Claims by the uninformed that Islam is not a religion but an ideology and that therefore the Quran is a political manifesto are plain wrong. Less than 3% of the Qur'an's 6236 verses deal with politics. And how would one define "political"? A frequently cited figure is about 500 verses being "legally relevant.”
Al-Quds, Jerusalem, ca. 1914
Since the Bible is more violent than the Quran, one should address one’s own flock! And tell them that those 500 ’legally relevant’ verses primarily deal with acts of worship, prayer, purification, dietary guidelines with a small percentage dealing with war and crime. fn1
Imam al-Maqdasj and others noted that laws of war and criminal punishment are not to be imagined, let alone practiced by Muslims who reside in places like the West. Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haythami notes that living in such places where one is free to worship is excellent.
And that is the opinion of most classical scholars. Thus the notion that Islam is a political ideology, not a religion and Muslims are ready to take over at any minute is a convenient story pushed by supporters of a toxic populism that needs an enemy to look good.
An axiom held by ancient main-stream scholars of Islam states that Muslims are to live in peace in places that honor their rights to life and liberty. fn1
Islam’s basis are five:
- to witness no one but Allah worthy of worship
- to perform the ritual prayer five times a day
- to give ‘Zakat’ of one’s wealth
- to fast in the month of Ramadan
- to perform Hajj if possible once in life
Then there is Iman (faith) and Ihsan (Excellence).
Articles reexamining apostacy laws are being laid out, encouraging respect for places of worship & expressions of faith.
But of concern is the desire by some that before an American Muslim can be seen as human: as a non-militarized threat, he/she must denounce terror, explain problems occurring in other countries and societies and show that he/she are "domesticated."
Isn't our innocence as citizens, our breath as humans enough? Why do I have to address someone's fears before he can see me as human?
The presumption of humanity is our right, just as it is yours. But to be suspect before we are known is privilege & bigotry used by some Christians & some Whites, embolding them to trample on the object of white fear. fn1
Imam al-Māwardi wrote, "If a person has the ability to express his faith in a country whose majority are not Muslim (land of disbelief), then residence there is better than migration because there is hope (with her/his presence) that others will accept Islām." fn1
وقال الماوردي: إذا قدر على إظهار الدين في بلد من بلاد الكفر، فالإقامة فيها أفضل من الرحلة منها؛ لما يترجى من دخول غيره في الإسلام.
Town in Germany
For further clarification on this, see Ibn Hajar's Fatwā al-Kubrā where he notes that "residence" is the relied opinion of the Imām al-Shāfi's school. Al-Haythami wrote, "Because it accomplishes the greatest goal: spreading faith."
fn1 Imam Suhaib Webb 2015, 2017
In reality a religion has to include three essential elements, without which it does not fulfil its function. These three elements are the following:
- a doctrine (the teachings - intellectual component),
- a rite (the ritual component) and
- a moral, i.e. an ethic, (the social component)
but not any ethical system based on human, rational thought but deriving from the super-human level.
Furthermore religion always includes a moral and a sentimental element because man himself is a being with sentiments. The problem (of religions degenerating) start when this sentimental element takes over, dimming the original teachings of the religion.
From this follows that any religion which lacks one or more of these basic elements has to be rejected. The fact that Islam has preserved all three elements is proof of its authenticity and when it is claimed that Islam reigns supreme, it means that Islam is the summit and summary of the earlier divines messages.
While confirming the original messages of the earlier world religions, Islam remains the only effective way for the spiritual ascent of man, because man is one and the Truth is one.
Beautiful Tree New Zealand
This is a religion that has an open invitation to humanity.
Sh. Hamza Yusuf