The Pope and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!

 

The Pope and the Prophet,
Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!

Dr. Pasha

(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)

 

Heaven and Earth

God in his heaven sent down the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Right here on earth, the Church gave us the Pope. And now the Pope and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, some among the followers of both say, are on a collision course.

This should warm the cockles of Harvard Professor Sam Huntington, who, in his 1996 book titled The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, argued that the world was inexorably headed in the direction of a culture clash between Islam and the West.

But the outgoing United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan, Prime Minister Jose Zapatero of Spain, the former Reformist President of Iran Mohammad Khatami and Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of Turkey seem to take a somewhat different view. They all argue that maybe it is time to work for the building of an alliance of civilizations rather than fan the fires of a clash of cultures. Mr. Anan is particularly concerned about reducing prejudice and misunderstandings between Islam and the West.

An Alliance of Civilizations (AoC)
at the United Nations

According to a UN press release dated July 14, 2005, here is some of what Mr. Anan's spokesman said about the formation of the AoC:

"The Secretary-General is pleased to announce the launch of an initiative for an "Alliance of Civilizations". The initiative is intended to respond to the need for a committed effort by the international community -- both at the institutional and civil society levels -- to bridge divides and overcome prejudice, misconceptions, misperceptions, and polarization which potentially threaten world peace. The Alliance will aim to address emerging threats emanating from hostile perceptions that foment violence, and to bring about cooperation among various efforts to heal such divisions."

The UN press release went on to say:

"Events of recent years have heightened the sense of a widening gap and lack of mutual understanding between Islamic and Western societies -- an environment that has been exploited and exacerbated by extremists in all societies. The Alliance of Civilizations is intended as a coalition against such forces, as a movement to advance mutual respect for religious beliefs and traditions, and as a reaffirmation of humankind's increasing interdependence in all areas -- from the environment to health, from economic and social development to peace and security."

The Pope on the Prophet,
Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!

All this was before the Pope is supposed to have made a reference to the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, that the Muslims found offensive and unacceptable. They also said it was flat out false.

The Pope says he did not make the questionable comment himself, but he was only quoting a medieval source. The Muslims say if the Pope did not share the view of his source, why did he not correct it or distance himself from it.

And why quote such a derogatory and patently false statement by a clearly biased source now, say most Muslims and some others, when tensions between Muslims and the West are running so high and when Muslims are under so much pressure from so many sides, most if not all of them Christian.

The Pope says he is filled with sorrow. Muslims ask over what.

Let us see if we can sort out any of this.

News Accounts Are Not
Always Accurate or Complete

I don't know what the exact story was. That is partly why I hesitate to comment on current events: it is hard to know what exactly happened and I don't have the resources to keep up.

Yes, there were a slew of stories on the subject in the newspapers. But while newspaper stories may be a viable basis for invading and occupying countries and nations - of course I am being sarcastic but only in part - they are often a bit of a stretch when it comes to putting one's own life and reputation on line.

In many cases, media stories are just that: stories pieced together from a number of accounts gathered from a number of sources, each with a fair likelihood of error and, quite frequently, each with a stake the story. So, woe to those, if I may borrow some Biblical language here, who base their faith fully and entirely on media accounts of what is going on in the world.

That is because news accounts are neither always accurate nor complete. Often, they are like snapshots of a fast-moving train. And often they change with breathtaking rapidity.

The Pope Quotes the Emperor

Fully aware of all these limitations and constraints, here is what I recall was in the newspapers: the Pope quoted a Medieval Emperor as asking what new things did Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) bring into the world that was not evil and inhumane?

And how reasonable was it for him to ask his followers to spread his faith with the sword?

It was, I seem to recall, in the context of the role of reason in matters of faith that these comments were made. How fortunate were the Christians, the Pope and or the Emperor seemed to have felt, that they embraced reason from the teachings of the Greeks, while the Muslims did no such thing.

Therefore, one or the other or both argued, while the Christian faith had reason on its side, the Muslim faith did not.

And then the Pope and or the Emperor noted the absolute unreasonableness of the Prophet of Islam, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, asking his followers to spread his message with the sword, by force that is.

The Emperor's Words Have a Background

Now, there was a certain background to the Emperor's dark musings on Islam. The Emperor was engaged in an ongoing war with the Muslims and his armies were not faring too well. He was losing territory fast and he needed help.

So, the Emperor traveled around European capitals asking his fellow-Christians to help him fight and defeat the Muslim "infidels" who were overrunning his domain. This, in my view, was a perfectly "rational" thing to do.

As to his distorted views on Islam and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, they were a product of either his ignorance or his hate, frustration and desperation. And again, in my view, the man had a perfect excuse in either case.

Christians and the Religion of "Mahomet"

As for ignorance, traditionally the Christians' knowledge of Islam could have been etched on fingernails. These were the folks who asked their administrators in 19th Century India to read Arabian Nights to learn about the culture of the native "Mohammadan" population of India after they took over that land from the Muslim Mughal emperors.

The logic of "Mahammadan" and "Mohammadanism" was disarmingly simple: Worshippers of Christ are called "Christians," they seemed to have argued to themselves. So those people the center of whose religion was "Mohammad," (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam), must be called "Mohammadans."

A fairly learned gentleman called Gibb once even wrote a book called "Mohammadanism."

And these are also the folks who wrote other books saying that Muslims worshipped an idol in Ka'aba at Makkah. Historically speaking, sad as it is to say, many of the Christian followers of the Pope, never seriously bothered to find out what the Muslim followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, really believed or stood for.

Often it took a lone dissenter like Thomas Carlyle to take his fellow-European-Christians to task on the distortion of some of their facts and the perversity of some of their thinking concerning the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

Carlyle in effect argued that a false man could not build a brick house, leave alone put together a complete religion and get a whole generation of people to believe and follow it.

Carlyle called the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, "Mahomet." And to many in Europe Islam was but "a bastard kind of Christianity."

Ample Reason for Malice and Hate

As for malice and hate, well what do you expect a king to have in his heart when his armies are being defeated, his land is being overrun and his faith is being shown up and swept aside by a bunch of upstart "infidels"? It would be naive for anyone to expect the Emperor to have anything but malice, hate and contempt toward Islam and Muslims under those circumstances.

Unless, of course, the Emperor were a truly great man, in which case he would have lost his battle but not his honor, soul and integrity by lying or being cheap about his enemy.

Abu Sufyan was such a great man, who, at the top of the 7th Century, resisted the temptation to lie about Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, when another Roman Emperor asked him about the Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) credentials and character.

I had such a strong temptation to lie, said Abu Sufyan, or words to that effect, but I refrained from distorting Muhammad's (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) record on that occasion for fear people will call me a liar.

Many of the Christian followers of the Pope labor under no such fear. Not then, not now. As for the future, may God Almighty guide us all to his truth in future, regardless what that truth may be.

Praying for Truth

Once, a couple of young ladies knocked at my door. They wanted to offer me Christianity and save my soul. I listened to them patiently and respectfully and asked a number of questions along the way.

Then they asked me if I would join them in a prayer, to which I readily consented. When they were done, I asked if they would now join me in a prayer. They hesitated and then finally nodded yes.

And I prayed:

"Oh, our God Almighty!" I prayed. "Who art in Heaven! God of Abraham and Moses! God of Noah and Jacob! God of Jesus and Joseph and of all the other prophets! Creator, maker and master of everything! Here we are, holding our hands up to you for help. Help us, guide us, show us your path. Open our hearts and minds and lead us on to truth wherever and in whatever form it may be and then give us the humility and the courage to embrace it, celebrate it and rejoice in it!"

I finished with an Amen. My young Christian visitors said nothing. When I suggested to them if we can all say Amen together, they quite firmly refused.

So, this truth thing does not come easily to everyone. All too many people in this world fear truth, like the mythical vampire Count Dracula is said to have feared daylight.

Islam Is about Truth

And truth is what Islam is all about. No matter how you cut it.

You may be a good or a bad Muslim on so many different counts, but truth is the minimum threshold that every human heart must cross before entering God's kingdom of his Deen - Islam - in this world.

There is no place for falsehood in the heart and mind of a believer - Mu'min. Those who base their lives on lies are technically called hypocrites - Munaafiqs - in the language of Islam.

And the Qur'an says that the Munaafiqs - who are essentially liars and falsehood mongers - would end up in the darkest dungeon of Hell: the lowest level of it.

And that is why also the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says that truth is a believer's lost property. He has a better title and claim to it regardless of where he finds it.

So, when it comes to truth, the followers of the way of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and quite a few of the followers of the way of the Byzantine Emperor and the Pope move in somewhat different orbits.

The followers of the Pope and the Emperor have the wonderful luxury of turning to some other human beings like themselves in this world and having their sins forgiven. Followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, have been given no such luxury.

They must deal directly with God.

Pontification by the Pope

What is interesting, therefore, is not what the beleaguered and harried Emperor thought or said, but what the Pope thought and said and did. And his reasons and timing for saying what he said and doing what he did. Those are the questions really worth asking.

Of course, the Pope, himself a learned academic, was giving a learned discourse, in a university, on the subject of faith and reason. And he probably thought this was a good place to make the Emperor's point about Islam and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

There are two possibilities as to what the Pope himself believed or did not believe about Islam and Muslims. One possibility is that his views were the same as the Emperor's. The other possibility is that they were not.

If the Pope's views were the same as the Emperor's, then the Pope should have said so, boldly and honestly, because, as Pope, it is both his right and his duty to do so: to speak the truth at all times. And a Pope should be able to express his views freely and openly, at the time and place of his choice, with perfect impunity.

As for Muslims, the Pope is entitled to nothing but politeness and respect from them.

But if the Pope's views were different, then the Pope evidently missed a great opportunity to correct the error and the falsehood in the Emperor's views. For, the greatest commitment of a religious leader, especially of the one with the Pope's stature and role in the world, should be to truth - and not to expediency.

For, God is truth. And truth is where God is, no matter where that is.

Islam, Muslims and Violence

What ensued, unfortunately, was a bit of foolishness and naiveté on the part of the Muslims. The Muslims were reportedly upset, and they should be. They expressed shock, horror and outrage at what they thought were highly and gratuitously derogatory comments on Islam and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, by the Pope.

And it was anyone's right to do so.

But some Muslims were also reported to have resorted to sporadic violence, which is clearly wrong. Those who engage in violence in the name of defending Islam clearly cross the line. For, Islam neither propagates, nor permits, nor condones violence as a means of discourse on Islam - or on any other subject - or as an excuse for anything else.

Many people may not know this, but the fact is, Islam and violence do not mix, even though a great deal of unresolved anger may be simmering among many Muslims. And there are a lot of reasons for that.

But Islamic teachings are not among them.

But when it comes to dealing with the People of the Book - Christians for example - Islam clearly requires Muslims to use better, superior and more civilized arguments and means of discourse.

Wa laa tujaadil ahlal kittabi illaa billatee hiya ahsan is how the Qur'an puts it.

Islam holds Muslims to a much higher standard of conduct when it comes to dealing with the Pope and his followers, which is not always easy to adhere to. But that is what God asks Muslims to do.

Confusion on the Apology Question

And then there was an "apology." At least that is what some of the media called it. But who is to tell the media what to call what?

The Pope reportedly expressed sorrow over the "reaction" his comments caused among some Muslims, but, evidently, not over his choosing, at this rather delicate time in human history, to repeat the disgruntled Emperor's anti-Islamic and anti-Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, rant.

That was not an apology by the Pope for his own rather unhelpful role in this episode. It was an expression of sorrow over the way in which the Muslims had reacted to his comments.

But what the Muslims must ask themselves is this: How do you force someone to apologize? The Pope or anyone else? For, an apology is a verbal expression of the remorse and regret a person feels in his or her heart for the wrong that person realizes he or she has done someone.

How do you force, bully or intimidate someone to feel those feelings in their hearts?

So, it was, in my view, a foolish and pointless thing for Muslims to demand an apology from the Pope, if that is what they did.

It Is the Heart that Must Apologize

An apology is a function of the heart and the mind and not just of the mouth or the pen.

Let me spell out some details of an apology a bit more clearly - so maybe Muslims can use it as a guide to deal with those who may attack or insult them in future. Because nowadays there is a great deal of talk about apologies, and somehow the Muslims seem to be associated with these situations in one way or another.

But at the same time, sadly, poor Muslims are not always the best represented when it comes to pleading their case before the court of world opinion or negotiating a deal with those supposed to be their adversaries or competitors.

While the other side usually has some of the best brains and talents and some of the most articulate voices working for it, Muslims often end up with an amalgam of leaders, spokespeople and representatives of a somewhat interesting and less competitive sort.

Thinkers? What Thinkers?

As for thinkers, many Muslims simply don't believe in thinking as a virtue. And to some of them it may even be antithetical to what they consider to be Islam.

So, with friends like that who would want enemies?

I have wondered about this phenomenon for decades - and made some noises whenever I could. But Muslims generally demand what they call "practical" solutions to problems they often have no idea what they really are.

Islam is not about thinking, they will tell you, Islam is about "doing" things.

Poor, poor Muslims! Allah will not leave them forever in this pathetic state of helplessness. But if they chose to impose a state of ignorance on themselves, who can they blame for their problems but themselves.

Anatomy of an Apology:
An Eleven-Point Formula

In any case, for an apology to be considered a proper apology, it must contain a number of important elements, or it is not an apology at all. Here are some of them:

  1. First of all, an act - e.g. speech, piece of writing, conduct - must have occurred that is generally considered to be offensive, insulting or damaging to some individual or group.
  2. Next, those affected must take objection to the act and express displeasure at it.
  3. They must then demand some kind of a redress to the situation.
  4. The source of the objectionable act - an individual or group or organization or nation or country or society or other - must realize that it has done something wrong, which it should not have done.
  5. The source must also clearly see and understand why and how the other party might have been offended, insulted, hurt or aggrieved by its act.
  6. The source, thereafter, must feel a sense of guilt, shame, remorse and regret at having done a wrong thing, which, it must realize, it should not have done.
  7. The source must own up and acknowledge without ambiguity or prevarication the wrong it did.
  8. The source must make a firm resolution never to repeat its offensive behavior in future and never to do anything else that would cause similar hurt or insult to the aggrieved party.
  9. The source must come forward with ways to amend its conduct in future and to make amends and provide compensation for the harm and damage that it may have caused its victims.
  10. Thereafter, the source must express all of the above - its realization of wrongdoing; its recognition of the right of the aggrieved party to feel hurt and insulted; its genuine remorse and contrition at its own objectionable conduct; its firm resolve and commitment not to repeat such objectionable behavior in future; and its eagerness to do whatever it could to make amends to the aggrieved party over the insult and hurt it suffered - to the aggrieved party in the most direct, clear and unambiguous terms.
  11. The aggrieved party thereafter must believe the sincerity of the source, the clarity and adequacy of its expression of remorse and accept the apology and agree to the practical arrangements and terms the source may be willing to make by way of restitution.

This is what a genuine apology must look like. Or else it is an apology for an apology and not a real apology at all.

Poor Muslims! I wish someone will educate them in some of these issues.

Ummat's External vs. Internal Enemies

Nations, societies and communities have enemies. And Muslims are no exception. And some of those enemies are external, while some others are internal.

Poor, poor Muslims! May Allah save them from their External Enemies - of whom usually there are quite a few at any given time and place.

And may Allah also save them from their Internal Enemies - those who would like to use, exploit and ride them to their own personal advantage, name, fame, gain, glory, wealth, power and success.

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, warned his Ummat about both of them. In fact, he received a guarantee from Allah that his Ummat will not be destroyed from outside. But Allah did not grant his Ummah similar immunity against internal enemies.

I used to wonder about it for the longest time. But then Allah opened my heart to see part of the wisdom - and Allah's Rahmah - that this equation seems to carry in its fold. And it is quite simple.

A Level Playing Field

Allah is everybody is God. And his Rahmat - his love and mercy that is - belongs to everyone and everything, as he says in the Qur'an: Rahmatee wasi'at kulla shaiy'.

So, while Allah is willing and able to protect Muslims against threats from outside, the Muslims have the responsibility to clean their own house from inside.

That means they must get their Iman and belief right. They must get their Ilm, knowledge and education right. They must get their 'Amal, behavior, conduct, skills, character and personal qualities right.

So, whoever comes out better and stronger in all these areas and characteristics of human excellence will emerge as the winner in the ongoing contest among peoples, nations and societies.

That is Allah's way or law - Sunnatullah - in this world. And according to that law or decree, whoever plays better, wins the game. The better man wins, as it were.

Allah is not going to stack up the odds in favor of the Muslims just because they call themselves Muslims. So long as they are in this world, Muslims will have to play by Allah's rules in his world and win fair and square or lose the game to those who play better.

It is as simple as that.

I Thought Muslims Were
"The Education People"

While Allah alone knows the state of anyone's Iman or belief, the whole world knows what the state of Muslim education is.

In general, the state of Muslim education around the world is seriously inadequate and flawed - both in quantity and in quality. I would go a step further and call it abysmal and shameful.

It is a disgrace to the name of Islam, which came to set the whole world free using the tool of education. Isn't there a Hadith which says: Talabul ilmi fareedah? Paraphrase: Everyone has a duty to get educated.

It is a disgrace to the name of the Qur'an, which itself means Reading or Something To Read. A book the very first of whose revelation was Iqra' or Read.

And it is a disgrace to the name of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who called himself a teacher and an educator. As a Hadith says: Innamaa bu'ith-tu mu'alliman. Paraphrase: I am only a teacher.

An "Education Prophet,"
Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam

A prophet whom his ancestors Abraham and Ishmael, Allah bless them both, characterized as an education-prophet: Yu'allimuhum.

A prophet whom Allah himself called an education-prophet: Yu'allimuhum.

Paraphrase of Yu'allimuhum? He teaches them. He educates them. He is their teacher and educator.

So, what is the use of having any or all of these things if Muslims, as a whole, as an Ummat, end up, after 1400 years, among the least educated of the world's people? And that dismal and sad fact seems to bother no one?

The world knows this fact about Muslims: that they are at the bottom of the education barrel. It is only the Muslims who have their heads buried in the sand and it is they who seek refuge in all kinds of excuses from this grim and stark reality.

But Allah's decree is clear that it is this reality - education - that will decide the fate of nations in this world, including the Muslim nation.

Gold Before, Gold After

The world also can see the kind of human material that most Muslims have turned out to be - in terms of sheer human excellence and quality - beyond Namaaz and Rozah, beyond Hajj and beyond Zakat, which most Muslims don't pay anyway.

Annasu kal ma'adin, said the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, Khairukum fil jaahiliyyah, khairukum fil Islam. Paraphrase: People are like metals. Gold is gold, whether it is before Islam or after Islam.

Sadly, there isn't a great deal of gold in Muslim human quality and character and skill and knowledge levels these days, is there?

And what is more heartbreaking is that no one cares, and it is not even a priority item on most people's long list of Muslim agendas.

You Can't Force an Apology

I am not saying demanding an apology will not have a deterrent effect for the future. But to pressure someone into making an apology is almost like compelling them to accept your faith or "religion" by force.

And in all these matters, the Qur'an's position is quite clear: "Absolutely no compulsion in matters of Deen."

What may be quite appropriate, however, is to take this opportunity to address the substantive issues raised by the Emperor and then echoed by the Pope at a time when Muslims all over the world are living under great pressure, anguish and stress, both physical and mental, caused by events unleashed, for the large part, by Christians - followers of the Pope's religion directly, as in the case of Catholics, or indirectly, as in the case of Protestants.

And let us do that now.

Issues in the Pope's Echoing
of the Emperor's Views

There are three issues in the Pope's echoing of the Emperor's views on Islam, Muslims and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

  • First, the claim that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, brought nothing new that was not evil and inhumane.
  • Second, the assertion that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, told his followers to go forth and spread his message by force.
  • Third, the Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teachings fail the test of reason whereas the teachings of the Pope and the ways of the Emperor pass that test with flying colors - thanks largely to the Greek thought which the Christians embraced and the Muslims rejected.

On merit, all these claims are wrong and false. Whether or not they are malicious, it is up to everyone to make up their own mind.

Now let us take each one of these three issues individually and examine them carefully. First, let us look at theory as it pertains to each one of these three issues. Then, let us look at practice with regard to each one of them.

By theory I mean words, statements and professions and by practice I mean actual actions.

But before we do that, let us refresh our memories about some of the most basic and elementary information that we all should have known about the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to begin with.

Only Man in Human History

The world does not know this fact about the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, but it should have known it. The world does not know that he is the only man in human history that either preached or practiced a perfect system.

If you want, you can call it a complete, comprehensive and self-sustaining "religious," socio-political and economic system.

He not only preached it, he also practiced it - every bit of it.

No other human being came anywhere close to doing it, or even attempting anything like it, in the entire history of humanity on this earth. This is a historic fact - and not a matter of "faith" or conjecture - which anyone can verify.

The World Should Have Known

The world should have known that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is the only man in all of human history to have ever given the world the following:

  • A full and self-sustaining system of thought on all aspects of human life, both individual and collective: from "religion" to politics and from economics and military affairs to law, jurisprudence, human rights and international relations.
  • A complete and structured set of personal beliefs and practices for every man as well as woman.
  • A comprehensive guide to human behavior of all kinds at all levels for individuals as well as groups and societies and humanity as a whole.

That means he did all this at two levels:

a. At the individual and micro levels.
b. At the collective and macro levels.

If you want, you can throw in a third level with it, which is at the macro-macro level or the level of the entire world or humanity as a whole - for all times to come.

Know the Truth and Acknowledge It Openly

The world must know, and clearly and openly acknowledge, that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is the only man in all of human history who gave the world any or all of these things.

Whether or not the world thereafter accepts or rejects his teachings is an entirely different matter. For, God Almighty himself has granted human beings the right to reject his message, should they choose to do it. But the important thing the world must come to terms with is the sheer fact of what the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, accomplished in this world.

Because, part of the problem with the world has been:

a. Its failure to know some of these things, and/or,
b. Its failure to acknowledge them openly.

Why Fear Truth?

So, here is what I am saying: Either I am right or I am wrong. If I am right, then accept what I am saying and correct your ways. If, on the other hand, I am the one who is wrong, show me how and I will stand corrected.

That is what Islam teaches us: Go with the truth - wherever it takes you. And that is why Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, makes it clear that no one has a greater claim to truth than a believer.

And here is the most basic reality or test everyone needs to face, whether it is the Pope and his followers, or the followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, or anyone else:

If God is truth, then what do you have to fear from truth?

And if you have anything to do with God, shouldn't truth be your best friend at all times and in all circumstances?

Now do we understand why the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, told us to be unafraid of truth at all times and in all circumstances?

And that is why the world gave him the title of "Man of Truth," before he even became a Rasul or a prophet or messenger of God.

A Complete, Open and Closed System,
All at the Same Time

When he was done preaching and practicing his message, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, declared his system to be complete. And he forbade anyone to tamper with it.

Evidently, nothing good could come out of tampering with a system that was ab initio so thorough, so complete - and so perfect. Made so by God Almighty himself.

No system of thought, belief and behavior so complete and comprehensive has ever been self-consciously conceived, designed, practiced, implemented and left behind as a full package for posterity by any one human being in the entire history of the world.

Permanence and Change in Systems
of Human Authorship

Life in any form is by definition change and transition and growth. Human life is no exception. As a result, no system of thought or belief or behavior designed by any human source can hold or be valid and relevant for all time or for all places.

That means all systems of human authorship - whether individual or multiple, whether old or new - are by definition and by their very nature stuck between the rock of permanence and a hard place of change. They simply cannot survive this challenge forever.

Yet, that is precisely what Islam is and does. Islam is a self-sustaining set of beliefs and behaviors, given out and shown to work during the lifetime of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, during the early part of the 7th Century and yet fresh and true and contemporary now and at all times and relevant and valid in all places.

How is that possible? How can such a contradiction be true? The answer lies in the authorship of the system of Islam and the Qur'an - the book that embodies that system.

It is part of the living miracle of Islam and the Qur'an.

Islam's Divine Authorship

There has never been any question or doubt that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, alone, and no other human being, was the sole earthly source of what he produced. It was not a committee of experts that later codified his teachings.

But it was he, and he alone, who did it, all by himself, in his own lifetime.

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, however, denied that he was the author of anything he did or said. He claimed that God Almighty taught him what he knew, told him to do what he did, and ordered him to convey the same to all human beings - in the form in which he received it from God.

Those who accepted his message and claims and submitted themselves to God as their master and to the practice of God's system in a disciplined way, he called Muslims and Mu'mins.

Those who rejected the message were called rejecters or deniers or the ungrateful ones - Kafirs.

Those who took the message and mixed it up with all kinds of other messages and claimed to worship God but also worshipped all kinds of other pet gods besides were called Mixers - Mushriks.

Those who were neither here nor there, and who lied saying that they were with the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and the believers, when in fact theirs hearts were really elsewhere, were referred to as Munaafiqs - the Two-Faced ones.

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam,
Also Gave the World a Comprehensive Book

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, also gave the world a perfect book - a manual as it were - that contains his major teachings. He claimed it was God's direct word revealed to him through an angel.

He called the book the Qur'an - Reading or Something To Read. And so did the book itself refer to itself. That is the name God Almighty himself gave that book.

To this day, hundreds of millions of Muslims continue to read this book everyday and tens of millions can recite it verbatim from cover to cover from memory even today.

The simple and incontrovertible fact is that there is no other book in the world that quite fits this profile.

The world must know these basic historic truths and facts about the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. And the world must thereafter openly and unambiguously acknowledge the fact that these truths indeed did happen in historic time and space.

Thereafter, the world is free to accept or reject the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, as God Almighty's final messenger on earth. According to the system of thought, belief and behavior preached and practiced by the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, it is a right given to all human beings by their maker and master, God Almighty himself: the right to accept or to reject.

The right to dissent. The right to say no. It is a God-given right, so far Islam is concerned.

This Was Before Magna Carta and the American Constitution

And this was centuries before there was a Magna Carta, even though the Magna Carta only secured certain rights for the nobles against the king and did not include the common people.

And this was more than a 1000 years before there was an American Declaration of Independence or the American Constitution with references to certain inalienable rights that all human beings were guaranteed by their creator, whom God Almighty had created as equal, even though these did not include the Blacks, the slaves, the "Indians" and the women.

And this was again a 1000 years before there was a French Revolution, which finally did away with the pernicious Western-Christian doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, that had been practiced by the followers of the Pope until that time, with its clarion call of the fundamentally Islamic notions of liberty, equality and fraternity for all human beings, even though these grand ideas quickly fizzled out in practice.

And this was way before Johns Locke and Milton propounded their ideas of human liberty, which often pointedly left out the Catholics in practice.

So, the world should have known - and the world must openly acknowledge - that it was the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who really introduced some of the most important human rights and freedoms in this world more than a 1000 years before anyone else ever woke up to them.

Only Man in History Who Not Only Talked the Perfect Talk,
But also Walked the Perfect Walk

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was the perfect practitioner and exemplar of the Deen he preached. You want to call it "religion," go ahead and call it religion. But he and his God called it Deen and that is good enough for me.

It is worth asking here, who in the world, other than the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, ever preached a complete Deen, way of life or "religion" as some of you insist on calling it?

Doesn't that tell you something about the man? It sure says something about you and me if we can discover this and then simply shrug our shoulders and walk away.

And then the next question: Who in the world, other than the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, ever practice all, or most, or even a sizable chunk of what they preached?

But with the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, the equation was quite simple: What he preached, he also practiced - in every single instance.

No exceptions!

Is This the Man You Want to
Malign and Attack?

If this is the man you want to malign and attack and insult, just because he is not your man, I am almost tempted to say, go right ahead and do it. Because, with that kind of brazen contempt for truth and human greatness at its best and highest, you are dealing directly with God and his wrath, and you are not dealing with ordinary human beings.

With that kind of anti-truth, anti-fact attitude, you are not insulting the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, you are directly insulting and attacking God Almighty himself. And God Almighty is perfectly capable of taking care of himself.

Islam in Theory I:
Qur'an Forbids Violence and Aggression

Now let us turn our attention to some of the specifics of Islamic theory and practice. Once again, as I said earlier, by theory I mean words, statements and professions, while by practice I mean actual actions.

There are two ways to judge whether or not a faith or a "religion" uses violence in its service:

(a) Precept.
(b) Practice.

If you are a follower of the Pope and you want to know what your own "religious" texts tell you how to treat your enemy, read the Old Testament and then compare it with the Qur'an. That should give you a comparative perspective on both Islam and your own religion.

Below are a few examples of the Qur'an's position on the subject of how to treat other peoples, nations, societies, cultures and religions of the world. You are on your own to find parallels in the Bible.

  • Qur'an forbids aggression in all forms.
  • Qur'an forbids aggression even under provocation.
  • Qur'an forbids gratuitous violence in all cases and under all circumstances.
  • Qur'an forbids injustice even against those who have wronged you.
  • Qur'an forbids oppression under all conditions.
  • Qur'an forbids excesses even in war.
  • Qur'an mandates proportionality in retribution and revenge.
  • Qur'an makes forgiveness a higher virtue.

Islam in Theory II:
Qur'an Forbids Compulsion and Coercion

And here are just a handful of examples of Qur'an's position on the subject of coercion and compulsion in matters of faith:

  • Qur'an declares categorically: "There is no compulsion in faith."
  • Qur'an demands: "Are you going to force them to become believers?"
  • Qur'an tells the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to tell those who reject his message: "I don't worship what you worship. Nor shall you worship what I do. So, you follow your way and I shall follow mine."

Now tell me the truth, knowing full well that God is our witness, when did you ever hear or read language this clear and this categorical in its rejection of coercion? And just where did you hear or read it?

The right and proper thing to do for everyone is to go back to their own respective "religious" texts - and other ancient texts - and see what they have to say on these subjects, making sure these texts are at least 1400 years old.

A Practical Way Forward

There is more where these examples came from. So, here is a practical way forward for everybody, and here is what truly honest and God-fearing people can do:

  • Put the Qur'an in one column.
  • Put your own religious text in another column.
  • Track the two together like a good computer would do.
  • Then see what each source has to say on the question of violence.

That means look at the theory and look at the practice of each side - Christianity and Islam, Christians and Muslims. And then decide honestly, with God as our witness, who is really teaching and practicing what.

Then believe what you want, do what you want.

Did you know this is almost a direct echo from the words of the Qur'an in paraphrase?

If, on the other hand, you have a better formula to resolve some of these issues honestly and peacefully, put it forward and let us talk about it.

Islam in Practice I:
The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, at Makkah

Now let us turn to some of the practices of Islam. Here is one of Prophet Muhammad's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, last acts in life.

Not when he was weak and without support and just starting out his mission. But when he was strong and powerful and stood at the very pinnacle of his political and military success.

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his Muslim followers, had been subjected to two decades of unmitigated hate, hostility, conspiracies, persecution, torture, killings and wars by the unbelieving people of Makkah. Now, all of a sudden, these were brought to a sudden end by God Almighty, just as he had promised.

If you are truly honest and God-fearing, you will check out three things:

  • One, you will check to see how many people lost their lives in this takeover by the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his Muslim followers, of the enemy nation, "country" and city-state of Makkah.
  • Two, you will check to see how many babies were butchered, how many houses of worship were torched, how many "religious" leaders were massacred and how many women were raped during these massive military operations?
  • Three, you will check to see what kind of a general treatment the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, meted out to the "vanquished and defeated" enemy nation, society, "country" and people.

And you will also keep in mind that this was several hundred years before Magna Carta gave the English nobles the right of Habeas Corpus - protection against wrongful imprisonment and the king's duty to produce the accused before a jury of his peers.

And this was also a full 1300 years before the Geneva Conventions came up with some protections against torture and such other things.

And now we all know how thin that ice can be.

Islamic Practice II:
The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, Forgives His Worst Enemies

The Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, takeover of the enemy state of Makkah was swift and almost bloodless. And it was, like everything else in his life and mission, miraculous. And now his worst enemies of over two decades stood before him, defeated, crestfallen and helpless.

Among them were those who had killed and mutilated some of his best and most beloved personal friends and companions.

Among them were those who had killed his beloved and brave uncle, tore up his body and chewed up his liver.

Among them were those who had bloodied and injured him in battle and broke his teeth.

"How do you expect me to treat you?" he asked.

The 10,000 saints, as the Bible calls them, who had rolled down the hills of Paran with him as the Bible puts it, stood still.

"You were always a kind and compassionate man, Muhammad, generous to the core," pleaded his enemies.

Over 20 years of their cold-blooded aggression, their simmering hate and hostility, their extreme cruelty and barbarity, their conspiracies and intrigue, their vicious lies and propaganda against the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, against his faith of Islam and against his Muslim followers, swimming before their eyes.

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, then raised his head and replied: "I will say to you what Prophet Joseph said to his brothers," he said, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. "Go, you are free. There shall be no revenge against you today."

And so it was that Islam entered Makkah in a tidal wave. There was no bloodbath. There was no rape. There was no plundering and pillaging. And there was no genocide. And there was no torture.

Enemies of 23 years were set free and told to go home.

The Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, Forgiveness Wins Converts

Now ask yourself this: How would the Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, enemies have reacted to this superhuman display of kindness, generosity and forgiveness? How would you have reacted if you were in their place?

These people knew from the beginning that what the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught was quite reasonable and rational and it made more sense than anything that they had in their own religious mumbo-jumbo.

Their fight with him, as most fights in this world are, was mostly about wealth, power, position, status, conceit, arrogance, ego, race, revenge, personal leadership, land and tribal domination.

So, when they finally lost their fight against truth and against reason, and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave them their freedom and security back, they had nowhere to go but to Islam.

They willingly and voluntarily converted to Islam in wave upon wave.

Thus, it was not violence and force that got them to covert to Islam, but Islam's basic rationality on the one hand and the Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, kindness, compassion, generosity and forgiveness on the other hand.

Islam in Practice III:
Khalifah Umar Takes Control of Jerusalem from the Christian Priests

Jerusalem was under the control of Pope's Christian followers. They sent word to Khalifah Umar that if he came personally to Jerusalem, and if they found him to be the right man, they will throw open the gates of the city to him without a fight.

Umar came riding on a camel, which he took turns sharing with his slave. As master and slave approached the gates of Jerusalem, it was the slave's turn to ride the camel, while Umar, the Ruler, walked along side on foot.

The Christian priests of the Holy Land saw this divinely designed super-human spectacle of human equality with their own eyes. They needed no further proof of who Umar really was and what he stood for.

Those were the days when truth and honesty and integrity were still the hallmarks of "religion" in most instances. So, Umar personally took control of the holy city without shedding a drop of blood.

Later, as the prayer time approached, the priests asked Umar to perform his "prayers" inside the church, Umar excused himself saying: "If I do my prayers inside the church, some day the Muslims may demand control of the church. So, it is better I do my prayers outside."

Another proof to the priests of Jerusalem what kind of a man Umar, this follower of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, really was and what kind of a message and faith he represented.

Islam Spread Based on Merit,
Not Based on Force

Ask yourself this:

Wouldn't you want to be a part of a system that taught the most wonderful things in life; that offered a most rational model of God and his relationship to your own life; that offered all human beings, regardless of race or gender, a wonderful life of dignity, freedom and equality on earth; that offered them a fair and equal chance of salvation and bliss in the next life based on their own beliefs and behavior in this life; and that showed you in practice how to make your life better on earth, while making it also better in the next life?

Wouldn't you say to yourself, especially if you had been denied all these things all your life - and for centuries:

"You mean there really is a system like that somewhere? Unbelievable!
Let me check this Islam out. It sure seems to make a lot of sense.
And it sure looks like the thing I can use to make my life better?"

That is what you are likely to say yourself. And that is precisely what a lot of people in the world ended up saying.

And that is also precisely what is happening to a lot people even now - even as all kinds of lies, distortions and propaganda are let loose against Islam and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

Islam Spread because Islam Had
Reason and Logic on Its Side

So, Islam spread because it made more sense; because it had reason and logic on its side; and because it offered everybody an opportunity to a better life.

For the first time in their life a lot of people saw an opportunity for personal dignity and freedom and for human equality and justice. And for the first time in their life they came face to face with a system whose teachings made a lot of sense to them. A system that seemed to have more reason in its teachings than the usual religious mumbo-jumbo they were used to throughout their lives.

It were these superhuman examples of equality, honesty, generosity, justice and compassion on the one hand and of basic rationality and simple elegance on the other hand that won converts to Islam by the droves, not Muslims running around with swords in their hands, forcing people to accept Islam or die.

The sword theory was a vicious lie that was invented by the Pope's Christian followers to stem the tide of Islam from sweeping Europe as it had swept other parts of the world.

And it is pretty much the same thing happening now, as Islam is once again knocking at the gates of Europe and the West in the form of a rising tide of Muslim immigrants and local converts from Christianity.

Islam in Practice IV:
Saladin's Magnanimous Treatment of the Crusader Followers of the Pope

The then Pope had personally rallied his followers to go to Jerusalem and drive out the "infidel" Muslims and kill them. The Pope's Christian followers blazoned a trail of violence, blood and barbarity wherever they went.

The Crusaders even found it necessary to subject Jewish populations along the way to the usual Christian cruelty and inhumanity that had characterized Jewish-Christian relations for centuries.

They drenched the soil of the Holy Land in rivers of blood so deep their horses sank up to their knees in human gore.

Then along came Saladin, the Muslim follower of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Saladin defeated the Crusaders and expelled them from the Holy Land. But in doing so he took a leaf directly out of the book of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, at Makkah.

Saladin showed the Pope's defeated followers legendary tolerance, forgiveness, generosity, compassion and large-heartedness. He guaranteed them security of person and property and he even provided horses and mounts to those who did not have and could not afford them.

But truth and gratefulness have rarely ever been the strong suit of the Pope's Christian followers. While Richard the Lionheart became the hero of Christian folklore, Saladin's story of compassion and forgiveness toward the Pope's Crusader followers remained largely buried in specialized books of arcane history.

The world awaits a movie spectacle of the Passion of Christ dimension on an honest and truthful treatment of Saladin's life and his exemplary treatment of the Crusader followers of the Pope.

Christian Practice I: The Inquisition

Now compare this Islamic practice with the practice of the Pope's Church and his Christian followers after Muslim power was defeated in Spain in 1492.

Compare how the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, let go and forgave his worst enemies, when God had finally rendered them to him, defeated and dishonored, and when he gained complete control and supremacy over them. Compare that with how the Christian Church used the Inquisition to burn and butcher the defeated Muslims.

And not just the Muslims but also the Jews, whom the Muslims had given refuge from centuries of Christian persecution. The Muslims and Jews were forced to accept Christianity or be burned at the stake.

Now let us decide, truthfully and with God as our witness, who forced whom to abandon their faith or die? And who subjected whom to unspeakable horrors and atrocities if they refused to give up their faith? Was it the Muslim followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, or was it the Christian followers of the Pope?

Christian followers of the Pope did it and then falsely accused the Muslim followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, of doing what Islam had never sanctioned or condoned: force people to accept the new faith or die.

There is a name for this kind of pathological behavior in psychology. It is called projection.

Christian Practice II: The Crusades

Compare also the conduct of the Pope's Church and his Christian followers toward the Muslims during the Crusades with the conduct of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, at Makkah.

And compare it with the bloodless manner in which the Muslims, under the leadership of Khalifah Umar, the son of Khattab, a close friend, companion and associate of he Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, took over control of the Holy City of Jerusalem from Christian priests.

And also compare the conduct of the Pope's Church and his Christian armies with the generous, magnanimous, forgiving and compassionate conduct of Saladin, the Muslim ruler of Egypt and Syria, when he drove the Pope's Crusading armies from the Holy Land, where they had left a bloody trail that was knee-deep for their horses.

And then compare this with the conduct of the Pope's Crusading armies in the gratuitous killing and plundering of Jews as they marched to liberate the Holy Land from the "infidel" Muslims.

Christian Practice III: The Jews

Compare the cruelties, killings and plundering the Pope's Church and his Christian followers perpetrated upon the Jews in Europe for over a 1000 years with the tolerance, security and freedom of faith which the Muslims provided the Jews for hundreds of years in places like Muslim Spain, Turkey, Morocco and other Muslim countries and societies.

Compare the treatment of Jews in Christian Europe, from the earliest days till the end of World War II, for hundreds of years, with the treatment of Jews in Muslim societies.

Christian Practice IV: The Americas

You don't need to be a scholar of history to know that it was the Pope's Christian followers who conquered and claimed the Americas from top to bottom for God and for King.

Ask yourself what happened to hundreds of nations, peoples, cultures, cities and communities that populated the Americas before the Pope's people set foot upon them.

And also ask, truthfully and with God as your witness, how would the Americas have turned out if it was the Muslim followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who had "discovered" and "conquered" the Americas, instead of the Pope's Christian followers.

Christian Practice V: Slave Trade

In many ways, Muslims were the masters of the world till 1492. When that ended, the Pope's Christian followers - call them Catholics or call them Protestants but they were all essentially followers of the same Christian religion of which the Pope is the head - became rich for the next several centuries by plundering the African continent of human beings and selling them as slaves all over the Americas, where they were treated worse than animals by the Christians.

Christian Practice VI: Missionaries

The Pope's Christian followers offered the poor indigenous people of America a stark choice: accept Christianity or die. The poor "Indians" often did not understand what was being said and paid with their life in the most barbaric manner for not accepting the new faith and at times for just not being able to hear or understand the proclamation in a foreign tongue that was being read out.

Almost invariably, Christian missionaries were a part of the invading and occupying armies of the Pope's Christian followers.

Missionaries and Success:
Christian vs. Muslim Practice

Compare the number of people that have been working as full-time or part-time Christian missionaries around the world for the past 500 years, and the resources that have been at their disposal in terms of education, training, money, manpower and government patronage and protection, with their counterparts among Muslims.

That will show you whose armies and treasuries and government power were working to convert people around the world - Christians or Muslims. And it will also provide you an insight as to whose message was spread using unlimited power, wealth and resources and whose message people embraced voluntarily because of its fundamental rationality, reasonableness, simplicity and downright responsiveness to their basic human needs.

More of Christian Practice: Colonization

It was not enough for the Pope's Christian followers to invade, conquer and occupy other people's lands. They also had to either physically eliminate the local population or reduce them to "native" or second-class status in their own ancestral lands.

And then they had to plunder their lands and ship off their wealth and natural resources to their "mother countries" to the detriment of "native" lands and populations. Thus did Colonization become a unique gift of subjugation, slavery and second-class life that the Pope's Christian followers imposed by brutal and ruthless force on the majority of the populations, peoples and societies of the world.

More of Christian Practice:
World Wars I and II and Propaganda

World Wars I and II were special favors that the Pope's Christian followers conferred upon each other, and upon the rest of the world, in successive waves of massacre, mayhem, brutality, barbarity, killing and rape on a global scale.

And they inaugurated a new era of mad pursuit of power, wealth, land and natural resources in which truth itself became the greatest casualty of war, perhaps more than ever before in human history.

The propaganda techniques, procedures and skills perfected during World Wars I and II became the monster that gave birth to an even greater monster of modern spin and doctored and diluted facts and news that have got the world in their grip today.

It is these newly packaged lies, and what is euphemistically called "spin," that saturate the new world of today. But they do so for primarily the same old purposes of the rabid pursuit of power, wealth, land and natural resources throughout the Muslim world.

So, Who Really Used Violence to
Propagate Religion?

So, the question that needs to be asked of the Pope is this: Whose followers really let loose this tidal wave of violence in the name of religion that has been sweeping the world for the past 1000 years?

Were they the Muslim followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam? Or were they the Christian followers of the Pope, regardless of whether they call themselves Catholic or Protestant?

Religion and Reason:
A Quick Comparison of Islam and Christianity

The Pope also seemed to suggest that embracing Greek thought gave Christianity a lock on reason. Let us take a closer look.

First of all, Greek thought came to the Pope's Christian followers through the intermediacy of Muslim scholars. But, as I pointed out earlier, truth and integrity have never been the strong suit of the Pope's Christian followers.

That is partly why they call that period of human history when the radiance of Islamic enlightenment illumined the whole world as the Dark Ages.

Next, with regard to each one of the following points, let us trust our own native judgment, and let each one of us ask ourselves, truthfully and with God as our witness, where we think reason really seems to lie: on the side of the Pope and his teachings or on the side of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his teachings?

So here goes.

  • Like a lot of pagan systems around the world, the Pope teaches that God has a mother. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that God has no mother and no father.
  • Again, like a lot of pagan systems around the world, the Pope teaches that God has a son. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that God has no son or daughter.
  • The Pope teaches that we are all born sinners. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that we are all born innocent and free of sin.
  • The Pope teaches that Adam's Original Sin continues to haunt us all. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that God Almighty forgave Adam when he repented, so we bear no responsibility for the Original Sin.
  • The Pope teaches that it was the woman who was responsible for the Fall of Man from Paradise. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that both man and woman disobeyed God's command, but they both repented and God Almighty forgave them both.
  • The Pope teaches that conception and childbirth are a woman's curse for being the instrument of the Devil in Paradise and for causing the Fall of Man from Grace. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that both man and woman committed the sin, but God Almighty forgave them both when they both repented.

    And it is a remarkable blessing from God that a woman can bear children. And if a woman were to die in childbirth, her death should be considered the death of a martyr.

  • The Pope teaches that he and others appointed by him can forgive people and absolve sinners of their responsibility for their sins. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that human beings are accountable for their actions and only God can forgive sin.
  • The Pope teaches that to receive forgiveness and to have your sins absolved, you must confess to the Pope or to one of his agents in a confessional. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that to receive forgiveness and absolution for your sins, you must first begin by feeling genuine remorse for what you have done and then you must confess directly to God and not a fellow human being like yourself.
  • Like many pagan systems around the world, the Pope teaches that the way God forgives human beings is by sending down his own begotten son and offering him as a sacrificial lamb for the sins of humanity. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that God forgives human beings directly when they turn to him in genuine and sincere repentance.
  • The Pope teaches that Jesus Christ, God bless him, will take upon himself all the sins of humanity, thus wiping everyone's slate clean if only they would accept him as their savior. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that no one can carry the sins of others on their shoulders and that each man and woman bears direct responsibility for their sins until such time as they seek God's forgiveness and God chooses to forgive them.
  • The Pope teaches his own infallibility. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that only God is infallible, and no human being, no matter how special, can be infallible. He teaches that we are all human and it is, as the Bible says, human to err.
  • The Pope also teaches that the bread wafers Christians in good standing are given to eat at the Communion are actually the flesh of Jesus, Allah bless him. What can anyone say?
  • The Pope also teaches that the wine Christians are given to drink at Communion is actually the blood of Jesus, Allah bless him. Again, what can anyone say?
  • The Pope teaches that marriage is an evil - albeit a necessary evil. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that the state of matrimony is a great blessing from God.
  • The Pope teaches that divorce is unlawful and unacceptable forever and under all conditions. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, teaches that divorce must always remain an option to rescue men and women from hopelessly failed marriages.

On Which Side Does Reason Really Lie?

I can go on like this till the cows come home.

In all the examples I have given above, I am not saying which is right and which is wrong. I am not even saying which sounds more or less reasonable to me personally.

All I am saying is this: Let us take the Pope up on his word that reason is on the side of Christianity and not on the side of Islam. And then let each one of us ask ourselves, truthfully and with God as our witness, if that indeed is how it strikes each one of us in our own hearts and in the depths of our own minds with regard to each one of the points I have listed above.

That is all the test Islam ever put human beings through: the evidence of your own senses and the testimony of your own mind.

And that is precisely why Islam was unstoppable throughout the ages. And that is also why Islam remains unstoppable even today, in spite of the barrage of lies and propaganda that is directed at it all the time.

The fact is, Islam was and continues to be unstoppable for one simple reason: because Islam is reasonable - because Islam has reason and logic primarily on its side.

That means Islam makes sense; Islam appeals to basic human rationality; and Islam gives every man and woman an opportunity to think for themselves and arrive at their own reasoned conclusions.

Whither the Pope's Religion:
Another Test of Logic and Reason

Let us use another test to see on which side the weight of logic and reason seems to come down: the Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, Islam or the Pope's Christianity.

One way to do that is to see in which direction the tide of history has been running over the past hundreds of years: in the direction of the Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, Islam or the Pope's Christianity? Over the centuries, has the Pope's Christianity been changing to look more and more like Islam, or has the Islam of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, been changing to look more and more like the Pope's Christianity?

So here goes.

  • Islam taught the uncomplicated message of God's unity, which it tried to explain in a fairly rational way. The Pope's Christianity, on the other hand, taught the Doctrine of Trinity, which no one could explain because it was a mystery, an enigma, a snare, a chimera or a conundrum - a scandalon as it is sometimes called.

    Ask yourself: In what direction, is the world generally moving - toward the Pope's mystery of Trinity or toward the Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, greater clarity of divine unity?

  • The Pope's Christianity taught that celibacy was the right thing for people to practice, but in the interest of human survival, marriage is a necessary evil. Islam taught that marriage was a good thing and a blessing.

Ask yourself: Where is today's world? With the Pope or with the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?

  • The Pope's Christianity taught that once married, you must stay married forever. The Prophet's, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, Islam teaches that while marriage is the norm, divorce is a permissible and honorable way out in extreme situations.

Ask yourself: Where is the world today? With the Pope or with the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?

  • The Pope's Christianity teaches God has a son. It also teaches that God has a mother. Islam teaches that God neither begets nor is he begotten. In what direction do you think the world has been moving?
  • The Pope used to teach that no one but the priests should read the Bible, a teaching Jan Huss of Prague questioned and paid with his life for doing. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, on the other hand made it compulsory for everyone to read the Qur'an.

Who do you think copied whom as time went by?

  • The Pope used to teach that he was the only authority in his religion, a claim which led Martin Luther of Germany to launch Reformation and start Protestantism. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, on the other hand, asked his followers to use the written instructions of the Qur'an and the Hadith as their main sources of guidance.

Who do you think copied whom to get to that turning point in their history?

Stopping Islam:
The Perpetual Quest of Christian Europe and its Successors and Associates

The question that leaps to mind readily is this: Is that the reason why Christian Europe, and now its successors and associates everywhere, have to keep the propaganda mill running at high speed to invent all kinds of lies to counter Islam - trying to stop Islam from reaching people's hearts and minds?

Does that mean they know only too well what would happen if people got wind of what Islam was really all about.

They tried the Crusades. That did not wipe out Muslims or eliminate Islam.

They tried the Inquisition. And that did not wipe out Muslims or eliminate Islam either.

They tried Colonialism and conquered and colonized the Muslim lands and populations. They plundered Muslim wealth and tried to foist their own culture, values and way of life upon Muslims through various forms of coercion, force and political, social and economic incentives.

But after centuries of conquest, colonization and exploitation, they once again failed to wipe out the Muslims or eliminate Islam. So, what are the poor followers of the Pope to do when Islam and Muslims are turning out to be so stubborn and unstoppable?

Islam and Muslims Refuse to Roll Over and Die

The followers of the Pope and their Protestant successors tried Imperialism - both Soviet and Western style; both political and cultural; both economic and informational - and tried to dominate Muslim lands, cultures and people. But Islam simply refused to die. And Muslims simply refused to disappear.

All along, they also found all sorts of innovative ways to keep control of the Muslim lands, resources, treasures and populations in other ways - either directly or through their puppet governments and leaders. But the Muslims simply will not go away.

What are the poor Christian followers of the Pope - whether they are Catholics or Protestants - to do? Because no matter what they do, the Muslims refuse to die and their "religion" and culture refuse to disappear.

Call In the Fraud Squad

Hence the age-old trick of calling in the fraud squad - one more time - and telling it to saturate the planet - one more time - with all kinds of new and old lies, lies, lies and some more lies about Islam and Muslims.

Demonize Islam and Muslims in any and every way you can. Spread whatever false and malicious propaganda you can about Islam and Muslims. And in the process try to browbeat, fool, trick and intimidate as many Muslims as you can.

Train millions of people and create entire industries dedicated to filling the world of God Almighty with all kinds of falsehood and lies and vicious propaganda about Islam and Muslims.

How helpful it is that Muslims are by and large naïve, foolish, uninformed, uneducated, incompetent, divided, unorganized and poorly led and inadequately represented.

So, that is where we are right now. All the way back to the very first lesson of Islam: Iqra'!

And that is one reason why Muslims are in the sad mess they are in today: because they are educationally among the most backward people in the world.

Projection:
A Personality Disorder of the Pope's People

Here is a quick answer to a quick question.

Question: If it is the Pope's Christian followers that have been guilty of some of the terrible things listed above, and not the followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, then why and how did the Pope and his Christian followers come to blame Islam and Muslims for them?

Answer: There is a psychological disorder called projection. According to experts, those who suffer from this personality disorder, "project" their problem on others. That means they blame others for all the bad things they think, feel and do.

The followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, have for long been the victims of projection at the hands of the Christian followers of the Pope.

What the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, Brought into the World:
Was It Nothing But Evil and Inhumane?

The medieval Byzantine Emperor claimed that all that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, brought into this world was evil and inhumane. The Pope seemed to concur with this view. For, the Pope not only repeated the Emperor's views without any reservation or criticism, he clearly failed to reject or correct them.

Below are some examples of what the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam brought into the world. Read each item carefully and then ask yourself: How evil and inhumane is it?

So here goes.

  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers to wash their hands first thing in the morning and every time they did their prayers thereafter. What is evil or inhumane about that?

The American Society of Microbiology (ASM) did not get around to doing that till the mid-1990s.

  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers to "spread peace and blessings" all the time - Afshoos-Salaam. What is evil or inhumane about that?

Nobody else does that in this world.

  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, asked his followers to bless the world and everyone and everything in it at least five times a day. And today no less than a billion Muslims around the world do that every minute and every hour of day and night. What is evil or inhumane about that?

How many others do you know who do that in this world?

  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, instructed his followers to care for their neighbors.

And for their parents.

And for their relatives and family members.

And for the poor and the needy.

And for the travelers.

And for complete strangers.

What is evil or inhumane about any of that?

  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, commanded his followers not to insult, attack or kill Christian priests - or any other religious leaders - even in times of war. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, commanded his followers not to dishonor or desecrate Christian houses of worship even during war. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, commanded his followers not to kill women, children and old people even during war. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers that Paradise lay under the feet of their mothers. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers that their daughters held the key to their Paradise.
  • And so did their wives.
  • And so did their sisters.
  • And so did their aunts.

What is evil or inhumane about any of that?

  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers to show compassion to animals. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers that how we treat a dog or a cat could mean the difference whether we go to heaven or end up in hell. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The book the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, brought from God Almighty - the Qur'an - openly sided with Roman Christians in their battle against pagan Persians. It even named a full chapter after them - the 30th chapter of the Qur'an called "Rome."

All this was in the beginning of the 7th Century, before there even was a Pope in Rome.

How evil or inhumane is that?

  • The book the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, brought from God Almighty - the Qur'an - has a full chapter named Maryam, mother of Jesus, God bless them both. What is evil or inhumane about that?

Again, I can go on giving example after example of the things the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers, and ask you about each one of them what you thought was evil or inhumane about any of them.

But sadly I must stop for I have not the resources of the Pope and his followers at my disposal to devote to this enterprise.

What Is Evil or Inhumane about Any of This?

Below is some of what the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave the Pope and his followers directly and specifically. Is it fair to ask what did the Pope and his followers give the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his followers in return?

  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers to refer to Christians as People of the Book. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers to consider Jesus, God Bless Him, as more honored in their eyes than their own fathers. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers to honor Mary, (God Bless Her) mother of Jesus (God bless him) more than their own mothers. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught his followers to show the same reverence to the revelation that Jesus, God Bless Him, received from God, as they show the Qur'an. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave the world a book that has a chapter named after the family of Jesus, God Bless Him. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave the world a book that defended the honor of Mary, God Bless Her, when no one else would. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave the world a book that proclaims to the world the miraculous, fatherless, virgin birth of Jesus, God bless him, when no one else would. What is evil or inhumane about that?
  • The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, ordered his followers to show the same respect to Jesus, God bless him, that they would show to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. What is evil or inhumane about that?

These are just some of the things that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, specifically and directly gave the Pope and his Christian followers. Is it reasonable and fair to ask what did the Pope and his followers give the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his followers in return?

END

© 2006 Syed Husain Pasha

Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.