“America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem.”
– Malcolm X
When a heinous crime like the death of George Floyd happens, we see Muslims across the world come up readily in outrage and demand justice for the deceased. We do not prefer silence on inhumane treatment with a human being that claimed his life, even though nobody talks about sufferings of Muslims. This is great and it is what should happen.
People in the west always blamed religion of Islam as barbaric and in recent times, racist regimes in different countries of the world are relating terrorism with Islam, often referring acts of violence as “Islamic Terrorism”. However, the behaviour and attitude of Muslims towards other communities is always guided by teachings of Prophet (PBUH) and injunctions of Holy Quran itself.
It is often stated that “Islam is the cause of many of today’s problems and does not bring about peace and unity but hate and disunity!” From the intellectual point of view many of today’s problems derive from the fact that the world in which we live is rapidly becoming one world. With modern technology, communication and transport, mankind is no longer isolated from each other; instead, mankind out of necessity must learn to live close together in intimate contact with each other. But this requires many adjustments.
First of all, mankind needs some sort of rules of conduct to help them interact with each other. Since all mankind desires peace, then the only real way to achieve is through religion. Religion is not the cause of many of today’s problems; it is, in fact, misuse of religion. Let’s understand what does religion in Islam mean.
Religion is a divine system of beliefs, acts of worship, and rules of conduct to enable human beings to achieve nearness to Allah and to lead a peaceful life. But a faith, if it is to fulfil man’s needs today, must, therefore, transcend tribal, national, racial, and cultural limits, and must speak to men at universal level: this is achieved by Islam. The Holy Quran opens with the verse:
“All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds” (Ch. 1: verse 2).
This presents the reader with a unified concept of humanity and of the universe. The message of Islam is not confined to any section of mankind; instead, it embraces the whole of mankind and the entire universe. As the Holy Quran relates: “Say: O mankind! Truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah to Whom belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth. There is no God, but He. He gives life and He causes death…” (Ch.7: verse 159).
The advent of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is described in the holy Quran as:
“A mercy for all people” (Ch. 21: verse 108). Furthermore, Islam proclaims to be for the universal brotherhood of man. “And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided; and remember the favour of Allah which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became as brothers; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah explain to you His commandments that you may be guided” (Ch. 3: verse 104).
Islam recognises mankind’s diversity of colour, race, language, etc. The Holy Quran relates: “And among His signs are the creation of the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colours. In that surely are signs for those who possess knowledge” (Ch. 30: verse 23). The book proclaims that the standard by which we should judge one another should be that same standard that God judges us by; not by position, wealth or colour but by the purity and righteousness of a person’s life. Islam makes no distinction or privilege, whether pertaining to colour, race or caste or derived from family, rank, or wealth. Instead, it makes all mankind one great brotherhood, and exhorts all of us to seek and win the pleasure of God through the righteousness and beneficence of our conduct towards each other.
Therefore, the only real answer to resolve many of today’s problems is to have one universal religion for all mankind and Islam claims to be that religion. Through following the teachings of Islam it will enable man to recognise his God and be able to interact with God.
The writer is a student of Law at Kashmir University. [email protected]