Previous Page  4-5 / 16 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 4-5 / 16 Next Page
Page Background

Page 4

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 11

Page 5

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 11

Renowned author James A. Michener is quoted on this subject

as saying “No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Is-

lam.... The West has widely believed that this surge of religion

was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts

that idea, and the Quran is explicit in support of the freedom of

Conscience... quoted from Islam, The Misunderstood Religion,

Readers Digest (American Ed.) May 1955.

1955? Why then is this still one of the most widely held beliefs

about Islam from non- Muslim people?

Still the “Misunderstood Religion,” media coverage of today

propagates this misconception in its handling of any story asso-

ciated with anyone that is Muslim. Recently a tragedy occurred

in the case of a man who took the lives of his two children and

himself... in the news he wasn’t described as ‘Christian’ father

sacrifices the lives of his family after a terrorist attack on home.

Serbs are referred to as “Serbs”, and not “Extremist Christian

Serb forces”. In no other instance in news coverage are people

referred to by a preface as to their religion, except in the case

of Muslims. This is blatant discrimination. It is ascribing the

actions of individuals in conjunction with the beliefs held by a

third of the human population.

Hitler is not referred to as the “Christian” Hitler. The Crusaders’

saving the world from the infidels carried the sign of the cross as

their symbol of unity, in spite of the fact that they were invading

a land not their own with a Sword; sacking, plundering, robbing

the wealth of those lands, not only of their material wealth but

of their knowledge of science, literature, math, astronomy, med-

icine, etc. Wasn’t that the Sword of Christianity? The Spanish

Inquisition is a frightening example of a “Sword” being used to

force the ‘acceptance’ of Christianity. Do all Christians believe

in the methods of the Spanish inquisition?

Another example is of The Ku Klux Klan which is seen with the

most powerful symbol of Christianity, the cross, as a burning

brand in what is certainly “terrorism”. Are they referred to as a

“Fundamentalist Christian Organization”? Do Christians agree

with their actions or interpretations of the gospels?

What are the beliefs held by the believers of Islam, the “most

misunderstood religion”? Can one really believe that any reli-

gion be promoted under duress or by force? Religion is a gift

of faith and illumination bestowed by God. As quoted by M.K.

Gandhi, “I became more than ever convinced that it was not the

sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme

of life. It was rigid simplicity, the utter self- effacement of the

Prophet (Mohammed), the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his

intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his

fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission.

These and not the sword carried everything before them and

surmounted every trouble.” Young India, 1924.

One must look at “cultural” prejudice in examining this question.

How often are Muslims referred to as “third world”? Does not

“third world” imply to the western mind third rate, uncivilized

or primitive? Can anyone who has examined history refute the

influence of the Muslim world on today’s knowledge of scientific

thinking? This prejudice towards the Muslim people lingers from

the time of the Crusades. What about the numerous sects of

Christianity? Are we Muslims to believe that the term Christian

is synonymous with the actions of Roman Catholics, Protestants,

Lutherans, Methodist, Baptist, etc., which in themselves differ in

the interpretation and practices of their beliefs? And finally, how

many Western people automatically equate the word Muslim

with Middle Eastern peoples?

This ignores the vast groups of Muslims from all over the world. In

fact Islam knows no geographic boundaries. One billion people

from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the

globe-from the southern Philippines to Nigeria-are united by

their common Islamic faith. Only 18% live in the Arab world;

the world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia. At least

one out of every seven persons in the world is a Muslim. Being

“Muslim” is not a cultural, geographic, social, or political issue.

It is one of spirituality, faith in the Supreme Being, and belief

in the teachings of the Prophets.

The Quran is precise in its message for every aspect of our lives

regardless of nationality, ethnic and cultural origin, gender, or

social- economic level. It not only reaches all levels of under-

standing and intelligence, but takes into account human frailty

and guides us to social conduct which allows us to live together

in this world with one another with dignity, honesty, and kind-

ness. But it must be practiced according to the teachings of the

Quran. This is a task which requires constant striving and effort;

hence, the importance of constant contact with God through

daily prayer. It is a “code of conduct” that is concise, pure, un-

derstandable, merciful, and hopeful. It is for these reasons--the

simplicity of Islam--that Islam has spread so rapidly through the

ages. The Quran states:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out

clear from error.” (Qur’an 2:256)

Islam is the Sword of Truth, whose mere shine eliminates false-

hood just like light wipes darkness. Islam is the fastest growing

religion today.

“When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory, and thou dost

see the people enter Allah’s Religion in crowds.” (Qur’an


Islam continues to pierce the hearts of countless men and wom-

en. Below are the impressions of some people who embraced

Islam. All from different countries speaking different languages

and having different backgrounds.


a British Civil Contractor who embraced Islam

in 1975, says: “The Sword of Islam is not the sword of steel.

I know this by experience because the sword of Islam struck

deep into my own heart. It didn’t bring death, but it brought a

new life; it brought an awareness and it brought an awakening

as to who I am, what I am, and what I am here for.” The sword

of Islam strikes through God’s grace.

Those not born into Islam feel the special grace of this sword of

light when touched by its mighty power and truths.


, formerly known as Cat Stevens, says, “It will

be wrong to judge Islam in the light of the behavior of some

Muslims shown in the media.” An analogy often repeated but

still appropriate is, “If you see a beautiful car moving down

the road, all shiny, new and bright, but the driver of that car

is drunk and crashes the car against a wall, you don’t say

what a bad car it must be... you feel sorry that the car is badly

used by the driver.” Look at the “vehicle”, not the driver, and

strive to operate the beautiful car in a manner appropriate to

its integrity. Yusuf Islam continues, “Islam guides all human

beings in the daily life- in its spiritual, mental and physical

dimensions, but we must find the sources of these instructions,

the Quran and the example of the Prophet. Then we can see

the ideal of Islam.”


(now Bogdan Ataullak Kopanski): origi-

nally Polish now American; PhD in history and politics, had a

very interesting journey to Islam and faced severe hardships;

was imprisoned twice by the Polish communist regime (1968,

1981-82). He embraced Islam in 1974. “When I was 12 years

old I rejected illogical and contradictory faith of the Church. Two

years later in 1962- I was fascinated by victorious struggle of the

Algerian Muslim mujahhideen against French colonialism. It was

the first ARROW of Islam.... The high school and earliest days

of my education in the University, I was a typical example of

‘rebel generation’ of Reds.... My way to the Truth of Al- Qur’an

was slow and unpaved.... In 1974 I visited Turkey, I wrote my

M.A. dissertation about Sultan and Caliph Suleiman Kanuni’s

policy towards Polish Kingdom.

There, I was hit by the most beautiful voice of mankind, ADHAN,

the call to prayer. My hair stood up. Unknown powerful force

led me to old masjid in Istanbul. There, old smiling Turkish,

bearded men taught me WUZU, ablution. I confessed to tears

SHAHADAH and I prayed my first SALAH Maghrib.... I swept

out the rubbish ideologies.... The First time in my life, my mind

was relaxed and I felt pleasure of Allah’s love in my heart. I was

a Muslim....”


, PhD in Law (Harvard) German ambas-

sador to Algeria, “ For some time now, striving for more and

more precision and brevity, I have tried to put on paper in a

systematic way, all philosophical truths, which in my view can

be ascertained beyond reasonable doubt. In the course of this

effort it dawned on me that the typical attitude of an agnostic

is not an intellectual one; that man simply cannot escape a

decision to the greatest harmony with overall reality. Thus, I

realize, not without shock, that step by step, in spite of myself

and almost unconsciously, in feeling and thinking I have grown

into a Muslim. Only one last step remained to be taken: to

formalize my conversion. As of today, I am a Muslim.


(now Abdullah Adiyar): Indian,

noted Tamil writer and journalist; worked as a news editor in

Dr. M. Karunanidhi’s daily MURASOLI for 17 years; assisted 3

former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu; received Kalaimamani

Award (Big Gem of Arts) from Tamil Nadu Government in 1982.

He embraced Islam in 1987. “In Islam I found suitable replies

to nagging queries arising in my mind with regard to the theory

of creation, status of woman, creation of universe, etc. The life

history of the Holy Prophet attracted me very much and made

easy for me to compare with other world leaders and their



(now Amam Hobohm): German diplomat

and social worker. An intellectual who has been serving the

German diplomatic missions around the world. Presently work-

ing as Cultural Attache at the German Embassy in Riyadh. He

embraced Islam in 1941.”I have lived under different systems of

life and have had the opportunity of studying various ideologies,

but have come to the conclusion that none is a perfect as Islam.

None of the systems has got a complete code of a noble life.

Only Islam has it; and that is why good men embrace it. Islam

is not theoretical; it is practical. It means complete submission

to the will of God.”


(now Muhammad Ali); American, three times

World Heavyweight Champion, formerly a Christian. He em-

braced Islam in 1965. “I have had many nice moments in my

life. But the feelings I had while standing on Mount Arafat on

the day of HAJJ (Muslims’ pilgrimage), was the most unique. I

felt exalted by the indescribable spiritual atmosphere there as

over a million and a half pilgrims invoked God to forgive them

of their sins and bestow on them His choicest blessings. It was

an exhilarating experience to see to people belonging to dif-

ferent colors, races and nationalities, kings, heads of states and

ordinary men from very poor countries all clad in two simple

white sheets praying to God without any sense of either pride

or inferiority. It was a practical manifestation of the concept of

equality in Islam.”

If one studies the Quran it is impossible to withhold belief in its

words. “Islam appears to me like a perfect work of architecture.

All its parts are harmoniously conceived to compliment and

support each other. Nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking,

with the result of an absolute balance and solid composure.” This



(Mohammad Asad), Austrian statesman,

journalist, former foreign correspondent, and author.

This then is “The Sword of Islam “... the spiritual light and

power of belief in the one supreme creator and ruler of all

mankind and the message of hope brought to us in the Qu-

ran. A sword of steel holds no power over this true “Sword

of Islam”.









owers of



At the present time alcohol consumption appears to be on the

increase all over the world. As a result of this most countries have

to face growing problems arising from alcohol use and alcoholism.

Quite apart from the cost to human health this results in a substantial

economic loss due to road and industrial accidents, work absentee-

ism, and the costs of treating and rehabilitating alcoholic persons.

Islam freed theMedina society from this economic pressure which the

modern world is suffering under its crushing burden. Governments

and large constellations of companies make tremendous profits from

the local sale and export of alcohol. They are not prepared to dis-

turb their whole economy in order to get rid of alcoholism at home.

Companies are not even ready to reduce their use of ‘propaganda’

and ‘persuasion’ which are portrayed in their advertisements and T.V.

commercials. But they are ready to donate a negligible sum of their

enormous profit to help solve some of the problems of their victimized

alcoholics. It is like the shedding of crocodile tears.

Al-Khamr as used in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith of the Prophet

means any material which causes intoxication. It comes from the

Arabic word Yakhmur which means to cover or to curtail. Al-Khamr

is so called because it covers or curtails the proper functioning of

the mind. It is commonly used as a synonym of wine or alcoholic

drinks because these were the only intoxicating material used by

the Arabs at the time of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

Many methods of dealing with the problems of alcohol in society

have been proposed and experimented with throughout man’s his-

tory. These have included total prohibition; many and varied types

of legislative control to regulate the production and consumption of

alcoholic beverages and the nationalization of the alcohol industry.

None can be aid to have solved the problem.

The basis of the attitude of Islam to the question of alcohol con-

sumption has been little understood in Western countries. The

prohibition of alcohol in the Holy Qur’an and its effects in the daily

life of Islamic peoples have been judged on the basis of prohibition

results in countries such as the US.

Since antiquity alcohol has been used not only as a social lubricant,

aperitif and source of pleasure but also as a remedy for many dif-

ferent ailments and diseases ranging from insomnia and indigestion

to heart attacks and as an anesthetic. The list of diseases for which

alcohol was used as a remedy was indeed very long.

The Arabs in Jahilia (pre-Islam) period used alcohol to boost courage

and benevolence. They also used it as a remedy for their ailments

and diseases. There are many Hadiths to show how the new con-

verts tried to convince the Prophet (pbuh) that they used alcohol

only as a remedy, and asked for his permission to continue doing

so. The Prophet (pbuh) emphatically denied the benefits of liquor

as a remedy and clearly mentioned it as a cause of ailment and

disease and not a remedy for any disease.

Muslim, Abu Da’ood and Tirmizi narrate the following Hadith: “A

man called Tariq Al Joofi came to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked

permission to consume liquor (alcohol), the Prophet refused. The

man said: I use it and prescribe it as a medicine. The Prophet (pbuh)

answered: ‘It is a disease and ailment.’”

Another Hadith says that a man called Tariq ibn Swaid Al Hadrami

came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said: “O Messenger of God, In

our land we have vineyards and we make wine and drink.” The

Prophet (PBUH) said: “Stop drinking.” The man proclaimed: “We

use it as a remedy for the sick.” The Prophet said: “It’s no remedy.

It is an illness itself.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Abu Da’ood narrated this Hadith: “God has made for every illness

a cure, but never get your cure by things prohibited.” Al-Bukhari

also narrated a similar Hadith in which the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“God didn’t make your remedy in any of the things prohibited.”




harge of