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Is it a victory if a Muslim kills a Christian or a Jew?

Updated on January 10, 2017
m abdullah javed profile image

Inter religious studies is my passion, have done an extensive course from CSRG Aligarh, to unite with others for communal harmony is motive.

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Queries

My friends here at HubPages have asked many questions regarding the existence of ISIS and their inhuman acts; some have questioned is it such a victory if Muslims kill a Christian or a Jew? What if ISIS caliphate attacks America? ISIS is trying to wipe out Christianity? What do you feel about the beheading of an American journalist by the terrorist group ISIS?..., there are some more queries and hubs of similar kind. For these friends, Islam and Muslims are at a thwarting stage. Obviously, the happenings in some parts of the world have raised questions; some people have asked why it is so? Some resort to writing their view points on the issue and some remain silent with a serious concern in their minds. We appreciate those who have openly condemned the prevailing situations. This openness is sure to offer opportunities for restoration of human dignity and status. Let this spirit prevail, and let it be expandable and the concerned voices against all kinds of dehumanized acts be echoed across the globe.

At the outset I out rightly reject and condemn the acts of killing and beheading the innocents in strongest possible terms. As a member of world community it’s an obligation on me to condemn every act of human rights violation and must support the ‘voices-raised’ for the cause of humanity. Being a Muslim, I should distance myself from such acts and people who are unfaithful to the core and too oppressive to the humanity, else my faith will be of no value (1). For a Muslim to be Muslim he should be a just voice at any cost and at all circumstances (2) and should refrain from harming people from his tongue and hands. (3) And should love for humanity what he loves for himself (4).

Again, the concept of victory in Islam, or any religion for that matter, is absolutely void of inhuman acts, not to talk of killings; in Islam, snatching of one’s rights will put a person in the hell fire (5). Or even for cruelty shown to an animal will cause one to be in hell (6).

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The Reality of Terrorist Groups

The act should be judged according to the beliefs and teachings of the faith with which a person or group associate themselves. If an individual or group of Muslims commits any act, before pronouncing it as an Islamic or un Islamic, the spirit of Islam should be in view. We know that the laws are different in different countries. Interracial marriages are legal in some parts of the world whereas is some it’s illegal. In Saudi Arabia it’s illegal for a woman to drive a car but in US a woman can become even an astronaut, in Philippines divorce is illegal whereas legal in the rest countries. So if one were to arrive at any conclusion “reference to context” is quite essential. Something is legal at one place somewhere else it’s illegal. So what Muslims are doing, good or bad, should be judged according to the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is popularly known as Quran & Sunnah or Islamic teachings or Shariah. Now, you can ask, everybody can’t be so well versed to judge every act, whether it is according to Shariah or not? In that case one should have following parameters to judge what’s right and what’s wrong:

(1) Teachings of Islam.

(2) Consensus of majority of Muslims, in particular their scholars.

(3) How far the act suits to human nature.

(4) What are the bases? If the bases of any act not found in Shariah, it is regarded as Bida’ah (innovation) which has been strictly prohibited (7).

In the light of these parameters, let us analyze the queries in focus:

Dying to Win?

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(1) Teachings of Islam

Killing innocents and claiming to be victory is simply against the teachings of Islam. I don’t find even a single Quranic verse or saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that supports the claim. My conscience doesn’t favor those who in tense situations resort to streets with placards reading “behead those who insult Islam”. So those who are claiming, it’s their personal account, nothing to do with Islam and the Muslims. In Islam, the human honor and dignity is very high. Man has been created on the face of God (8) , so the acts of threatening and degrading is against the spirit, that is man has been regarded so sacred that dehumanized act is highly condemnable. A single soul has been regarded as more sacred than the house in Mecca (9). Killing of an innocent person has been termed as killing of the entire humanity (10). Honoring of a person is just equal to honoring of God (11). In short what human conscience appreciates and what not, Islam makes it clear as an embodiment of man’s supremacy. Therefore, when it comes to following Islam, human beings have been just advised to turn to their nature on which God has created them (12). With this explanation, the acts of killing and degrading the humans are null and void.

(2) Consensus of Majority of Muslim Scholars

From across the globe Muslims Scholars and Muslim organizations have heavily criticized the self-proclaimed Caliphate of ISIS; it’s fake claim and has no basis. Please go through the following links:

‘Islamic State’ is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/13/term-islamic-state-slur-faith-david-cameron

Prominent scholars declare ISIS caliphate ‘null and void’

http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12567-prominent-scholars-declare-isis-caliphate-null-and-void

Muslim leaders reject Baghdadi’s caliphate – Prominent Muslim leaders rebuke the Islamic State group’s self-proclaimed caliphate, calling it ‘void’ and ‘deviant’.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/muslim-leaders-reject-baghdadi-caliphate-20147744058773906.html

So, as Muslims we share your burden of grief and concern about this self-proclaimed group, rather it’s an obligation on us to annihilate such inhuman practices, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says when anybody of you sees an evil he should wipe out with his hands… (13).

As far the concept of Caliphate is concerned, it’s a process of succession of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and very sacred one indeed. Since the Prophet was sent down as a Messenger of the entire world, therefore the concept of Caliphate imbibe in it the universality, it is absolutely void of regional or sectarian thinking. Neither a group nor any nation is entitled to form a Caliphate. “Conceptually, a caliphate represents a sovereign state of the entire Muslim faithful, (the Ummah ), ruled by a caliph under Islamic law…”(for more details please refer:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate).

(3) How far the acts suit to human nature

With the explanation so far, it becomes quite clear that inhuman killings are simply contrast to Islamic teachings. Islam doesn’t encourage even slapping on human face. At the time of war from a genuine Islamic State, there are specific ethics for warfare, adherence of which is as necessary as the war itself (a genuine Islamic state can declare a war, according to the consensus of Muslims and also in view of the prevailing sentiments, cultures and norms of the world communities, for more detail please go through: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_state). According to the Quran we have an ideal in the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (14), so whatever he does or instruct becomes a model for the Muslims of all the time to follow. Prophet (pbuh) has given clear instructions to bear in mind for all the matters pertaining to life.

As far war is concerned, following were instructions, ethics of warfare from Prophet (pbuh) observance of which is as compulsory as offering prayers, here they are:

  • Don’t commit treachery or deviate from the right path.
  • Many servants of God will be busy worshipping Him in their places of worship (churches). Don’t touch them.
  • Don’t raise your hands against any woman.
  • Don’t kill any woman, child or minor boy.
  • Don’t kill any old person.
  • Don’t destroy green trees nor set them on fire.
  • Don’t mutilate dead person.
  • Don’t harm the person who hides for his safety.
  • Don’t harm the person who asks your forgiveness.
  • Don’t spoil enemy’s provision.(15)

When dehumanized acts are not permissible even in worst situations in a genuine Islamic state, how come the inhuman killings or ‘acts of terrorism’ be justified? To favor people of the same community, whether they are just or not has been termed as communalism (16) and Prophet (pbuh) categorically rejected the faith of such Muslims and said they are not amongst us (17).

(4) Is Quran & Sunnah the base?

This is the criteria to judge what is right and what is wrong, the discussions so far make it clear , be it ISIS or Al-Qaeda or any group of that sort, their claims are not according to the teachings of Quran and Sunnah, it’s their own desires and wishful thinking. Islam has nothing to do with these factions.

Thus, the evaluation makes it clear what Islam is and what’s happening in the name of Islam? To further the discussion I would like to cover some more aspects. It’s expected that a clear image of Islam and the Muslims will emerge that in turn facilitate to understand the role of Muslims in a plural society, in general, and in the world in particular.

What's your understanding of the terrorist groups?

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The Criteria of judgment

I humbly request my brethren to judge the acts of Muslims based on these discussions, the spirit of that being whether Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) justifies any act or not? If a Muslim doesn’t abide by this base he no longer remain a Muslim, he is termed as, Kaafir (disbeliever), Zaalim (oppressor) and Faasiq (rebel) (18). One can understand how important these criterions are to authenticate one’s action. This benchmark for judgment not only helps erase misunderstandings but also assists in mutual understanding.

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Islam Preaches tolerance

If we go beyond the discussion, there appear vast teachings of Islam which primarily suggests its followers to adhere to the basics. Islam teaches tolerance, it believes that for a society to progress and prosper, for a society to attain the stages of sustainable development, the dwellers must have peace and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and co-operation. Here are a few Quranic verses:

  • No compulsion in religion (Ch2-Verse 256), the Muslim should not force others.
  • Join hands for common terms (Ch3-Verse 64).
  • Uphold justice at any cost (Ch4-Verse 35).
  • Co-operate in righteous ways and not in transgressions (Ch5-Verse 2), with all regardless of religion.
  • Be a just voice even amidst hatred (Ch5-Verse8).
  • Don’t revile other Gods (Ch6-Verse 108).
  • It’s the will of God that there are different followers (Ch 10-Verse 99) and (Ch64-Verse2).
  • Whosoever wants let him believe in Islam (Ch16-Verse 29).
  • Not argue with the people of the scripture (Christians and Jews) except in a way that is best (Ch29-Verse 46).
  • Repel evil with virtue (Ch41-Verse 34).
  • Everyone is responsible for what he does (Ch42-Verse 15).
  • To be your religion, to me, my religion (Ch 106-Verse 9), it helps to join for common terms.

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The Concept of Victory in Islam

For ‘victory’ we find two terminologies in the Quran, one is Faaz and the second is Falah. The later being equal to ‘self improvement’ that is success. In view of these terms the victory is:

  • Prevention from hell fire (Ch3-Verse 185, Ch6-Verses 15-16).
  • Obedience of God & His messenger (Ch33-Verse 71, Ch4-Verse 13).
  • Performing virtuous acts (Ch9-Verses 71-72).
  • Offering prayers & charity with precise regularity, avoid vain talks, stick to modesty etc. (Ch23-Verses 1 to9).
  • Sustained efforts for self purification (Ch87-Verse 14, Ch91-Verse 9).
  • Refraining from taking interest (Ch3-Verse 130).
  • Fearing God and showing patience and steadfastness (Ch3-Verse 200).
  • Refraining from intoxicants, gambling and demon practices (Ch5-Verse 100).
  • Frequent repentance (Ch24-Verse 31).
  • Promotion of virtues and eradication of evils (Ch3-Verse 104).
  • Prevention from covetousness (Ch59-Verse9).

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What Allah Likes, and what dislikes

The self-proclaimed groups often term their acts to be noble in the sight of Allah, instill the same idea in the minds of their followers and publicize the same that whatever they do Allah favors them. The Quran clearly mentions to whom Allah likes and to whom He dislikes, a Muslim is one who follows these criterions to be among the choicest servants of Allah. Have a glimpse of a few verses:

Allah Likes

  • Doer of good deeds (Ch2-Verse 195).
  • Those who turn to God constantly (Ch2-Verse 222).
  • Those who are righteous (Ch3-Verse 76).
  • Those who are steadfast (Ch3-Verse 146).
  • Those who trust God (Ch3-Verse159).
  • Those who judge in equity (Ch5-Verse 42).
  • Those who make themselves pure (Ch9-Verse 108).

Allah Dislikes

  • Those who are ungrateful and wicked (Ch2-Verse 276).
  • Those who are arrogant and vainglorious (Ch4-Verse36).
  • Those who are wrong doers and commit crimes (Ch4-Verse 107).
  • Those who spread mischief on earth (Ch5-Verse64).
  • Those who cross the transgress (Ch5-Verse87).
  • Those who are wasters (Ch6-Verse 141).
  • Those who exult (Ch28-Verse 76).

Based on aforesaid parameters God accepts the actions, instead, if any Muslim follows his wishful thinking, will certainly deviate from the right path, he has gone astray (19), the deviation lead him to a destination embodiment of his own wishful thinking.

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Islam appreciates a world of mutual love and respect…

It’s the mutual love and respect that makes society a place to live in. Without these essentials, intellectual, ethical, moral, cultural and scientific progress is hard to achieve. Even in a small home, the feuds between husband and wife hamper the study of their children, then how come chaos and uneasiness in different parts of the world help attain sustainable development for the dwellers? The Quran emphasize, with an action plan, to strive for building such a world (20).

InterFaith Harmony

What do you think the best ways to ensure interfaith harmony?

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Concerns & actions for the cause of Humanity

Muslim nations across the globe facing different situations, I don’t think I am entitled to justify in explaining their conditions as such, you know better. The Muslim nations going through turmoil, due to uncertain political and social conditions their independence and self esteem is badly marred. Violation of human rights reaching new heights whereas dehumanization acts touching to the lowest of the low. Being human we should stand up for justice. Oppression is oppression, for whoever it may be. Raising voice is humanity, no matter for whom it is raised. We must heed to the truth that our heart conveys, that bias and prejudice never help a nation to prosper; the history bears testimony to the fact. Killing or humiliation of human beings has never been a hallmark of champions.

The humans have been created to live, the world has been brought into existence to facilitate the living, if anyone kills a human or humiliate he simply obliterate the very purpose of human’s existence on the earth. Objective analysis of the situation and proposing a workable plan would be a better option to exercise. The international communities can play a pivotal role in being a just voice and equally concern towards the cause of humanity. We should educate our children and youth that their existence is just to visualize the dream of a beautiful world. America can lead the nations with its vision of a world of freedom, liberty, justice, tranquility and welfare.

(C) 2014 - Muhammad Abdullah Javed (m abdullah javed)

Refrences

1) Narrator Abu Feelah – Mishkat-Al-Masbih Book of Hadith – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says the one who invites others for a sectarian divide is not amongst us.

2) The Quran Ch 5 – Verse 8

3) Narrator Abu Huraira, Bukhari Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says no one among you can be a true believer unless from whose hands and tongue people are safe.

4) Narrator Abdullah Ibn Masood, Tirmidhi Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says no one among you can be a true believer unless he loves for the human beings what he loves for himself.

5) Narrator Abdullah Ibn Masood, Tirmidhi Book of Hadith, it’s a long saying, gist is violation of rights causes a believer to be a poor (Muflis) on the day of judgment, in spite of his good deeds he will be thrown in the hell fire.

6) Narrator Abu Huraira, Muslim Book of Hadith, long saying, the gist is - a person thrown in hell fire just because he was oppressive against a cat.

7) Narrator Ayesha Siddiqa, Muslim Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says the one who invents a new thing which is not there in our scripture will be rejected.

8) Hadis-e-Qudsi, a saying of Prophet Muhammad exactly in the words of God.

9) Narrator Abu Huraira, Abu Dawood Book of Hadith, gist of saying - the dignity of a person is more than the dignity of Kaaba, the house in Mecca.

10) The Quran Ch 5-Verse 32

11) Narrator Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Nasai Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says no servant of God loves his fellow brother but he honors the God, the Exalted.

12) The Quran Ch 30-Verse 30

13) Narrator Abu Saeed Al Khudri, Muslim Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says if any one of you sees an evil should eradicate it with his hands, if he is not capable of that, than with his tongue, even if it is not possible, than he should have ill feelings about the evil in his heart.

14) The Quran Ch 33-Verse 21

15) Biography of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) chapter Ethics of Warfare

16) Narrator Abu Feelah, Mishkat-Al-Masbih Book of Hadith, the one who calls towards communalism, dies for it is not amongst us.

17) Narrator Jubair Bin Mutyim, Abu Dawood Book of Hadith, the same as above.

18) The Quran Ch 5-Verses 44-47

19) The Quran Ch 28-Verse 50

20) The Quran Ch 16-Verse 90

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    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 24 months ago

      Andy Lee Lawson, I have stated the truth, there is always an option of healthy dialogues, we need to discuss the things without any reservation till we get a fair understanding about the faith. Peace and blessings to you too.

    • Andy Lee Lawson profile image

      Andrew Lawson 24 months ago from Knoxville, TN

      I hope your experience with Christians hasn't been altogether negative. Stereotyping is something the brain naturally does to categorize information. Unfortunately, that means we sometimes group things unfairly. Peace to you.

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Thanks Christopher for your heartfelt feelings. Yes we should try to make the realities apparent before the world, without any botheration of who thinks what. If we believe in truth then we have to apply ourselves for the cause, things will change. When people like you are active then the world will certainly filled with goodness. Once again thanks for the wonderful comments and visit. Take care.

    • Christopher Jay T profile image

      Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

      Very good. it's a very good explanation of what Islam is and isn't. I myself am appalled by the Anti-Muslim sentiment here in America. it's based on ignorance and fear of thins that are different. I think it is so stupid to generalize and point fingers. I would like to say that articles like this could rid the world of Islamaphobia, but ignorant people won't even read articles like this. thank you for such an insightful hub.

    • Goodpal profile image

      Goodpal 2 years ago

      If religions divide people into believers and non-believers there are bound to be conflicts and politics of dominance. I personally find it funny to hear that religions grow with numbers - it would make more sense to me if told that religions grow with growth in piety of their followers.

      The goal of a believer of Islam should be to become pious like the Prophet and that of a Christian, to advance in purity of heart like Jesus. But in reality, focus has badly shifted everywhere, for various reasons. I am also amused to learn that in this technological age 'sainthood' also has to be awarded, like college degrees!

      What religionists call prophets, messengers or son of god or whatever and then quarrel to establish the supremacy of 'their' god or 'their' prophet, again the conflict is inbuilt.

      No saintly person has ever prescribed violence and dominance in the whole history of humanity. It's the context-less and 'literal' understanding of their followers, that's the basic problem.

      What has gone wrong with practical side of religion is the vanishing stress on morality and good personal conduct - symbolism, costume and rituals have become supreme.

      We need to create institutions that promote moral upliftment of people regardless of their religious labels - by the way labels don't make people religious or more moral - or no label. We can easily define what constitutes good moral and ethical conduct - as those thinking and acts that take them away from lust, greed and hatred, and those things that make them more compassionate and mindful of others' well being.

      Things like meditation can be easily used as universal techniques to cleans people's mind. In practical social life what I think or don't think or what I believe or don't believe are not really important. What is of foremost relevance is how I treat others, particularly those who think or believe differently. Here religious beliefs have importance only as long as they promote open mindedness and feelings of universal brotherhood.

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Goodpal.. Thanks for the visit and wonderful comments. I appreciate your view point about theist and atheist, moral standard being a reliable yard stick to measure the heightened personality. Thank you.

      In fact in today's world we see religiosity among the people more than what it was few decades ago. Lot of awareness indeed. But on the same line we find religion as a barrier for mutual understanding and cooperation. The moment we think of a religious person a question mark arises... Why it's so is a matter of deep study and objective analysis.

      Only one thing can assist and wipes out the prevailing misunderstandings and misconceptions and that's morality, and you have rightly pointed out this very fact.

      Religion must be like a fragrant container, with varied flavors of fragrance and pleasant feelings. The person's association with his or her religion should make the personality perfumed with its pleasant fragrance, so that anybody can make out the essence of the religion that is being followed. Without good characters religion is just like a fragrance less perfume.

      Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said the best among you is the one who is best in characters. And the persons with good characters will be with me in Paradise so close and He showed His first and middle fingers.

      Let's hope for men of high moral standards and strive to ensure the same.

    • Goodpal profile image

      Goodpal 2 years ago

      What I gather from the hub, the comments and what I see in the Islamic or religious world on this planet is that a faith, religion or 'belief system' is only as good as the people following it.

      I hold the view that a 'moral' atheist is far superior to an 'immoral' theist. So the stress should be on making good humans - humans not primarily driven by lust, greed or hatred - regardless of what they believe or don't believe.

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Exactly, if religious values are not shared and if you find less stress on the mutual introductions of religions then misunderstandings are bound to prevail. Nice that you have decided to take initiaitives. May Allah bless us all.

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Hi Abrushing peace and blessings on you too. I have great respect for your concerns, hope these words will provide solace to your heart.

      Particularly after the 9/11 incident the Muslims world over trying their best to express their love and concern for humanity, and have categorically rejected the term 'terrorism's' association with Islam. As and when required they have organised mass awareness rallies and massive public programs to assert the same. But to expect the same for each and every incident without even knowing the 'real culprits' & 'conspiracies' behind is simply unjust. When things are clear that any inhuman act, no matter how small or big it is in its magnitude, has absolutely no relation with Islam, so generally if any incident of this sort happens Muslims deem it as inhuman and barbaric and express their anger, moreover the credibility of their faith rest on being true well-wishers of the humanity so it becomes mandatory for them to distance themselves from such incidents and the persons involved. I don't think that marching in street in thousands only can justify and provide solace to the world?

      I would request you Abrushing to please try to find out the actual reasons and conspiracies behind such incidents. And express same concerns for those innocent Muslims too who are being brutally killed for no reasons. Have a critical look at the role of vested interest in destabilising the Muslim Nations and causing turmoil over there. Look with a humane heart at the fate of those countries and countrymen, without which your arguments lack the 'humane aspect' as they severely condemn the killings of a few but totally negelecting the massaccre of hundreds. For us each and every individual should be as dear as our own, the protection of his honor should be our priority, the world can become an abode of peace only when the human dignity is restored this way.

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 2 years ago from USA- Florida

      I say again-Until I see hundreds and thousands of Muslims world wide marching in the streets demanding the end of Islamic terrorism. Your words of comfort and reason will be to me, nothing more than propaganda and wishful thinking.

      Peace to you Mr. Javed

      ABR

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Hi Abrushing. We have discussed at length about extremism, the collective role of muslims and the prevailing situations. Just go through above discussions. I think that will suffice to these concerns of yours. (1)However I would like to request you to go through the analysis of - projectsyndicate.com and the following link:

      http://tariqramadan.com/english/2013/11/12/tariq-r...

      (2) The Muslim majority is not silent, as their silence is detrimental to their faith, they are not suppose to be a mute spectator over the happenings which would tarnish the image of humanity and a pose threat to peace and prosperity, but the question is:

      * what are the parameters for concenred person like you to find out the majority's concerns?

      * Why this expectation from the Muslims as whole, soon after an 'incident' even before proper investigations and knowing the real culprits behind?

      * why not we expect the same from the world communities to stand up for justice against the killings of thousands of innocent Muslims?

      (3) We should analyse deeply and impartially to reach to the depth of reasons of terror incidents. Here, we are at one side and the devisive forces on the other hand, as long as we maintain this difference, a collective fight against all sorts of barbaric activities is possible. Our collective effort should bear a symbol of justice and equity and void of all sorts of double standards.

      (4) I would like to request your good self to be equally concern for the loss of thousands of lives in different parts of the world and try to figure out the enemies of humanity.

      (5) We are living in an era that demands people with humane concern to unite against those who are a threat to the very spirit of humanity.

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      HiAbrushing, I admire the way you have expressed your humane concerns. Thanks for the response. Will get back to you. Please wait busy now.

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 2 years ago from USA- Florida

      Mr. Javed

      I am calling upon Muslims like you, to turn your influence, powers of communication, and anger( if it be present), Inward. Convince and mobilize your own. Stop the degradation of your faith and your god's reputation. If not for Allah's sake, then for the sake of Humanity and the world. Rise up the "silent Majority" against your own and stop these hideous acts. I suspect however that your sir are powerless to change their minds because you in fact, are in the minority.

      Until I see hundreds and thousands of Muslims world wide marching in the streets demanding the end of Islamic terrorism. Your words of comfort and reason will be to me, nothing more than propaganda and wishful thinking.

      ABR

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 2 years ago from USA- Florida

      *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO6PcFYXMo4

      I see an awful lot of folks in this video who agrees with the extreme and violent views mentioned in the quran. No minority here.

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 2 years ago from USA- Florida

      Take a look:

      The silent majority is irrelevant.

      *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9vHuwzbbkg

      This next one is is especially telling. It defends extreme Islamic views, such as, the death penalty or stoning for adultery and homosexuality.

      *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO6PcFYXMo4

    • m abdullah javed profile image
      Author

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Hi Abrushing. The incident took place at Paris is heinious and inhumane in all sense. I strongly condemn the barbaric attack and expressed my solidarity with the deceased and the bereaved family members.

      May Allah bless Paris and its dwellers with peace and prosperity. Aameen.

      Islam is not in crisis, in fact any incident of this sort does not put any religion in the crisis mode, we should look into the incident and analyze realistically and refrain from ascribing it to the whole of religion. The culprits are absolutely unaware of the spirit of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that makes it compulsory to be merciful even for the one who has opperessed, so what they did is absolutely unwarranted Allah will never appreciate such transgressors.

      Here things need to be addressed in view of the repurcussions that they have invited, like freedom of expressions, religious values and the conspiracies behind such crimes.

      As far the majority, I can say with a firm beleif that every single Muslim would strongly condemn if he is given a chance to express his consience before the world, for your info the Muslim leadership here in India has vhemently opposed the crime against humanity.

      So my dear friend the fact is that we all love to see a world of peace and prosperity, let not such mindless act disturb our unity, our success is our understanding and a resolve for a constructive struggle against such devisive forces.

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 2 years ago from USA- Florida

      M Abdullah Javed

      We find, yet again, Muslims making the world a more dangerous and scary place. Paris was the Religion of Peace's latest target.

      Allah must be so proud.

      I say again to you M Abdullah Javed,

      *Islam is in crisis, something dramatic must change if it wishes to retain any dignity among the world religions.

      *At this present moment, Allah is being disgraced by your brethren. Islam gives rise to violent, murderous; extremists in greater quantities then any other religion.

      When will your silent Majority become relevant? Perhaps they approve of violence and murder despite your efforts to say otherwise. Is it possible that you are out of touch with the true spirit of Islam?

      Your words mean nothing as long as revenge killing like this take place in the name of Allah and Islam without a massive Islamic outcry against it.

      ABR

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Yeah thats true teaches12345, the picture of Islam has been distorted. The right opinion about any religion can be form in view of its teachings. Thanks for the visit and kind words.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Your message contradicts what is shared by so much of the world on muslim faith. I found your sharing interesting. It would seem the terrorists are acting out of a self-inspired unethical motive. Thank you for listing the differences.

    • m abdullah javed profile image
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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Hi LongTimeMother thanks for your lovely comments. Agree with the questions you have raised. Yes we have to raise our voices, being a son and daughter of humanity, in view of the just teachings of our religions. The behavior adopted for right and wrong things depicts our association with the religion, as an obedient son of parents does not prove to be harmful for other parents, so should be the case of followers of different religions. How can one justify his acts of oppression over others? Don't he think that the God is also their God? How God can be so sectarian to reward an oppressor and punished an oppressed? I think this is the delimma of today's so called religious people, though they are few in numbers but they think their act to be the righteous one. You know Islam comprises of two things one is rights of God and second rights of humans. All forms of worship is the rights of God. Upholding of human rights pertain to the whole life, it does not confine to any space and time limit, as long as one is alive he has to take care of these rights. If anyone falls short in worship, God may forgive him in the hereafter but as far the violation of rights are concerned God will never forgive unless the oppressed do so. In the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) the oppressor has been termed as Muflis that is banckrupt. He happens to be very religious with loads of good deeds but he might have violated one or the other rights of fellow human beings so God will replace his good deeds with the bad deeds of the oppressed people. In turn we would be overloaded with sins and God will order His angels to throw him in the hell fire.

      I think the violent mentality, no matter how intesnse or low profile it may be, is a result of two things. One, a thought that we are the sole responsible of changing people, their mind set, their practices etc. Second one is an unbalanced understanding of the responsibility which results in an unantural and inhuman approach towards the issue. Keeping these, if you analyse, things will be clear. To be specific there are plenty of teachings in Quran and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad that clarify these aspects in a just manner.

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      LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

      Thank you, m abdullah javed, for discussing this issue with such clarity. I have read every word in your article, and every word in the comments.

      I will be sharing your hub on hp and beyond. I hope that many people (including young Muslims in Australia and other countries where youth are getting caught up in the emotion of martyrdom) read your words, give careful thought to what you are explaining, and ask their questions to you.

      I do not blame all Muslims for atrocities caused by a few. I commend you for taking the time and making the effort to reach out with a voice of reason.

      It concerns me equally when atrocities are performed by Christians who also have a mistaken belief they will be rewarded by God.

      To anyone who is considering taking a life or becoming involved in violent actions believing they will gain Allah's blessings, I would ask "What if you don't?" What if the promises made by the individuals who stir up passion for fighting are false promises?

      Anyone who believes they can be rewarded in an afterlife must also fear being condemned or punished. Personally, I think it is a HUGE mistake to assume that violent actions (particularly against the innocent) could ever be justified.

      The risk of getting it wrong is too big. We can't turn the clock back and say "That was a mistake, I didn't mean to kill those people." And I am not convinced that simply saying 'Sorry' and asking for forgiveness is enough to clear the debt from any major sin.

      I do hope that your voice is heard around the world. I believe you could save many souls. Everyone should have this type of discussion before making mistakes that cannot be undone.

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Hi Abrushing1968

      Thanks again for the words and concerns. Please excuse me for the delay. I would like to clarify the following which are the main contentions that you have expressed with a thoughtful consideration. As I said, we will stay connected on such issues.

      (1) Men and women blow themselves up….for a hope of salvation.

      Islamic concepts should be understood as mentioned in Quran and Ahadith, the concept of salvation, absolutely void of such inhuman acts of blowing oneself and causing serious damage to humanity. I don’t find such an emphasis in Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for the Muslims to go for such a mindless act? You are right there are Islamic teachings that inspire to fight against the inhuman acts, make society a place to live in, in doing so if one can offer his life, that’s admirable. But as I said, the offering of life should be in accordance with the teachings of Islam; nobody is entitled to do as per his thinking. I think you should go through Prof. Robert Pape’s book “Book Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” and also watch his lectures - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4HnIyClHEM

      (2) Hope of resurrection, there is no resurrection in Islam, as far those who die in the way of Allah, as you mentioned, Quran says they are alive in an another world about which we have no idea, their God is providing them with food etc. (02:154)

      There are promises in the Quran that those who die in the way of Allah get huge rewards. For a person to deserve rewards the way Quran mentions, it’s mandatory on him to follow the course of action as the Quran mentions. Opting a path based on wishful thinking does not make a person worthy of Allah’s blessings.

      (3) Islam gives rise to violent, murderous; extremists in greater quantities….the problems begin with the Quran.

      I strongly disagree with you Aaron on this point, the perception is unrealistic. What do you think out of 2.08 billion Muslims how many qualify these qualities? Moreover blaming Quran for such an argument is absolutely unwarranted. As I mentioned earlier, Quran is the book of guidance, you know for guidance you need to have guidelines for all the spheres of life. So the Book guides on every aspects of life with specific references to the precautionary measures. The Book in no way appreciates mischief on the earth and strongly condemns turmoil. As far the one who violates the precautionary measures but try to follow the teachings, he will be deprived of the mercy of Allah. If such a person dies for the ‘cause of Allah’, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says he will be deprived of even smell of Paradise.

      (4) Majority becomes irrelevant when they do nothing to stop their minority.

      I do agree, you may be aware that whenever in the name of Islam, anything against Islam happens Muslims scholars around the world raised their concerns. We deem it our prime responsibility to be just and support the just, avoid injustice and never support the unjust people. This is a matter of our faith, if I remain silent over an evil act, my faith is dubious then.

      (5) Why uneasiness only in a few Muslim nations?

      In view of your concerns, Aaraon, I would like to invite you and humane persons like you to think over certain issues, to be honest I find myself among your ranks, and posing these queries as a food for thought:

      We should think over the issue on humanitarian grounds, that why the uneasiness prevailing in only a few Muslim nations? Why, out of billions of Muslims only a few, as you said minority, are up against the world? Do they possess what all needed to go against the world? Do the Muslims all over the world support their every act? What should be the role of the international communities in settling down the issues that those Muslim nations are facing? Do you think the world as a whole attain peace and prosperity if there exist huge disparities between the societies of different countries?

      I appreciate your concerns again; will remain with persons like you to uphold human dignity and ensure peace in the society.

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Thanks vkwok, glad that you liked it.

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      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      You make good valid points, Mabdullah. This has definitely got me thinking.

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      Aaron Rushing 3 years ago from USA- Florida

      m abdullah Javed

      I am honored that you have taken my comments seriously, and have responded in a courteous manner. It speaks well of you and your Faith. You have reasoned well. I'm not compelled to rebuttal everything that you have defended.

      Yet this remains, men rooted in your faith, attacked my country on 911. They died convinced, in themselves, that they were doing the will of their god. Despite all that you have said here about human dignity and moral guidance, death and destruction ensued in the name of Allah.

      I ask that you consider that martyrdom is not a small matter, to willingly give up your life for your faith speaks louder then men like us, sitting safely behind our computers expressing our views. This more then any other act is a window into the strength of a man’s beliefs. Men will rarely die for what they consider to be a lie. They must be convinced that their death is for a greater purpose.

      The men on 911, the woman who blow themselves up in the streets, are offering themselves up to be destroyed in the name of Allah and Islam. In the days before their violent demise, I suspect they drew comfort from many things, the money promised to their families. The idea that they were dying for a cause, but more then all of these, and at the very heart of their actions is their hope of a resurrection, as promised by the Quran for all who die fighting in a holy war. The Muslim hope of salvation is an uncertain thing, unless of course, they die in Jihad. Have you considered that this fact alone will motivate extremists among your ranks? Men will do all manner of desperate acts to secure salvation. Salvation gained in this manner is far easier then trying to live by the copious amount of rules and regulations required by Sharia Law. Give me a quick death with a promise of salvation over the bondage that comes with adherence to legalistic codes of ethics any day.

      There is a saying that I like to use a lot, when dealing with matters of religion.

      “We become what we believe.”

      It is a fast way of saying our doctrines shape and dictate our actions.

      In every religion, there are dominate or essentials doctrines that define that faith.

      When adopted by the individual, those doctrines manifest, becomes seen, in their actions and character. Terrorism is a reflection of ones faith. It is telling that Islam gives rise to violent, murderous, extremists in greater quantities, with global consequences more often then any other religion on the face of the earth. This is why I say the problem begins with the Quran.

      In looking into my own faith, I am able to find a time when Christianity was guilty of the heinous things being reported in the news today. The Crusades, are a fair comparison to the murderous atrocities of ISIS. It stands out as one of the most disturbing and destructive events in Christian History, a true attack on God’s reputation. It was a time when Popes ruled and man's salvation was determined by geographical boundaries, good works, and the will of the church. However, I ask you to consider that the crusades were not fought by Christian men who, like today, lived according to the decrees of the Bible, they were men who were called Christian because they came from a country that called itself Christian. In truth they did not seek to Honor God, or the Holy Bible, they were looking for land and glory.

      The primary and dominate doctrines of the Bible do not now, nor did it then, justify the actions of those carnal and wicked men. If we could go back in time, we would find that few of them had ever seen or read a bible, like your ISIS terrorist group, they considered themselves Christians. Even so, the violence could not be justified by Christian scripture and it most certainly was not Christ like.

      In the 500- 700 years that has passed, Christianity has changed quite a bit. The majority of Christendom has rejected Catholic rule, and we no longer combine church and state. The reformation brought about a purer, kinder, and personal Christianity. The printing press and the reformation put Scriptures in people’s houses. For the first time, people were discovering the Word of God first hand. It has taken several hundred years to remove the violence but to Christians today, a crusade is nothing more then an opportunity to shower their community with the gospel of Christ, or perhaps a food drive for a needy family. Violence is unacceptable and never tolerated. There isn’t a Christian leader alive today that could muster an army for a Holy War. Islam has nothing to fear from the modern Christian. We follow Christ and we love our enemies.

      It is my humble and most sincere belief that Islam is currently in crisis, something dramatic must change if it wishes to retain any dignity among the world religions. Like Christianity in the 15th century. It is time for the silent majority to rise up and demand change. Perhaps its time for an islamic reformation of some kind. At this present moment, Allah is being disgraced by those violent and vicious factions who interpret the Quran differently then you do. In them, Islamic doctrine is manifesting in a brutal and devastating way. The disgrace to Allah is not a small blight of disrespect; it is a raging and all encompassing disfigurement. Leaving your faith hated and feared. In this, I am sure, Allah is not pleased.

      It has been said that, it matters little, if the majority of Islam is peaceful when the minority is unjustly at war with the whole world. The majority becomes irrelevant when they do nothing to stop their minority….. Sir, I am of little consequence to your faith or your world view. Convincing me will not restore the dignity and honor that Allah’s reputation has lost. I appeal to you, devote your time to persuading your fellow Muslims. Raise your voice of reason among your own and cease the violence. In this, you will gain my respect and the respect of all who are watching.

      Sincerely

      ABR

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      .......hi again Abrushing1968

      (4) Your faith is wrought with extremists and violent terrorist.

      The human history witness ups and downs of the nations, be it any religion we find the wars and feuds of regional nature, but the credit has always been given to the religion if something just had happened, for the bloodshed, human weakness has been blamed. I do admit that there might have been bloodshed in the name of Islam, but we should look into it if the religion supports their actions or not? As far the battles fought in the period of Prophet Muhammad, they were in strict adherence to the principles described; which we find as ethics of warfare both in Quran and Sunnah. Islam meant for humanity, so it go even beyond the warfare ethics and talks about the aftermath of war. For an effective analysis of aftermath of war you can go through 3rd chapter, Aal-e-Imran.

      But it’s unfortunate that over the period of time the history of Islam has been subjected to willful distortions, but even though there are humane voices who brought the picture of Islam as it is, if find time please go through the following books:

      • H.Wills - Islamic History.

      • Gustave Le Bon - The World of Islamic History.

      • John William Draper - The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe.

      • Thomas Carlyle - On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History.

      • Annie Basant - The life & teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

      (5) The problem does not start with ISIS, its starts with the Koran and for millions throughout history; it ended in a violent death at the hands of Islamic zealots.

      Quran is the book of guidance, it’s meant for human beings, and the central theme of which is man and his society, this Book help build an ideal society. It gives clear instructions, suggests the ways to meet the expectations. If you look at any government of any country, it has both harsh and beneficial laws for its citizens. The presence of prisons, death punishment, heavy penalties etc does not mean that the government is harsh over the citizens; in fact such laws are meant for those who come under its purview but not for all the people who dwell in the society. Isn’t it?

      Therefore the Quranic injunctions have to be looked upon in view the very spirit, generalizing its statements is not the spirit of the Quran. In fact if you go through the Book you will find to fight (Qatilu) has been mentioned just 12 times whereas mercy has been mentioned 327 times. Actually the Quran builds a person of high moral standards, you can say it’s a book of morals, apart from the verses in every chapter, one can find comparatively a lengthy discussion on morality in many chapters, for example you can refer chapters, 23, 24, 25, 31, 49, 55, 56, 57, 62, 63 etc and in particular the last 37 chapters (from 78 to 114), great emphasis has been given to cultivate high moral standards among human beings by constantly reminding the day of judgment and presenting the pictures of heaven and hell.

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Hi Abrushing1968 , sorry for the delay, its pleasure to know your feelings, thanks for being a just voice. Will try to respond to your view-points, hope that we stay together for a focused communication. The following points you have raised:

      (1) Extremists don’t represent your understanding of Islam:

      I can make it out from your feelings that you are well aware of Islam, the understanding of Islam reflects the spirit of Shariah, so it has to be uniform. Nobody is entitled to interpret the teachings of Islam to suit his own wishful thinking. Please have a look at the following Quranic verses:

      05:105/ 41:34 to 36 /42:15,

      (2) Islam has as its stated goals global domination, peacefully if possible, forcefully if necessary:

      As a support to the argument you have quoted 9th verse of chapter 61. In this verse the mission of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has been described, that he has been sent down in order to establish the religion no matter what the Mushrik (disbelievers) think. You can find the same subject in 09:33 and 48:28. You know in every religion, there is a concept of a God and a Messenger who descends on earth with certain objectives, to accomplish those objectives remains the primary concern and the teachings in respective scriptures revolve around the same.

      In the quoted verses, the Quran mentions a heightened possibility of the probable obstacles in the way of mission, those who dislike may resist you so you have to accomplish your mission. This is same as if the Government has ordered its law and order machinery to implement the laws in society, if anyone resist you can do so and so. Here the resistance is possible but not from every individual of the society, few may be there to oppose. The same thing has been described here. This verse doesn't address all those who are not Muslims, here the anti-social elements are in focus, and they are Mushrik means those who deliberately and aggressively reject the teachings, conspire to mix other religions in the Religion of Allah, who are not prepared to see that the entire system of life is established on the obedience and guidance of One God; to meet their expectations they can go to any extent. What you have argued “global domination peacefully if possible, forcefully if necessary” is not the true spirit of this verse. Quranic verses need to be looked in an overall perspective. If you want to judge a verse which is about conveying the message of religion to others, as is the case of the verse in our discussion, you may find the desirable approach in other verses. See for example 05: 8/ 12:108 and 16:125.

      The same argument can be in focus when you look into verses 191-193 of Ch2, the generalization is not the true spirit. Moreover when the society is marred with oppression and turmoil (which has been referred in these verses as Fitnah) the people at the helm of affairs supposed to take stringent action against the culprits. But you can the subject of forgiveness has been specifically mentioned in the aforesaid verse that is if they desist, forgive them.

      One thing should be remembered that, a Muslim is entitled just to strive, absolutely nothing else; he is not supposed to force any one to accept the teachings of Islam. See 28:56, 76:30, 81:29 and 88:21, 22. This particular aspect makes “domination by force or peaceful method” null and void.

      (3) Caliphate might be there, they have been ordained by god to fight Quran (2:216) :

      Again this verse was meant for the Prophet’s period, some believers were not willing to fight against the oppression, when this verse revealed their in activeness got rectified. Yes this verse will have relevance even today if the Caliphate is established in view of the criterion mentioned in Shariah and if it meets today’s concerns and emotions of the international communities. The ISIS in no way represents this Caliphate. As it’s said their deeds need to be looked as their own, and need to analyzed keeping in view the prevailing socio-political conditions. No group can take undue support of the Quran to claim their efforts as based on truth. It has been strictly prohibited, the distortion of religious scriptures was the practice of the previous generations, owing to which they faced wrath of Allah, therefore for the believers the Quran clearly says not to mention the verses to suit your desire or wishes. See 03:77/16:94 to 96 and 05: 44, 45, 47

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Hi Bill, I am honred with your appreciaition Sir. I believe clarifications on issues like this prove to be a binding force between us and help stay together which in turn cultivates love in our hearts. Thanks.

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Hi rebelogilbert sir, thanks for sharing your concerns. There are only two types of people in the world, good and bad. Its the responsibility of the good ones to make bad ones, good. Religion help in this regard. I think we are at one side, the extremists on the other, we are pretty confident that the bad ones will become good as long as we stay united and strive collectively.

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      Gilbert Arevalo 3 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      I feel sorry for good Muslim people who have to suffer because of Muslim extremists, Muhammad. It's good to see you are trying to help the best you can. That's what it's going to have to take from many people.

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Thanks Devika.

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi m abdullah javed A great topic of debate. There is far too much of disruption. Interesting and thought-provoking topic.

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      Aaron Rushing 3 years ago from USA- Florida

      m abdullaha Javed:

      I appreciate you speaking out against the violent and godless action that are currently being seen in the middle east at the hands of your Muslim brothers. I have read this Hub and can appreciate you desire to distance yourself from their actions. I can accept the idea that they are extremist, and though they are great in number, they do not represent your personal understanding of Islam. Yet despite your attempt to bring to light the more tolerant side of Islam, I am unconvinced.

      You speak as though these men have acted outside the principles of your faith. You neglected to mention that Islam has as its stated goals global domination, peacefully if possible, forcefully if necessary.

      According to Sura 61:9 You have been commanded take your faith to all the other religions of the world and to "make" (Force can be substituted here) it triumphant over every religion, even though the "idolaters" that may be averse.

      Sir your history is wrought with forced and violent conversions. ISIS justifies their action by declaring they are kicking the infidel out. A Muslim can justify violence if they see their actions as reactionary. That is, if they believe they are the the victims and are acting in defense of their home or homeland.

      Quran (2:191-193)

      YUSUFALI: And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.

      PICKTHAL: And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.

      SHAKIR: And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

      I suspect they have a caliphates support, one that for political reasons, wish to remain unknown for the time being. Or perhaps they feel they are acting in obedience to a higher Caliphate, perhaps Allah himself has directed them. Through His Holy Book and the example set for them by their forefathers.

      Consider Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

      Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the idea that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

      Sir I have only touched the surface here. Your faith is wrought with extremists and violent terrorist. I am glad that peaceful people like you exist within the Muslim faith, but I don't see that groups like ISIS are distorting or twisting your scriptures, they are subscribing and implementing a literal interpretation and acting accordingly the problem does not start with ISIS, its starts with the Koran and for millions throughout history, it ended in a violent death at the hands of Islamic zealots.

      I am sorry but I am unable to accept you reasoning or comfort, I remain avidly apposed to your Islamic faith.

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Hi Greg, thanks a lot dear friend, yes of course we will come together for peace and stay together to strive for peace. Thanks.

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      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from In Nebraska After Hurricane Maria

      Well written hub as always my friend. I hope that all can come together in peace.

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      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Thanks Ruby for the humane concern, yes we should try our best to make the world a very beautiful place to live in. Hatred and animosity is but a disaster for the individual and the society as well, we should try to put an end to the negative approaches.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      My sincere wish is for a world that understands that people in different parts of the world have their own beliefs and we should honor that. We have had other hate groups in our country, ie, the Ku Klux Klan- Neo Nazi and more. Thank you for a good informative look at the Muslim life.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As always, a very important discussion about a very important topic. Thank you for the clarification.