Those who know or those who claim to know?
On 13th of January an article titled ‘Will gunmen get me too? Ending terror requires that Islam is reformed, modernized’’ authored by Tasleema Nasreen, in response to Charlie Hebdo incident, was published in Times of India.
A false theory has been circulated that Islam promotes violence and it favours killings. However it is contrary to the actual facts. Qur’an nowhere speaks of violence or of killing. It is the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the highest degree to state that Qur’an directs Muslims to kill infidels. The verses she refers to pertain to war time and can’t be quoted divorced from the historical circumstances which were the immediate causes for their revelations (Asbabe Nazool).
To understand Qur’an we must have the requisite expertise. No Muslim studies Qur’an in isolation and has to rely on the commentaries of the renowned scholars for comprehension. The Qu’ranic verses are the fountainheads of knowledge and an extremely delicate and difficult undertaking for which the Arabic language alone is not enough but a mufassir or commentator of the Qur’an must have vast and deep knowledge of the syntax, etymology, rhetoric, and literature of the Arabic language, as well as, that of prophetic Traditions, sayings of the companions, principles governing jurisprudence and exegesis, doctrinal articles of belief and scholastics.
Even an Arab has to study the Qur’an from a trained person to understand it. This is why the noble Companions, whose mother-tongue was Arabic used to spend long periods of time in learning the Qur’an from the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Umar RA, spent twelve years in learning and meditating over Surah Baqara and Abdullah ibn Umar RA spent eight years to learn it. (Qurtubi).
Great scholars of Quran, who have dedicated their whole lives to the learning and understanding of the Quran, never claim to be its experts and are always eager to learn more, how can a person, by just reading some translations claim to have understood the verses of the Quran and then use the same to mislead people. Why are such people living under such a wrong impression that they are experts enough to give lectures on Quran.
The verses under reference are not instructions to individuals but to well established Muslim governments pertaining to war time. Islam does not ask you to kill innocent people. In fact Qu’ranic clear injunctions are: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.”(Al Qur’an 2:256), And “Say: ‘The truth is from your Lord.’ Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve” (al-Kahf 18:29)
By picking up a verse here and there and quoting the same in support of one’s thoughts is worst kind of deceit and fraud. I wonder wherefrom has the author grasped the meaning with which she is misleading the world and how people are accepting her version. Allah says in Qur’an, “Nay they charge with falsehood that whose knowledge they cannot compass even before the elucidation thereof hath reached them: thus did those before them make charges of falsehood: but see what was the end of those who did wrong!” (Ch. Yunus verse 39)
I do not condone the acts under discussion but the author talks about talent and freedom of speech. But having talent does not mean that you use it for derogating those who have shaped human history. Just imagine a world without prophets, there would have been no morals, no knowledge and no ethics. A barbaric world!