Saturday, July 3, 2010


If we read Quran between the lines, we will come across eloquent passages breathing a spirit of universal toleration and harmony.It is an embodiment of the rich contents of the Prophet's mind,as well as of the loftiness of his spiritual genius.It is really an insult to human wisdom to suppose that Prophet of Islam did actually advocate compulsion in religion. The verses quoted below from Quran constitute proofs positive of his catholicity and friendliness towards the religions of others. The Quran says: 'If thy Lord had pleased,verily all who are in earth would be loved together. What! Whilt thou compel men to become believers?' Say thou:'I worship not that ye worship,and ye do not worship that which I worship;neither shall I worship what ye worship;neither ye worship what I worship;to you be your religion;to me my religion'.'Revile not those whom they call on beside God,lest they, in their ignorance, despitefuly revile Him.Thus have we planned out their actions for every people;then shall they return to their Lord,and He will declare to them what those actions have been.' 'Verily, they who believe, they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians,and the Sabeites, whoever of these doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord;fear shall not come upon them, neither shall be grieved'.'And if God had pleased,He had surely made you all one people; but He would test you by what He hath given to each.Be emulous, then , in good deeds.To God shall ye all return, and He will tell you concerning the subject of disputes'.'To everyone of you have we given a rule and a beaten track'.'Our God and your God are one God and after Him we all strive'.
Indeed,what stronger and more convincing testimony is needed to demonstrate the universalism in Islam-the freedom extended in Quran to every man to follow his own convictions in matters religious? The illustrious Persian poet Sanai has also sung to the same tune:'Islam and the faiths other than Islam follow Thee,O Lord,when they declare that there is no god but God'.Even the beautiful song of the celebrated Urdu poet Zafar expresses the same sentiment: 'Angels and men, Hindus and Mussalmans, thou , O Lord,hast created according to Thy sweet will.Everyone bows to Thee, for it is Thou who art worshiped everywhere- in the Caaba, in the mosque,or in the temple. Thou art omnipresent.Every heart is a dwelling place,and Thou art the dweller. There is no heart where Thou abidest not. Thou dost abide equally in all hearts, for Thou art all that exist in the universe'.So does another Urdu bard sing:
'Only names differ,Beloved!
All forsooth are but the same.
Both the ocean and the dew-drop,
But one living liquid frame.


*Remembering Kalam Vellimadu who gave me the Quran for the first time, E. Moidu Maulavi Sahib who taught me the depth of Urdu language, and friends Abdur Rehman Kutty,Syed Alavi Sahib,Nazar.

*Quotations from Quran (Translated from the Arabic by Rev.J.M.Rodwell)

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