslims have lot the spirit of tolerance of dissenting opinions.
However, the other issue i.e. what constiutes membership in a religious community or any other community for that matter, doesn't have anything to do with tolerance and kind treatment.
Islam advocates kind treatment and good behavior towards all of God's creation and Alhamdulillah all Muslims who understand their faith, accept this and embrace it wholeheartedly.
However, advocating kind treatment doesn't mean that Islam accepts as legitimate, the religious faith and practices of all people.
Allah and his Prophet and Messenger have not left the decision of who is to be considered a Muslim or not a Muslim, at the whims and fancies of individuals or groups of individuals or even the whole Muslim Ummah.
The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Prophet are available and preserved to date. All one has to do is to take a comprehensive look at the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet and it will be crystal clear as to who qualifies as a Muslim and who doesn't.
Unfortunately, people like Mike Ghouse in their enthusiasm for embracing pluralism, forget that if we assume that all relgions are equally acceptable in the sight of God, then what was the reason for God Almighty to send a new revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (May the Blessings of Allah be upon him) ?
After all, didn't the Arabs have a religion before the advent of the Prophet ? Wasn't there already numerous faiths in the world ?
Doesn't it seem like a superflous and completely unneeded act by God who is the Most Wise to send a Prophet and make him and his followers undergo trials and tribulations, when everything was all right with the world ?
Just some foo
This article is dis-informing, misleading and potentially dangerous.
The author lacks the basic understanding in Islam that Prophet Muhammad son of Abdallah of 7th century Arabia was the LAST & FINAL Prophet of Allaah SWT. ANY RELIGION WHICH BELIVES IN ANOTHER PROPHET AFTER HIM IS OUTSIDE OF ISLAM. This is common sense also, since a "new prophet" can pretty much change the entire religion!
Thus it is simply a religious issue. The Ahmadiya believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani of 20th century India as being another Prophet. They also change many Islamic beliefs such as Jesus Christ PBUH being raised alive by Allah SWT. Instead they twist the Quranic Ayah about this and instead claim that Jesus PHUB died a natural death. They had also discouraged Indians from fighting from independence from British Colonialists during the last century and hence were promoted by the British Imperialists who were Colonizing India at that time.
Thus the Ahmadiya are simply NOT Muslim. Likewise the Bahais (who believe in Bahaullah as Prophet) and Farrakhan group (who believe in Elijah Muhammad as Prophet) are NOT Muslim, even though I like some things in Farrakhan group like their social service and discipline etc.
Thus Pakistan or Indonesia etc. declaring Ahamdiyah as non-Muslim is correct. However we still need to demonstrate good behavior towards all human beings following the example of Prophet Muhammad SAW who was a Mercy to the Universe. We must not deny the legitimate rights of any group and should use the best of means to invite them to Truth.
In short, I recommend this article be removed from your esteemed website, since it is misleading and could cause the spread of wrong beliefs about Islam among Muslims or non-Muslims. If that were to happen, the managers of this website would be responsible on Day of Judgment.
May Allaah SWT help & guide all to Truth with Khayr.
Absence of self criticism in any faith makes it rigid, inflexible and object of mistrust and hatred by others.
This is an excellant article.