Monthly Archives: September 2011
Out of the 20,000 Americans who have reverted to Islam since the 1990s, 7000 are women. It is the tightly structured way of life, the regular set of responsibilities and the special rights bestowed on them that attracts women to Islam.
‘ALLAHU AKBAR [God is great], Allahu akbar!” called Muhammad Hannini as about 15 worshipers gathered Sunday in a mosque in the basement of a home in Richmond Hill, Queens. Instantly, they knelt and touched their heads to the floor, a gesture symbolizing submission to God in Islam.
The eight women bent in prayer a few feet behind the men were dressed in scarves and long dresses or ankle-length skirts. “You should see my humanity, my compassion, my devotion to God coming through the surface, not my body,” said Sunni Rumsey Amatullah, who became Muslim a quarter century ago.
The women say they consider the veil and modest dress symbols not of oppression but of liberation. They say the emphasis on the female body in the Western world, with all its manifestations in popular culture, has led to the sexual objectification of women. And, despite their own often problematic relationships with men, they say their religion treats each gender equally, though not identically.
Like Amatullah — who was born Cheryl Rumsey in Jamaica, Queens, and raised Episcopalian — these women are among the estimated 20,000 Americans a year who since the mid-’90s have adopted Islam, a religion that has been receiving much attention since the Sept.11 terrorist attacks.
Despite the persistent image of the oppressed Muslim woman, about 7,000 of those converts each year are women, according to the report of a study led by Ihsan Bagby, a professor of international studies at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. The study was financed in part by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington. About 14,000 of the total number of converts in 2000, the report found, were African-American, 4,000 were white and 1,200 were of Hispanic descent. (Members of the Nation of Islam were not included in the study.)
What is the religion’s draw for women? “The tightly structured way of life, the regular set of responsibilities, where you know what you believe and you know what you do, attracts some women,” said Jane I. Smith, professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and author of “Islam in America” (Columbia University Press).
With laws for almost every aspect of life, Islam represents a faith-based order that women may see as crucial to creating healthy families and communities, and correcting the damage done by the popular secular humanism of the past 30 or so years, several experts said. In addition, women from broken homes may be especially attracted to the religion because of the value it places on family, said Marcia Herman.sen, a professor of Islamic studies at Loyola Univer.sity in Chicago and an American who also converted to Islam.
Next Saturday, the women, along with Muslims around the world, will celebrate the festival of Eid ul-Adha marking the end of hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. They “don’t see the structures as repressive,” Hermansen said. “They see them as comforting and supportive.”
Choosing Islam can also be a type of “cultural critique” of Western materialism, she said. “Islam represents the beautiful, traditional, grounded and authentic.”
“It is Allah talking to you directly,” said Amatullah, 50, the director of an HIV prevention program at Iris House, a health-care organization in Harlem. She said she converted after leading a wildly hedonistic lifestyle for several years. “It’s a spiritual awakening. What happens is you’re in a fog and you don’t know you are in a fog, and when it clears up you say, ‘Hey, I thought it was clear back there,’” she said. “My friend’s husband gave me the Quran in my early 20s, because he thought I was too wild.”
At first, Amatullah said, she paid little attention, but she was profoundly affected when she .started delving into the book. Still, it took about five years and a great deal of contemplation, she said, before she became truly interested in Islam and came to believe the Quran was the divine truth. She said she also was impressed by the rights women had under Islam in .seventh-century Arabia, a time when women in most other cultures had virtually no power over their lives.
“Islamic law embodies a number of Quranic reforms that significantly enhanced the status of women,” according to John Esposito, a professor and director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and author of “Islam: The Straight Path” (Oxford University Press). “Contrary to pre-Islamic Arab customs, the Quran recognized a woman’s right to contract her own marriage.
“In addition, she, not her father or male relatives, as had been the custom, was to receive the dowry from her husband. She became a party to the contract rather than an object for sale,” Esposito wrote. “The right to keep and maintain her dowry was a source of self-esteem and wealth in an otherwise male-dominated society. Women’s right to own and manage their own property was further enhanced and acknowledged by Quranic verses of inheritance which granted inheritance rights to wives, daughters, sisters and grandmothers of the deceased in a patriarchal society where all rights were tradition.ally vested solely in male heirs. Similar legal rights would not occur in the West until the 19th century.”
Esther Bourne, a 46-year-old accountant in Manhattan, was raised Catholic by her American mother after her British father died when she was 6. Spiritually inclined from a young age, she said she first read the Quran in her mid-20s, because her former husband, a Muslim, owned a copy. “I would go in and out of it,” she said.
By her mid-30s, after ending an abusive relationship and enduring the tragic death of a man she loved dearly, Bourne said she began a spiritual quest that included classes on Islam at a mosque on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “When the teachers would explain, my heart just accepted it,” she said. “The heart believed it.”
In 1992, at the age of 36, Bourne took her sha.hada, the profession of faith that is the first of the five pillars of Islam. “I don’t have panic anymore, and if some misfortune happens, I just accept the decree from Allah,” Bourne said.
“You slowly adjust yourself to an Islamic way of life, thinking about God, doing good deeds,” Amatullah said. “Some days I do it better than others.”
Amina Mohammed, a 58-year-old dental assistant at the Veterans Administration hospital in St. Albans, has been a Muslim for more than 20 years. She was born Doris Gregory, the daughter of an American Indian .mother and a .Jamaican father, and was raised as a .Lutheran. She said she stopped going to church when she was 16.
Two years later, she began an active spiritual quest by reading about Buddhism, Hinduism and American Indian religions, but, she said, none of them was what she was looking for — a way to pray to one God in one form. “I was so disappointed,” she said. “I knew that there was a correct religion, but I just hadn’t found it. But I believed in God — I was no atheist.”
In her mid-30s, after two failed marriages and two daughters — who are now 27 and 33 — she said she felt a desperate need for spiritual direction and coincidentally was exposed for the first time to Islam. “This is what I had always felt in my heart,” she said.
For about three years she studied the religion; she began to cut down on dating and to cover her head occasionally. Then she went to a mosque in Manhattan and “saw women from different countries and from different races praying together,” she said. “I thought this is how it should be on earth.”
Amatullah, who lives in St. Albans, has been married and divorced three times since she converted to Islam. Her first husband was from Sudan, the second was from Egypt and the third was Italian-American; all were Muslim. Allah gives both men and women the right to divorce, she said, and she initiated each split.
Although the Quran does not prohibit women from gaining an education or having a career, the converts said, it is a woman’s primary responsibility to take care of her children.
“Look at the Western society of today with the breakdown of family, the mother being out of the home and the children being alone,” said Bourne, who is single and has a 28-year-old son. “I had problems because I practically had to raise my son alone.”
Their faith, the three converts said, has not been shaken by the Sept. 11 attacks, carried out by men who said they were acting as Muslims. The distortion of Islam by extremists and terrorists, the women stressed, should not lead to the condemnation of a great religion.
“To kill innocent lives,” Amatullah said, “is anti- Islamic.”
Sister Noor, Ex-Hindu, UK: Pondering the status of women in today’s society leads Noor to accept Islam.
I came from a purely Hindu family where we were always taught to regard ourselves (i.e. women) as beings who were eventually to be married off, have children and serve the husband – whether he was kind or not. Other than this I found that there were a lot of things which really oppressed women, such as:
- If a woman was widowed, she would always have to wear a white sari (costume), eat vegetarian meals, cut her hair short, and never re-marry.
- The bride always had to pay the dowry (bridal money) to the husband’s family. And the husband could ask for anything, irrespective of whether the bride would have difficulty paying it.
- Not only that, if after marriage she was not able to pay the full dowry she would be both emotionally and physically tortured. She could end up being a victim of “kitchen death” where the husband, or both the mother-in-law and the husband, try to set fire to the wife while she is cooking or is in the kitchen, to make it look like an accidental death. More and more of these incidents are taking place. The daughter of a friend of my own father met the same fate last year!
- In addition to all this, men in Hinduism are treated literally as gods. In one of the religious Hindu celebrations, unmarried girls pray for and worship an idol representing a particular god (Shira) so that they may have husbands like him. Even my own mother had asked me to do this. This made me see that the Hindu religion, based on superstitions and things that have no manifest proof and were merely traditions, which oppressed women, could not be right.
Subsequently, when I came to England to study, I thought that at least this was a country, which gave equal rights to men and women, and did not oppress them. We all had the freedom to do as we liked, I thought. Well, as I started to meet people, make new friends, learn about this new society, and go to all the places my friends went to in order to “socialize” (bars, dance halls, etc.), I realized that this “equality” was not so true in practice as it was in theory.
Outwardly, women were seen to be given equal rights in education, work, and so forth, but in reality women were still oppressed in a different, subtler way. When I went with my friends to the places they hung out at, I found everybody interested to talk to me and I thought that was normal. But it was only later that I realized how naïve I was, and recognized what these people were really looking for. I soon began to feel uncomfortable, as if I was not myself: I had to dress in a certain way so that people would like me, and had to talk in a certain way to please them. I soon found that I was feeling more and more uncomfortable, less and less myself, yet I could not get out. Everybody was saying they were enjoying themselves, but I don’t call this enjoyment.
I think women in this way of life are oppressed; they have to dress in a certain way in order to please men and appear more appealing, and also, talk in a certain way so people like them. During this time I had not thought about Islam, even though I had some Muslim acquaintances. But I felt I really had to do something, to find something that I would be happy and secure with, and would feel respectable. Something to believe in that is the right belief, because everybody has a belief that they live according to. If having fun by getting off with other people is someone’s belief, they do this. If making money is someone’s belief, they do everything to achieve this. If they believe drinking is one way to enjoy life then they do it. But I feel all this leads to nowhere; no one is truly satisfied, and the respect women are looking for is diminished in this way.
In these days of so-called “equal rights”, you are expected to have a boyfriend (or you’re weird!) and to not be a virgin. So this is a form of oppression, even though some women do not realize it. When I came to Islam, it was obvious that I had finally found permanent security. A religion, a belief that was so complete and clear in every aspect of life. Many people have a misconception that Islam is an oppressive religion, where women are covered from head to toe, and are not allowed any freedom or rights. In fact, women in Islam are given more rights, and have been for the past 1400 years, compared to the only-recently rights given to non-Muslim women in some western and other societies. But there are, even now, societies where women are still oppressed, as I mentioned earlier in relation to Hindu women.
Muslim women have the right to inheritance. They have the right to run their own trade and business. They have the full right to ownership, property, disposal over their wealth to which the husband has no right. They have the right to education, a right to refuse marriage as long as this refusal is according to reasonable and justifiable grounds. The Qur’an itself, which is the Word of God, contains many verses commanding men to be kind to their wives and stressing the rights of women. Islam has the right set of rules, because they are NOT made by men, but by God; hence it is a perfect religion.
Quite often Muslim women are asked why they are covered from head to toe, and are told that this is oppression – it is not. In Islam, marriage is an important part of life, the making of the society. Therefore, a woman should not go around showing herself to everybody, only her husband. Even the man is not allowed to show certain parts of his body to no one but his wife. In addition, God has commanded Muslim women to cover themselves for their modesty: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they could be known as such (i.e. decent and chaste) and not molested.” (Qur’an 33:59)
If we look around at any other society, we find that in the majority of cases women are attacked and molested because of how they are dressed.
Another point I’d like to comment on is that the rules and regulation laid down in Islam by God, do not apply just to women but to men also. There is no intermingling and free mixing between men and women for the benefit of both. Whatever God commands is right, wholesome, pure and beneficial to mankind. There is no doubt about that. A verse in the Qur’an explains this concept clearly: «“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts (i.e. from indecency, illegal sexual acts, etc.); that will make for greater purity for them. And God is well aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts (from indecency, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.); and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments . .
(Qur’an, Surah Al-Nur 24:31)
When I put on my hijab (veil), I was really happy to do it. In fact, I really wanted to do it. When I put on the hijab, I felt a great sense of satisfaction and happiness because I had obeyed God’s command. And I was so happy with the good and blessings that came with it. I have felt secure and protected. In fact people respect me more for it. I could really see the difference in their behavior towards me.
Finally, I’d like to say that I had accepted Islam not blindly, or under any compulsion. In the Qur’an itself there is a verse “Let there be no compulsion in religion”. I accepted Islam with conviction. I have seen, been there, done that, and seen both sides of the story. I know and have experienced what the other side is like, and I know that I have done the right thing. Islam does not oppress women, but rather Islam liberates them and gives them the respect they deserve. Islam is the religion God has chosen for the whole of mankind. Those who accept it are truly liberated from the chains and shackles of mankind, whose rulings and legislating necessitates nothing but the oppression of one group by another and the exploitation and oppression of one sex by the other. This is not the case in Islam, which truly liberates women and gives them an individuality not given by any other authority.
Sister Noor has been a Muslim for over a year and a half and is currently in her second year of undergraduate study in the Department of Biology at University of Essex, U. K.
Author : Sister Noor
A lot of people, including some Muslims, question the logic of allowing Muslim men to have more than one spouse while denying the same ‘right’ to women.
Let me first state emphatically, that the foundation of an Islamic society is justice and equity. Allah has created men and women as equal, but with different capabilities and different responsibilities. Men and women are different, physiologically and psychologically. Their roles and responsibilities are different. Men and women are equal in Islam, but not identical.
Surah Nisa’ Chapter 4 verses 22 to 24 gives the list of women with who you can not marry and it is further mentions in Surah Nisa’ Chapter 4 verse 24 “Also (prohibited are) women already married”
The following points enumerate the reasons why polyandry is prohibited in Islam:
1. If a man has more than one wife, the parents of the children born of such marriages can easily be identified. The father as well as the mother can easily be identified. In case of a woman marrying more than one husband, only the mother of the children born of such marriages will be identified and not the father. Islam gives tremendous importance to the identification of both parents, mother and father. Psychologists tell us that children who do not know their parents, especially their father undergo severe mental trauma and disturbances. Often they have an unhappy childhood. It is for this reason that the children of prostitutes do not have a healthy childhood. If a child born of such wedlock is admitted in school, and when the mother is asked the name of the father, she would have to give two or more names! I am aware that recent advances in science have made it possible for both the mother and father to be identified with the help of genetic testing. Thus this point which was applicable for the past may not be applicable for the present.
2. Man is more polygamous by nature as compared to a woman.
3. Biologically, it is easier for a man to perform his duties as a husband despite having several wives. A woman, in a similar position, having several husbands, will not find it possible to perform her duties as a wife. A woman undergoes several psychological and behavioral changes due to different phases of the menstrual cycle.
4. A woman who has more than one husband will have several sexual partners at the same time and has a high chance of acquiring venereal or sexually transmitted diseases which can also be transmitted back to her husband even if all of them have no extra-marital sex. This is not the case in a man having more than one wife, and none of them having extra-marital sex.
The above reasons are those that one can easily identify. There are probably many more reasons why Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, has prohibited polyandry.
By: Dr. Zakir Naik
1. Common Concept of God in Hinduism:
Hinduism is commonly perceived as a polytheistic religion. Indeed, most Hindus would attest to this, by professing belief in multiple Gods. While some Hindus believe in the existence of three gods, some believe in thousands of gods, and some others in thirty three crore i.e. 330 million Gods. However, learned Hindus, who are well versed in their scriptures, insist that a Hindu should believe in and worship only one God.
The major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim perception of God is the common Hindus’ belief in the philosophy of Pantheism. Pantheism considers everything, living and non-living, to be Divine and Sacred. The common Hindu, therefore, considers everything as God. He considers the trees as God, the sun as God, the moon as God, the monkey as God, the snake as God and even human beings as manifestations of God!
Islam, on the contrary, exhorts man to consider himself and his surroundings as examples of Divine Creation rather than as divinity itself. Muslims therefore believe that everything is God’s i.e. the word ‘God’ with an apostrophe ‘s’. In other words the Muslims believe that everything belongs to God.
The trees belong to God, the sun belongs to God, the moon belongs to God, the monkey belongs to God, the snake belongs to God, the human beings belong to God and everything in this universe belongs to God.
Thus the major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim beliefs is the difference of the apostrophe ‘s’. The Hindu says everything is God. The Muslim says everything is God’s.
2. Concept of God according to Hindu Scriptures:
We can gain a better understanding of the concept of God in Hinduism by analysing Hindu scriptures.
The most popular amongst all the Hindu scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita.
Consider the following verse from the Gita:
“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”
[Bhagavad Gita 7:20]
The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e. ‘gods’ besides the True God.
The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus.
The following verses from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God:
1. “Ekam evadvitiyam”
“He is One only without a second.”
[Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]1
2. “Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.”
“Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.”
[Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]2
3. “Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him.”
[Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]3
4. The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular form:
“Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.”
“His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.”
[Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]4
1[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 447 and 448]
[Sacred Books of the East, volume 1 ‘The Upanishads part I’ page 93]
2[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 745]
[Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page 263.]
3[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 736 & 737]
[Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253]
4[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 737]
[Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253]
Vedas are considered the most sacred of all the Hindu scriptures. There are four principal Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda.
The following verses from the Yajurveda echo a similar concept of God:
1. “na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him.”
2. “shudhama poapvidham”
“He is bodyless and pure.”
3. “Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste”
“They enter darkness, those who worship the natural elements” (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). “They sink
deeper in darkness, those who worship sambhuti.”
4. Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.
The Yajurveda contains the following prayer:
“Lead us to the good path and remove the sin that makes us stray and wander.”
5[Yajurveda by Devi Chand M.A. page 377]
6[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith page 538]
7[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith page 538]
8[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Griffith page 541]
The Atharvaveda praises God in Book 20, hymn 58 and verse 3:
1. “Dev maha osi”
“God is verily great”
1. The oldest of all the vedas is Rigveda. It is also the one considered most sacred by the Hindus.
The Rigveda states in Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46: “Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many
2. The Rigveda gives several different attributes to Almighty God. Many of these are mentioned in
Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1.
Among the various attributes of God, one of the beautiful attributes mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3, is Brahma. Brahma means ‘The Creator’. Translated into Arabic it means Khaaliq. Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Khaaliq or ‘Creator’ or Brahma. However if it is said that Brahma is Almighty God who has four heads with each head having a crown, Muslims take strong exception to it.
Describing Almighty God in anthropomorphic terms also goes against the following verse of Yajurveda:
“Na tasya Pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him.”
Another beautiful attribute of God mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3 is Vishnu. Vishnu means ‘The Sustainer’. Translated into Arabic it means Rabb. Again, Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Rabb or ‘Sustainer’ or Vishnu. But the popular image of
9[Atharveda Samhita vol 2 William Dwight Whitney page 910]
Vishnu among Hindus, is that of a God who has four arms, with one of the right arms holding the Chakra, i.e. a discus and one of the left arms holding a ‘conch shell’, or riding a bird or reclining on a snake couch. Muslims can never accept any image of God. As mentioned earlier this also goes against Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19.
“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him”
The following verse from the Rigveda Book 8, hymn 1, verse 1 refer to the Unity and Glory of the Supreme Being:
3. “Ma cid anyad vi sansata sakhayo ma rishanyata”
“O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone.”
4. “Devasya samituk parishtutih”
“Verily, great is the glory of the Divine Creator.”
Brahma Sutra of Hinduism:
The Brahma Sutra of Hinduism is:
“Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan”
“There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit.”
Thus only a dispassionate study of the Hindu scriptures can help one understand the concept of God in Hinduism.
0[Rigveda Samhita vol. 9, pages 2810 and 2811 by Swami Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar]
11[Rigveda Samhita vol. 6, pages 1802 and 1803 by Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati and Satyakam Vidyalankar]
as from the sun.” The Prophecy confirms:
1. The name of the Prophet as Ahmed since Ahmed is an Arabic name. Many translators misunderstood it to be ‘Ahm at hi’ and translated the mantra as “I alone have acquired the real wisdom of my father”.
2. Prophet was given eternal law, i.e. the Shariah.
3. The Rishi was enlightened by the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an says in Surah Saba Chapter 34 verse 28 (34:28):
“We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.”
By: Dr. Zakir Naik
The Qur’an is the most often-read book in the world. Revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 7th century, and revered by Muslims as being God’s final Scripture and Testament, its words have been lovingly recited, memorised, and implemented by Muslims of every nationality ever since. The faithful are inspired, consoled often moved to tears by its eloquence and poetic imagery, especially when recited aloud. And yet, the Qur’an is unique in being the only Scripture that is free of scientific inaccuracies, whose historical authenticity can be verified, and whose text has been so carefully preserved that just one authorised version (in Arabic) exists. Approximately the length of the New Testament, the Qur’an is also the only holy book that can be memorised in its entirety by people of all ages and intellectual abilities – including non-Arabic speakers – which Muslims consider to be one of its miracles. We invite you to take a few minutes to learn something about a book that is the foundation of the world-view and culture of almost one-fourth of the people on this planet.
A scientific Scripture for a scientific age
One of the most remarkable things about the Qur’an is that it contains many verses which accurately describe natural phenomenon in various fields such as embryology, meteorology, astronomy, geology and oceanography. Scientists have found its descriptions to be inexplicably valid for a book dating from the 6th century; in fact, many of the processes and functions mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered only recently. This fact alone has been the cause of a number of distinguished scientists embracing Islam. It also explains why the conflicts that emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages between faith and reason, religion and science, never arose in Islam; the Qur’an repeatedly encourages people to reflect and use their intelligence, and most Muslim scientists and inventors have also been pious believers.
Some of the Qur’an’s ‘scientific’ verses include an accurate description of embryonic development during the first forty days of life; an explanation that the roots of mountains are like pegs which help to anchor and stabilise the earth’s crust; that a natural barrier exists wherever two seas meet (each maintains its own salinity, temperature and density); that waves occur in layers in the depths of the ocean; that the heavens and earth were first joined together before being split apart; and that the heavens emerged from ‘smoke’, i.e. the gases and dust that characterise nebulas as stars are forming.
The Qur’an was never meant to be a ‘science textbook’; whether highlighting the wonders of nature or the lessons of history, its verses direct us to reflect on the glory of God. However, no other ancient book or Scripture is accurate in this way. Muslims believe that this is one of the Qur’an’s proofs; one of the things that makes it a credible, ‘living revelation’ for a modern age, and allows it to reveal itself afresh with passing time.
The Qur’an and the development of knowledge
The word ‘qur’an’ means ‘recitation’, and the first verse of the Qur’an to be revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad was a command to ‘Read (or recite)! In the name of your Lord…’ This directive to a man who, like most people of the time, could neither read nor write, marked the beginning of a new age in human communication, learning, and development. Whereas earlier Scriptures had been written and passed down by elite circles of priests and scribes – usually long after the death of the religion’s founder – the preservation of the Qur’an was a community effort from the beginning, and it was completed during the Prophet Muhammad’s own lifetime. The Prophet’s early followers eagerly memorised and recorded each new revelation as it was revealed; by the time he passed away, thousands had memorised the entire Qur’an by heart. Within two years after the Prophet’s death, the first caliph Abu Bakr requested the Prophet’s secretary Zayd to collect all existing copies and fragments of the Qur’an in one place, in order to compile a standard edition. This manuscript became the basis for the authorised editions that were distributed to each Muslim province during the rule of ‘Uthman, third caliph; remarkably, a few of those early manuscripts have been preserved and can still be viewed in museums today.
Following the example of the beloved Prophet, who encouraged all Muslims, male and female, to seek beneficial knowledge, mosques became centres of learning as well as prayer. The concept of universal, free basic education originated in Islam; children learned to read, write, memorise the Qur’an and do basic maths at village mosque schools; bright students were sent to cities to pursue higher education. The world’s first universities, hospitals, and postal services were established by Muslims. Early caliphs set up institutions like the ‘House of Wisdom’ in Baghdad, where scholars were paid to translate scientific, literary and religious works from every known language into Arabic. It was this open-mindedness that inspired Jews and Christians under Muslim rule in Spain to translate classical Roman and Greek texts from Arabic into European languages, sparking the European Renaissance.
A book with a message and a purpose
Like all books, the Qur’an is a means to convey a message – in this case, a very special message from the Creator to all humanity. The Qur’an is an ‘owner’s manual for the human being’; whoever wonders about the purpose of life and their own existence will find it to be a guide par excellence. Building on prior revelations, this Final Testament confirms the age-old truths of previous Scriptures, but clarifies points of faith where error or confusion have crept into them over the centuries. Those who have read the Bible will find much that is familiar: descriptions of God’s handiwork; stories of the Prophets, Satan, angels and the Day of Judgement; moral and ethical guidelines; and spiritual practices like prayer and fasting. Yet the Qur’an is not just a re-hashing of old stories; its perspective is unique and fresh, and its worldview eminently suited to people of today.
To give one example, according to the Qur’an, God held Adam and Eve jointly responsible for tasting the forbidden fruit; no special curse was laid on Eve for leading Adam astray, and no ‘original sin’ came into being, to be inherited for all time by innocent children. Adam and Eve simply sought His forgiveness and were forgiven, and Adam (peace be upon him) is respected in Islam as the first Prophet.
There are other important distinctions between the Qur’an and the Bible; the Qur’an asserts that much of the original books of the Bible and other Scriptures have been lost or corrupted over time (whether through warfare, political intrigue, religious schisms or other reasons). One only has to consider the number of different versions of the Bible in use today, the lack of ‘first’ originals, and the late discovery of long-lost Scriptures like the Dead Sea Scrolls to realise that this viewpoint is an objective one. The Qur’an rejects the concept of salvation or special privilege based on ethnicity; God does not discriminate on the basis of race or colour. It also denies the need for the sacrifice of innocent life – animal or human – in order for people to attain salvation. It states that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not crucified as claimed, but that God saved him from his enemies, as one would expect of God’s honoured and beloved Messenger; his life was meant to be an inspiring example. Spiritual salvation is to be achieved solely through humble repentance, coupled by an attempt to make amends for one’s sins, and a sincere intention not to repeat one’s mistakes in the future. There is no official priesthood in Islam, and the Imam is no more than a knowledgeable prayer-leader and brother in faith; one’s sins need only be confessed directly to the Creator.
The Qur’an’s main message is to call people to turn to the Source of all being and the Giver of life, and to serve Him with a pure heart, free of idolatry or superstition. In Islam, ‘One God’ means just that: there is no concept of trinity, or anything else to complicate one’s understanding. Like the single nucleus of a cell or an atom, He Alone is the ‘control centre’ behind it all; anything else would lead to chaos and confusion. God is Unique and without partner; He was not born and did not give birth; He is All-Compassionate and Merciful, Almighty and Just, and the only One we need turn to for guidance and help. Anything that we allow to come between ourselves and our Creator – even our own egos – is an idol. Wealth, fame, physical attraction and all the pleasures of this world will someday fade, and we will not be able to take them with us when we die. Only our faith and good deeds will remain, to light our graves and be a beacon for us on the Day of Judgement.
Although no translation of the Qur’an can faithfully capture its Arabic meaning (and all Muslims are encouraged to learn Arabic), the following excerpt illustrates these points beautifully:
‘Recite to them the story of Abraham,
When he asked his father and his people, ‘What do you worship?’
‘We worship idols,’ they replied, ‘and we are ever devoted to them.’
He said, ‘Do they hear you when you cry?
Or do they benefit or harm you in any way?’
They said, ‘No, but this is what we found our forefathers doing.’
He said, ‘Do you see, then, what you and your forefathers have been worshipping?
Truly, they are all my enemies, except the Lord of the Worlds,
Who created me, and Who guides me,
And Who feeds me and gives me to drink,
And when I am ill, He heals me,
And Who will cause me to die, and give me life again;
And Who, I ardently hope, will forgive me my sins on the Day of Judgement.
O Lord, grant me wisdom, and unite me with the righteous,
And grant that I may be remembered well in future generations,
And make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Delight;
And forgive my father, for he is one of those who is lost;
And do not disgrace me on the Day when all will be resurrected,
The Day that wealth and children will not avail anyone,
Except one who brings to God a clean heart.’
(The Qur’an, Chapter of ‘The Poets’, 26:69–89)
Definition of Polygamy
1. Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby one person has more than one spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One is polygyny where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, limited polygyny is permitted; whereas polyandry is completely prohibited.Now coming to the original question, why is a man allowed to have more than one wife?
2. The Qur’an is the only religious scripture in the world that says,”marry only one”.
The Qur’an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase ‘marry only one’. There is no other religious book that instructs men to have only one wife. In none of the other religious scriptures, whether it be the Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Geeta, the Talmud or the Bible does one find a restriction on the number of wives. According to these scriptures one can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later, that the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Many Hindu religious personalities, according to their scriptures, had multiple wives. King Dashrat, the father of Rama, had more than one wife. Krishna had several wives.
In earlier times, Christian men were permitted as many wives as they wished, since the Bible puts no restriction on the number of wives. It was only a few centuries ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Polygyny is permitted in Judaism. According to Talmudic law, Abraham had three wives, and Solomon had hundreds of wives. The practice of polygyny continued till Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah (95% C.E to 1030 C.E) issued an edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities living in Muslim countries continued the practice till as late as 1950, until an Act of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife.
3. Hindus are more polygynous than Muslims
The report of the ‘Committee of The Status of Woman in Islam’, published in 1975 mentions on page numbers 66 and 67 that the percentage of polygamous marriages between the years 1951 and 1961 was 5.06% among the Hindus and only 4.31% among the Muslims. According to Indian law only Muslim men are permitted to have more than one wife. It is illegal for any non-Muslim in India to have more than one wife. Despite it being illegal, Hindus have more multiple wives as compared to Muslims. Earlier, there was no restriction even on Hindu men with respect to the number of wives allowed. It was only in 1954, when the Hindu Marriage Act was passed that it became illegal for a Hindu to have more than one wife. At present it is the Indian Law that restricts a Hindu man from having more than one wife and not the Hindu scriptures.
Let us now analyse why Islam allows a man to have more than one wife.
4. Qur’an permits limited polygyny
As I mentioned earlier, Qur’an is the only religious book on the face of the earth that says ‘marry only one’. The context of this phrase is the following verse from Surah Nisa of the Glorious Qur’an:
“Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one.“
Before the Qur’an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them.
In the same chapter i.e. Surah Nisa verse 129 says:
“Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women….“
Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to have more than one wife.
Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do’s and Don’ts:
i. ‘Fard’ i.e. compulsory or obligatory
ii. ‘Mustahab’ i.e. recommended or encouraged
iii. ‘Mubah’ i.e. permissible or allowed
iv. ‘Makruh’ i.e. not recommended or discouraged
v. ‘Haraam’ i.e. prohibited or forbidden
Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It cannot be said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a better Muslim as compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.
5. Average life span of females is more than that of males
By nature males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. A female child has more immunity than a male child. A female child can fight the germs and diseases better than the male child. For this reason, during the pediatric age itself there are more deaths among males as compared to the females.
During wars, there are more men killed as compared to women. More men die due to accidents and diseases than women. The average life span of females is more than that of males, and at any given time one finds more widows in the world than widowers.
6. India has more male population than female due to female foeticide and infanticide
India is one of the few countries, along with the other neighbouring countries, in which the female population is less than the male population. The reason lies in the high rate of female infanticide in India, and the fact that more than one million female foetuses are aborted every year in this country, after they are identified as females. If this evil practice is stopped, then India too will have more females as compared to males.
7. World female population is more than male population
In the USA, women outnumber men by 7.8 million. New York alone has one million more females as compared to the number of males, and of the male population of New York one-third are gays i.e sodomites. The U.S.A as a whole has more than twenty-five million gays. This means that these people do not wish to marry women. Great Britain has four million more females as compared to males. Germany has five million more females as compared to males. Russia has nine million more females than males. God alone knows how many million more females there are in the whole world as compared to males.
8. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not practical
Even if every man got married to one woman, there would still be more than thirty million females in U.S.A who would not be able to get husbands (considering that America has twenty five million gays). There would be more than four million females in Great Britain, 5 million females in Germany and nine million females in Russia alone who would not be able to find a husband.
Suppose my sister happens to be one of the unmarried women living in USA, or suppose your sister happens to be one of the unmarried women in USA. The only two options remaining for her are that she either marries a man who already has a wife or becomes public property. There is no other option. All those who are modest will opt for the first.
In Western society, it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or multiple extra-marital affairs, in which case, the woman leads a disgraceful, unprotected life. The same society, however, cannot accept a man having more than one wife, in which women retain their honourable, dignified position in society and lead a protected life.
Thus the only two options before a woman who cannot find a husband is to marry a married man or to become public property. Islam prefers giving women the honourable position by permitting the first option and disallowing the second.
There are several other reasons, why Islam has permitted limited polygyny, but it is mainly to protect the modesty of women.
By Dr. Zakir Naik
It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not have millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of force. The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was responsible for the rapid spread of Islam.
1. Islam means peace.
Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’, which means peace. It also means submitting one’s will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is acquired by submitting one’s will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).
2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.
Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is precisely for this reason that we have the police who use force against criminals and anti-social elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In Islam force can only be used to promote peace and justice.
3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O’Leary.
The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by the noted historian De Lacy O’Leary in the book “Islam at the cross road” (Page 8):
“History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.”
4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.
Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the adhan, that is the call for prayers.
5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.
Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians i.e. Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used the sword there would not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.
6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.
The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the sword.
7. Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, “Which Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?”
8. East Coast of Africa.
Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, “Which Muslim army went to the East Coast of Africa?”
9. Thomas Carlyle.
The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book “Heroes and Hero worship”, refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: “The sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one man’s head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.”
10. No compulsion in religion.
With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use it to spread Islam because the Qur’an says in the following verse:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error“
11. Sword of the Intellect.
It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds of people. The Qur’an says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.“
12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.
An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?
13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.
Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing religion in Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers?
By Dr. Zakir Naik
Choosy Hokins [Chauncey Hawkins] was one of the most popular American rappers. The thirty four year old young man, who assumed the name “LOON”, was a member of “Bad Boys” band. He was an international singer of rap and hip-hop, and the sales of his albums exceeded seven million CDs. But at the peak of his success, he left all this fame and luxury for the sake of what is greater and more dignified than all these pleasures, Islam.
This great religion succeeded to attract this youth because it answered many of the questions that confused him for years. Loon also realized that Muslims are completely different from the rumors said about them by the American mass media as he found them very loving and hospitable people. Therefore, he did not hesitate to accept Islam, and he changed his name from Loon to Amir. His wife and his son could not resist Islam’s mysterious beauty, so they converted to Islam after him.
In spite of his great wealth and fame, Amir admits that Islam makes him feel a mysterious happiness which he did not experience during his luxurious life.
El Gizera channel interviewed Amir last week during his visit to kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and now let’s know the details of his affecting story.
Loon’s story began seven months ago, when he decided to follow the right path sacrificing his extraordinary wealth and fame. Thus, all this luxury did not prevent him from accepting Islam forgetting his great success inside and outside America.
Amir visited Mecca last week to perform Omra, Islamic rite, for the first time in his life, with his colleague Basel. Basel was also a celebrity who spent twenty one years of his life as a singer. His former name was Lizly Bridgen, and he assumed the name FREEWAY.
Although he was a successful artist, Freeway gave up his life as a singer when he announced his conversion to Islam in 1996. Basel now cooperates with a Canadian Organization which aims at attracting popular singers to accept Islam.
The Universal Organization of Scientific Miracles in Riyad hosted the two American singers during their visit to the kingdom last week, and El Gizera channel interviewed them a few hours before their departure from the kingdom.
Now, let’s enjoy Amir’s interesting speech to the channel.
Describing his life before Islam, Amir says, “I was an outstanding figure in America as I achieved a brilliant success as a rapper.”
“According to the questionnaires of the American mass media, I was among the best ten singers in America,” he continues, “and my success increased when I sang with the international singer Puff Daddy.”
Amir also adds, “More than seven million CDs of my albums were sold, and I wrote the lyrics of fifty two songs of various types.”
Then, Amir tells the interviewer about the beginning of his journey to Islam saying,” seven months ago, I visited Abu Zabi, Emirate’s capital, and there I found the real happiness and tranquility which my wealth and fame failed to give me all over my life as a singer.”
He continues, “I was affected with the Arab Muslim’s culture; and I admired their refined morals, their kind treatment with people, and especially their regular going to pray in the mosque five times every day.”
He adds, “Consequently, I began to ask about the reality of this religion, and whether it was only exclusive for Arabs, and I realized that Islam includes all human beings without any consideration to their nationalities.”
Amir also declares, “Then, I announced my conversion to Islam after a profound thinking, and I prayed for the first time after my return to my home in Harlem, New York.”
In addition to this, Amir relates how Islam changed his life as follows, “Islam turned my life upside down since I renounced the profession which I practiced from seventeen years old; however, now I feel the serenity and peace of mind which I longed for all my life.”
He assures, “My relief increased a lot when my wife and my son accepted Islam.”
Amir also states, “I became very enthusiast to know more about Islam when I joined a Canadian Organization calling for Islam, and now I work on attracting the popular singers and artists to understand Islam’s tolerant principles.”
Amir describes his feelings during his visit to Mecca and to El-Medina when he states,” when I was performing Omra, a few days ago, I lived a very poignant moment when I saw the holy Kaaba for the first time in my life.”
He adds, “I could not bear this affecting situation, so I could not stand on my feet, and I began to cry thanking Allah who allowed me to perform this magnificent ritual, and to visit the Prophet’s honorable mosque.”
Finally, Amir talks about his meeting with the two Imams of El-Medina Sanctuary, El-Sheikh Ali Al-Hozaify and El-Sheikh Salah Al-Badir, saying,” It was a very pleasant and interesting meeting in which they recommended me to work in favor of Islam by calling other people to accept it; moreover, they asked me to perform Islam’s obligations, and to be modest in my treatment with other people.”
Amir also hints, “I will follow their recommendations in my new project of calling people to accept Islam.”
Before Amir’s departure, the manager of The Universal Organization for Scientific Miracles, Dr Abd Allah Ben Mohammad El-Hammody, and his assistant, Dr Ahmad Ben Hamam, gave him a number of publications which define Islam and link it with life’s diverse domains.
The Qur’an specifically points to the positive beliefs and moral characteristics of Christians. God has revealed that for Muslims, Christians are “the people most affectionate to those who believe” and “not arrogant.” (Qur’an, 5:82) According to Islam, Christians are not deniers, but are a People of the Book, together with the Jews. In other words, they are faithful people who believe in God’s earlier revelations.
However, the Qur’an does point to one major error by Christians. That is the error of the Trinity, the ascribing of divinity to Jesus. God warns Christians in this regard in the Qur’an:
O People of the Book! Do not go to excess in your religion. Say nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God and His Word, which He cast into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. Do not say: “Three.” It is better that you stop. God is only One God. He is too Glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and in Earth belongs to Him. God suffices as a Guardian. (Qur’an, 4:171)
Indeed, when we look at the historical facts, it can be seen that the Trinity is a myth which entered into Christianity at a later date.
Monotheism: The Essence of Christianity
Christianity was originally born among the Jews living in Palestine. All of those around and who believed in Jesus were Jews and lived according to the laws of Moses. The most fundamental feature of Judaism was monotheism, the belief in one God.
However, Christianity began to grow rather different after the ascension of Jesus into the presence of God and with its spread from the Jewish world into the pagan one. Monotheistic belief, the essence of the law of Moses, underwent a great change and Christians began regarding Jesus as divine.
The belief in the “Trinity” emerged at the end of this process. This concept describes, for Christians, a three-way belief in God as “Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” The Trinity is one of the fundamental conditions of faith for traditional Christians. The belief in the Trinity regards our Almighty Lord from a superstitious perspective and is a mistaken concept which ascribes divinity to Jesus, sent by God to mankind as a prophet. Despite harboring a great many inconsistencies and being totally incompatible with monotheism, it occupies a central role in the Christians’ corrupted system of beliefs. Someone who does not believe in the Trinity, and therefore that Jesus is the son of God, is not regarded as a real Christian by the supporters of traditional Christianity.
The Pressure on Those Who Denied the Trinity
One interesting point is that the various individuals and movements which have opposed belief in the Trinity and maintained that Jesus was only a prophet of God were subjected to great pressure during the course of Christian history. These monotheists fiercely opposed those who said that Jesus was the son of God, and openly stated that this was “ascribing partners” to God. For that reason, they were for hundreds of years described as “heretics” and even “enemies of Christianity,” and those who supported them met with the same reception. Yet those who believe in the oneness of God have always been in a minority compared to the proponents of the Trinity in the Christian world.
Even those neutrals who have researched the subject have established that real Christianity is the monotheistic Christianity that was suppressed throughout history. A large part of the independent Bible researchers, which began in the 18th century in particular, concluded that the Trinity, confession of sins and other Christian dogmas had no place in true Christianity. In their studies of the Old and New Testaments and other Christian sources, experts have revealed that traditional Christianity has very different features to that of the time of Jesus, and was shaped centuries after that time.
Christians Who Have Denied the Trinity
It is under the influence of these sources that some Christian sects today reject the Trinity. The Unitarian Church, for example, which maintains churches all over the world, is one major Christian community which rejects belief in the Trinity. Although they may hold various different views, the members of that congregation deny that Jesus is the son of God and say that Christianity demands belief in a single God. Many of them emphasize the mistaken nature of the claim that Jesus was crucified to redeem the sins of the world.
One can find opponents of the Trinity among Christians of various different persuasions and churches. The opponents of the Trinity are growing in numbers, particularly in America, every day, and there is a rapid rise in the numbers of people who are openly expressing the truth in the Christian world. Among these, the “Worldwide Church of God” is particularly noteworthy. Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the church, maintains that the Trinity is a pagan doctrine which entered Christianity from pagan cultures.
The most noteworthy point on this subject is that there is no trace of the belief in the Trinity, portrayed as the foundation of Christianity, anywhere in the Bible. It appears neither in the Old Testament, the holy book of the Jews, nor in the New Testament, the Christian sacred text. Belief in the Trinity depends on the interpretation of a number of statements in the Bible, and the word itself was first used by Theophilus of Antioch at the end of the 2nd century. This belief became fully incorporated into Christian belief long after that. For that reason, Bible researchers and those opposed to the Trinity concentrate on the questions of “Should not belief in the Trinity, described as the basis of the Christian religion, be openly stated in the Bible?” and “If this belief were really true, should not Jesus have openly spoken of it?” The answer they provide is clear: No belief which does not appear openly in the Bible and was thus unknown to the first Christians can form the basis of Christianity. This is nothing more than a myth which formed after Jesus and under the influence of Greek culture. It has nothing to do with the essence of Christianity.
This truth can be seen from a careful reading of the Bible.
The Basis of the Bible Is Also “Belief in One God”
It is revealed in the Qur’an that Jesus issued the following message to the Jews:
…”O Tribe of Israel! Worship God, my Lord and your Lord…” (Qur’an, 5:72)
The expressions of Jesus calling to oneness of God are present even in the gospels of the New Testament, which were exposed to distortion and falsification. For instance, Jesus answered a teacher of law who asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” as “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:28-30)
The following passage, again from the gospel according to Mark, shows that Jesus prevented not just the ascription of divinity to him but even praise of him:
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good-except God alone.” (Mark 10:17-18)
In fact, this passage alone is sufficient to show that belief in the Trinity is a violation of the New Testament. Rejecting praise and stressing that only God is worthy of praise Jesus openly stated that he too was a servant of God.
In fact, Jesus is a prophet of God, sent to tell people of the oneness of God following the corruption of the revelation brought by Moses and that there is no other god but him. He called upon the Jews, who had corrupted the true religion brought by Moses, to abandon their bigoted traditions and superstitions and to submit solely to God. This message of Jesus to the Children of Israel is revealed thus in the Qur’an:
And when Jesus came with the Clear Signs, he said, “I have come to you with Wisdom and to clarify for you some of the things about which you have differed. Therefore fear God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord so worship Him. This is a straight path.” (Qur’an, 43:63-64)
“I come confirming the Torah I find already there, and to make lawful for you some of what was previously forbidden to you. I have brought you a Sign from your Lord. So fear God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord so worship Him. That is a straight path.” (Qur’an, 3:50-51)
It is the duty of Muslims, Christians, Jews and everyone in the world to abide by this divine call.