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Black Church News in Virginia

The Ink of the Scholar: Islam is at War with Itself?

By Imam Vernon Fareed

There’s an assertion by some, including the current Republican Presidential candidate that the religion of “Islam is at war with itself.” To refute this notion it is necessary that we take a look at what constitutes Al-Islam, and what would have to happen in order for it to be at war with itself. In order to determine what constitutes any religion you have to first examine its foundation; including its origin, its authoritative sources and its human models. The origin of Al-Islam as religion is rooted in the Abrahamic tradition, and Muslims refer to him as Father Abraham. This patriarch and Messenger of G-d is also referred to by Jews and Christians as Father. So with respect to the origin of Al-Islam it is connected to Prophet Abraham (on him be peace) because of his insistence and belief in ONE G-D, Who is Creator and not creation! To be even more specific this religion traces its roots all the way back to our first Father Adam!

Next the question has to be addressed, “what are the Authoritative sources in the religion of Al-Islam?” There are several Authorities in this within this faith and the highest and most important one is the Qur’an (the final Revelation from G-d to His Messenger Muhammad). The life example and teachings of Muhammad the Prophet is the next authority in the chain, and from here it moves down to the consensus of the good and knowledgeable scholars. Needless to say the chain of authority continues down to those of lesser importance. Lastly Al-Islam has as its best model of excellence, Muhammad the Prophet (the prayers and the peace be on him).

It was important for this foundation to be laid because, to be at war with anything, means being in opposition to that thing. If I’m at war with you, then I am opposing and fighting you. There has to be something that you are doing and standing upon that I take issue with that compels me to be at war with you. This is why it is so important to identify the foundation that Al-Islam stands upon, and then look to see who or what is at war with it? Al-Islam first and foremost is a religion of peace, but it is also one of justice, truth, freedom, logic and many other noble concepts. Putting the concept of abrogation aside the religion has not changed, so it is not at war with itself. The peace that Al-Islam stands upon is not at war with its own principles, nor is it at war with those who conform to its principles to establish and keep that peace. Al-Islam is at war with those that fraudulently claim it but kill, hurt and lie in its name! Certain people and forces are at war with Al-Islam and its adherents (true Muslims), but Al-Islam is not at war with itself. The very nature of peace begs for and pursues more of that with which it finds harmony. Bad interpretations or false expressions of a religion by those claiming to be its adherents does not render that religion at war with itself!

The Revelation of the Qur’an and the life example and teachings of Muhammad the Prophet have always been the major criteria by which the religion of Al-Islam is to be judged. Terrorists and deranged individuals have never been the criteria of this faith and despite their claim they are not representative of it. Whenever questions arise in the religion, Muslims consult the authorities (mentioned above) in seeking resolution and understanding. The war that (true) Muslims and the Religion of Al-Islam are engaged in is with falsehood, corruption and those that disturb the peace!

Note: The spelling of “G-d” in this article is not a typo, it is intentional. We have a serious issue when the reverse spelling for the Name of the Great Creator is “Dog” and this is our way of drawing attention to it.

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