Page 17 - Islam In Focus

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responsible for failing to invite them to Islam and show them what Islam is. This calls
upon every Muslim throughout the globe not only to preach Islam in words but also –
and more importantly – to live it in full (see, for example, the Qur’ an, 3:104; 16:125).
13. The true Muslim believes that in human nature, which God created, there is more
good than evil, and the probability of successful reform is greater than the probability
of hopeless failure. This belief is derived from the fact that God has tasked man with
certain assignments and sent messengers with revelations for his guidance. If man
were by nature a hopeless case, impossible to reform, how could God with His
absolute wisdom assign him responsibilities and invite him to do or shun certain
things? How could God do that, if it were all in vain? The fact that God cares for man
and takes a stand in his interest proves that man in neither helpless nor hopeless, but is
more appreciative of and inclined to good than otherwise. Surely with sound Faith in
God and due confidence in man miracles can be worked out, even in our own times.
To understand this properly, one has to carefully study the relevant passages in the
Qur’ an and reflect on their meanings.
14. The true Muslim believes that Faith is not complete when it is followed blindly or
accepted unquestioningly unless the believer is reasonable satisfied. If Faith is to
inspire action, and if Faith and action are to lead to salvation, then Faith must be
founded on unshakable convictions without any deception or compulsion. In other
words, the person who calls himself a Muslim because of his family traditions, or
accepts Islam under coercion or blind imitation is not a complete Muslim in the sight
of God. A Muslim must build his Faith on well-grounded convictions beyond any
reasonable doubt and above uncertainty. If he is not certain about his Faith, he is
invited by God to search in the open book of Nature, to use his reasoning powers, and
to reflect on the teachings of the Qur’ an. He must search for the indisputable truth
until he finds it, and he will certainly find it, if he is capable and serious enough (see,
for example, the Qur’ an, 2:170; 43:22-24).
This is why Islam demands sound convictions and opposes blind imitation. Every
person who is duly qualified as a genuine and earnest thinker is enjoined by Islam to
employ his faculties to the fullest extent. But if a person is unqualified or uncertain of
himself, he should pursue his thinking only as far as his limits can take him. It will be
quite in order for such a person to rely only on the authentic sources of religion,
which are sufficient in themselves, without applying to them any critical questioning
of which he is incapable. The point is that no one can call himself a true Muslim
unless his Faith is based on strong convictions and his mind is clear from doubts.
Because Islam is complete only when it is based on strong convictions and freedom of
choice, it cannot be forced upon anybody, for God will not accept this forced faith.
Nor will He consider it a true Islam if it does not develop from within or originate
from free and sound convictions. And because Islam insures freedom of belief many
non-Muslim groups lived and still live in the Muslim countries enjoying full freedom
of belief and conscience. The Muslims take this attitude because Islam forbids
compulsion in religion. It is the light which must radiate from within, because
freedom of choice is the cornerstone of responsibility. This does not exempt the
parents from responsibility for their children. Nor does it condone their being
indifferent to the spiritual welfare of their dependents. In fact, they must do
everything possible to help them to build a strong inspiring faith.