Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Islam Q&A

I will be posting my comments on 3 questions I received from a non-Muslim college student collecting information for a class project. The answers I put together are not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to give an overview using primarily verses from the Quran. It is important from my point of view to 'let the Quran speak'. The richness of Islamic literature of the early centuries has frequently detracted from the fact that it was the simple Word of God was the only message that the Prophet, pbuh, used, and it was the word of God that attracted the greatest generation that entered Islam (companions of the Prophet, Sahaba) .
I cannot believe why the Quran cannot function in this capacity again. It is true that the early Muslims spoke Arabic, but they were not all scholarly, rich, highly educated or sophisticated. Many of them where the poorest of the poor, the slaves, the ones whose mother tongue was not Arabic etc. Actually, the more sophisticated and highly educated citizens of Mecca (the Prophet's hometown) where the ones that caused most trouble for the Prophet.
This proved to me that you do not have to be a scholar in Arabic, or a professor of Islamic science, or someone that read every Tafseer book, to be able to feel the Word of God in your heart, or to understand what God want from you.
God said in the Quran (54:17):
"Hence, indeed, We made this Quran easy to bear in mind: who, then, is willing to take it to heart?"
*( وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ )*

Surely it may take more effort to read different translations. It may require some discussion with others. But it is worth it. Teh path to God will be easier the more we try to attain it. More over, the reward is more for the effort to reach the truch, not in the success in reaching it. And do not forget that God promised to help us if we try(29:69):
"But as for those who strive hard in Our cause -We shall most certainly guide them onto paths that lead unto Us: for, behold, God is indeed with the doers of good."
*( وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ )*

That does not deny the value of the tremendous literary and scholarly work done by Muslims over the years, but the Message of God is still as powerful and accessible today as it was the day it was revealed to the Prophet, pbuh, and it should be at the forefront of our tools to tell the truth our Islam.

The next 3 posts will be the answers to those 3 questions
1. Islam: what is it?
2. Islam and Poverty.
3. Islam and Violence and War.

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