THE SRI LANKA CHURCH BOMBINGS ARE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT PROPHET MUHAMMAD INTENDED | OPINION

By Dr. Craig Considine

Newsweek (April 23, 2019)

The Sri Lankan government has identified the National Tawheed Jamath, a local extremist outfit, as the group behind the devastating bombings on Easter Sunday. The deadly series of blasts ended over 300 lives and destroyed several churches.

The National Tawheed Jamath is a relatively unknown organization, but documents shown to various news agencies noted that Sri Lanka’s police chief issued a warning on April 11, stating that a “foreign intelligence agency” had reported that the group was planning attacks on Christians, particularly their churches. Rajitha Senaratne, a Sri Lankan government spokesperson, also said that investigators were exploring whether the group had “international support.”

The violent targeting of Christians and their sacred places of worship brings into focus the Covenants of Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. This set of treaties between Muhammad, the early Muslim community, and the Christians in their midst highlight an approach that is inarguably the polar opposite of the deadly actions carried out by the National Tawheed Jamath.

One of the Covenants between Muhammad and the Christians of his time, the Covenant with the Christian Monks of Mount Sinai, has been featured by 60 Minutes in its visit to Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. The Covenant with the Sinai Monks explicitly mentions that “no building from among their churches shall be destroyed… Whoever does such a thing violates Allah’s covenant and dissents from the Messenger of Allah.”

The Covenant with the Christians of Najran is also critical in light of the attacks on Christians and their churches in Sri Lanka. Like the Covenant with the Sinai Monks, the agreement with the Christians of Najran reflects Prophet Muhammad’s pluralistic views towards Christians and Christianity as a whole. Muhammad made it clear to the Christian Najrans that he will commit himself “to support them, to place their persons under [his] protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of the anchorites, wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert.”

Prophet Muhammad’s direct interactions with the Christian Najrans also show why the National Tawheed Jamat’s actions are the antithesis of Muhammad’s vision for Christians living in a predominantly Muslim community. Muhammad had invited the Christians of Najran, a town located in southern Saudi Arabia, to visit his mosque in Medina. Upon their arrival Muhammad, his companions, and the Christian delegation from Najran discussed various matters including Muhammad’s leadership, the structure of the first “Muslim state,” as well as the similarities and differences between the Islamic and Christian faiths. The Muslims and Christians did not agree on the theological premises of their respective religious traditions, but the two communities engaged with each other in a civil and constructive manner. Once their dialogue was completed, Muhammad did something quite remarkable.

The Christians of Najran had requested permission to exit the door of Muhammad’s mosque in Medina to carry out their prayers. When Muhammad had noticed that the Christians were leaving the mosque to pray outside, he had cordially requested that they come back inside the mosque to pray to the God of Abraham. The Christians accepted the invitation. The Najrans praying inside the Prophet’s mosque in Medina is recognized by scholars as one of the first examples of Christian-Muslim bridge building.

By inviting the Christians of Najran to pray inside the Medina mosque, Muhammad had transcended mere religious tolerance of Christians. He had entered into the realm of religious pluralism, or the energetic engagement of religious diversity that is based on the principles of interfaith dialogue, genuine education across religious communities, interreligious civic commitments, and interfaith community building.

Put another way, the grotesque actions by the National Tawheed Jamath are the opposite of Muhammad’s vision for Muslims living in a diverse world. Christians that believe Islam is inherently intolerant of Christianity would also be wise to review the Covenants in the hope of building a more pluralistic and peaceful world.

Dr. Craig Considine is based at the Department of Sociology at Rice University. Considine is the author of Islam in America: Exploring the Issues (ABC-CLIO Summer 2019), and Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora (Routledge, 2017,) among other titles. 

En Elogio de los Reyes: Una Condena a los Clérigos de la Corte

Image result for mehdi ben barka

Dedicado a los Mártires del 22 y 23 de Marzo de 1965

Dedicado a las familias de los mártires que perdieron sus hijos y su futuro

Dedicado a las familias que nunca recibieron los restos de sus seres queridos

A la memoria del mártir Mehdi Ben Barka, el Frantz Fanon, Che Guevara y Malcolm X de Marruecos

Por Jihad Jones

Musulmanes Por La Paz (6 de abril de 2019)

“Fue adornado para la gente el amor por las pasiones: las mujeres, los hijos, la acumulación de oro y plata por quintales y los caballos de raza, los ganados y los campos de cultivo. Esos son los placeres de la vida en este mundo. Pero junto a Dios está el mejor destino (de retorno).” (C. 3:14)

Hamza Yusuf cree en la monarquía constitucional. Es su sistema preferido de gobierno. Alaba a los reyes como un canario en una jaula de oro. Los soberanos son sus musas. Como un bardo medieval, compone odas en honor de los monarcas de Marruecos, Jordania, los Emiratos Árabes Unidos e incluso Arabia Saudita. Es un clérigo de la corte que ama retozar con los reyes. Incluso ladra en su defensa como el perro leal sujeto con una correa.

Hamza Yusuf cree que la monarquía constitucional equilibra tanto la autoridad espiritual como el poder temporal. En una entrevista manifestó: “los reyes no son susceptibles a la corrupción como los pobres o los nuevos ricos. Los reyes no tienen hambre. Tienen todo, así que no necesitan nada.”

“Los reyes no tienen hambre.” Esto seguramente se convertirá en una cita clásica que se repetirá en los siglos venideros como un ejemplo de la sabiduría sufí americana del siglo XXI. La afirmación de que los reyes no son susceptibles a la corrupción transmite la ingenuidad de un bobo. La codicia aumenta la codicia. La sed de poder y riqueza que existe entre los monarcas es insaciable. Están constantemente buscando métodos para aumentar sus riquezas. ¿Por qué ser dueño de un país si puedes ser dueño del mundo?

En 2019, ocho personas poseen tanta riqueza como la mitad de la población mundial. Hace nueve años, tal riqueza estaba en manos de cuarenta y tres personas. Es evidente que los ultra ricos siguen concentrando cada vez más riqueza en un número de manos cada vez menor. Hay quienes desean comer las sobras de los superricos y lamer las migajas de sus mesas que caen al suelo. Hay otros, sin embargo, que desean volcar sus mesas, devolver las riquezas a sus legítimos dueños y dar a los monarcas los que les corresponde.

La Casa Saud está valorada en 1,7 billones de dólares. La Familia Real de Kuwait en unos 360.000 millones de dólares. La riqueza de la familia real de Qatar se calcula en 335 millones de dólares. La familia real de Abu Dhabi maneja unos150.000 millones de dólares. Se estima que la familia real británica posee unos 88.000 millones de dólares. La familia real de Marruecos unos 20.000 millones de dólares. Son algunos del 1% dueños de la mayor parte del mundo. Nosotros, el 99% restante, tenemos el derecho y el deber de oponernos a ellos, erradicarlos y asegurar la redistribución justa y equitativa de la riqueza. Como dijo el Imán Ali: “Cuando veas a un hombre que no tiene nada, ten por seguro que alguien ha robado su parte.” Dios Todopoderoso ha proporcionado una parte de sustento para cada alma. Quienes no la tienen, fueron desposeídos de la misma.

Si bien los seres humanos tienen derecho a tierras y propiedades legítimamente adquiridas, no tienen derecho a convertir en sus pertenencias naciones enteras. El Mensajero de Dios advirtió: “Quienquiera que se apodere ilegalmente de (aunque más no sea) un palmo de tierra, un collar de siete (palmos de) tierra colgará de su cuello (en el Más Allá)” (Bujari y Muslim). El Rey de Marruecos, sin embargo, posee y controla gran parte de la tierra, los recursos naturales y la economía del país. Lo mismo puede decirse de las realezas en el Golfo.

Los monarcas de la península arábiga no han considerado al petróleo desde su descubrimiento propiedad del pueblo y de la nación sino propiedad personal. Dios Todopoderoso los describe en el Glorioso Corán: “En verdad, Dios hará entrar a quienes creen y realizan buenas obras en Jardines de cuyas profundidades brotan ríos y quienes no creen disfrutan y comen como come el ganado y el lugar para ellos será el Fuego” (47:12). Son los que “consumen… la riqueza de la gente injustamente…” (2:188; 4:29). Son los que “se comen, sin derecho, los bienes de la gente y les apartan del camino de Dios” (9:34). Son los que “atesoran el oro y la plata y no los gastan por la causa de Dios” (9:35). Son aquellos “que no respetan los límites impuestos por Dios” (2:229). Son aquellos que “aman ardientamente a los bienes terrenales” (100:8). Son los faraones de nuestro tiempo.

Aunque Mohammed VI de Marruecos se presenta a sí mismo como el “Rey de los Pobres” y Mohammed Ben Salman de Arabia Saudita se jacta de que “gasto al menos el 51 por ciento en la población y el 49 por ciento en mí,” el porcentaje microscópico de dinero que invierten en sus ciudadanos no puede ser presentado como un acto de caridad, ya que su riqueza mal nacida pertenece, antes que nada, a la gente. Lo poco que se escurre, simplemente, vuelve a sus legítimos dueños. Las fortunas de las familias reales del mundo son intrínsecamente inmorales. La riqueza de las realezas es obscena. Su estilo de vida es abusivo. La magnitud de su codicia y avaricia sería incomprensible a los ojos de los piratas. Su libertinaje es legendario y hace que la corrupción descrita en “Las Mil y Una Noches” resulte de poca monta en comparación.

Afirma Hamza Yusuf con astucia: “Si un rey es bueno, criará a sus hijos para que sean buenos.” Pero la realidad es que los reyes son malos. Siguiendo la lógica del Sr. Hanson, “Si un rey es malo, criará a sus hijos para que sean malos.” Como lo demuestra la historia, la monarquía, en manos de cualquiera que no sea un profeta infalible, es una forma intrínsecamente malvada de gobierno. Tal es el consenso de la mayor parte de la humanidad cuando se trata de la monarquía hereditaria. ¿Dónde ha estado el Sr. Hanson durante los últimos doscientos años de la historia occidental? Las monarquías fueron abolidas por razones bien fundadas. Fueron reemplazadas por repúblicas y democracias, sistemas de gobierno que no son del gusto de Hamza Yusuf.

Si el Sr. Hanson prefiere a los monarcas árabes, persas y asiáticos y no a las democracias parlamentarias, hay que preguntarse dónde ha estado durante los últimos 1400 años de historia islámica. El Califato de los cuatro primeros Califas no era ciertamente una monarquía parlamentaria. Las dinastías que siguieron ―omeyas, abásidas y otomanas― no fueron monarquías parlamentarias. Ninguna de ellas es fuente de inspiración adecuada para nuestros días. Si los islamistas están atrapados en el siglo VII, Hamza Yusuf parece estar varado en el siglo XVII. Sus opiniones políticas no nos llevan hacia delante sino hacia atrás.

Desconcierta que Hamza Yusuf apoye a la monarquía teniendo en cuenta la objeción del Profeta Muhammad a ese modelo político. El Mensajero de Dios predijo:

Habrá Profecía mientras Dios lo desee y la suprimirá cuando Él quiera. Luego vendrá el Califato según el método Profético y existirá mientras Él quiera. Luego habrá monarquías intransigentes mientras Él quiera. Después habrá realeza opresiva mientras Él quiera. Y luego (reaparecerá) el Califato según el método Profético. (Ahmad)

La monarquía, según el Mensajero de Dios, era el producto de una desviación, algo aberrante y una perversión del modelo profético. Declaró explícitamente que las monarquías que seguirían al califato primitivo serían opresivas y que, en última instancia, tendrían que ser derrocadas por la voluntad de Dios. Lo que se aplica al futuro, se aplica al presente y se basa en el pasado. Dios Todopoderoso deja claro en el Glorioso Corán que pueblos, ciudades y civilizaciones fueron destruidos porque pusieron el poder en manos de los ricos (11:102; 18:59; 21:11; 28:59; 35:45): “Cuando queremos destruir una ciudad, damos órdenes a los favorecidos de ella y entonces ellos transgreden” (17:16).

Según Hamza Yusuf, “Tenemos un gran ejemplo en Marruecos. El Rey en Marruecos proviene de una familia buena, estimada y pura. Ama a su pueblo y este lo ama a él.” Por moderado que pueda parecer en comparación con las dictaduras militares, las repúblicas autocráticas y las monarquías totalitarias del mundo musulmán, el Reino de Marruecos no es un modelo digno de emulación. Mohammed VI, y su padre Hassan II, pueden parecer delincuentes menores cuando se los compara con el Shah de Irán y Saddam Hussein. Pero no dejan de serlo.

Mohammed V no fue colocado en el poder por su pueblo sino por los franceses. Aunque Marruecos fue históricamente un protectorado francés bajo la figura de Sultanato y no un reino, Mohammed V adoptó el título de Malik o Rey en 1957 y siguiendo el consejo que los franceses dieron a sus antecesores, también adoptó el título de Amir al-Mu’minin o Líder de los Creyentes. Según el Boletín Oficial del 20 de septiembre de 1979, el Rey de Marruecos es el titular de la autoridad legítima, la sombra de Dios en la tierra, y su brazo secular en el mundo. Tal es la autoridad que se confiere al rey de Marruecos a través de la ceremonia de juramento de lealtad.

Mohammed V fue puesto en el poder por los franceses primero entre 1923 y 1953 y luego entre 1955 y 1957 en un momento en que los pueblos colonizados de todo el mundo estaban afirmando su independencia. Incapaz de frenar la ola popular, los franceses decidieron poner a un surfista servil sobre ella, lo que les permitió mantener el control y la influencia en Marruecos después de su aparente independencia. Aunque la mayoría de los activistas marroquíes de la época eran defensores de las repúblicas democráticas, nacionalistas, socialistas y socialistas, el movimiento independentista fue cooptado por monárquicos pro-occidentales, quienes enseguida aplastarían despiadadamente a los defensores de los modelos políticos participativos.

Cuando Hassan II llegó al poder en 1961, marcó el comienzo de décadas de opresión, persecución política y violaciones de los derechos humanos que se conocieron como los Años de Plomo. Esto se vio facilitado por el hecho de que la CIA había reorganizado las fuerzas de seguridad de Marruecos. En 1962 redactó una constitución que puso todo el poder en manos de la monarquía. En 1965 disolvió el Parlamento y gobernó como dictador. En marzo de 1965 se anunció que al 60% de los jóvenes que habían terminado el colegio secundario se les negaría el derecho al segundo ciclo de la educación secundaria. Como resultado, casi 15.000 estudiantes se reunieron para protestar pacíficamente contra los planes en Casablanca el 22/3/1965. La respuesta del régimen fue brutal, con policías abriendo fuego contra los manifestantes sin ser provocados y enterrando rápidamente a los asesinados durante la noche.

Los estudiantes indignados por la brutalidad injustificada del régimen continuaron la protesta el día siguiente de manera más agresiva como una respuesta natural a la violencia desatada por la monarquía. Esta vez Hassan II, que según se informó comandó las operaciones directamente desde el puerto, movilizó al ejército junto con la policía: 400 camiones del ejército y 20 tanques entraron en la vecindad de Casablanca en el núcleo de la protesta, mientras que las barricadas con ametralladoras bloquearon todas las salidas. Los estudiantes indefensos y desarmados fueron rodeados y preparados para la matanza. El Rey y sus compinches estaban decididos a dar un gran escarmiento.

Marguerite Rollinde relata en “Le Mouvement marocain des droits de l’homme:” “La represión fue inmediata… El general Ufkir no dudó en ametrallar a la multitud desde un helicóptero. Los tanques tardaron dos días en acabar con los últimos manifestantes. Las bajas fueron muy altas. Dos mil personas fueron juzgadas por los tribunales.” Aunque las autoridades afirmaron que sólo una docena de personas murieron como resultado de la represión, la prensa extranjera y los activistas de la UNFP (Unión Nacional de Fuerzas Populares) junto con eruditos como Omar Brousky y Jean-François Clément hablan de más de mil víctimas, todas las cuales fueron enterradas en fosas comunes. Los tribunales juzgaron a miles de activistas: la mitad recibió condenas.

Con sus mil víctimas, la masacre de Casablanca de 1965, cometida bajo el mando de Hassan II de Marruecos, coloca a sus perpetradores en la categoría de criminales de guerra. Hassan II no se enfrentaba con un golpe de estado dirigido por comunistas, fascistas o takfiristas quienes querían imponer un sistema totalitario en Marruecos. Hassan II masacró a más de mil estudiantes y gente de bajos recursos por el único delito de haber exigido el derecho a una educación secundaria completa. Si bien la historia de la represión en otros países musulmanes ha girado en torno a los terroristas y fascistas takfiristas, en Marruecos se dirigió contra los disidentes prodemocráticos que exigían derechos humanos fundamentales, civiles y universales.

Por si fuera poco, la gloria de Hassan II es el hecho de que avisó a la inteligencia israelí sobre la inminente Guerra de los Seis Días en 1967. Según los israelíes, fue gracias al rey de Marruecos que ganaron la guerra. De hecho, hasta el momento de su muerte en 1999, Hassan II hizo de Marruecos la puerta trasera de Israel e incluso les permitió establecer cuarteles generales diplomáticos en el Reino. Siendo proamericano y pro-sionista, fue visto por Occidente como un “dictador amistoso.” Después de todo, los únicos dictadores que Occidente se niega a tolerar son aquellos que defienden la soberanía de sus naciones y desean invertir sus recursos en su propia gente, infraestructura y economías.

A veces me pregunto si no será que cuando Hamza Yusuf era adolescente recibió “Tarjetas de Presentación de algún Dictador Amigable” para futuros negocios. En una de las que poseo del rey Hassan II podemos leer:

“Al igual que su antiguo aliado, el sha de Irán, el rey Hassan II de Marruecos no se ahorra ningún deleite terrenal. Tiene siete palacios principales; 260 caballos en uno de sus muchos establos; aloja la mayoría de sus camellos, avestruces y cebras con sus 945 cabezas de ganado en su granja lechera de 1500 acres y posee un par de harenes. Mientras tanto, la tasa de desempleo en Marruecos es superior al 20% y el 85% de la población vive en la pobreza extrema, refugiándose en chozas improvisadas en las ciudades cada vez más pobladas del país.”

“Citando dudosos lazos históricos, en 1975 Hassan II llevó a su nación a una guerra en el Sahara Occidental que cuesta al país más de un millón de dólares por día. Aunque la Corte Internacional de Justicia dictaminó que Marruecos no tiene derechos históricos sobre el territorio, Estados Unidos sigue apoyando diplomática y financieramente a Hassan II en su guerra para anexar el área. Estados Unidos también desempeña un papel activo para detener los intentos de golpe de estado contra el Rey. Según un disidente, la CIA le dio a Hassan II una cinta de video que le permitió atrapar a los conspiradores antes del hecho. El favor fue devuelto cuando Hassan II visitó Washington en 1982, donde acordó con el presidente Reagan que Estados Unidos podría usar a Marruecos como base de emergencia para sus aviones.”

Durante el gobierno de Hassan II, los opositores políticos fueron acosados, amenazados, encarcelados y desaparecidos. Cientos fueron asesinados. Miles y miles fueron enviados a prisiones secretas. Según fuentes fidedignas, más de 60.000 personas fueron torturadas bajo el gobierno de Hassan II, el degenerado sexual que mantenía un harén con más de cincuenta concubinas ―las mayores de las cuales tenían diecisiete años de edad― y poseía más de tres mil sirvientes que atendían cada uno de sus caprichos.

¿Esta es la “buena familia” que Hamza Yusuf admira? ¿Este es el “ejemplo” marroquí que el Sr. Hanson quiere poner en un pedestal como modelo para los musulmanes? ¿Esta es la familia “pura” a la que alaba? Una familia gobernante que ha explotado al pueblo marroquí durante generaciones, sin escatimar placer ni lujo mundano, mientras que millones de sus súbditos sufren en la pobreza. Una familia gobernante que es responsable de la muerte de miles y la tortura de decenas de miles. ¿Cómo se atreve Hamza Yusuf en amar y elogiar a la familia alauita de Marruecos? Es posible que rel actual sea mejor que su padre. A comparado a otros líderes musulmanes, es muy moderado. No cabe duda que algunos de sus proyectos son excelentes. Sin embargo, esto no cambia el hecho que ha usurpado las riquezas y los recursos de una nación entera como su propiedad privada. Y no cambio el hecho que algunas de sus políticas son terribles, que gobierna de manera autocrática y que niega a su pueblo derechos fundamentales.

Mohammed VI, el actual rey de Marruecos desde 1999, fue la encarnación de la esperanza para la mayoría de los marroquíes que confiaron en la paciencia y la constancia para soportar el brutal gobierno de Hassan II. Se hicieron muchas promesas pero, después de casi veinte años, es evidente que pocas de ellas se cumplieron. En efecto, en 2004 se creó una Comisión de Equidad y Reconciliación para investigar las violaciones de los derechos humanos cometidas durante el reinado de Hassan II. Si bien para muchos marroquíes ha sido catártico admitir los crímenes y abordarlos públicamente, no se ha llevado ante la justicia a ningún culpable. Solo se pagaron algunas compensaciones. No puede existir paz ni reconciliación sin justicia.

Las heridas de la violación de los derechos civiles y humanos en Marruecos no se han curado. Y aunque esos derechos humanos han mejorado gradualmente bajo Mohammed VI, los observadores han observado un retroceso precipitado en los últimos años. Hubo aumento en las detenciones arbitrarias de activistas sociales, de derechos humanos y periodistas. La libertad de expresión y de asociación es limitada. Las personas detenidas por la policía y el aparato de seguridad son objeto de abusos y malos tratos rutinarios. Y aunque la tortura oficialmente es ilegal y se afirma que ya no es una práctica sistemática, se siguen denunciando casos.

Para Hamza Yusuf, los musulmanes no tienen derecho a rebelarse contra sus líderes por muy opresivos que sean. Para Hamza Yusuf, los musulmanes no tienen derecho a producir una revolución. En sus palabras: “No aceptamos ninguna rebelión (khurūj) contra nuestros líderes o nuestros asuntos públicos aunque sean opresivos. Esta es la ‘aqīdah (creencia) de los musulmanes.”

¿Qué clase de Islam es este que se pone del lado de los opresores en lugar de los oprimidos? Si esto es “Islam” puede irse al infierno ya que es un Islam del Tío Tom y de los esclavos sumisos. No es un Islam que atraiga a los pueblos indígenas y a los afrodescendientes de las Américas. No es un Islam que se dirige a los condenados de la tierra. No se trata de un Islam que atiende los derechos de los seres humanos sino que les priva de ellos, siendo el más importante el de la libertad: la libertad frente a la tiranía y la opresión. Como dijo el Imán Ali: “No seas esclavo de los demás cuando Dios te creó libre.”

Hamza Yusuf elogia la monarquía jordana, la monarquía de los emiratos, la monarquía marroquí e incluso la monarquía saudí: “He visto lo mismo con Al Saud, pero a menudo están rodeados de gente mala.” Ah, sí…. son buenas personas porque tienen buenos padres… El único problema es que están rodeados de gente mala. Llamémoslo “presión de grupo.”

Y si realmente los musulmanes no tienen derecho a resistir, ¿por qué Hamza Yusuf apoyó, animó e incitó verbalmente a los insurgentes teroristas que se rebelaron contra el gobierno de Bashar al-Assad en Siria? ¿Son sólo los marroquíes, los kuwaitíes, los emiratíes, los qataríes, los bahreiníes, los omaníes, los habitantes de Brunei y los saudíes los que se ven privados del derecho a la rebelión? Y si los musulmanes no tienen derecho a rebelarse contra sus líderes, aunque sean opresores, ¿entonces el Imam Husein cometió un pecado al oponerse a Yazid? ¿Y qué hay de sus amadas monarquías árabes creadas por los británicos? ¿No se rebelaron contra el Imperio Otomano?

Si este es la aqīdah (la creencia) de los musulmanes, es la aqīdah de la idiotez. Es un conjunto de creencias que sirve a los intereses de los opresores. Es una teología de la sumisión y la subyugación. Es el tipo de religión que se enseñaba a los esclavos. Es una inversión diabólica de la teología de la liberación espiritual, psicológica, religiosa, sociopolítica y económica del Profeta Muhammad. Y aunque no faltan tradiciones en las fuentes sunitas, junto con un número menor de shiitas, que exigen la sumisión incondicional a los sultanes, todas ellas son falsificaciones patentadas por los “Tío ‘Abdullah ‘ulama,” los vendidos eruditos del Islam y los siervos de Satanás. Son hijos de la esclavitud porque “Han tomado a sus doctores de la ley y a sus sacerdotes por sus señores en lugar de Dios” (9:31).

Por mucho que los malhechores deseen extender las tinieblas y apagar la luz de Dios, la verdad brilla a través de la falsedad. En consecuencia, un gran número de tradiciones auténticas que apoyan el derecho a la resistencia han sobrevivido en los libros canónicos de tradiciones proféticas. De hecho, cuando el Profeta envió a su Compañero Mu‘adh al Yemen, donde lo representaría, le advirtió: “Cuídate de la súplica de los oprimidos, pues no hay ninguna barrera entre ellos y Dios” (Bujari y Muslim). El Profeta también declaró que había tres personas cuyas súplicas nunca eran rechazadas. Una era “la del oprimido pues se eleva sobre las nubes y se le abren las puertas del cielo” (Tirmidhi).

El Mensajero de Dios prohibió a los musulmanes cometer injusticias. Dijo: “Protéjanse de la injusticia porque esta será oscuridad en el Día de la Resurrección” (Muslim). El Profeta de Dios prohibió a los musulmanes oprimir a otros musulmanes: “Un musulmán es hermano de otro musulmán. No debe oprimirlo ni abandonarlo (es decir, cuando está siendo oprimido)” (Bujari y Muslim). El Profeta ordenó: “Apoyen a los oprimidos” (al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib).

El Mensajero de Dios advirtió a los eruditos en contra de socializar con los ricos y poderosos. “Dios Todopoderoso se enoja con el que exhibe respeto por el rico y lo considera bueno por la codicia que siente por su riqueza. Lo pondrá en una jaula de fuego en la parte más baja del Infierno” (‘Amili). Sijo el Mensajero de Dios: “Quien alabe a un rey tirano o exhiba humildad debido a la codicia (por sus recompensas), estará en el Infierno con él” (‘Amili). Asimismo: “Siempre que un transgresor es alabado, los cielos tiemblan y la Ira Divina envuelve al que lo haya hecho” (Qummi).

El Mensajero de Dios ordenó a los musulmanes: “Ayudad a vuestro hermano, sea opresor u oprimido.” Como esto parece contradictorio, se le preguntó cómo era posible. El Profeta respondió: “Cogiendo su mano” (Bukhari y Muslim). Al prevenir la opresión, se evita que el opresor siga pecando y se salva al oprimido de su opresión. El Mensajero de Dios advirtió: “Cuando la gente ve a un opresor pero no le impide (hacer el mal), es probable que Dios castigue a todos” (Abu Dawud y Tirmidhi).

En cuanto a los eruditos que argumentan lo contrario, sería prudente recordar las palabras de Sa‘id al-Musayyib ―Dios se apiade de él―, quien advirtió: “Si encuentras a un erudito religioso que permanece constantemente con príncipes, considéralo un ladrón.” Advirtió Abu Hamid al-Ghazali: “No te mezcles con los príncipes y los sultanes y evita verlos. Porque verlos, sentarte y mezclarte con ellos es muy malo. Y si te ves obligado a hacerlo, evita alabarlos y elogiarlos porque Dios ―el Sublime― se enoja cuando se alaba a un opresor y a un hombre impío.”

Cuando Amadou Bamba, el fundador de la orden sufi Muridiyyah, fue invitado a vivir a la puerta de los sultanes, respondió: “Solo Dios me basta y estoy contento con Él. Solo codicio el conocimiento y mi Din. No suplico ni temo excepto a mi Rey porque solo el Todopoderoso puede enriquecerme y salvarme. Mis circunstancias son la de esos que se encuentran indefensos, como los desdichados humildes.”

Llamémoslos ladrones, llamémoslos oportunistas, llamémoslos materialistas…. Yo los llamo traidores, impostores espirituales y mercaderes de la religión. Son los fariseos del Islam. El Mensajero de Dios enseñó que apoyar a los opresores es uno de los mayores pecados. Efectivamente, durante su Viaje Nocturno Dios Todopoderoso le dijo: “No seas un ayudante de los opresores” (‘Amili). El Profeta puntualizó: “Quien ora por la larga vida de un opresor es como si le gustara que en la Tierra se opongan a Dios” (Ansari). En otra tradición el Profeta advierte: “Quien ayude conscientemente a un opresor, ha apostatado del Islam” (Ansari).

Por mucho que las palabras del Profeta tengan autoridad, las de Dios son de mayor peso. Dijo Dios Todopoderoso en un dicho sagrado: “Oh siervos Míos, he prohibido la injusticia para Mí y la he prohibido entre vosotros, así que no os oprimáis unos a otros” (Muslim). Y Él exhorta en el Glorioso Corán: “no os inclinéis hacia los opresores” (11:113) y “no colaboréis en el pecado y la agresión” (5:2).

Dice Dios Todopoderoso en el Glorioso Corán: “¡Oh, los que creéis! Vuestra responsabilidad es cuidar de vuestras propias almas” (5:105). Es decir, les cabe la responsabilidad de hacerse cargo del propio destino cuando hay una causa justa y un método justo. Y por más que los musulmanes sean llamados a ser pacientes, tolerantes y perdonadores, eso tiene sus límites. Dios Todopoderoso establece en el Glorioso Corán:

Quienes tienen fe y confían en su Señor …. cuando sufren una injusticia, un ultraje, se ayudan entre sí. La recompensa del mal es un mal semejante. Así pues, quien perdone y corrija el mal será recompensado por Dios. En verdad, Él no ama a los opresores. Y quienes se defiendan tras haber sido oprimidos no serán censurados.  En verdad, la censura es para quienes oprimen a las gentes y van agrediendo en la Tierra sin derecho. Ellos tendrán un castigo doloroso. Y ser pacientes y perdonar es señal de quienes poseen una gran firmeza [es decir, son parte de los que buscan el premio de Dios]. (Corán, 42:36-43)

Si los oprimidos se levantan contra los opresores, no se los puede condenar. El Corán es claro a este respecto: “En verdad, la censura es para quienes oprimen a las gentes y van agrediendo en la Tierra sin derecho. Ellos tendrán un castigo doloroso” (Corán 42:41-42). Dios Todopoderoso promete: “En verdad, Nosotros hemos preparado para los opresores un Fuego cuyas paredes les cercarán. Y si imploran ayuda se les auxiliará con un agua como cobre fundido que les abrasará el rostro. ¡Qué mala bebida y qué mal lugar de reposo!” (18:29).

El castigo de los que ayudan a los opresores es una promesa que se cumplirá. Comunicó el Profeta: “Si una persona da al rey tirano un bastón para que golpee al oprimido, Dios cambiará el bastón por una serpiente de setenta mil metros de largo, y lo pondrá en el fuego del infierno (para atormentarlo)” (‘Amili). El Mensajero de Dios alertó:

“A quienes toman los asuntos de los opresores en sus manos y los ayudan en la opresión, el angel de la muerte les transmitirá al momento de fallecer la maldición Divina y las noticias del fuego del Infierno. Y el infierno es un mal lugar. El que guía al opresor será considerado igual que Hamān (el ministro de Faraón). Y el castigo de los que ayudan a los injustos y a los opresores será más grave que otros castigos de los moradores del Infierno” (‘Amili).

¡Aléjense de los Reyes! ¡Aléjense de los sultanes! Sean pastores para las ovejas, no amigos de los lobos! Dios está en todas partes. Nunca estamos solos. ¡Arrepiéntanse y actúen correctamente! ¡Arrepiéntanse y actúen correctamente!

Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad Llaman al Respeto y la Coexistencia Pacífica con los Cristianos

Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad Llaman al Respeto y la Coexistencia Pacífica con los Cristianos

Por: Dr. Halim Rane, Profesor Asociado de Estudios Islámicos en la Universidad Griffith de Australia

Musulmanes Por La Paz (6 de abril de 2019)

Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad fueron escritos después de su migración en 622 a Yathrib (Medina) desde La Meca, donde él y sus compañeros sufrieron una intensa persecución que iba desde el ridículo público hasta el asalto físico y la tortura, así como el ostracismo del clan de Muhammad. Algunos de los que se convirtieron en musulmanes en La Meca se vieron obligados a buscar refugio a través del Mar Rojo bajo la protección del reino cristiano de Axum en Abisinia (Etiopía). No deberían subestimarse las estrechas relaciones y conexiones del Profeta Muhammad con los cristianos, incluidos el rey cristiano de Askum Negus Al-Najashi, Bahira el monje que conoció en un viaje a Siria cuando era joven y el primo de su esposa Khadija, Waraqa ibn Nawfal, a quien consultó al recibir la primera revelación del Corán en el año 610.

Después de emigrar de La Meca a Medina, Muhammad recibió una revelación que permitía a los musulmanes, por primera vez, defenderse contra la continua agresión de los politeístas de La Meca:

Se ha dado permiso a quienes son atacados, por haber sido oprimidos. Y, en verdad, Dios tiene poder para auxiliarles. Aquellos que han sido expulsados de sus hogares sin derecho, solo por haber dicho «Dios es nuestro Señor.» Y si Dios no hubiera defendido a unas personas por medio de otras, habrían sido destruidos monasterios, iglesias, sinagogas y mezquitas, en las que se menciona mucho el nombre de Dios. Ciertamente, Dios auxilia a quienes Le auxilian. En verdad, Dios es fuerte, poderoso. (Corán, 22:39-40)

El segundo de estos dos versículos es muy significativo, ya que hace un llamamiento a los musulmanes para que defiendan también los lugares de culto cristianos y judíos. Esto indica que el Islam no pretendía ser exclusivista sino defender el derecho de las diversas comunidades religiosas a coexistir pacíficamente. Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad proporcionan una expresión aún más detallada de la invocación del Corán a proteger monasterios, iglesias, sinagogas y mezquitas (Corán 22:40).

Cuando el profeta Muhammad se instaló en Medina, formalizó sus ya fuertes, pacíficas y respetuosas relaciones con sus compañeros monoteístas. Escribió la llamada Carta de Medina en la que se esbozaban los derechos y responsabilidades de las diversas tribus árabes y judías de la ciudad a la vez que se afirmaba que todas pertenecían a una sola comunidad (ummah). Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad son una extensión de su promesa, en nombre de Dios, de proteger los derechos de los que estaban fuera de Medina ―las comunidades cristianas, judías y otras monoteístas― y defender su derecho a vivir en paz y seguridad. El-Wakil ofrece el siguiente resumen del contenido de los Pactos en general:

1. Los musulmanes protegerán las iglesias y los monasterios de los cristianos. No derribarán ninguna propiedad de la iglesia para construir mezquitas o para construir casas para los musulmanes;

2. Todas las propiedades eclesiásticas de los cristianos estarán exentas de cualquier tipo de impuesto;

3. Ninguna autoridad eclesiástica se verá obligada por los musulmanes a abandonar su puesto;

4. Ningún cristiano será forzado por los musulmanes a convertirse al Islam;

5. Si una mujer cristiana se casara con un musulmán, tendrá plena libertad para seguir su propia religión.

La redacción de los distintos pactos es muy similar a pesar de la diversidad de lugares geográficos y comunidades que los poseen, lo que sugiere un origen único más que una multiplicidad de falsificaciones. Entre ellos se incluyen el Pacto con los Monjes del Monasterio de Santa Catalina en el Monte Sinaí y el Pacto con los Cristianos de Najran. El original del primero fue dictado por el Profeta Muhammad a su más confiable compañero, primo y yerno, Ali bin Abi Talib (m. 661), en el segundo año después de la migración (alrededor de 624). El documento también incluye una lista de 22 testigos entre sus compañeros más destacados. Los registros históricos sugieren que el original fue llevado de Egipto a Estambul por el sultán otomano Salim I en 1517. El análisis hasta la fecha se ha basado en copias o recensiones de los Pactos, mientras que la búsqueda de los originales sobrevivientes continúa.

Aunque los estudios anteriores descartaron estos documentos como apócrifos o falsificaciones piadosas, el reciente análisis de múltiples pactos en diversas comunidades no musulmanas con un enfoque específico en la datación, las estipulaciones, la redacción y las listas de testigos ha llevado a El-Wakil a concluir lo contrario:

… los pactos del Profeta con (1) los cristianos de Najran, (2) los monjes del monte Sinaí, (3) los cristianos armenios, (4) el escrito el lunes 29 Rabi al-Thani del año 4 de la Hégira, (5) la reproducción de 1538 con los cristianos del mundo, (6) con los judíos de Khaybar y Maqna y (7) con los samaritanos, son todos esencialmente auténticos. Lo mismo se aplica a los pactos de Umar con (8) los cristianos de Jerusalén y (9) los cristianos de Mesopotamia, así como (10) el pacto de Ali con los cristianos armenios. Esto nos da un total de siete pactos auténticos que se remontan al Profeta, dos que se remontan a Umar y uno que se remonta a Ali.

El Corán y los Pactos establecen claramente que el Islam original del Profeta Muhammad aceptó el pluralismo religioso y la diversidad cultural, estableciendo la coexistencia pacífica como base normativa de las relaciones entre las comunidades. Considine sostiene que los Pactos proporcionan una sólida narrativa del pluralismo religioso en el Islam, que él asocia con una interacción social genuina, buscando el entendimiento entre diversos grupos, el compromiso con diversos valores e instituciones religiosas y el diálogo interreligioso. Esta caracterización del Islam primitivo como abrazador del pluralismo religioso es corroborada por los escritos de los primeros cristianos que vivieron bajo la égida musulmana, luego de las conquistas del Cercano Oriente tras la muerte del profeta Mahoma (m. 632). Estos textos siriacos, como las cartas del Catholicos sirio oriental Ishoyahb III (m. 659) a otro obispo, habla de los conquistadores árabes:

No solo, como saben, no se oponen al cristianismo. Más bien, alaban nuestra fe, honran a los sacerdotes y santos de nuestro Señor y ayudan a las iglesias y monasterios.

Tales declaraciones son coherentes con las disposiciones de los Pactos y reflejan otros escritos siriacos primitivos sobre el buen trato que recibían los cristianos bajo el dominio musulmán. Así se ve en el escrito The Book of Main Points de John bar Penkaye. Aunque encontramos que en unas pocas décadas parece haber una erosión de la adhesión a los Pactos en muchas tierras bajo la égida musulmana, algunos eruditos musulmanes conservaron el conocimiento de los mismos. Por ejemplo, un conocido jurista maliki, Shahab Ad-Deen Al-Qarafi (m. 1285), declaró en su libro Al-Furuq:

El pacto de protección nos impone ciertas obligaciones hacia ahl adh-dhimmah. Son nuestros vecinos bajo nuestra protección y amparados por lo que garantiza Dios, Su Mensajero (paz y bendiciones sean con él) y la religión del Islam. Quienquiera que viole estas obligaciones respecto a cualquiera de ellos, perjudicando su reputación o haciéndole algún daño, violará el Pacto de Dios y de Su Mensajero, en tanto que su conducta irá en contra de las enseñanzas del Islam.

A lo largo de los siglos, los escritos de los no musulmanes en tierras musulmanas muestran que fueron sometidos de manera cada vez mayor a la discriminación y violación de sus derechos en nombre del Islam. Se lo hizo a través de normas que pasaron a formar parte del llamado sistema dhimmi de minorías “protegidas”. El consenso académico parece ser que este maltrato se basó en un documento conocido como el Pacto de Umar (al-Shurut al-Umariyya), que se cree tuvo su origen a finales del siglo VIII o principios del IX, sustituyendo a todos los acuerdos anteriores entre musulmanes y no musulmanes. Hay dos versiones principales del Pacto de Umar y dos fechas relativas a su promoción. La primera está registrada en libros de historiadores como Ya’qubi (m. 898) y al-Tabari (m. 923). Se refiere al Pacto de Umar bin al-Khattab (m. 644) con los Cristianos de Jerusalén, que garantizaba la protección y permitía la libertad de religión ―similar a los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad― sin mencionar ninguna condición desdeñosa, restricciones o impuestos económicos. Sin embargo, las fuentes de la jurisprudencia islámica medieval se refieren a una versión diferente, al-Shurut al-Umarīyah. Según Ezziti, esta versión apareció por primera vez en el libro Ahkam Ahl al-Milal de al-Jallal Abi Bakr Ahmed al-Baghdadi al-Hanbali (m. 935) y luego en otro de Abi al-Shaykh (m. 941) titulado Shurut Umar o Shurut al-Dhimmi.

Aunque la atribución del documento al califa Umar (m. 644) es rechazada por los historiadores, sus disposiciones se convirtieron en una norma mediante la cual los derechos de los no musulmanes se articulaban en los libros de jurisprudencia islámica. Por ejemplo, el erudito del siglo XIV de la jurisprudencia Shafi’i, Ahmad ibn Naqib Al-Misri (m. 1367), afirma en su conocido manual de la ley islámica en la sección sobre “Súbditos no musulmanes del Estado islámico” que ellos deben distinguirse de los musulmanes vestidos con un cinturón de tela ancho (zunnar), que no se los debe saludar con as-salamu alaykum (la paz sea contigo), que deben mantenerse a un lado de la calle, que no pueden hacer construcciones más grandes o más altas que las de los musulmanes, que tienen prohibido tocar las campanas de las iglesias, exhibir cruces, recitar la Torá o el Evangelio en voz alta, que tienen prohibido construir nuevas iglesias así como exponer públicamente sus funerales y días festivos. Estas disposiciones discriminatorias y ofensivas no se derivan del Corán y contradicen los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad, los cuales defienden la libertad religiosa sin injerencias, restricciones o discriminaciones externas. Tales órdenes adquieren autoridad y legitimidad a partir del Pacto de Umar. Los musulmanes, pasados y presentes, consideraron esos textos atribuidos a los califas y juristas aceptables, colocándolos, de hecho, por encima de los del Corán y los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad. Y dijeron que eso era Islam. La adhesión a esos textos  fomentó la intolerancia de los no musulmanes y el rechazo de la coexistencia pacífica. Por lo tanto, la instrucción religiosa convincente tendrá que proporcionar un enfoque crítico-analítico basado en la evidencia para la lectura de las diversas fuentes asociadas con el Islam.

Las afirmaciones de los yihadistas o salafistas de que el Islam permite que se imponga una guerra ofensiva para subyugar a los no musulmanes, no están respaldadas por el Corán o los Pactos del Profeta ni por el consenso de los eruditos islámicos clásicos. La minoría que entiende la yihad como una guerra ofensiva contra los no musulmanes, se basa en un método de interpretación desacreditado que es rechazado por la mayoría…. Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad junto con una lectura contextual del Corán, proporcionan una perspectiva de las enseñanzas originales del Islam sobre las relaciones interreligiosas/intercomunitarias. Y aboga por una coexistencia considerada, respetuosa y pacífica…..

Este artículo proporciona citas seleccionadas del siguiente estudio académico: Rane, H. “‘Cogent Religious Instruction:’ A Response to the Phenomenon of Radical Islamist Terrorism in Australia. Religiones 2019, 10, 246”. El estudio completo en formato pdf con las referencias completas se puede encontrar en:https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/10/4/246

Islamic Treasures — The Treaties of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time

The Monastery of St. Catherine at the base of Mount Sinai

According to Jewish and Christian tradition, a thousand years after Abraham, the Jewish people were slaves, locked in perpetual servitude in Egypt until Moses led them to freedom. On their epic trek to Palestine, Moses broke the journey in the area around Mount Sinai. It was on its craggy summit that God transmitted a set of covenants, or laws etched into clay tablets. These 10 Commandments became the foundation for an existence both moral and obedient.

Over 1000 years later, in 4–6AH or 625 CE, the Prophet Muhammad wrote and granted another, distinctive covenant to the monks of the Monastery of St. Catherine, a then 60-year-old Christian abbey at the base of Mount Sinai. The treaty didn’t command recipients to honor their mother and father nor to desist in the creation of idols. Instead, the covenant from the Prophet Muhammad achieved something unheard of in the annals of history — it delivered a promise to protect the Christian monks and residents of the region from any incursions, attacks, or efforts to take over the Christian pilgrimage site. The document swore to protect the monks singularly and as a group wherever they were. Further, the contract vowed to allow all inhabitants to retain the religion of their choice. The handwritten words on parchment, signed with the Prophet’s hand-print, bound the Islamic nation to honor these promises “for all time, even unto the Day of Judgment and the end of the world.”

Dr. John A. Morrow appearing in Seattle, WA — Dec. 2017

Dr. John A. Morrow, academic, researcher, scholar, teacher, activist, and a member of the Canadian Metis community converted to Islam at the age of 16, while a high school student in his native Canada. Still a teen, Morrow continued to research Islam through dozens of texts, and he came across an 18th-century text written by Richard Pococke. The book, written while Pococke traveled in Egypt, described and translated parts of the treaty Muhammad had initiated with the Monks of Mount Sinai at a time the Prophet’s leadership was gaining followers.

In one section of the document, the text reads, “That whenever any of the monks in his travels shall happen to settle upon any mountain, hill, village, or other habitable place, on the sea, or in deserts, or in any convent, church, or house of prayer, I shall be in the midst of them, as the preserver and protector of them, their goods and effects, with my soul, aid, and protection…” These sentiments and others like them anchored Morrow’s attachment to the demonstrated compassion and teachings of Islam.

Thirty years, several academic degrees, and dozens of publications later, Dr. Morrow’s most recent work, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Timeis shaking up both the Islamic and Christian worlds. Whether intentionally or circumstantially, the treaty with the monks of Mt. Sinai and a dozen similar documents, had receded from religious consciousness over the centuries and were squirreled away amid thousands of other parchments in libraries scattered around Europe and the Middle East. With their virtual burial, a message of peace, inclusiveness, and tolerance was lost.

“No fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve.” This line from the Holy Qur’an (2:62) refers to all of the monotheists of the Prophet’s time, Jews, Christians, and Sabeans, and promises that these groups, being righteous in action, and aligned with Muslims in their belief in one God, would be protected. The above divine revelation, an edict transmitted to the Prophet Muhammad from God, guaranteed a future of unity and safety. Nevertheless, as an essential feature of his nation-building efforts, the Prophet Muhammad went even further, creating documents meant to serve vast populations living under Islamic rule as long as “the sea wets the shells on the shore.”

Due to those covenants, newly explored by Dr. Morrow, Muslims now have an additional rigorously authenticated religious resource — the detailed Ashtiname — peace letters or covenants spoken by the Prophet and written down verbatim. Through dictation and diplomacy, Muhammad formulated treaties with scores of religious communities on the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. A short list of these covenants includes:

  1. The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mt. Sinai
  2. The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the People of the Book
  3. The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran
  4. The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World
  5. The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the monks of Mt. Sinai.

Over just a few years after the Prophet began preaching the will of Allah, the Islamic Ummah, or nation, expanded, until it gradually encompassed territory that included peoples from a multitude of sects. As Dr. Morrow suggests in his book, “ A visionary long-term planner, the Prophet understood that the spread of Islam could take centuries. What he sought to create were the conditions under which the seeds of Islam could be planted and watered, thus enabling Muslim seeds to sprout, grow, and spread. If a population preferred to remain heathen, Christian or Jewish, they were entitled to do so as long as they entered into a covenant with the Islamic State as protected people.”

Thus, rather than initiate any conflict with those populations, Muhammad resolved to ensure that they came to feel connected and protected by detailing the mutuality of the support each provided, first from the Prophet, the Islamic Nation, and his designated successors or caliphs, and then from the group specified in the treaty.

Beyond protection, these covenants outlined forbidden actions, that is acts which the Muslims in these areas were proscribed from instituting. The rights and privileges granted the Christians of Najran (a township in what is now southern Saudi Arabia where Christianity took root in the 4th century) are mirrored in most of the other treaties as well:

To the Christians of Najran and its neighboring territories, God’s protection and the pledge of His Prophet extend to their lives, their religion, and their property.

  • It applies to those who are present as well as those who are absent.
  • There shall be no interference with the practice of their faith or their religious observances.
  • There will be no change to their rights and privileges.
  • No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric; no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his parish.
  • They shall all continue to enjoy everything they previously enjoyed great or small.
  • No image or cross shall be destroyed.
  • They will not oppress or be oppressed.”

In a place and time where religion and pagan beliefs were a major driver of conflict and almost perpetual warfare, the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad provided an umbrella of safety and freedom for hundreds of communities. In covenants written for general societies, unlike the abbey on Mount Sinai which was an exclusively male population, Muhammad added previously unheard of rights for women:

Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent.

If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

By bringing the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad to light in an age that sorely needs models of tolerance, compassion, and community, Dr. Morrow hopes to reach and influence Muslims who may not be aware of the more global and far-reaching intentions of the Prophet, and to hearten Christians who may have relied too heavily on the one-faceted view of Islam promulgated by some of the media. Invited to speak regularly at conferences, churches, mosques, and institutions from Dubai to California, Dr. Morrow seeks to restore the trajectory of benevolent statecraft instituted by the Prophet Muhammad over 1400 years ago.

Barbara Castleton, M.A.

Writer, ESL instructor, editor, traveler, seasonal ex-pat— my life is both an intentional and serendipitous circumstance. Motto — “Buy the ticket, and go!”

Dugin against Islam – Part III

By Charles Upton [Sidi Akram]

Crescent International (April 1, 2019)

Eurasianism, religion of Russian exceptionalism

This article is based on excerpts from Dugin against Dugin: A Traditionalist Critique of the Fourth Political Theory by Charles Upton (published December 2018).

Alexandre Dugin’s wooing of the Sufis is another of the tactics he practices in common with the Western and globalist elites. In an article titled “State-sponsored Sufism” by Ali Eteraz, which appeared in June 2009 on the website of the Council for Foreign Relations, the author, though he appears to disagree with the policy of the Western powers to groom Sufism as the spearhead of anti-Islamicist “moderate” Islam, nonetheless treats this policy as common knowledge. Eteraz observed, “According to commentators from the BBC to the Economist to the Boston Globe, Sufism, being defined as Islam’s moderate or mystical side, is apparently just the thing we need to deal with violent Muslim extremists. Sufis are the best allies to the West, these authors say; support them, and countries as diverse as Pakistan and Somalia could turn around.”

In the process of attempting to bring both Sufism and Shi‘i Iran into his Neo-Eurasian fold, Dugin unexpectedly commits an outrageous act of cultural misappropriation. In the section on The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory entitled “The Purple Archangel of Russia,” he shamelessly attempts to take possession of the spiritual being who appears in Shi‘i theosophist Suhrawardi’s The Recitation of the Purple Archangel. The Purple (or Crimson) Archangel — al-‘Aql al-Surkh — is an imaginal manifestation of the Active Intellect (‘Aql) who appears in order to conduct Suhrawardi to the summit of Mt. Qaf and the attainment of Haqiqah, the fullness of spiritual Truth. In other words, the Purple Archangel is, precisely, an Iranian Ishraqi (“Illuminist”) version of the Logos — the Logos that Dugin, in “The Metaphysics of Chaos” from The Fourth Political Theory, has already declared to be philosophically null and void. In his own imagination, however, the Purple Archangel is the true dawn of Great and Sacred Asia, which is the secret angel, the secret substance of Russia, her historical, spiritual mission spread over everything — politics, culture, sociology, our history.

Here Dugin, like the magician he is, attempts to take illegal possession of the archetypal essence of Iran — Suhrawardi being the sage who, more than anyone else, made a synthesis between the spiritual universes of Islamic and pre-Islamic, Zoroastrian Persia — doing so as an act of subtle-plane conquest in ‘Alam al-Mithal, the realm of Objective Imagination. This is an act of theft so brazen, so lacking in any normal sense of holy fear, that I don’t know what to compare it with. And in addition to being sacrilegious, it is patently absurd. I might just as well claim that Fyodor Dostoyevsky was a great American novelist, or that the real Kremlin is in Pennsylvania somewhere and the one shown in Moscow only a later copy; I have more right to do this, in fact — even though I have no right to do this at all — than Dugin has to loot the Purple Archangel of Suhrawardi.

Furthermore, above and beyond his willingness to make alliances of convenience with the takfiri apostates, Dugin cannot be a true friend to Islam because he speaks in the name of a different religion, not one of the accepted revelations sent by Allah (swt) but a pseudo-religion created by himself — though he has appropriated elements of it from many different sources, including the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt and the Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger. In addition, certain Western commentators have accused Dugin of having affinities with the notorious occultist, reputed Satanist, and British Intelligence agent Aleister Crowley. And the fact is that Dugin has written appreciatively of Crowley in a number of places. For example, in an essay on the late Russian musical genius Sergey Kuryokhin, he says, “The new aeon will be cruel and paradoxical. The age of a crowned child, an acquisition of runes, and a cosmic rampage of the Superhuman. ‘Slaves shall serve and suffer.’ The renewal of archaic sacredness, the newest and, at the same time, the oldest synthetic super-art is an important moment of the eschatological drama, of ‘the tempest of equinoxes.’ In his Book of the Law, [Aleister] Crowley argued that only those who know the value of number 418 can proceed into the new aeon…” Most people would think that anyone who puts in a good word for an occultist who called himself “the Beast” could not at the same time be a faithful Eastern Orthodox Christian — and, of course, they would be right.

In The Fourth Political Theory, Dugin asks, “Why do we talk about roots but not the head? This is a very serious and deep moment, because we should realise the reduction that is being made. If we realise the horizontal reduction first, and we get an unsatisfactory result, we will conclude that we should instead realise the vertical reduction, to move towards ontic roots but not ontological heights. Therefore, we should postpone such notions as the dimension of spirit and the divine, and move towards chaos and other vertical and depth-oriented concepts.”

So, we are expected to postpone God until we have found our “ontic motherland,” until we discover who we really are in ethnic and cultural and sociopolitical terms, until (that is) we discover our real identity to be — as Dugin makes clear in a number of places — the Fourth Political Theory! God, however, cannot be treated as an afterthought. You cannot say, “God, too, is good, and has His part to play. First, we must deal with more pressing matters, but when the time comes, after these matters are finished with, certainly we will get back to Him.” God cannot be part of our program, our agenda, our worldview. God does not play a part because God is the All — He is al-Wasi‘, the Boundless, the All-Embracing, the Infinite. Only those who put God first in all things, who cannot love the earth, or their lovers, or their fellow human beings, or their narod (nation; ethnic group) unless these good things are loved in the Spirit of God, can be said to really believe in Him. Therefore, when Dugin declares that narod, not God, is his absolute, as he does in more than one place, he formally and explicitly renounces Allah (swt).
In The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory he openly declares his Neo-Eurasianism to be a religion, with himself as its prophet. He says, “The Eurasian doctrine is in the first place a spiritual doctrine. In a sense it is a prophetic school. It is a point of confluence of great streams of thought, a perfectly self-sufficient doctrine that gives people everything: a meaning of life, energy for creation, and the correct orientation to love. Eurasianism is thought with the help of the heart; it is the depths of heart-based thinking. Eurasianism is an invitation to the prophetic experience. Let us remember who the biblical prophets were. They strengthened the identity of their narod, saying, ‘Awaken, Israel, awaken narod. You’ve fallen completely; you’ve completely degenerated; this is not permitted. How long can you give yourself up to your own occupations? Return to your own being.’ Do we not, Eurasianists, say the same thing? We call out, ‘O narod; O Russia; O Eurasian peoples, what are you doing? You’ve turned into such pigs! That is enough. It is time to put an end to the fall. Russia, arise!’ We are doing what the prophets did. We are returning the narod to our own identity.”

He goes on, “What else do prophets do? They restore the connection between reason and consequences. ‘Come to your senses, Edom; come to your senses, Sire; you fell away from the worship of the true God, and therefore God punished you, destroyed your walls, your city. Where is the kingdom of Babylon that stood strong? The kingdom of Babylon is no more. Why? Because they rejected the one God.’ In our time, this function corresponds to political analysis, the depths of political science [politologia].”

Dugin is having fun here at the reader’s expense. He warns us “prophetically” that the kingdom of Babylon is no more because it rejected God, and then gives us, as an example of the prophetic character of Eurasianism, a “political science” specifically conceived, in largely Heideggerian terms, without God, or which makes only a few passing references to Him, while granting a much greater role and significance — surprisingly enough — to angels, particularly angels as “political actors.” But his references to Edom are even more enlightening. The kingdom of Edom, descended from Esau as Israel was from Jacob, was the hereditary enemy of the Jews in the Old Testament. Obadiah 1:1-2 says, “Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations, ‘Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle! Behold I will make you small among the nations; you shall be utterly despised.’”

In other words, the Bible does not call for Edom to awake, as Dugin suggests, but for Israel to awake and destroy Edom; here Dugin’s obsession with secretly inverting the meanings of spiritual principles — though obviously not as secretly as he had hoped — is clearly in evidence. Edom is also denounced by the prophets Ezekiel (25:12–14) and Joel (3:19–21). And who might the figure be that Dugin identifies with Edom and addresses as “Sire”? Edom is a kingdom, not a king. In Judaism, Edom is another name for Esau, the earthly, material man, brother and opponent of Jacob who was to become Israel, the spiritual man; this seems in line with Dugin’s rejection of Logos in favor of Chaos in his essay “The Metaphysics of Chaos” from The Fourth Political Theory. But who is the King, who is the Sire, of Edom? Who would Edom be if it were a king?

The Duty to Protect Sacred Sites – Part IV

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

Crescent International (April 1, 2019)

Sacredness of all heritage sites is protected

If anyone questions the Islamic obligation to preserve religious heritage sites, the clearest and most definitive answer comes from the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians of Jerusalem, which reads,

From Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah, the Prophet and Messenger of Allah, to Abraham, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and to the Armenian Bishops of Damascus, and those who are found in other Muslim territory, and to those who depend upon them, namely, the Ethiopians, the Copts, and the Syrians, who inhabit Jerusalem: I have granted them their convents, churches, schools, residences, and fields.

I, the Messenger of Allah, with Allah as my Witness, and with the conscious witness of all people, men and women, who are found here, have promised and granted [them] the churches located in Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Resurrection, and the Cathedral of St. James in the southern part of the Holy City, which is located next to the Monastery of Zion.

I have also given them the Mount of Olives Monastery, the Chapel of the Prison of Christ, the Church of Bethlehem, and the chapels of St. John of Samaria [Nablus], the oratories located behind the sanctuary of the Holy Resurrection, and the totality of the upper and inner levels of the Golgotha and the Tomb of Christ where the eternal light shines, all the places of religious pilgrimage, as well as the mountains, the valleys, the residences, and their acquisitions; I have granted them with the witness of Allah, the Messenger of Allah, and all believing Muslims (Morrow, vol. 1, pp. 452–53).

If I repeat the protections provided by the Prophet (pbuh) over and over again, I do so for the same purpose that he did: for emphasis, and to demonstrate that the protections in question were not limited to a single community, were not limited to a certain geography, and were not limited to a certain period of time. They are universal laws, principles, and rights. They apply, not only to Christians, but to Samaritans, Jews, and Zoroastrians as well.

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans, the original of which was preserved by the followers of Moses until the 20th century, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), states concisely and definitely that, “I, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, have commanded that a covenant of protection and security be written for the Samaritan community for their persons, their children, their property, their wealth, their places of worship, their financial endowments, and to be binding in all the provinces and places in which they reside. We also pledge to behave with them and the people of Palestine in the best possible manner” (Morrow, vol. 2, p. 527).

And what about the Jews? It is exactly the same. As the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), says in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Children of Israel, known also as the Treaty of Maqna, “Yours is the safeguard of Allah and that of His Messenger with regard to your persons, belief, and property…” (Morrow, vol. 2, p. 288).

But what about the Zoroastrians? Some Persians might ask. In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the House of Salman, which is found in Abu al-Shaykh’s Tabaqat al-Muhaddithin and Abu Nu‘aym’s Akhbar Isfahan, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states that “This is a writing for the people of the House of Salman. They have God’s protection and my protection of their blood and property” (Morrow, vol. 2, p. 405). Property is property. It includes all kinds of property. It includes personal property. It includes historical sites. It includes Persepolis and other such places. Such world heritage sites must be protected.

And consider what the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has to say in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Parsis, “Their hands shall be free in building fire temples, administering them, and spending their wealth… They shall be granted exclusive privileges from among the various sects protected” (Morrow, vol. 1, p. 527).

The question begs to be answered. If the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was so adamant about protecting the places of worship of Christians, Samaritans, Jews, and Zoroastrians, why on earth would he command Muslims to destroy Islamic heritage, masjids, graveyards, tombs, mausoleums, and shrines? Why would he want Muslims to destroy their own religious, historical, cultural, and archeological sites? He would not. It makes no sense. If the lives and property of non-Muslims are so sacred, so are the lives and property of Muslims.

As we have seen, the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the Sirah, and the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are testimonies to the tolerance of Islam and its commitment to protect the lives and property of both Muslims and non-Muslims. Time and again, we see that the protection of people and their property is inseparable. They always go hand in hand.

Is this the life, liberty, and property presented by John Locke, the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? No. No. No. That’s the life, liberty, and property presented by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In other words, all of that is from Allah (swt). Respecting, maintaining, preserving, and protecting sacred and world heritage sites is a sacred duty. May the peace and blessings of Almighty Allah be upon the Prophet Muhammad and his family.

The Madinah Charter: A Model for Muslims and a Hope for Humanity

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

Muslims4Peace (March 17, 2019)

The following is the key-note lecture that was delivered by Dr. John Andrew Morrow at the ISNA Interfaith Banquet that was held in Chicago on Sunday, September 4th, 2016
Ladies and gentlemen. Brothers and sisters. I come here before you to express my opposition to the Islamic State. I do not back the Islamic State. I do not stand for the Islamic State. I do not defend the Islamic State. And I would not kill and die for the Islamic State. I am sure you are all pleasantly relieved that I come in peace. Now that you are at ease, please allow me to clarify the difference between an Islamic State and an Islamic Ummah.

The Islamic State is a misnomer. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, never, ever, described his system as a dawlah, a khilafah, a sultanah, a jumhuriyyah or a dimukratiyyah; he never described his system as a State, a Caliphate, a Sultanate, a Republic or a Democracy. On the contrary, he described it as an Ummah, a Motherland, a Homeland, a Federation or a Confederation.

In other words, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, wanted to create a Union of Free People under the precepts that he conveyed in the Covenants that he made with Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians; namely, under the precepts of the Qur’an: freedom of movement, freedom of work, freedom of study, freedom of religion, and freedom of choice. These are the very freedoms that the Prophet granted in his Covenants.

Self-professed Islamists and self-professed Jihadists have been supposedly fighting to create a so-called Islamic State for over a century. Some claim that “the Qur’an is our Constitution” which essentially means that they have no concrete plan. Not only are they devoid of any concrete plan, they act and operate in ways that contradict the Qur’an. More than mere ignorance, such behavior is indicative of hypocrisy and dishonesty.
Imagine the paradox: a person fighting for Socialism who is not familiar with the Communist Manifesto; a person fighting for human rights who is not familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; a person who is fighting for democracy who is not familiar with the American Constitution. And yet we have people fighting for an “Islamic State” who ignore the fact that the Prophet created an Ummah, and not a State; and that he produced a constitution for that Ummah.

Al-Dustur al-Madinah. Al-Sahifah al-Madinah. The Ummah Document. The Constitution of Madinah. The Covenant of Madinah. If I mention the Qur’an, every Muslim has heard of the Qur’an. In fact, most non-Muslims have heard of the Qur’an. However, if I mention the Covenant of Madinah, most Muslims have never heard of it; and virtually no non-Muslims have ever heard of it. And yet this document comes second only to the Qur’an.
Fortunately, as a result of the publication of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World in 2013, the proclamation of the Marrakesh Declaration in 2016, and its endorsement by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, Muslims are becoming increasingly aware of the Covenant, Constitution or Charter of Madinah. So, what’s the story behind the Covenant of Madinah? Let me take you back 1400 years.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, receives revelation. He is persecuted for a decade. He flees with his followers from Makkah to Madinah. At that time, there were approximately twenty or thirty thousand people living in and around Madinah: half of them were Jewish and half of them were polytheists. The Muslims, however, only numbered in the hundreds. However, they all accepted the Prophet as their leader.

Did the Prophet kill all the non-Muslims? No, not at all. On the contrary, he said: “Fraternize in the name of God: you are all brothers.” He brought together Arabs, Jews, Christians, and pagans. In fact, the first thing that he did after arriving in Madinah was to protect the rights of all the citizens of his newly-formed Ummah. He prepared a Constitution for his Commonwealth in consultation with all of his constituents; the first political charter in history.

So, what is so special about al-Sahifah al-Madinah? What is the gist of the Covenant of Madinah? Let’s look at a few key concepts:

This is a document from Muhammad, the Prophet [governing the relations] between the believers and Muslims… and those who followed them and joined them and labored with them. They are one community [ummatun wahidah] to the exclusion of others.

According to the Constitution of Madinah, identity is not based on race, religion, kinship, class, gender, or tribal affiliation: it is based on membership in the Ummah. It is what we call today citizenship. I quote: “To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided.” As the Covenant of Madinah clearly stipulates: “Allah’s protection is one.”

For those who claim that there is only place for Muslims in an Islamic State, I point to the political charter prepared by the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him: “The Jews… are one community with the believers… The Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs.” The Ummah of Muhammad was a brotherhood of believers based on consultation:

The Jews must bear their expenses and the Muslims their expenses. Each must help the other against anyone who attacks the people of this document. They must seek mutual advice and consultation, and loyalty is a protection against treachery.

From day one, the Prophet’s system was an Ummah: it was pluralistic, multiethnic, multiracial, multilingual, and multireligious. Islam was preeminent, extending wings of mercy upon all those it embraced, be they Jews, Christians, polytheists, Zoroastrians, agnostics, or even atheists. They were all included in one Ummah.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, granted Covenants of Protection throughout his prophetic mission, from the early years of his calling to the last years of his life. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, granted Covenants of Protection to the Christians of Abyssinia, Arabia, Mount Sinai, Egypt, Jerusalem, Mount Carmel, Syria, Assyria, Armenia, and Persia. He granted them freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, and freedom of religious practice. He protected their religious establishments and prohibited forced conversions. As the Messenger of Allah repeated over and over again:

It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric or a Christian from his Christianity, a monk from his monastic life or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage or a hermit monk from his tower. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims.

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, described Christians as his flock and viewed himself as their shepherd. As he stated himself, “They are a part of my Ummah and an honor to me.” And while the Prophet came into conflict with a few Jewish tribes in Madinah, he reconciled with the Jews of Arabia, Yemen, and Palestine during his final years. As we read in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans:

I, Muhammad b. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib, have commanded that a covenant of protection and security be written for the Samaritan community for their persons, their children, their property, their wealth, their places of worship, their financial endowments, and to be binding in all the provinces and places in which they reside. We also pledge to behave with them and the people of Palestine in the best possible manner.

As we read in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Jews of Khaybar and Maqna:

Yours is the safeguard of Allah and that of his Messenger with regard to your persons, belief, and property… You shall not have the annoyance of land-tax, nor shall a forelock of yours be cut off… No army shall tread on your soil, nor shall you be assembled [for military service], nor shall tithes be imposed on you, neither shall you be injured in any way…

The mercy of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was not limited to Muslims and the People of the Book. It extended to other faith communities as well. Take, for example, the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians which was granted to the brother of Salman al-Farsi, may Allah be pleased with him. It reads:

He has the protection of Allah and so do his sons over their lives and their wealth … without ever having to suffer injustice or be subject to harm…

I have removed from you that a forelock of yours shall be cut off, to wear clothing that differentiates you from the rest of the people, and the jizyah, and this until [the day] of the gathering and dispersal.

Their hands are free to do as they please concerning their fire temples and its wealth. No one should prevent them from… carrying out their funeral processions, and to abide by what they normally abide by concerning their religion and sect.

The Zoroastrians priests should be granted exclusive privileges from among the various sects of those people who are protected [by the Muslims].

As can be appreciated from these prophetic traditions, the Messenger of Allah did not simply ask Muslims to tolerate the People of the Book: he commanded his followers to engage with them, dialogue with them, and love them as fellow human beings. He called upon Muslims to protect them and defend them. It is what we call pluralism, the energetic engagement with diversity; the practical and concrete application of human rights.

So, yes, I support the Ummah; I back the Ummah; I stand with the Ummah; I defend the Ummah; and I would kill and die for the Ummah: the true Islamic State; not that un-Islamic State; not that pseudo-Islamic State; and not that anti-Islamic State. I believe in the Ummah of Muhammad, the Confederation of Believers that is based on the Covenant of Madinah and the Covenants of the Prophet; an Ummah based on justice, tolerance, and diversity. Amen.

Responsibility of Pluralism in Islam

Dr. John Andrew Morrow

Muslims4Peace (March 17, 2019)

Introduction

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah was a Prophet. He was a Messenger of God. He was the Seal of the Prophets. This is something agreed upon by all Muslims: La ilaha illa Allah / Muhammadan Rasul Allah: there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Prophethood

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah was a nabi or a prophet, namely, a person sent to preach the Word of God; a person who was following in the footsteps of his prophetic predecessors. He did not preach a new religion; he preached the primordial religion, Islam, submission and surrender to the One and Only God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah was also a rasul or a messenger, namely, a person who was sent with a scripture, a book from God, a revelation, and a code of law. He came forth, not only with ‘aqidah or beliefs but with shari‘ah or law, a comprehensive social, political, and economic system. Islam is a complete way of life. Unlike the prophets and messengers who preceded him and unlike the founders of other faith traditions, which focus on governing themselves, Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, also focused on how Muslims should interact with others. If one reads the Old Testament, and one study the Halakha, one sees that that Jewish Law was concerning primarily with regulating the lives of Jewish people.

If one reads the New Testament, and studies Canon Law, one sees that Christian law was concerned primarily with regulating the lives of Christian people. There is little in the Judeo-Christian tradition regarding the rights of non-Jews and non-Christians. There is little with regards to the manner we should treat different faith communities.

For many religions, both Eastern and Western, it was pretty much: “Follow my way or I will send you on the highway to Hell.” Although the belief system and code of conduct of believers was clearly delineated, the rights of unbelievers were often reduced to the right to die. In many cases, it boiled down to “Convert the unbelievers or kill them all.”

Pluralism

Islam, however, came to the scene with an entirely novel and unique approach: pluralism. Unlike many other religions that insisted that salvation was for them and them alone, Islam insisted that salvation was within the reach of all righteous monotheists. So long as one believed in God, and one did good deeds and avoided evil deeds, one had hope in the mercy of Almighty God. As Almighty Allah, says in the Holy Qur’an:

Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. (2:63)

As Mustafa Akyol, the author of The Islamic Jesus, has observed:

The fact that the Qur’an promised salvation to [the Sabians], along with Jews and Christians, reflects a theological liberality in early Islam that most contemporary Muslims would have a hard time to even consider. (68)

I have studied Islam for over three decades. I too was taught that only Muslims were believers and that only Muslims went to Heaven. I was taught that Christians were mushrikin or polytheists. I was taught that the People of the Book were kuffar or infidels who were destined to eternal damnation in Hell. I studied all the so-called Muslim authorities who misrepresented and misinterpreted the Qur’an to suit their intolerant purposes. I read all the so-called “authentic” traditions that extremists use to justify denying non-Muslims basic civil and human rights. I read all the so-called authoritative commentaries of the Qur’an that present an intolerant image of Islam. I can assert, openly, and unabashedly, that the extremist, fundamentalist, exclusivist, absolutist, fascist and supremacist interpretation of Islam is false. It represents a re-invention of Islam. It is not the Islam of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. It is not the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad. And it most certainly is not the Islam of the Qur’an and the Islam of Almighty Allah.

Political Responsibility

When the Messenger of Allah established himself in Madinah, he consulted with Jews, Muslims, and polytheists, and created a constitution, the first of its kind in the political history of humanity. Known as the Covenant of Madinah, it placed all citizens on equal footing with equal rights and obligations. The citizens of the city-state of Madinah consisted of Jews and Arab non-Muslims. They numbered in the tens of thousands. Muslims, however were a minority during the early days of Muhammad’s rule: they numbered in the hundreds. Nonetheless, the Prophet proclaimed that they were a ummah wahidah, a single community, a constitutional confederation.

The term mu’minin or believers is used almost a thousand times in the Qur’an. As Mustafa Akyol recognizes, the term “was a broad umbrella that could incorporate all monotheists” (68). In the Constitution of Madinah and in the Covenants of the Prophet, the Messenger of Allah described the People of the Book as mu’minin or believers. And this makes perfect logical sense: anyone who believes in God is a believer. When the Messenger of Allah referred to his followers, those who embraced Islam, he used the term muslimin or Muslims. The Prophet spearheaded a movement of believers and created a Confederation of Believers. The rightly-guided Caliphs used the title Amir al-Mu’minin, Leader of the Believers, not Amir al-Muslimin, Leader of the Muslims. They were the leaders of all the citizens of the Ummah.

As Mustafa Akyol explains, “The existence of different religious traditions on earth is not an aberration but, quite the contrary the very will of God” (102). As we read in the Holy Qur’an,

And we have sent down the Book to you [Muhammad] with truth, confirming and conserving the previous Books. So judge between them by what God has sent down and do not follow their whims and desires deviating from the Truth that has come to you.

We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. And every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed. (5:48)

This is pluralism plain and simple, a condition or system in which various groups, principles, sources of authority or religious traditions co-exist in respect and tolerance. It is pluralism as defined by Diana L. Eck: energetic engagement with diversity; active seeking of understanding across lines of difference; encounter of commitments; and the language of dialogue.

One day, when the Prophet Muhammad was in Madinah, a delegation of Christians visited him from Najran. They debated and discussed religious matters. They agreed on some issues. They disagreed on other issues. When it came time for the Christians to perform their prayers, they excused themselves to leave the mosque. The Prophet Muhammad insisted that they pray in his mosque as it was a place of prayer and a house of God. And so the Christians prayed and celebrated mass in the mosque of the Prophet. This event is meticulously documented in Muslim sources. Not only is it authentic, it is exemplary. It is the very embodiment of Islamic ethics. Compare that to the actions of ISIS.

There are two visions of Islam that confront us today: an Islam of peace, mercy, tolerance, love, equality, and justice; and an Islam of war, cruelty, intolerance, hatred, inequality, and injustice; an Islam of terrorism, bloodshed, violence, misogyny, and bigotry. Forgive me if I have enough sense of decency and humanity to side with the former, True Islam, and repudiate all those who side with the latter which is nothing less than Anti-Islam. Muslims, true Muslims, must agree to disagree, not only with non-Muslims, but with each other. Had Allah willed, He would have made us all the same. He did not decree uniformity by means of barbarity, like ISIS wants to impose, but diversity and plurality under the wings of mercy. As Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

O humankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. (49:13)

The Qur’an abolishes sexism. The Qur’an abolishes racism. The Qur’an abolishes absolutism. It calls upon different religious traditions to “compete with each other in righteousness” (5:48). It calls upon different religious traditions to defer their differences to the ultimate judgment of God. It is what is known as irja or “postponement;” namely, deferring religious differences to the afterlife.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, never converted people by force. As Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). Consequently, the Messenger of Allah invited people to Islam. If they accepted Islam, alhamdulillah, praise be to Allah. If they preferred to keep their religion, masha’ Allah, it was the will of Allah. Perhaps they would come into Islam in the future, insha’ Allah, if it is the will of Allah. The Prophet was perfectly clear on the subject. As he wrote in the Treaty with the Kings of Himyar, cited in the Sirah of Ibn Ishaq:

If a Jew or a Christian becomes a Muslim, he is a believer with his rights and obligations. He who holds fast to his religion, Jew or Christian, is not to be turned from it. (643)

As Abu al-Fath al-Samiri, wrote in the Continuation of his chronicle,

The Prophet of Islam did not cause anyone distress throughout his life. He would present his belief before the people, accepting anyone who came to him, [yet] not compelling one who did not.

According to this 14th century Samaritan scholar, “Muhammad never mistreated any of the followers of the Law.” He also related a tradition transmitted by Samaritan elders that stated that: “Muhammad was a good and mighty person because he made a treaty of friendship with the Hebrew People.”

If the People of the Book did not wish to embrace Islam, Almighty Allah called upon them to follow their scripture firmly. As we read in the Holy Qur’an: “So let the followers of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down in it” (5:47). This is exactly what the Messenger of Allah did. He judged Jews on basis of the Torah; Christians on the basis of the Gospel; and Muslims on the basis of the Qur’an. And that is precisely what the Rightly-Guided Caliphs did. As Imam ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said when he assumed the Caliphate:

Question me before you lose me. Question me, for I have the knowledge of those who came earlier and those who will come later. If the cushion (on which a judge sits) was folded for me (to sit on), I could give judgements to the people of the Torah by their Torah, to the people of the Gospels by their Gospels, to the people of Psalms by their Psalms and to the people of the Furqan (i.e. Qur’an) by their Furqan, so that each one of these books will be fulfilled and will declare, “O Lord, indeed ‘Ali has given judgement according to Your decree.

Conclusions

This is Islam, true Islam, the Islam of Allah, the Islam of the Prophet, and the Islam of all true Muslims. It is a religion that soothes the soul. It is a religion that satisfies the intellect with certainty. It is a religion based on ethics and morality. It is a religion of piety and righteousness. It is a religion that provides people with rights as opposed to depriving people of rights. It is a religion of personal growth and development; a religion of social justice.

Treaties of Prophet Muhammad with Christians

By Barbara Castleton

Islamicity (February 7, 2019)

According to Jewish and Christian tradition, a thousand years after Abraham, the Jewish people were slaves, locked in perpetual servitude in Egypt before being led to freedom by Moses. On their epic trek to Palestine, Moses broke the journey in the area around Mount Sinai. It was at its peak that Moses received from God a set of covenants, or laws, etched into clay tablets. These 10 Commandments became the foundation for a moral existence.

Over 1000 years later, in 2 AH or 624 CE, the Prophet Muhammad wrote and granted a different covenant to the monks at the Monastery of St. Catherine, a 60-year-old Christian abbey at the base of Mount Sinai. Though not commanding the recipients to honor their mother and father or desist in the creation of idols, the covenant from the Prophet Muhammad did something unheard of in the annals of history — it promised to protect the Christian monks and residents of the region from any incursions, attacks, or efforts to take over the Christian pilgrimage site. It swore to protect the monks singularly and as a group wherever they were. Further, the contract vowed to allow all inhabitants to keep the religion of their choice. The handwritten words on parchment, signed with the Prophet’s hand-print bound the Islamic nation to honor these promises “for all time, even unto the Day of Judgment and the end of the world.”

Dr. John A. Morrow appearing in Seattle, WA — Dec. 2017
Dr. John A. Morrow appearing in Seattle, WA — Dec. 2017

Dr. John A. Morrow, academic, researcher, scholar, teacher, a member of the Canadian Métis community, and an activist, converted to Islam at the age of 16, while a high school student in his native Canada. Still a teen, Morrow continued to research Islam through dozens of texts, and he came across an 18th-century text written by Richard Pococke which described and translated parts of the treaty the Prophet Muhammad had initiated with the Monks of Mount Sinai.
In one section of the document, the text reads, “That whenever any of the monks in his travels shall happen to settle upon any mountain, hill, village, or other habitable place, on the sea, or in deserts, or in any convent, church, or house of prayer, I shall be in the midst of them, as the preserver and protector of them, their goods and effects, with my soul, aid, and protection…” These sentiments and others like them anchored Morrow’s attachment to the demonstrated compassion and teachings of Islam.

Thirty years, several academic degrees, and dozens of publications later, Dr. Morrow’s most recent work, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time, is shaking up both the Islamic and Christian worlds. Whether intentionally or circumstantially, the treaty with the monks of Mt. Sinai and over a dozen other, similar documents, had receded from religious consciousness over the centuries and were squirreled away amid thousands of other papers in libraries scattered around Europe and the Middle East. With their virtual burial, a message of peace, inclusiveness, and tolerance was lost.

“No fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve.” This verse from the Holy Qur’an (2:62) refers to all the monotheists of the Prophet’s time, Jews, Christians, and Sabeans, and promises that these groups, being righteous in action, and aligned with Muslims in their belief in one God, would be protected. The above divine revelation, an edict transmitted to the Prophet Muhammad from God, guaranteed a future of unity and safety. Nevertheless, as an essential feature of his nation-building efforts, the Prophet Muhammad went even further, creating documents meant to serve vast populations living under Islamic rule as long as “the sea wets the shells on the shore.”

Due to those covenants, newly explored by Dr. Morrow, Muslims now have an additional rigorously authenticated religious resource — the detailed Ashtiname — peace letters or covenants spoken by the Prophet and written down verbatim. Through dictation and diplomacy, the Muhammad formulated treaties with most of the religious communities on the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. Some of the major covenants include:

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World I
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World II
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Jews of Maqna
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Yemenite Jews
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Coptic Christians of Egypt
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Syriac Orthodox Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians

Over just a few years, the Islamic Ummah, or nation, expanded widely, until it gradually encompassed territory that included peoples of various sects. As Dr. Morrow suggests in his book, “A visionary long-term planner, the Prophet understood that the spread of Islam could take centuries. What he sought to create were the conditions under which the seeds of Islam could be planted and watered, thus enabling Muslim seeds to sprout, grow, and spread. If a population preferred to remain heathen, Christian or Jewish, they were entitled to do so as long as they entered into a covenant with the Islamic State as protected people.” Thus, rather than initiate any conflict with those populations, groups who had largely lived in harmony for generations, Muhammad resolved to ensure that they continued to feel connected and protected by detailing the mutuality of the support each provided, first from the Prophet, the Islamic Nation, and his designated successors or caliphs, and then from the group specified in the treaty.

Beyond protection, these covenants outlined forbidden actions, that is acts which the Muslims in these areas were prohibited from initiating. The rights and privileges granted to the Christians of Najran, a place in what is now southern Saudi Arabia where Christianity took root in the 4th century, are mirrored in most of the other treaties as well:

“To the Christians of Najran and its neighboring territories, God’s protection and the pledge of His Prophet extend to their lives, their religion, and their property. It applies to those who are present as well as those who are absent. There shall be no interference with the practice of their faith or their religious observances. There will be no change to their rights and privileges. No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric; no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his parish. They shall all continue to enjoy everything they previously enjoyed great or small. No image or cross shall be destroyed. They will not oppress or be oppressed.”

In a place and time where religion and pagan beliefs were a major driver of conflict and almost perpetual warfare, the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad provided an umbrella of safety and freedom for hundreds of communities. In covenants written for general societies, unlike the abbey on Mount Sinai which was an exclusively male population, Muhammad added previously unheard-of rights for women:

“Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent. If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

By bringing the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad to light in an age that sorely needs models of tolerance, compassion, and community, Dr. Morrow hopes to reach and influence Muslims who may not be aware of the more global and far-reaching intentions of the Prophet and Christians who may have relied too heavily on the one-faceted view of Islam promulgated by the media. Invited to speak at conferences, churches, mosques, and institutions from Dubai to California, Dr. Morrow seeks to restore the trajectory of benevolent statecraft instituted by the Prophet Muhammed over 1400 years ago.

Barbara Castleton, MA, is a professor of English at South Seattle College. She is the co-author of Arabic, Islam, and the Allah Lexicon: How Language Shapes Our Conception of God and has published several articles on Arabic socio-linguistics in peer-reviewed journals.

Tratado del Profeta Muhammad con los monjes del Monte Sinaí

Mezquita de Sevilla (19 marzo, 2019)

Existe un tratado que mandó redactar el Profeta Muhammad, la paz sea con él, a Imam Ali, que Allah esté complacido con él, con los monjes del Monte Sinaí que es un ejemplo de la forma en la que los musulmanes han de relacionarse con aquellos que siguen otras creencias y formas de adoración.

Sobre la autenticidad de este tratado, el Dr. John Andrew Morrow escribe:

En términos de cadenas de transmisión, el ‘ahd, el ‘ahdnam o el ashtiname otorgado a los monjes del Monte Sinaí parece ser el más fuerte de todos los Pactos del Profeta. Ha sido transmitido por musulmanes y no musulmanes durante casi un milenio y medio. Desde un punto de vista académico, alcanza el grado más alto de certeza que podemos esperar de un documento que data del siglo VII. Se necesitaría una peligrosa combinación de ignorancia y arrogancia para que cualquier académico o erudito rechace este documento como una falsificación cuando se enfrenta a su ilustre linaje de transmisión. No solo es sólida su cadena de narración, sino también su contenido, que está en completo acuerdo con el Corán y la confiable Sunnah. Si bien algunos pueden argumentar que el Pacto para el Monasterio de Santa Catalina fue un acto excepcional limitado a un lugar y personas en particular y se aplicó solo por un tiempo específico, el Profeta mismo estipuló que sus disposiciones se aplicaban a todos los cristianos pacíficos, que eran amigos y aliados de Los musulmanes, por todos los tiempos por venir.

Respecto a su reconocimiento y aplicación por parte de los Califas rectamente guiados, y prácticamente todos los líderes musulmanes después de esto, dice:

Según el registro histórico, las libertades otorgadas por el Profeta a los monjes del Monte Sinaí, junto con otras comunidades, fueron honradas por Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman y ‘Ali, así como los Omeyas y los’ Abassids.

Y prácticamente todos los líderes de los musulmanes -y muchos de los no musulmanes- hasta ahora. (Para una exposición completa y con citas de esto podéis consultar el artículo completo aquí (en inglés))

El tratado, cuya fuente es fidedigna y ha sido transmitido por fuentes musulmanas y no musulmanas, dice lo siguiente (de una traducción al inglés por Anton F. Haddad):

Esta es una carta escrita por Mohammed, Ibn Abdullah, el Mensajero, el Profeta y el Creyente, que ha sido enviado a todos los pueblos como una fideicomiso de parte de Dios a todas Sus criaturas, para que no puedan declararse en contra de Dios en lo sucesivo. Verdaderamente Dios es Omnipotente, el Sabio. Esta carta está dirigida a quienes abrazan el Islam, como un convenio con a los seguidores de Jesús el Nazareno, en el Este y el Oeste, los lejanos y los cercano, los árabes y los extranjeros, los conocidos y los desconocidos.

Esta carta contiene el juramento que se les ha dado, y el que desobedezca lo que está en ella será considerado incrédulo y transgresor de lo que se le ha mandado. Será considerado como uno de los que ha corrompido el juramento de Dios, no ha creído Su Testamento, ha rechazado Su Autoridad, ha despreciado a Su religión y se ha hecho merecedor de Su maldición, ya sea un sultán o cualquier otro creyente del Islam. Cada vez que los monjes, devotos y peregrinos cristianos se reúnen, ya sea en una montaña o valle, o plano, o lugar frecuentado, o llano, o iglesia, o en casas de culto, ciertamente estaremos [detrás de ellos] y los protegeremos, así como  sus propiedades y su moral, yo mí mismo, mis compañeros y mis asistentes, puesto que parte son de mis subditos y están bajo mi protección.

Los eximiré de lo que pueda perturbarlos; de las cargas que son pagadas por otros como un juramento de lealtad. No deben dar nada de su ingreso sino lo que les agrada, no deben ser ofendidos, molestados, forzados ni obligado. Sus jueces no deben ser cambiados o impedidos de cumplir con sus funciones, ni los monjes perturbados en el ejercicio de su orden religiosa, ni a las personas de reclusión a impedido de vivir en sus celdas.

A nadie se le permite saquear a estos cristianos, o destruir o estropear cualquiera de sus iglesias o casas de culto, o tomar cualquiera de las cosas contenidas en estas casas y llevarlas a las casas del Islam. Y aquel que haga algo de esto, será uno que ha corrompido el juramento de Dios y, en verdad, ha desobedecido a su Mensajero.

La Yizya no debe imponerse sobre sus jueces, monjes y aquellos cuya ocupación es la adoración de Dios; tampoco se les puede quitar ninguna otra cosa, ya sea una multa, un impuesto o cualquier derecho injusto. En verdad, mantendré el pacto, dondequiera que estén, en el mar o en la tierra, en el Este o en el Oeste, en el Norte o en el Sur, porque están bajo Mi Protección y el testamento de Mi Seguridad, contra todas las cosas que aborrecen.

No deben recibirse impuestos ni diezmos de aquellos que se dedican a la adoración de Dios en las montañas, o de aquellos que cultivan las Tierras Santas. Nadie tiene el derecho de interferir con sus asuntos, o iniciar acciones en su contra. En verdad esto es para algo más y no para ellos; más bien, en las temporadas de cultivos, se les debe dar un Kadah por cada Ardab de trigo (unos cinco puñados y medio) como provisión para ellos, y nadie tiene derecho a decirles “esto es demasiado”, o pedirles que paguen cualquier impuesto.

En cuanto a los que poseen propiedades, los ricos y los comerciantes, el impuesto que se les debe quitar no debe exceder los doce dracmas por persona por año.

Nadie les impondrá a emprender un viaje, o ser forzados a ir a la guerra o a llevar armas; porque los musulmanes tienen que luchar por ellos. No discutáis o disputéis con ellos, sino tratarlos de acuerdo con el versículo registrado en el Corán, a saber: ” Y no discutas con la gente del Libro sino de la mejor manera” [29:46]. Por lo tanto, vivirán favorecidos y protegidos de todo lo que los ofenden, dondequiera que estén y en cualquier lugar donde puedan habitar.

En caso de que una mujer cristiana esté casada con un musulmán, dicho matrimonio no debe celebrarse excepto después de su consentimiento, y no debe impedirse que vaya a su iglesia a orar. Sus iglesias deben ser honradas y no se les debe impedir construir iglesias o reparar conventos.

No deben ser obligados a portar armas o piedras; pero los musulmanes deben protegerlos y defenderlos contra otros. Incumbe a cada uno de los seguidores del Islam no contradecir o desobedecer este juramento hasta el Día de la Resurrección y el fin del mundo.

Sobre este tratado, Ibn Kazir, conocido erudito, exégeta del Corán e historiador, hace un resumen en sus libro Qisas al-Anbiya (Historias de los Profetas):

Fue en esta época [después del Tratado de Hudaybiyyah] que el Profeta concedió a los monjes del Monasterio de Santa Catalina, cerca del Monte Sinaí, su carta de derechos mediante la cual aseguraron a los cristianos privilegios e inmunidades nobles y generosas. Se comprometió y ordenó a sus seguidores a proteger a los cristianos, defender sus iglesias y las residencias de sus sacerdotes y protegerlos de todos los ataques. No debían ser gravados injustamente; ningún obispo debía ser expulsado de su diócesis; ni a ningún cristiano se le debía obligar a rechazar su religión; ningún monje debía ser expulsado de su monasterio; ningún peregrino debía ser impedido de su peregrinación; ni las iglesias cristianas serían derribadas por construir mezquitas o casas para los musulmanes. Las mujeres cristianas casadas con musulmanes debían disfrutar de su propia religión y no ser sometidas a compulsión o molestia de ningún tipo. Si los cristianos necesitaran asistencia para reparar sus iglesias o monasterios, o cualquier otro asunto relacionado con su religión, los musulmanes debían ayudarlos. Esto no debía considerarse como un apoyo a su religión, sino simplemente como una asistencia en circunstancias especiales. En caso de que los musulmanes mantuviesen hostilidades con cristianos de fuera (del territorio gobernado por los musulmanes), ningún cristiano residente entre los musulmanes debía de ser tratado con desprecio a causa de su credo. El Profeta declaró que cualquier musulmán que violase cualquier cláusula de la Tratado debía ser considerado como un transgresor de los mandamientos de Allah, un violador de Su testamento y negligente de Su creencia.

Shaykh Saad al-Azhari endorses the Covenants

THE COVENANT OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD WITH THE JEWS OF KHAYBAR AND MAQNA

Image result for judaism islam

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

The Muslim Post (March 15, 2019)

“The Jews of the Islamic world were not restricted in this way. Like Christians, they were accorded the status of dhimmi (protected minority), which gave them civil and military protection, as long as they respected the law and supremacy of the Islamic state. The Jews of Islam were not persecuted… they were given full religious liberty, were able to run their affairs according to their laws, and were more able than the Jews of Europe to participate in mainstream culture and commerce.” Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History

“Discussing the conditions under which Jews and Christians could remain on Muslim soil and be considered part of the community, Muhammad added: “He who wrongs a Jew or a Christian will have me as his accuser.” Again and again, he recommended this tolerance toward the faith which so resembled his own. In all his treaties with Christians he invariably guaranteed their liberty of worship.” R.V.C. Bodley, The Messenger

The Text of the Covenant

[Translated by Hartwig Hirschfeld in 1903 and edited by John Andrew Morrow in 2015]

In the Name of [Allah], the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

This is a letter from Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Haninah and the people of Khaybar and Maqna and their progeny as long as the heavens are above the earth, peace. I praise unto you Allah, save whom there is no god but He.

Now [I say that] he has revealed unto me that you are about to return to your cities and to the inhabitants of your dwelling-place. Return in safety, in the protection of Allah and that of his Messenger.

Yours is the safeguard of Allah and that of his Messenger with regard to your persons, belief, and property, slaves, and whatever is in your possession. You shall not have the annoyance of land-tax, nor shall a forelock of yours be cut off.

No army shall tread on your soil, nor shall you be assembled [for military service], nor shall tithes be imposed on you, neither shall you be injured in any way. No one shall leave his mark on you, you shall not be prevented from wearing slashed or colored garments, nor from riding on horseback, nor from carrying any kind of arms.

If anyone attacks you, fight him, and if he is killed in the war against you, none of you shall be executed for his sake nor is ransom to be paid for him. If one of you kill a Muslim intentionally, he shall be dealt with according to Muslim law. No disgraceful charges shall be brought against you, and you shall not be as other [non-Muslim] poll-tax payers.

If you ask assistance, it shall be granted to you, and if you want help you shall have it. You shall not be punished for white, nor yellow, nor brown (garments), nor for a coat of mail, nor […] Not a shoe-lace of yours shall be cut. You shall not be hindered entering the mosques, nor precluded from governing Muslims.

You shall have no other ruler except out of your own midst, or from the Family of the Messenger of Allah. Room shall be made for your funerals, except when they trespass on a sacred spot (mosque). You shall be held in honor on account of your own high station and the station of Ṣafiyyah, the daughter of your uncle [who became a wife of the Prophet].

It shall be incumbent upon the people of the house of the Messenger of Allah and upon the Muslims to uphold your honor, and not to touch you. If any of you goes on a journey, he shall be under the safeguard of Allah and his Messenger. “There is no compulsion in matters of religion” [Qur’an 2:256].

If any of you follows the religion of the Messenger of Allah and his command, he shall have one fourth of what the Messenger of Allah has ordered to be given to the People of his House, to be given when the Quraysh receive their portions, viz. fifty dinars. This is a present from me for you.

The Family of the House of the Messenger of Allah and all the Muslims are charged to fulfill all that is in this letter. Whoever deserves well of Haninah and the people of Khaybar and Maqna, all the better for him; but he who does them evil, all the worse for him.

Whoever reads this my letter, or to whomever it is read, and he alters or changes anything of what is in it, upon him shall be the curse of Allah and the curse of the cursing of all humankind. He is beyond my protection and intercession on the day of Resurrection, and I am his foe. And who is my foe is the foe of Allah, and he who is the foe of Allah goes to hell […] and bad is the abode there.

The Witness is Allah, like whom there is no God, and Allah is sufficient as a witness, and his angels, and those Muslims who are present.

‘Ali, the son of Abu Talib, wrote it with his writing, while the Messenger of Allah dictated it to him, letter-for-letter, on Friday, the 3rd of Ramadan, in the year five of the hijrah.

Witnesses: [‘Ammar] b. Yasir; Salman the Persian, the friend of the Messenger of Allah; Abu Darr al-Ghiffari.

Face aux attentats terroristes, où sont les «musulmans modérés»?

Par John Andrew Morrow

Shafaqna

SHAFAQNA – Après chaque nouvelle attaque terroriste en Occident, faussement commise au nom de l’Islam par des hérétiques ou des mercenaires, des politiciens tentent de profiter de la tragédie en faisant de tous les musulmans des boucs émissaires et en diabolisant toute une religion mondiale, alors même que plus de 90% des victimes de Daech sont des musulmans, qu’ils sont en première ligne pour les combattre et que les crimes commis par l’Occident ou Israël, principaux soutiens du takfirisme et du wahhabisme, ne sont (légitimement) pas imputés au christianisme ou au judaïsme. Le Dr John Andrew Morrow présente des faits avérés sur l’Islam et les musulmans. 

Sources: https://covenantsoftheprophet.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/if-muslims-are-so-moderate-why-dont-they-speak-out-against-terrorism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgyrOycqWRQ

Traduction : fr.shafaqna.com

Selon le Pew Research Center, 93% du monde islamique est composé de sunnites, chiites et soufis. Ce sont les musulmans orthodoxes. 7% du monde islamique sont composés de Salafistes, Wahhabis et Takfiris. Ce ne sont pas des musulmans orthodoxes. Ce sont des hérétiques. Ce sont les personnes désignées en Occident comme des islamistes, des jihadistes et des islamo-fascistes. En termes statistiques, il n’y a absolument aucun doute que l’écrasante majorité des musulmans sont tout aussi respectueux des lois que les membres de toute autre foi monothéiste. Quiconque prétend autre chose est malhonnête et trompeur…

[Ceux qui stigmatisent les musulmans] invoquent le fait que de nombreux musulmans du Moyen-Orient et de l’Asie du Sud soutiennent la peine de mort pour l’apostasie. Cependant, il ignore commodément l’image plus large. 71% de musulmans tunisiens, 73% de musulmans thaïlandais, 78% de musulmans tadjiks, 83% de musulmans turcs, 82% de musulmans indonésiens, 85% de musulmans de Bosnie et de Russie, 89% de musulmans du Kosovo, 92% de musulmans albanais et 96% des musulmans kazakhs s’opposent à la peine de mort pour les personnes qui quittent l’Islam…

Plus de 60% des musulmans soutiennent la démocratie. Si cela semble faible pour certains, c’est parce que les musulmans ont été victimes de fausses démocraties depuis la fin de l’époque coloniale. Si 40% s’opposent à la démocratie, c’est la « démocratie » des dictateurs et des monarques militaires à laquelle ils s’opposent, ainsi que la « démocratie » de l’invasion et de l’occupation occidentales. Interrogés sur la liberté religieuse, 92,6% des musulmans ont affirmé que c’était une bonne chose. Comme le confirme le Pew Research Center, la majorité des musulmans s’opposent à l’extrémisme, au terrorisme et aux attentats suicide…

Dénoncer les islamistes radicaux et les djihadistes n’est pas un acte islamophobe. Je le fais tout le temps et je suis un musulman pratiquant. Mettre tous les musulmans dans le même sac, les peindre grossièrement, falsifier les faits et essayer de convaincre les gens que même les femmes musulmanes éduquées, non voilées et sans accent sont des extrémistes, c’est l’exemple même de l’islamophobie. Il est également islamophobe de prétendre que les musulmans ne se mobilisent pas pour dénoncer la terreur islamiste parce qu’ils ont secrètement une sympathie pour les terroristes. Faux ! Ils le dénoncent tout le temps, par millions. Les voix musulmanes, cependant, sont systématiquement censurées par les médias dominants.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler du Code d’honneur musulman de l’ISNA (Société Islamique d’Amérique du Nord)? Il dénonce l’extrémisme et la violence.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Fatwa contre le terrorisme et les attentats-suicides? Publiée par le Dr Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri en 2010, elle affirme que « le terrorisme est le terrorisme, la violence est la violence, ils n’ont pas leur place dans l’enseignement islamique et aucune justification ne peut être fournie pour eux. » En 2014, il a affirmé que « L’idéologie de Daech revient à de la mécréace pour l’Islam. C’est un anti-Islam, opposé aux enseignements du Prophète de l’islam. »

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de l’Initiative des Pactes? Inspirée par Les Pactes du Prophète Muhammad avec les Chrétiens du monde, ce mouvement international de musulmans est impliqué dans la protection des juifs, des chrétiens et des musulmans persécutés et a été à l’avant-garde de la guerre idéologique contre Daech.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Fatwa de Bin Bayyah? En septembre 2014, Cheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, l’un des savants les plus influents de l’Islam sunnite, a promulgué une longue fatwa condamnant Daech.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Lettre à Baghdadi? Sortie en septembre 2014, c’est une réfutation méticuleuse de Daech. Elle a été signée par plus d’une centaine d’éminents spécialistes de l’Islam et dirigée personnellement vers le chef du faux Etat islamique.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler du Message d’Amman? Publié en novembre 2004 et signé par 200 chercheurs islamiques de plus de 50 pays, il appelle à la tolérance dans le monde musulman.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Déclaration de l’Organisation de coopération islamique? Publiée en 2014, elle déclare que Daech n’a « rien à voir avec l’Islam » et a commis des crimes « qui ne peuvent être tolérés ».

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Fatwa d’al-Azhar? Émise en 2014, elle affirme que Daech est « un danger pour l’Islam ».

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Déclaration de la Ligue arabe? Publiée en 2014, elle dénonce les « crimes contre l’humanité » commis par Daech.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Fatwa qui a été émise par le premier clerc turc, le Mufti Mehmet Gormez ? Émise en 2014, elle affirme que Daech « fait des dégâts considérables» contre l’Islam et les musulmans.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler des condamnations contre Daech émises par le CAIR (Conseil pour les relations islamo-américaines) ? Depuis 2014, ils ont condamné à maintes reprises Daech comme « non-islamique et moralement répugnant ».

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Déclaration faite par le Conseil musulman de la Grande-Bretagne? Émise en 2014, elle affirme que « la violence n’a pas sa place dans la religion. »

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Fatwa publiée par le Conseil de jurisprudence de la Société islamique d’Amérique du Nord ? Publiée en 2014 et signée par 126 éminents musulmans, elle affirme que les actions de Daech ne sont en aucun cas représentatives des enseignements de l’Islam.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler la Fatwa commune sunnite-chiite édictée par 100 Imams britanniques ? Emise en 2014, elle décrit Daech comme un groupe « illégitime » et « cruel ».

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Déclaration publiée par le Conseil des affaires publiques musulmanes ? Publié en 2014, elle condamne Daech et appelle les musulmans à « s’opposer à l’extrémisme ».

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de Nahdlatul Ulama? C’est la plus grande organisation islamique au monde, représentant 50 millions de musulmans indonésiens. En 2014, la NU a lancé une campagne mondiale contre l’extrémisme et le wahhabisme.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler des pensées de Cheikh Muhammad al-Yaqubi sur Daech? Dans une interview menée en 2014, il a affirmé que « Daech n’a aucune nationalité. Sa nationalité est la terreur, la sauvagerie et la haine. » En outre, il a affirmé que « Baghdadi va tout droit en enfer. »

En 2015, Cheikh al-Yaqubi a publié une conférence intitulée Rejeter Daech : une réfutation de ses fondations religieuses et idéologiques. Dans sa brochure, il déclare que Daech constitue la menace la plus grave que l’Islam ait jamais rencontrée [ce qui est également la position de Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Sayed Ali Khamenei, Sayed Sistani, etc., qui sont en première ligne du combat contre Daech].

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler du djihad qui a été déclaré par le Groupe de Jeunes Musulmans au Royaume-Uni en 2015 ? Ils ont déclaré que des groupes comme Daech n’ont « aucun lien avec l’islam ou la communauté musulmane ».

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Fatwa de masse contre Daech ? Publiée en décembre 2015, elle a été signée par plus de 100 000 clercs musulmans en Inde, au Bangladesh et au-delà, et approuvés par des millions de musulmans.

Combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Déclaration de Marrakech? Publiée en 2016 et signée par des centaines de grands dirigeants musulmans, elle exprime leur engagement collectif à l’égard des droits humains, civils, religieux et aux droits des communautés minoritaires dans les pays musulmans.

Last but not least, combien de personnes ont entendu parler de la Déclaration de Grozny qui a excommunié les Salafistes-Takfiris ? Une Fatwa commune émise en Tchétchénie en 2016 par, entre autres, le Grand Cheikh d’Al-Azhar, la plus haute autorité de l’Islam sunnite, a déclaré explicitement que « les Salafistes-Takfirists, Daech (le soi-disant « Etat islamique ») et les groupes extrémistes similaires « n’étaient pas ‘musulmans’ ». [Et la liste est encore longue, et s’étend à toutes les communautés musulmanes d’Orient et d’Occident].

Il est crucial de faire la distinction entre les masses d’êtres humains musulmans et la minuscule minorité de terroristes sub-humains. Les valeurs traditionnelles de l’Islam sont parfaitement compatibles avec les valeurs traditionnelles du monde occidental : valeurs judéo-chrétiennes et valeurs humanitaires. Le Prophète Muhammad a produit la première Constitution dans l’histoire politique de l’humanité. Les Pactes du Prophète ont été les premiers à consacrer les notions modernes de droits civiques et humains. Les principes du Prophète ont influencé la Renaissance européenne, le Code napoléonien, la Constitution américaine et la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme.

L’Islam orthodoxe, traditionnel, dominant, civilisationnel et classique n’a pas besoin d’être réformé. Il doit être guéri d’une maladie, d’une innovation toxique, appelée salafisme takfiri, une tumeur cancéreuse attachée au corps de l’Islam. Elle n’appartient pas au corps. Elle veut affaiblir, détruire et tuer le corps. Il faut l’amputer. Plus tôt la tumeur cancéreuse sera enlevée chirurgicalement, mieux ce sera pour les musulmans et les non-musulmans.

Dr John Andrew Morrow, fier musulman, pour l’Initiative des Pactes, mouvement international de protection des victimes de Daech.

The Duty to Protect Sacred Sites — Part III

The Prophet’s Covenants establish the Sunnah of historical preservation

By John Andrew Morrow

In light of the war crimes and cultural genocide committed by takfiri terrorists in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, in which masjids, graves, shrines, mausoleums, and churches have been destroyed, what do the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), have to say about the preservation of heritage sites — religious, cultural, and historical? This is something truly significant.

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mt. Sinai, the famous Ashtiname of Muhammad, ‘ahd nabawi or ‘ahd al-nabi, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), promises the Christians from the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula, that “no building from among their churches shall be destroyed” and warns that “whoever does such a thing violates God’s covenant and dissents from the Messenger of God” (Morrow, vol. 3:2). Not only are Muslims prohibited from demolishing churches, they are exhorted to maintain them, “These people shall be assisted in the maintenance of their religious buildings and their dwellings; thus, they will be aided in their faith and kept true to their allegiance” (Morrow, vol. 3:3).

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia, which was provided to the Armenian Christians of Persia, and was preserved in the Cathedral of New Julfa, in Isfahan, Iran, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), states that “All pious believers shall deem it their bounden duty to defend believers and to aid them wherever they may be, whether far or near, and throughout Christendom” (Morrow, vol. 3:5).

But what exactly does it mean to protect Christian believers? The Prophet (pbuh), provides the definition. It consists in protecting “the places where they conduct worship, and those where their monks and priests dwell” (Morrow, vol. 3:5–6). He decreed that “their building enterprises shall not be interfered with… neither shall their churches be dismantled or destroyed, or their homes and mansions confiscated by Muslims, for mosques or residences, without their consent” (Morrow, vol. 3:6). What is more, he encouraged Muslims to help Christians repair their churches, chapels, and monasteries.

But for what reason, you may ask. As the Prophet (pbuh) most logically explains, for “the interest of the benevolent Muslim public and of their faith… as an expression of friendship and goodwill” (Morrow, vol. 3:7–8). The relationship is reciprocal. It can help seal a fraternal understanding. That is how you build bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. That is how you promote social cohesion, tolerance, and coexistence. That is how you unite a diverse community. That is how you honor the signs of God.

Is there any territorial limitation to such obligations of protection of both persons and property? Absolutely not. As the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) explains, it applies

…everywhere, in mountains, on the plains, in towns and in waste places, in deserts, and wherever they may be, that people shall be protected, both in their faith and in their property, both in the West and in the East, both on sea and land (3:5–6).

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was not establishing municipal law, state law, or federal rights: he was establishing universal human rights. In fact, he was the very first to do so in the history of humanity. The rights he gave, he gave to all the world. He also warned that “Whosoever shall not do as is here prescribed, but shall do contrary to my behests; the same shall be held a despiser of this Compact, and a gainsayer of the word of God and of his Prophet” (Morrow, vol. 3:6).

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran, which was found by Habib the Monk in the Bayt al-Hikmah of Baghdad in the 9th century CE, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states,

I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites, wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert” (Morrow, vol. 3:15).

He also stresses, “it is not permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims” and warns, “whoever does such a thing will have violated the pact of God, disobeyed his Messenger, and become estranged from the Divine Alliance” (Morrow, vol. 3:16).

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, which was rediscovered in a monastery in the Levant in the 17th century by Father Pacifique de Provins, and published in Paris by Gabriel Sionita, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) declares,

I grant security to their churches, their places of pilgrimage wherever they are and wherever they may be found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, in the caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or the desert, or in buildings; and that I protect their religion and their property wherever they are and wherever they may be found in land or at sea, in the East or West, in the same way that I protect myself, my successors, and the People of My Community among the Believers and the Muslims (Morrow, vol. 3:21).

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) asserts that “it is not permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims” (Morrow, vol. 3:21). He states that “if the Christians seek the help and assistance of the Muslims in order to repair their churches and their convents… they must help and support them” (Morrow, vol. 3:23). However, he stresses, “they must not do so with the aim of receiving any reward” but rather “they should aim to restore that religion, out of faithfulness to the pact of the Messenger of God, by pure donation, and as a meritorious act before God and His Messenger” (Morrow, vol. 3:23). Once again, he warns, “whoever does such a thing will have violated the Pact of God, disobeyed his Messenger, and betrayed the Divine Alliance” (Morrow vol. 3:21).

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, which was copied in Egypt in 1538 from an ancient manuscript, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states,

I grant security to them, their churches, their businesses, their houses of worship, the places of their monks, the places of their pilgrims, wherever they may be found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, the plains or the desert (Morrow, vol. 3: 26).

He also states that Muslims must help and support Christians if they seek their assistance to repair their churches and convents (Morrow, vol. 3:28). He stresses that they should only do so to restore that religion, out of faithfulness to the Covenant of the Prophet, as a pure good deed, and as a blessed act before God and His Messenger (Morrow, vol. 3:28).

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians, which was housed in the Cathedral of Jilu until the 19th century, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) proclaims, “Leave their places of worship in peace” (Morrow, vol. 3:31); “Leave all their possessions alone, be it house or other property, do not destroy anything of their belongings” (Morrow, vol. 3:31). In the words of the Prophet, “their church buildings shall be left as they are, they shall not be altered” (Morrow, vol. 3:31); “None of their churches shall be torn down, or altered into a mosque, except by the consent and free will of the Christians” (Morrow, vol. 3:31). And, once again, he warns, “If anyone disobeys this command, the anger of God and His Prophet shall be upon him” (Morrow, vol. 3:31).

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Coptic Christians, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) professes,

I will defend their dwellings and their houses of prayer and their churches, their monasteries and their gathering places, the gathering places of their monks and priests and hermits, the places of their hermits, and their monks’ cells and grottos (Morrow, vol. 2:236).

He iterates, “nothing shall be removed from their places of prayer or from their churches which they have” (Morrow, vol. 2:237). He also assures, “every building of their places of prayer and churches that was destroyed shall be rebuilt as it was at first” (Morrow, vol. 2:237). In other words, not only are Muslims required to respect, protect, and preserve religious institutions of other faiths, they are obliged to rebuild any of them that were destroyed.

In the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Syriac Orthodox Christians, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) offers the same promise of protection,

I grant security and safety to their churches, their homes, their places of worship, their monasteries, their sites of pilgrimage, wherever they are and wherever they may be, be they in mountains or valleys, in caves or inhabited regions, in plains or in the desert and buildings (Morrow, vol. 2:342).

We see the very same thing in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians, in which he says,

I safeguard them and remove all harm from them and from their churches, cloisters, convents, and places of worship, wherever they may be found, by they in mountains, valleys, caves, inhabited regions or in the plains (Morrow, vol. 2:477),

and in which he asserts, “It is not permitted to destroy or take parts of their ancient churches to construct mosques or homes for the Muslims” (Morrow, vol. 2:477).

This version is particularly interesting since it speaks not only of existing structures, but to ancient churches. Protection, therefore, is not limited to modern, contemporary, buildings, but also applies to those of historical importance.

The Social and Political Reform of the Prophet

See the source image

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

AMUST (February 25, 2019)

Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, was born in 570 CE in the Arabian Peninsula. He lost his father four months before his birth. His mother passed away when he was six. Two years later he lost the paternal grandfather who cared for him. After that, he was raised by his paternal uncle. The society in which Muhammad grew up was devoid of political organization. People were divided into warring tribes. Tribalism, racism, and prejudice were rampant. The rich exploited the poor. The powerful enslaved the weak. Women were viewed as sexual objects and treated as chattel. They could be brutalized without mercy. With the exception of small numbers of Jews and Christians, along with the monotheistic Hanifs and a segment of Zoroastrians, the overwhelming majority of the population was pagan, animistic, idolatrous, and polytheistic. Unlike the Hindus, however, the Arab idolaters did not believe in life after death or reincarnation. Their real religion, however, was materialism and hedonism. If Arabia lived in darkness, the situation outside of the Peninsula was hardly brighter. During Muhammad’s time, there were two superpowers, Byzantium and Persia. Besides waging war with one another directly, they also opposed one another by means of proxies. Growing up, the young orphan was drawn to nature where he contemplated the wonders of creation. After marrying his first wife, Khadijah, he started to spend long period of time in the seclusion of a cave on the outskirts of Mecca where he sought spiritual solace and a solution to the problems afflicting his society. After years of seeking, Muhammad received revelation and an answer to all his questions.

The Prophet Muhammad preached that God was One. This belief in unity was the be all and end all of Islam and would pervade all of its aspects. Since God was One it signified that Humanity was one. While in Mecca, the Prophet’s priority was preaching Divine Unity and Human Unity. He called for an end to racism, tribalism, classism, and sexism. He insisted that all human beings were created equal and that superiority could only be attained by striving for piety. He condemned the evils of slavery and advocated on behalf of slaves of every race, religion, and ethnicity. He sided with the meek, oppressed, and downtrodden. He taught that greatness was not in having but in giving and, in turn, gave all of his wealth away to help the poor. The Prophet Muhammad called for the emancipation of women and demanded that they be treated with love, honor, respect, and dignity. He denounced the sacrifice of children to pagan gods and the burying alive of baby girls. Although the Prophet gained a solid following among the wretched of the earth, he was opposed by the elites of the age who viewed his unitarian and egalitarian vision as a threat to their selfish interests. The tribal leaders tried to buy him. When that failed, they tried to get him to compromise on matters of principle. When that failed, they tried to pressure him economically. When that failed, they resorted to intimidation, violence, and isolation. Having exhausted all avenues, the leaders of Mecca attempted to have him assassinated.

The Prophet Muhammad, however, was a brilliant strategist who made alliances with members of other faith communities who sympathized with his ideals. He reached out to Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and Zoroastrians. He even extended an olive branch to pagan Arabs. His diplomatic efforts were a phenomenal success and he signed dozens of treaties. The Messenger of Allah sent some of his followers as refugees to the Christian Kingdom of Abyssinia. He made allies with Yemenite Jews and the Christian monks from the Sinai. He had even secretly accepted an invitation to relocate to Yathrib, a city to the north of Mecca, where he was unanimously acclaimed as its leader. The city in question was divided equally between Jews and Arab pagans. Muslims merely numbered in the hundreds. While most of the people did not profess Islam as a religion, they believed in the social and economic principles preached by the Prophet. The city itself came to be known as Medina al-Nabi or The City of the Prophet. Eventually, as they experienced the benefits of Islam, most of the city’s population was converted to the cause.

Shortly after arriving in Medina, the Prophet Muhammad gathered the tribal elders and, in consultation with the broader community, produced the first written constitution in the history of humanity. Known as the Constitution of Medina, it established the creation of an Ummah or Motherland, a modern-style state, and essentially introduced the concept of citizenship. Race, religion, tribal affiliation, kinship, and class were no longer determining factors in matter of identity. Citizens were now bound to the Ummah or State. It was a tolerant, diverse, and pluralistic society organized into semi-autonomous religious communities which governed themselves according to their own faith traditions. Muslims were judged according to Islam. Christians were judged according to Christianity. And Jews were judged according to Judaism. And while the Prophet could only preach during the persecution in Mecca, speaking truth to power, cultivating solidarity, and engaging in charitable endeavors, in Medina, with the power of the people and the State behind him, he was able to turn theory into practice and ethical principles into laws. The Constitution of Medina and the Covenants of the Prophet, which are precursors to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Bill of Rights, are testimonies to the power the propelled Islam. By the time the Prophet Muhammad passed away, in 632 CE, Islam had spread throughout all Arabia and was about to spread like lighting throughout the Middle East, Persia, North Africa, and beyond.

El Profeta Muhammad y los Hijos de Israel

Por John Andrew Morrow

Revista Cultural Biblioteca Islámica (8 de enero de 2019)

La relación entre el Profeta Muhammad y el pueblo judío es compleja y matizada. Muhammad, descendiente de Ismael a través de su línea paterna, también era descendiente de Isaac a través de su línea materna. Aunque la mayoría de las fuentes sunnitas afirman que los padres del Profeta eran paganos, las fuentes shiitas enfatizan que eran monoteístas, señalando que pertenecían a los hanifes, es decir, a la pequeña secta de árabes correctamente guiados que habían preservado la religión de Ismael. Algunas fuentes cristianas tempranas, sin embargo, indican que el padre del Profeta, ‘Abdullah era cristiano y su madre Aminah judía. Por muy polémicas que puedan ser estas afirmaciones, y por muy sensibles que sean los musulmanes sobre el tema, no hay duda de que la abuela paterna del Profeta, Salma bint Amr, era judía. Por consiguiente, Muhammad, aunque predominantemente de ascendencia árabe. De ese modo y por ambas ramas de su familia su ascendencia se remonta a Abraham, la primera figura monoteísta importante de la historia.

El Profeta Muhammad que nació y fue criado en el santuario politeísta de La Meca, solo ocasionalmente entró en contacto con los hanifes, judíos, cristianos y zoroástricos, quienes viajaban allí con fines comerciales. Cuando proclamó la profecía alrededor de sus cuarenta años, no tuvo una audiencia muy receptiva. De todos modos, s mensaje monoteístas se presentó como un reavivamiento de las enseñanzas de Abraham, comparándose en ello con Moisés. Asimismo, fue considerado con deferencia por el Negus de Abisinia. Algunos eruditos creen que este era judeocristiano, por lo que ofreció refugio a los seguidores perseguidos del Profeta Muhammad.

Fue el próspero pueblo de Yathrib al norte de La Meca donde árabes y judíos se contaban en igual número ―escenario de importantes luchas internas―, el que ofreció al Profeta un hogar permanente. Y lo invitaron a mediar para reunificar la comunidad puesto que no era pagano ni judío (que eran los sectores que chocaban) y se lo consideraba totalmente objetivo. Los árabes de Medina fueron los primeros en convertirse al nuevo credo del Profeta. Crecieron escuchando a los judíos de su comunidad hablar del inminente surgimiento de un nuevo profeta y querían ser los primeros en seguirlo. Un pequeño, pero importante segmento de judíos también abrazó el Islam, incluidos varios rabinos prominentes.  

Como líder eficaz y visionario, la primera propuesta del Profeta Muhammad fue crear una constitución escrita sin precedentes para esa nueva ciudad-estado, que pronto sería conocida como Medina al-Nabi, es decir, la Ciudad del Profeta. Sentencia que judíos y musulmanes eran creyentes. Estipula que todos los ciudadanos son iguales. Según las primeras fuentes musulmanas, todas las tribus judías de Medina y de la región circundante estuvieron de acuerdo. Sin embargo, posteriormente algunas tribus judías cambiaron de opinión y conspiraron para derrocar al Profeta con la ayuda de los paganos de La Meca.

Los relatos de los eventos son confusos e incoherentes. Algunas fuentes sugieren que algunas tribus fueron exiliadas. Otros alegan que los combatientes varones de una tribu fueron condenados a muerte por traición según el juicio de otros judíos. Este episodio es discutido por historiadores musulmanes y no musulmanes y no puede ser tratado como un hecho histórico. Lo que sabemos con certeza es que el Profeta Muhammad entró en conflicto con segmentos de la comunidad judía. Los judíos leales a él continuaron viviendo en Medina y permanecieron a su lado el resto de sus vidas.  

Aunque la cuestión es complicada, la supuesta masacre de los judíos ha teñido la percepción de los judíos para algunos musulmanes y la percepción de los musulmanes para algunos no musulmanes, en particular judíos y cristianos, que la utilizan para condenar al Islam en su conjunto. Esto se asemeja a la actitud de algunos cristianos que acusan a los judíos de matar a Jesús y los odian a todos como un todo. Es similar a la actitud de algunos musulmanes debido a lo que sucede en diversas partes del mundo y entonces condenan a todos los judíos por acciones inaceptables llevadas a cabo por cierta cantidad de judíos. De ese modo, propician sentimientos antijudíos.

Las relaciones entre musulmanes y judíos no se limitan a un único conflicto que supuestamente tuvo lugar en el siglo VII. No obstante, el hecho es que más allá de las situaciones puntuales conflictivas, musulmanes y judíos han coexistido pacíficamente durante la mayor parte de los últimos 1.400 años. Los judíos huyeron de la persecución cristiana en Europa para encontrar seguridad en el mundo musulmán. Los judíos sefarditas expulsados de España en 1492 fueron abrazados fraternalmente por los otomanos. Moriscos y marranos, musulmanes crípticos y judíos crípticos, también sufrieron juntos en la España católica y a menudo se casaron entre sí. Sin duda, debe haber alguna base histórica para la solidaridad judeo-musulmana.

Un número cada vez mayor de personas de todas las religiones se ha enterado de los tratados y pactos que el Profeta Mahoma concluyó con comunidades que pertenecen a la fe Cristiana. Pero no son tantos los que conocen los tratados y pactos celebrados con miembros de las religiones zoroastriana, samaritana y judía. Lejos de ser falsificaciones tardías, los documentos en cuestión han sido transmitidos durante catorce siglos. Sobreviven en forma manuscrita. Se registran en las fuentes pertenecientes a todas estas comunidades religiosas. Uno de los documentos más importantes sobre las relaciones entre musulmanes y judíos es el “Tratado de Maqna,” que protege a los habitantes judíos del noroeste de Arabia, incluidas las tribus de Hanina, Maqna y Khaybar. Concluido hacia el final de la misión profética de Muhammad, demuestra que el conflicto que supuestamente tuvo lugar en Medina con los Banu Nadir, Banu Qaynuqa y Banu Nadir, no representa la última palabra en el tema de las relaciones interreligiosas entre judíos y musulmanes.  

En el “Tratado de Maqna,” que se encuentra en las fuentes clásicas musulmanas y judías, el Muhammad concede “la protección de Dios” a sus aliados de los Hijos de Israel: “Vuestra es la salvaguarda de Dios y de su Mensajero con respecto a sus personas, creencias, propiedades, esclavos y todo lo que tengan en su poder.” Dirigiéndose a los judíos, el Profeta les asegura: “No tendréis la molestia de los impuestos sobre la tierra, ni se os cortará el mechón” … “Ningún ejército pisará vuestra tierra, ni seréis convocados [para el servicio militar], ni se os impondrán los diezmos, ni seréis perjudicados de ninguna manera”…“Nadie les afectará y no se les impedirá llevar ropa con determinados cortes o de color, montar a caballo, llevar algún tipo de armas.” Muhammad decretó que los judíos tenían derecho a la autodefensa: “Si alguien los ataca, combatidlo. Y si muere en esa lucha, ninguno de vosotros será condenado ni obligado a pagar nada.” Para el caso de que un judío matase a un musulmán intencionalmente, el acusado sería juzgado de acuerdo con la ley musulmana.  

El Profeta también liberó a los judíos de los impuestos opresivos: “No se les pedirá emolumentos deplorables y no tendrán que pagar impuestos como otros [no musulmanes].” Puesto que se trataba de ciudadanos en pie de igualdad, el Estado musulmán era responsable de atender sus necesidades: “Si piden algún tipo de asistencia, se les concederá. Y si quieren ayuda la tendrán.” Dijo el Mensajero de Dios: “No se les sacará ni un cordón del zapato.” En otras palabras, la justicia debía dispensarse por igual a todos. A los ciudadanos judíos del Estado musulmán se les permitía entrar a la mezquita. Además, el Profeta declaró específicamente que no se les “impediría tener gobernantes musulmanes.” Les aseguró que como comunidad autónoma dentro del Estado musulmán “No tendrían otro gobernante que no sea de entre vosotros o de la familia del Mensajero de Dios.” Los ritos funerarios de los judíos debían ser respetados. Además, todos los musulmanes debían honrar a los judíos por su alta posición y la posición de Safiyyah, la esposa judía del Profeta. Como dice el “Tratado de Maqna:”   

A la gente de la casa del Mensajero de Dios y a los musulmanes les corresponderá defender su honor y no afectarlos. Si alguno de vosotros se va de viaje, estará bajo la protección de Dios y de su Mensajero. “No hay compulsión en asuntos de religión” [Corán 2:256].

El Profeta también prometió proporcionarles una cuarta parte del khums (impuesto musulmán) siempre y cuando se mantuvieran fieles y respetuosos de la ley. Los puso bajo su protección, la de su familia y la de los musulmanes. “El que trate de la mejor manera a (las tribus de) Haninah y al pueblo de Khaybar y Maqna,” dijo el Profeta, “tanto mejor para él; pero quien los perjudique, tanto peor para él.” Luego el Mensajero de Dios advirtió en contra de manipular su mensaje:

Quienquiera que lea esta mi carta, o a quienquiera que se la lea, y altere o cambie algo de lo que hay en ella, sobre esa persona recaerá la maldición de Dios y la maldición de la maldición de […] toda la humanidad. Esa persona estará privada de mi protección e intercesión en el día de la Resurrección, y yo soy su enemigo. Y quien es mi enemigo es el enemigo de Dios, y quien es el enemigo de Dios se va al infierno […] y esa morada es mala. 

El “Tratado de Maqna” fue atestiguado por Dios, por los ángeles y por los musulmanes presentes. Fue escrito por Ali ibn Abi Talib y atestiguado por Ammar ibn Yasir, Salman al-Farsi y Abu Dharr. Desgraciadamente, se ha comprobado que la versión del “Tratado de Maqna” encontrada en fuentes musulmanas como Ibn Sa’d y Baladhuri, que supuestamente era una copia fiel del original en manos de judíos egipcios en el siglo VIII, ha sido alterada. Una comparación del documento original encontrado en el Geniza de El Cairo, llevado a cabo por Ahmed El-Wakil, muestra que este es el caso. Esto confirma que el hadiz sunnita y las fuentes históricas no son necesariamente reflejos precisos del material de los primeros musulmanes.

Recopilados uno, dos y tres siglos después del fallecimiento del Profeta Muhammad, son relatos censurados de las fuentes primarias, alterados para hacerlos acordes con las interpretaciones y conveniencias de los gobernantes de entonces. Como exhibe una comparación de las copias sobrevivientes de los Pactos del Profeta con los judíos, samaritanos, zoroastrianos y cristianos, las versiones incluidas en los libros canónicos de tradición musulmana fueron editadas (modificadas) para hacerlas menos tolerantes que las originales. Esto demuestra que a posteriori del fallecimiento del Profeta tuvo lugar un proceso de adulteración y que los conflictos que tuvieron lugar siglos después del surgimiento del Islam fueron proyectados desde aquella época. Se intentó hacer aparecer al Profeta separado de todo tipo de confraternización con el judaísmo y el cristianismo y presentarlo como un pagano analfabeto. Se quiso destruir su calidad de monoteísta muy culto y poseedor de una comprensión profunda de las religiones abrahámicas.  

El “Tratado de Maqna” de la Genizah de El Cairo es sólo una de la media docena de copias de pactos que se dice fueron concluidos entre el Profeta Muhammad y los Hijos de Israel, muchos de los cuales fueron transmitidos por judíos yemenitas. Pero el consenso general de los eruditos judíos, en su mayoría modernos y laicos, es que estos se tratan de falsificaciones. Opinan que las hicieron los Hijos de Israel con el objeto de ganar el apoyo de los gobernantes musulmanes y asegurarse derechos. Sin embargo, varios estudiosos, como Hartwig Hirschfeld, Ahmed El-Wakil y yo mismo, hemos defendido la autenticidad general de los documentos en cuestión. Independientemente de que haya versiones editadas, censuradas y abreviadas de los documentos originales.

El “Tratado de Maqna” de la Genizah de El Cairo es sólo una de la media docena de copias de pactos que se dice fueron concluidos entre el Profeta Muhammad y los Hijos de Israel, muchos de los cuales fueron transmitidos por judíos yemenitas. Pero el consenso general de los eruditos judíos, en su mayoría modernos y laicos, es que estos se tratan de falsificaciones. Opinan que las hicieron los Hijos de Israel con el objeto de ganar el apoyo de los gobernantes musulmanes y asegurarse derechos. Sin embargo, varios estudiosos, como Hartwig Hirschfeld, Ahmed El-Wakil y yo mismo, hemos defendido la autenticidad general de los documentos en cuestión. Independientemente de que haya versiones editadas, censuradas y abreviadas de los documentos originales.

Lecturas adicionales

Morrow, John Andrew. “Los pactos del profeta Mahoma con los judíos. El Islam y el Pueblo del Libro: Estudios Críticos sobre los Pactos del Profeta. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017. 280-318.

Wakil, Ahmed El-. “El Tratado del Profeta con los cristianos de Najran: Un estudio analítico para determinar la autenticidad de los pactos.” Journal of Islamic Studies (2016): 1-83.  

Fotografías tomadas de: https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-08-24/right-wing-american-bloggers-have-problem-facts-about-irans-jews

*Hispanista e islamólogo canadiense, catedrático y autor de varios libros sobre el Islam, colaborador frecuente de la Revista Biblioteca Islámica.

Covenants of the Prophet Presented to Ayatullah Sayyid Sa‘id al-Hakim


SHAFAQNA (February 15, 2019)

By Taraneh Tabatabai

Dr. John Andrew Morrow, the Canadian/American Muslim scholar and leader, who is also known as al-Ustadh al-Duktur Ilyas Islam, met with Ayatullah Muhammad Sa‘id al-Hakim, one of the four Ayatullahs in Iraq, in the holy city of Najaf al-Ashraf, on Monday, November 26, 2018.

Sayyid Salih al-Hakim, the nephew of the Religious Authority, made the initial introductions, after which, the Grand Ayatullah led a small group of intimate associates and advanced scholars and students in congregational prayer.

“Never, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined that I would pray the noon and afternoon prayers behind Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Sa‘id al-Hakim,” expressed Dr. Morrow in religious awe. “Those prayers were, by far, the most filled with blessings that I have ever experienced. One prayer behind the Grand Ayatullah is like one million behind an ordinary righteous leader.”

After the prayers were completed, the Ayatullah invited Dr. Morrow to sit next to him. Dr. Morrow gently shook his hand, and sat closely, yet humbly, by his side. The conversation that took place was unusually long as meetings with Ayatullahs are typically brief, sometimes limited to a simple salutation and blessing, or, at most, the answering of a single question or the granting of a word of advice.

Ayatullah al-Hakim was eager to learn about Dr. Morrow’s journey to Islam. He learned that he was of French Canadian and Native American ancestry and that he had embraced Islam over thirty years ago, at the age of sixteen, after reading, among other works, an English translation of the Qur’an. As the Ayatullah observed,

“We have people in this country who were born into Muslim families and raised as Muslims. However, there is nothing Muslim about them. You, however, came into Islam without ever meeting a Muslim. You learned Islam by the book. Allah opened your heart to Islam.”

Dr. Morrow explained to the Ayatullah that he embraced Islam prior to the arrival of large numbers of Muslims to Canada and that the first so-called Muslims he came across were actually Salafi-Wahhabi-Takfiris. Thanks to the grace of God, however, he came across the followers of Ahl al-Bayt within two years of taking his testimony of faith.
Ayatullah al-Hakim was pleased to learn that Dr. Morrow formed part of his scholarly network. As. Dr. Morrow explained, “I was a student of Sayyid Muhammad Zaki al-Baqri and Sayyid Muhammad Zaki al-Baqri was a student of Sayyid Salih al-Hakim.” As Morrow elaborated, “I learned Islam from Sayyid Muhammad Zaki al-Baqri, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Dr. Liyakat ‘Ali Takim, along with many others shaykhs, doctors, professors, and even Orientalists.”

“I understand Islam,” explained Grand Ayatullah al-Hakim, “however, I do not understand Western thought and society.” “You, however, understand both Islam along with Western thought and society. Hence, you are best equipped to spread and defend Islam in the West.”

“I wish to offer you a gift,” said Dr. Morrow, handing Ayatullah al-Hakim a copy of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. He contextualized the famous work as follows:

“There was a great Sunni scholar by the name of Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah. He gathered all of the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, in a work titled al-Watha’iq. There was another great Shiite scholar by the name of Ayatullah Ahmadi Miyanji, who expanded the collection to include letters, treaties, and covenants found in Shi‘ite sources along with his commentary. The work, as you know, is Makatib al-Rasul.”

The title of the book was repeated by several senior scholars in choir, as they shook their heads in acknowledgement, and smiled. “This book, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, continues the research of Ayatullah Ahmadi Miyanji. It is a weapon against the Takfiris.” The Grand Ayatullah proceeded to give Dr. Morrow a long list of advice and prayers for success.

When Sayyid Salih al-Hakim asked Dr. Morrow about his impression of Ayatullah al-Hakim, Dr. Morrow described him as awali salih, a righteous friend of God, who was kind, humble, gentle, intelligent, wise, open-minded, learned, and pious. “The Ayatullah radiated light,” mentioned Morrow. “I could literally see rays coming from his eyes. The man was surrounded by an aura of sanctity. He emanated holiness.”

Nearly a week later, the day of his departure, and his return to the West, Dr. Morrow was advised that the Ayatullah sent him his best salutations. “Although I leave the Ayatullah behind, I will carry him in my heart,” said Dr. Morrow as he headed back home.

Protección a la Iglesia en el Islam: Demasiado poco, demasiado tarde

Por John Andrew Morrow (Ilyas Islam)

Revista Biblioteca Islámica (14 de enero de 2019)

El Ministerio de Awqaf del Consejo Supremo de Asuntos Islámicos de la República Árabe de Egipto publicó en 2016 una obra titulada “Protección de la Iglesia en el Islam” en varios idiomas. La obra incluye un prólogo del Ministro de Awqaf Profesor Muhammad Mukhtar Gomaa, una introducción del Profesor Shawqi Allam y artículos de los profesores Muhammad Salem Abu ‘Asi, ‘Abdullah al-Najjar, Muhammad alGebali, Muhammad Nabeel Ghanayem, ‘Abd al-Haleem y del Dr. Magdi ‘Ashur. Está dedicada al “Sr. ‘Abd El-Fattah El Sisi, Presidente de la República Árabe de Egipto,” uno de los mayores violadores de los derechos humanos en el planeta. Si usted lee solamente un artículo es como si los hubiera leído a todos, ya que esencialmente, repiten la misma cosa, citan los mismos versículos del Corán, citan el mismo hadiz profético y usan los mismos argumentos.

Proteger a la Iglesia en el Islam es una obligación. Es decir, ni siquiera habría que hablar de ello sino solamente actuar, defenderla, impedir que sufra ningún tipo de agresión, cuidar de sus miembros, respaldarlos permanentemente, etc. Es lo que ordena el Corán, es lo que ordena el Profeta Muhammad (PBD). Ufanarse o destacar como algo especial la ayuda a la Iglesia en el Islam es la misma tontería que decir que hay nubes blancas y el cielo por lo general se ve azul. Dios, el más Misericordioso de los misericordiosos, ordenó a los musulmanes la ayuda y protección de todos los creyentes. Entonces, remarcar o hacer notar como algo importante lo que es una obligación para el musulmán consciente, carece de todo sentido al menos que se esté buscando otro tipo de réditos. Pero a la tontería hay que agregarle indignación: lo que se hizo respecto a esa orden clara, directa y taxativa del Profeta Muhammad (BPD) es demasiado poco y demasiado tarde.

Esto de la “protección a la Iglesia,” ¿por qué sólo aparece hacia el final de la crisis del ISIS? Los musulmanes han estado sufriendo el salvajismo del yihadismo salafita durante siglos. Los eruditos que contribuyeron al trabajo no estaban hace doscientos años. Sin embargo, operaron como líderes musulmanes durante décadas. Han vivido lo suficiente como para ser testigos de los horrores infligidos por el yihadismo salafita a musulmanes y no musulmanes durante mucho tiempo en lugares como Argelia, Afganistán, Pakistán, Irak, Túnez, Libia, Nigeria, Filipinas, Siria, Egipto, Somalia, Níger, Mali, Kenia, Yemen, Camerún, India, Filipinas, Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, Chad, Turquía, Mozambique, Irán, etc. ¿Por qué no se movilizaron en cada uno de esos casos? ¿Será porque los eruditos egipcios fueron engendrados por la Hermandad Musulmana? ¿O se debe a que son clérigos judiciales y eruditos de palacio que nunca actuarían por iniciativa propia y simplemente responderían a una petición del Presidente Sisi de luchar contra el terrorismo interno?

La respuesta a estas importantes preguntas procede de uno de los autores, el profesor Muhammad Salem Abu Asi, decano de la Facultad de Estudios Islámicos y Árabes para Niñas de la Universidad Al-Azhar de Sadat City. Ofrece las siguientes disculpas por los terroristas takfiritas-wahhabitas que han violado, torturado, mutilado, destrozado y asesinado a miles de cristianos cada año durante las últimas décadas:

La agresión contra los lugares de adoración de los no musulmanes por parte de algunos que no entienden nada de jurisprudencia islámica, según nuestro parecer, se debe a los siguientes motivos:

1. La inmadurez de la jurisprudencia islámica o bien la ausencia de jurisprudencia misma en cuanto a veredictos sobre las Gentes del Libro (es decir, judíos y cristianos). Ejemplo de ello son los grupos extremistas.

2. La inexistencia de un método definido y acorde para la investigación acerca de los veredictos de la Gente del Libro que aclare la diferencia entre la misión del muftí y la de quien traslada estos veredictos desde las fuentes, el desconocimiento de la diferencia entre los veredictos legales recopilados, entre los veredictos de tradición oral y los sujetos al sistema de la política legal. A esto hay que añadir a los que hablan de las sentencias relacionadas con las Gentes del Libro sin haber estudiado las ciencias de la legislación islámica.

3. El desinterés por situaciones, tiempos, personas, circunstancias, y necesidades humanas, dado que los juicios legales se basan en gran medida en todas estas motivaciones, reales o no.

El hombre suena como un abogado, el abogado del diablo, tratando de minimizar la desviación demoníaca de los salafitas-wahhabitas-takfiristas: son simplemente “gente ignorante” que “no tiene buen entendimiento.” O carecerían de legislación, pues habría “inmadurez de la jurisprudencia islámica o bien ausencia de jurisprudencia.” Tampoco logran contextualizar sus sentencias judiciales. ¡Encantador! Con amigos como este, es decir, clérigos de la corte y apologistas de los terroristas, los musulmanes no necesitamos enemigos. ¡Ya los tenemos como jefes oficiales de nuestra religión! Pero, además, para agregar desvergüenza al descaro, se hace uso de un lenguaje supuestamente jurídico-religioso que no es más que una terrible forma de tomar por imbéciles a los demás. Hablan en “difícil,” para que el poco instruido diga: “Ahhh…. Yo no entiendo nada todo esto pero por los términos que usa se ve que sabe mucho.” Y así se acepta sin el menor reparo verdaderos desatinos, barbaridades y justificaciones injustificables.

Nosotros, desde la Iniciativa de los Pactos, hemos hecho todo lo posible ―usando todos los recursos disponibles y sin escatimar gastos― por exponer a los llamados “terroristas islámicos” por lo que realmente son: infieles, herejes, criminales y psicópatas, además de enemigos declarados de Dios, de la Religión y de la Humanidad. En esto no cabe ninguna excusa. No los consideramos “jóvenes estúpidos” como lo hace Hamza Yusuf, asemejándolos a delincuentes juveniles que robaron caramelos, rompieron ventanas y pintaron paredes de ladrillo. Los hacemos responsables de crímenes de lesa humanidad que no tienen perdón de Dios. Y cargamos la misma responsabilidad sobre aquellos que debiendo cumplir con su deber no lo han hecho, permitiendo así que el salafismo-wahhabismo-takfirismo se extendiera sin una respuesta y refutación adecuada

Nosotros, desde la Iniciativa de los Pactos, financiada con fe y armada con buenas intenciones, hemos emprendido una campaña de relaciones públicas a nivel general para proteger la imagen del Profeta, del Islam y de los musulmanes ante los ojos de los no musulmanes. Con argumentos y pruebas, convencimos a decenas de no musulmanes de que el verdadero Islam protege al Pueblo del Libro y que los terroristas takfiristas estaban fuera del redil del Islam. Nos enfrentamos, desde el primer día, con los llamados eruditos musulmanes “tradicionales” que insistían en que los terroristas takfiristas eran simplemente musulmanes ignorantes o equivocados: aunque eran pecadores, todavía eran musulmanes.

Cualquiera que acepte este argumento podría también creerle a la Serpiente en el Jardín. Un violador puede decir que es casto aunque sus acciones muestren lo contrario. Dijo el Imam Alí al Rida: “La fe es la creencia en el corazón, lo que se dice con la lengua, las cosas que hacemos” (Majlisi). El propio Mensajero de Dios dejó en claro que cualquier musulmán que persiguiera y oprimiera a los cristianos era enemigo de Dios, del Profeta y del Islam. Esta es la postura de la Iniciativa de los Pactos. Y esta no es la postura del Consejo Supremo de Asuntos Islámicos de la República Árabe de Egipto, el cual desconoce u oculta la existencia los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo.

Es muy posible que el redescubrimiento de los Pactos del Profeta haya hecho ver a estas autoridades religiosas egipcias que ahora es mejor que giren en la dirección en que sopla un nuevo viento. Si mencionaban los Pactos Muhammadianos, habrían admitido su desconocimiento u ocultamiento. En ese caso, demostrarían que estaban en una posición, como mínimo, poco clara… Actuando como actuaron ahora, emitiendo el documento al que nos referimos, tienen una pequeña oportunidad de parecer que siempre sostuvieron esta posición. Está claro que las almas de los mentirosos y cobardes se estremecen cuando deben decir la verdad y hacer lo correcto. Será malo para ellos, pero es bueno para la situación. El estado de sus almas es un asunto entre ellos y Dios. Pero si la situación mejora, independientemente que la Iniciativa de los Pactos y/o los Pactos del Profeta haya tenido algo que ver, entonces ¡alabado sea Dios! Puede ser que los corazones de los hipócritas entre los quraishitas nunca fueron ganados para la Verdad después de la conquista de Meca. Pero sí refrenó sus manos: alabado sea Dios, Señor de los Mundos, Dueño del Día del Juicio.

*Hispanista, islamólogo y catedrático universitario, colaborador frecuente de la Revista Biblioteca Islámica.
Fotografía (fuente): https://www.ktoo.org/2015/12/21/christians-muslims-worship-god/church-and-mosque/

Saudijsko-vehabijska kampanja uništavanja svetih mjesta

John Andrew Morrow

ePogledi (January 11, 2019)

Kroz historiju, većina muslimana poštovala je sveta mjesta i spomenike svjetske kulture. Da nije tako, ove lokacije ne bi preživjele toliki niz godina. Tokom svakog perioda postojali su pojedini učenjaci koji su tvrdili da ostaci predislamske prošlosti ne bi trebali biti sačuvani; međutim, oni uglavnom nisu bili podržani u tim namjerama. Iako ih oni možda nisu održavali i pustili su da vrijeme uzme svoj danak, oni nisu htjeli uništiti svaki njihov trag.

Sa ‘brakom’ između vehabizma i Benu-Saud klana u Arabiji u 18. stoljeću, muslimanski svijet je bio suočen sa ideologijom koju je sponzorisala država i koja je uništavanje predislamskih spomenika i takozvanih ‘novotarija’ smatrala svetom dužnošću. Inspirisani „inovativnim“ idejama Ibn Taymiyaha i Muhameda ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaba, koji su u suprotnosti sa prethodnim konsenzusom sunitskih, šiitskih i sufijskih učenjaka, koji su poštovali sveta mjesta, takozvane Selefje su očistile historiju svojih zajednica i svoju religiju i kulturu, od svakog opipljivog simbola preislamskog i navodnog savremenog paganizma. Posljedice su bile katastrofalne, kako u Arabiji, tako i izvana, u mnogim dijelovima muslimanskog svijeta, gdje su takozvani državni akteri, poput Saudijske Arabije, zajedno sa salafističko-džihadskim akterima, kao što su talibani, ISIL i drugi takfiri teroristi objavili rat protiv svetih i svjetskih spomenika koji pripadaju islamu.

Samo u Saudijskoj Arabiji, selefijske vehabije su uništile mesdžid Hamze ibn Abd al-Muttaliba; džamiju Fatime al-Zahre; Masjid Manaratayn; džamiju i grobnicu imama al-Uraydi ibn Ja’fara al-Sadika; četiri mesdžida na mjestu bitke kod Hendeka, u Medini; džamiju Abu Rashida; Salman al-Farisijev Masjid; i Masjid Raj’at al-Shams u Medini.

Salafi-vehabije su poravnali brojna groblja i grobnice svetih osoba: Jannah al-Baqi ‘, u kojoj se nalaze grobovi porodice i saputnika Poslanika Muhameda (s.a.w.s.), uključujući i imama Hasana, imama’ Ali Zayna al-‘Abidina, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, i Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a), a možda i Fatime al-Zahre (a). Halimah, majke po mlijeku Poslaniku Muhammedu a.s., sahranjena je u al-Bakiju, kao i majka Imama Alija, Fatima Bint Asad. Isto se može reći i za Poslanikove pratioce, kao što su “Osman ibn Mazun,” Osman ibn “Afan, al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Mutalib, i Akil ibn Abi Talib (ra). Na groblju u Baqiju je također smješten grob velikih sunitskih muslimanskih učenjaka, kao što je Imam Malik.

Salafi-vehabije su također uništile Jannah al-Mu’allah, drevno groblje u Mekki; grob Hamidah al-Barbariyah, supruge Imama Ja’fara al-Sadika i majke imama Musa al-Kazima; grob Amine Bint Wahb, majke Allahovog Poslanika (Ahmad), i grob Abdullaha, oca Allahovog Poslanika; grobove Banu Hašima u Mekki; grobnice Hamze i drugih ashaba (ra); kao i grobnicu Eve, supruge Adama, u Jeddi.

Salafi-vehabije su uništile brojne historijske i vjerske objekte, uključujući i kuću u kojoj se vjeruje da je Poslanik (s.a.w.s.) rođen; kuću Khadijaha (ra), njegove prve žene, koja je pretvorena u javne toalete; Kuću Abu Bakra koja je sada zakopana pod hotelom Hilton; kuću Poslanika u Medini; Dar al-Arqam, kuću u kojoj je Poslanik boravio tokom misije u Mekki; mjesto gdje je zakopan Poslanikov zub; mjesto gdje je rođen Ibrahim, sin Poslanika; kolona koja je označavala mjesto na kojem je Allahov Poslanik (sallahu alejhi ve sellem) počeo svoje čudesno putovanje u Jeruzalem i uspon na nebo; kuću Alija, gdje su rođeni al-Hasan i al-Husayn (a); i kuću imama Ja’fara al-Sadika. Čak su i mjesta glavnih bitaka u islamskoj povijesti, Badr i Uhud, pretvorili u parkirališta.

I spomenuta lista je ustvari tek početak. Ona ne pokriva uništavanje lokacija kulturne baštine od strane talibana, ISIL-a i drugih neprijatelja čovječanstva. Čak i površan prikaz lokacija koje su vandalizirane i uništene uzelo bi pretjeranu količinu vremena i prostora. Od 2015. godine, ostalo je manje od 20 struktura u Mekki koje datiraju još od vremena Poslanika (s.a.w.s.) prije nekih 1.400 godina. Imajući u vidu dosadašnje rezultate Salafi-Wahhabi Saudijaca, zabrinuti muslimani i nemuslimani bili bi naivni da vjeruju da su sigurni.

2014. godine, vlasti zadužene za al-Masjid al-Nabavi u Medini razgovarale su o planovima da premjeste grob Allahovog Poslanika na neotkrivenu lokaciju na groblju al-Baqi, što bi dovelo do njegovog uništenja. Da su Salafi vehabije mogli izvršiti svoje nakane, ne bi se ustručavali da sruše Poslanikov grob i Svetu Ka’bu do temelja. O tome nema sumnje. Oni nisu pokazali ništa osim zle volje, neprijateljstva i prezira prema znacima Allaha (swt) u suprotnosti sa zapovijedima Kur’ana: “… i ko god poštuje simbole koje je postavio Allah, vidjet će [da simboli izvode svoju vrijednost] iz božanski usađene svijesti [predanih muslimana]. ”

Selefi-Vahhabi nefret tüm gücünü İslam mirasının içini boşaltmaya harcıyor

John Andrew Morrow

 Medya Safak (January 8, 2019)

Taliban, IŞİD ve diğer insanlık düşmanları tarafından tahrip edilen kültürel miras mahallerini içeren bir liste değil bu. Harap olmuş yerlerin sathi bir hesabını çıkarmak bile haddinden fazla zaman alacaktır. 2015 itibariyle 1400 yıl kadar öncesine tekabül eden Peygamberin (s.a.a.) Mekke’sinin tarihine ait 20’den daha az yapı kalmıştır. Selefi-Vahhabi Suudilerin bu sicillerini göz önüne aldığımızda, Müslümanlar ve gayrimüslimlerin güvende olduklarını düşünmeleri safdillik olacaktır.

İslam tarihi boyunca Müslümanların büyük çoğunluğu, kutsal ve dünya mirası olan mekânlara saygı göstermişlerdir. Eğer böyle olmasaydı bu tür yerler ikinci milenyuma kadar ayakta kalamazdı. Her dönemde İslam öncesi eserlerin korunmaması gerektiğini öneren kafası karışık âlimler olmuştur ama buna rağmen genelde bu eserlerin yıkılmasının zaruri olduğu yönünde hüküm vermemişlerdir. Her ne kadar onları restore etmemiş ve zamanın haklarından gelmesine izin vermişlerse de her parçasını tahrip etme arzusu içerisinde olmamışlardır.

Müslümanlar, 18. yüzyıl Arabistanı’nda Vahhabizmle Ben-i Suud klanının evliliği sonucu devlet destekli, İslam öncesinden kalan eserlerin yok edilmesini kutsal bir görev sayan sözde bir İslami diriliş ideolojisiyle yüz yüze geldiler. İbn Teymiyye ve Muhammed b. Abdulvahhab’ın Sünni, Şii ve Sufilerin kutsal mekânlara saygı duymadaki uzlaşılarına muhalif “yenilikçi” fikirlerinden ilhamla sözüm ona Selefiler, güya toplumlarını ve kültürlerini her türlü şüpheli bileşenden veya bidatten, İslam öncesine ve çağdaş paganizme ait gördükleri her türlü maddi sembolden arındırma işine giriştiler. Sonuç felaket oldu. Dâhilde Arabistan’da, hariçte de Müslüman dünyasının büyük kısmında Suudi Arabistan gibi sözde devlet aktörleri; Taliban, IŞİD ve diğer tekfirci teröristler türünden habis eylemciler marifetiyle İslam’a ve diğer medeniyetlere ait kutsal ya da dünya mirası olan mekânlara karşı savaş açtılar.

Selefi-Vahhabiler sadece Suudi Arabistan’da Hamza b. Abdulmuttalib, Fatımatüz-üz-Zehra, Manarateyn mescitlerini, İmam Cafer Sadık türbesi ve mescidini, Medine’de Hendek Savaşının yapıldığı civardaki dört adet mescidi, Abu Raşid, Selman-ı Farisi ve Medine’deki Ricat el Şems mescitlerini tahrip ettiler.

Selefi-Vahhabiler, onlarca kutsal şahsiyetin mezarlık ve türbelerini dümdüz ettiler: Hz. Muhammed Mustafa’nın (s.a.a.) Ehl-i Beyt’i ve sahabesinden İmam Hasan, İmam Zeyn el-Âbidin, İmam Muhammed el-Bakır ve İmam Cafer es-Sadık’ın (hepsine selam olsun) türbelerini, Nur’un Sultanı Fatıma ez-Zehra’nın (aleyhâsselam) muhtemel kabrini ve sütannesi Halime’nin ve ayrıca İmam Ali’nin (a.s.) validesi Fatıma bintül Esed’in medfun olduğu Cennet-ul Baki kabristanını… Aynı şekilde peygamber sahabesinden Osman b. Mazun, Osman b. Affan, Abbas b. Abdulmuttalib ve Akil b. Ebu Talib’in (r.a.) mezarları… Cennet el-Baki kabristanı ayrıca büyük Sünni âlimi İmam Malik’in mezarına da ev sahipliği yapıyordu.

Selefi-Vahhabiler ayrıca içinde İmam Cafer el-Sadık’ın eşi ve İmam Musa el-Kazım’ın annesi Hamide el-Berberiye, Allah’ın Elçisi’nin (s.a.a.) annesi Âmine bintu Vehb ve babası Abdullah’ın mezarlarının bulunduğu Mekke’nin kadim kabristanı Cennet el-Mualla’yı, Ben-i Haşim’den Hz. Hamza ve diğer sahabilerin (r.a.) Mekke’deki kabirlerini ve Âdem’in (a.s) eşi Havva’nın Cidde’deki türbelerini de yıktılar.

Selefi-Vahhabiler, Hz. Peygamberin (s.a.a.) doğduğuna inanılan ev, Hz. Hatice’nin (r.a.) evi, Hilton otelinin altında kalan Ebu Bekir’in evi, Hz. Peygamber’in Medine’deki evi,  Peygamberin Medine’de va’z ettiği Dâr’ul Erkâm’ı, Peygamberin dişinin gömülü olduğu yeri, oğlu İbrahim’in doğduğu yeri, Allah’ın Elçisi’nin Kudüs’e ve oradan da cennete yükseldiği mucizevî yolculuğun başlangıç noktasının işaretli olduğu sütunu,  İmam Hasan ve Hüseyin’in (a.s.) doğduğu İmam Ali’nin (a.s.) ve İmam Cafer el-Sadık’ın evleri gibi çok sayıda tarihi ve dini mekânı yıktılar. Hatta Bedir ve Uhud gibi İslam tarihinin önemli savaşlarının yapıldığı alanları da otoparka çevirdiler.

Ve yukarıda zikredilen liste darbenin dış çeperini kapsıyor. Taliban, IŞİD ve diğer insanlık düşmanları tarafından tahrip edilen kültürel miras mahallerini içeren bir liste değil bu. Harap olmuş yerlerin sathi bir hesabını çıkarmak bile haddinden fazla zaman alacaktır. 2015 itibariyle 1400 yıl kadar öncesine tekabül eden Peygamberin (s.a.a.) Mekke’sinin tarihine ait 20’den daha az yapı kalmıştır. Selefi-Vahhabi Suudilerin bu sicillerini göz önüne aldığımızda, Müslümanlar ve gayrimüslimlerin güvende olduklarını düşünmeleri safdillik olacaktır.

2014’te Medine’deki Mescid-i Nebevi’den sorumlu yetkililer,  Allah’ın Elçi’sinin (s.a.a.) kabrini el-Baki Kabristanı’nda gizli bir yere taşınmasını tartışıyorlardı ki bu taşıma işlemi kesinlikle yıkımla sonuçlanacaktır. Selefi-Vahhabiler böyle giderse, Hz. Peygamber’in mezarını ve kutsal Kâbe’yi yerle yeksan etmekte tereddüt etmeyeceklerdir. Buna şüphe yok. Bugüne kadar kötü niyet, husumet ve küçümsemek suretiyle Yüce Allah’ın Kur’ani emirdeki ayetlerine kafa tutmaktan başka bir tavır sergilemediler “…kim Allah’ın şiarlarına saygı gösterirse bu, kalplerdeki takvadandır.”  (Hac/32).

John Andrew Morrow/Crescent.icit.digital.org

Truth has Come and Falsehood has Vanished Away: A Response to Jayson Casper’s “Covenantal Theology”

Truth has Come and Falsehood has Vanished Away: A Response to Jayson Casper’s “Covenantal Theology”

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

The Muslim Post (January 2, 2019)

On December 21, 2018, Jayson Casper, a Cairo-based writer who covers the minority Copts, published an article titled “Covenantal Theology” in Christianity Today which poses a very important question: “Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?”

The author commences by commenting upon the biblical progression of covenants, the Covenant of Abraham, the Covenant of Moses, the Covenant of David, and the Covenant of Jesus, and wonders whether Christians should embrace the Covenant of Muhammad.

Casper notes that the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai, known also as the Ashtiname, played a central role in the release of Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row in Pakistan on trumped up charges of blasphemy.

The journalist points out that judge Asif Khosa referenced The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, published by yours truly, in his verdict.

Rather than provide a one-sided perspective on the subject, Jayson Casper consulted with a cohort of scholars, some more reputable than others. He called upon Mustafa Akyol, an author I respect for his work on The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims. “To me, these covenants look convincing, at least in their general spirit,” said Akyol, “because they resonate with ecumenical themes already in the Qur’an.” He pointed out, however, that some experts dispute their authenticity and that most Muslims are unaware of them.

For Casper, these are “two serious challenges for the treaties” when, in reality, there are completely inconsequential. The fact that a few scholars have expressed skepticism carries little weight when compared to over one thousand years of scholarly consensus and historical implementation. Most American Christians have never heard of the Great Commission; however, this does not change the fact that this call to evangelize is found in the Gospel of Matthew (28:18-20). Nearly half of Americans believe that the Golden Rule is one of the Ten Commandments when it is not.

Only sixty percent of Americans know the commandment “thou shalt not kill.” Only forty-five percent could recall the commandment “honor thy father and thy mother.” Only thirty-four percent knew “remember the Sabbath.” And only twenty-five percent recalled “do not make false idols.” To say that the Covenants of the Prophet can have little impact in Islam because most Muslims do not know about them is the same as saying the Ten Commandments can have little impact in Christianity because most Christians cannot name them all.

Casper consulted with Professor Mustafa Abu Sway of al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Quds University in Jerusalem who acknowledged that the Prophet Muhammad made treaties with many communities, including the Christians of Najran. He noted, however, that one of the principles of textual criticism is that shorter documents are likely more authentic.

The Covenants of the Prophet have come down to us in short, medium, and long versions. It could be argued that shorter versions were expanded upon. It could, however, also be argued that the lengthy originals were shortened for the sake of concision or the sake of censorship by more oppressive rulers. The principle in question is problematic in an Islamic context since its earliest text, the Qur’an, is by far the longest. According to my assessment, the evidence suggests that the lengthy documents are the most authentic, namely, the Qur’an and the Covenants of the Prophet.

The journalist points out that Theophilos III officially endorsed the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World and wonders if other Christians should consider doing so as well? Well, why not? There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. For Wilson Chowdhry, from the British Pakistani Christian Association, however, it may not make much difference in the matter of human rights. Such apathy is appalling. The Covenants of the Prophet saved a human life, that of Asia Bibi. They could potentially save more lives particularly since they now form part of a legal precedent. If the Covenants of the Prophet became incorporated into the legal system, in Pakistan and elsewhere, the short, medium, and long-term impact would be significant. What is more, if the Covenants of the Prophet became part of the educational curriculum in the Muslim world, the sentiments of billions of Muslims could undergo a paradigm shift.

Demonstrating questionable judgment, in my opinion, Jayson Casper contacted Dr. Mark Durie, and Anglican pastor from Australia, who described The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World as “pious propaganda.” This is faintly comical coming from someone whose academic career centers on the production of “impious propaganda.” He claims that the history of Islam is one of religious discrimination. He also rejects the notion that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are sister religions and claims that Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God. In so doing, he ignores the vast religious heritage shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and the fact that Arab Jews and Christians pray to God under the name Allah.

For Durie, Allah is not the God of the Bible. For him, Islam boils down to the barbaric Shariah Law in its extreme Salafi-Wahhabi-Takfiri forms, genital mutilation, lawful deception (taqiyyah), violent response to opposition, anti-Semitism, and suppression of religious freedom. He accuses the Prophet Muhammad of murdering many people while claiming that Jesus never killed anyone. Tell that to the billions of Amerindians, Africans, and Asians who were butchered in the name of Christ. Durie claims that terrorists are not defaming Islam but attempting to observe it. Durie neither writes nor speaks like a scholar or an academic but rather like a propagandist and hate-monger who seeks to demonize a major world religion and its adherents.

For Durie, the Covenants of the Prophet were forged by Christians who were seeking to improve their conditions under Muslim rule. He provides no proof whatsoever to support his claims. He finds it odd that a community of monks would receive a covenant that promises religious freedom to Christian women who marry Muslim men. He fails to realize that that the entire region was Christian at the time; not only St. Catherine’s Monastery. The Jabaliyyah Arab tribes were all Christians. The Ummah of Muhammad consisted of religious communities. Therefore, it was natural for him to communicate with the Christian leaders of similar communities when offering covenants of alliance.

Showcasing his arrogance and ignorance, Durie stated that he was not aware of any serious scholar who accepted the Covenants of the Prophet as genuine. Since they number in the hundreds, I cannot possibly list all of the authorities who stand behind the Covenants of the Prophet. If I exclude religious figures, and focus only on contemporary academics, the list includes: Dr. Omid Safi, Dr. Craig Considine, Dr. ‘Abbas Mirakhor, Dr. Jeremy Henzell-Thomas, Dr. Kevin Barrett, Professor Faisal Kutty, Ahmed El-Wakil, Dr. Bridget Blomfield, Dr. Hisham Ramadan, Dr. Muhammad-Reza Fakhr-Rohani, Dr. Aida Gasimova, Dr. Munawar Anees, Dr. Anna Maria Martelli, Arnold Yasin Mol, Dr. Joseph Hobbs, Dr. Gregory Stanton, Professor Amjad Khan, Dr. Dustin Byrd, Dr. Mohammed Elsanousi, Dr. Akbar Ahmed, Dr. Yousef Casewit, Zachary Markwith, Dr. Alan Godlas, Dr. Reza Shah-Kazemi, Dr. Cyrus Ali Zargar, Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Professor Emeritus Abdallah Schleifer, Dr. Azlan Shamsuddin, Dr. Mohamad Gemeaha, Dr. Sayyid Syeed, Safi Kaskas, Dr. Mohamed Hosny, Dr. S.M. Ghazanfar, Dr. Halim Rane, and scores of others. So, go ahead Dr. Mark Durie. Why don’t you send a letter to all of these supporters of the Covenants of the Prophet and tell them that they are not “serious scholars?” They might conclude that you are a clown.

According to Casper, I have poured my life into the Covenants of the Prophet and I ache for oppressed Christians which is within the realm of reality. However, he then makes a highly questionable claim. He alleges that I praise “the ideals of Islamic governance and the example of Hezbollah and the Ayatollah Khomeini.” This is a misrepresentation of my views. Regardless of the subject of my research, I praise the positive and I criticize the negative. I have pointed out in the past that the Iran provides religious liberty to Jews and Christians and ensures that they are represented in government. I have pointed out that the Hezbollah works closely with its Christian constituents and that the militia played an active part protecting the Christians of Syria from the terror of ISIS. But this does not mean that I am a follower of the Iranian regime or the Hezbollah, any more than I am a follower of the American government and the US Military. I am a scholar, an analyst, and a critic.

Casper then turns back to Chowdhry, the Pakistani Christian, who argues that Christians should not support me in spreading tolerant interpretations of Islam, a self-defeating attitude if there ever was one. For Chowdhry, Christians should focus on loving God, their neighbors, and their enemies. The problem, my dear Chowdry, is that your love will never conquer the hearts of the Takfiri-Wahhabi terrorists who wish to wipe your community off the map. Your minority Christianity will not soften their hearts. The only weapon against the Anti-Islam and Fake Islam of the Takfiris is Covenantal Islam. For Akyol, “The antidote to… bigotry… must come from Islam itself… The Supreme Court of Pakistan just showed us an example.” And that example, fellow Christians and Muslims, comes from the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad.

In closing, while I disagree with some of the scholars that Casper consulted, I believe that his article could be the beginning of a real breakthrough to greater Christian appreciation of the Covenants of the Prophet.

The Duty of Protecting Sacred Sites: Salafi-Wahhabi Rampage has all but Eviscerated Islamic Heritage

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

Crescent International (Rabi’ al-Thani 24, 1440 / January 2019)

Throughout the course of Muslim history, the majority of Muslims have respected sacred and world heritage sites. If that were not the case, these sites would not have survived into the second millennium. During every period there were some ambivalent scholars, some who suggested that remnants of the pre-Islamic past should not be preserved; however, they were generally not governed by a sense of urgency to tear them down. While they may not have maintained them, and let time take its toll upon them, they did not desire to destroy every trace of them.
With the marriage of Wahhabism and the Bani-Saud clan in 18th-century Arabia, the Muslim world was faced with a state-sponsored ideology that viewed the destruction of pre-Islamic relics, and so-called Islamic innovations, as a sacred duty. Inspired by the “innovative” ideas of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, which contradicted the prior consensus of Sunni, Shi‘i, and Sufi scholars, who respected and revered sacred sites, so-called Salafis set out to supposedly purify the histories of their communities from every alleged accretion or innovation and to purge their religion, societies, and cultures, from every tangible symbol of pre-Islamic and purported contemporary paganism. The consequences have been catastrophic, both internally, in Arabia, and externally, in many parts of the Muslim world, where so-called state-actors, like Saudi Arabia, along with salafist-jihadist rogue actors, like the Taliban, ISIS, and others takfiri terrorists, have declared war against sacred and world heritage sites belonging to Islam along with other traditions.

In Saudi Arabia alone, the Salafi-Wahhabis have destroyed the masjid of Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib; the masjid of Fatimah al-Zahra’; Masjid Manaratayn; the masjid and tomb of Imam al-Uraydi ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq; the four masjids at the site of the Battle of the Trench in Madinah; the masjid of Abu Rashid; the Salman al-Farsi Masjid; and Masjid Raj’at al-Shams in Madinah.

The Salafi-Wahhabis have leveled scores of cemeteries and tombs of sacred figures: Jannah al-Baqi‘, which contains the graves of the family and companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), including Imam Hasan, Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, and Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (a) and perhaps the Lady of Light, Fatimah al-Zahra’ (a). Halimah, the wet-nurse of the Prophet was buried in al-Baqi‘, so was the mother of Imam ‘Ali (a), Fatimah bint Asad. The same can be said of the prophetic companions, such as ‘Uthman ibn Maz‘un, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, and ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib (ra). The Cemetery of Baqi‘ also housed the grave of great Sunni Muslim scholars, such as Imam Malik.
The Salafi-Wahhabis also destroyed Jannah al-Mu‘allah, the ancient cemetery in Makkah; the grave of Hamidah al-Barbariyah, the wife of Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq and the mother of Imam Musa al-Kazim; the grave of Aminah bint Wahb, the mother of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and the grave of ‘Abdullah, the father of the Messenger of Allah; the graves of Banu Hashim in Makkah; the tombs of Hamzah and other companions (ra); as well as the tomb of Eve, the wife of Adam (a), in Jeddah.

The Salafi-Wahhabis have destroyed scores of historical and religious sites, including the house where the Prophet (pbuh) is believed to have been born; the house of Khadijah (ra), his first wife, which was turned into public toilets; Abu Bakr’s house which is now buried under the Hilton hotel; the Prophet’s house in Madinah; Dar al-Arqam, the house where the Prophet preached in Makkah; the burial site of the Prophet’s tooth; the site where Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet, was born; the column that marked the spot where the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) commenced his miraculous voyage to Jerusalem and ascent into heaven; the house of ‘Ali, where al-Hasan and al-Husayn (a) were born; and the house of Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq. They have even turned the sites of the main battles in Islamic history, Badr and Uhud, into parking lots.

And the aforementioned list barely covers the epidermis of the impact. It does not even address the destruction of cultural heritage sites by the Taliban, ISIS, and other enemies of humanity. Even a cursory account of the sites that have been vandalized and destroyed would take an inordinate amount of time. As of 2015, there remained less than 20 structures in Makkah dating back to the time of the Prophet (pbuh) some 1,400 years ago. Considering the track record of the Salafi-Wahhabi Saudis, concerned Muslims and non-Muslims would be naive to believe that they are safe.
In 2014, the authorities in charge of al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah were discussing plans to move the grave of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to an undisclosed location in al-Baqi‘ Cemetery, a move that would result in its destruction. Were the Salafi-Wahhabis to have their way, they would not hesitate to raze the Prophet’s grave and the Holy Ka‘bah to the ground. Of this, there is no doubt. They have shown nothing but ill-will, hostility, and contempt for the signs of Allah (swt) in defiance of the Qur’anic command, “…and anyone who honors the symbols set up by Allah [shall know that] verily, these [symbols derive their value] from the God-consciousness in the [committed Muslims’] hearts.” (22:32).

The Prophet’s Covenants: A Basis for the Fraternity of all People of Scripture

By Charles Upton [Sidi Akram]

Crescent International (Rabi’ al-Thani 24, 1440 / January 2019)

Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet by John Andrew Morrow (editor); Pub: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, 3 volumes. Price: $245.22 Hbk.

To traditional Muslims the noble Qur’an — the very word of Allah (swt) transmitted directly to Muhammad (pbuh) — as well as well-attested accounts of the actions and words of the Prophet whose original witnesses could, with some degree of confidence, actually be identified, so outclassed all other writings as to cast a shadow over even the letters and covenants of the Prophet himself, which were undoubtedly seen as relatively “occasional” or bureaucratic documents of tertiary importance when compared with the Qur’an and the Hadith. And indeed, they are necessarily of lesser importance and authority to the Qur’an.

When compared with the Hadith, however, their secondary nature is debatable according to several criteria. The Hadith clearly hold preeminence in the total context of Islam, since the example of the Prophet, his words and deeds in various situations, is of secondary importance only to the majestic Qur’an itself; when his wife ‘A’ishah was asked about the Prophet’s character, she replied, “he was exactly like the Qur’an.” And since the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was more perfectly conformed to the noble Qur’an than any other human being ever has been, his spiritual, interpersonal, and political example must remain paradigmatic for all true Muslims. And so, from one point of view, the Hadith necessarily have preeminence over the letters and covenants, since they pertain to the essence of the din and provide much of the example of how Muslims are to live their lives in submission to Allah (swt), while the letters and covenants of the Prophet are the product of negotiations with non-Muslim groups, are limited to the political sphere, and properly apply (some would say) only to specific sets of conditions that are no longer in force.

But the fact is that most of the hadith collections that have come down to us were compiled around 300 years after the Prophet’s death, while his covenants and letters can in many cases be traced, based on both textual and historical evidence, back to the Prophet (pbuh) himself. Sometimes we can even determine the identity of the scribe to whom he dictated a particular document. Consequently, from the standpoint of western textual scholarship, the covenants of the Prophet are of much greater verifiable authenticity than the Hadith, seeing that the West considers tradition to be “mere hearsay,” while actual texts are the “horse’s mouth” of contemporary scholarship. But the question remains: how relevant are the covenants of the Prophet to present conditions?

Certainly, a number of these documents formed the basis of official state policy toward dhimmi communities — religious minorities — under the Ottoman Sultanate. But now that the Ottomans are no more, and in the absence of any universally-recognized Muslim political entity of comparable scope presently exercising rule in the modern world, what is to prevent us from considering the covenants mere historical curiosities, the fossil documents of a defunct bureaucracy?
We are not justified in considering the covenants of the Prophet to be historically moribund, superseded by more timely concerns, for two reasons: first, Muhammad (pbuh) tells us that these documents were composed via inspiration from Allah (swt), which places them in a category of importance comparable to the hadith qudsi. Secondly, in his Covenant with the monks of Mt. Sinai and elsewhere, he makes it explicit that these documents are applicable to all Muslims, and are to remain in force not simply until the fall of the Ottoman Sultanate, but until “the coming of the Hour” — the end of the world. Thus, the covenants of the Prophet with the Christians of the world, and with other religious communities, represent the clear wish and command of the Prophet of Islam; it is therefore incumbent upon all Muslims to obey them.

But in order for Muslims to obey the provisions of these covenants under conditions radically different from those under which they were originally composed, they must be placed in a more universal context than they occupied when they functioned specifically as treaties between the growing Muslim Ummah and various non-Muslim communities. In other words, it is the position of the contributors to Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet that the way Muslims are to treat non-Muslim people of scripture — with respect, friendship, material help and military defense — apply as undeniably to Muslims as individuals, or to Muslims living in non-Muslim societies, as they did to the Islamic Ummah as a whole in its first years. The bottom line of this legal principle is that no Muslim is to attack, rob, kill or defame another person simply because he or she is not a Muslim. By the same token, mere membership in a community of faith recognized as a People of the Book in no way exonerates an individual, or his or her religious community, in cases where that individual or that community attacks Islam or conspires with the declared enemies of Islam. Consequently, the covenants of the Prophet (pbuh) are every bit as applicable to the conditions of the pluralistic societies in which Muslim communities increasingly find themselves in the contemporary world as they were to the norms of dhimmitude vis-à-vis religious minorities in the growing Muslim domain.

Some, of course, would argue that this could never be the case. Dhimmi majorities and minorities were required to pay the jizyah to the Muslim authorities, so how could any provisions of the covenants be taken to apply to conditions where Muslims and other religious communities live side-by-side in pluralistic societies ruled by secular governments? Perhaps (taking a cynical view of the matter) a case could be made that Muslims would only be required, under the provisions of the covenants as applied to the contemporary world, to treat non-Muslims as respected equals if these non-Muslims were required to pay the equivalent of the jizyah as “protection” to the Muslims for this consideration.

We would answer that the jizyah was levied in lieu of military service, and since non-Muslims are not required to engage in combat solely to protect Muslims in today’s secular states, the jizyah or any possible equivalent are no longer applicable. Non-Muslims who paid the jizyah rather than serve in the military were thereby square with the Muslim Ummah on that score (illegal abuses and isolated instances of unwarranted oppression by Muslims notwithstanding). This means that the duties of aid and friendship toward non-Muslims that Muhammad (pbuh) directed Muslims to engage in were not seen as services rendered for pay, but rather acts of Islamic devotion for the purpose of establishing trust and solidarity between Muslims and non-Muslim members of the Prophet’s growing Ummah — a word that was used by him to designate all the members of his social order, not just the Muslims.
In view of these facts, it is clear that it was the Prophet’s intention to establish not an exclusively Muslim nation but a Confederation of the devoted subjects of God, including all the Peoples of the Book, sworn to aid and defend one another, a brotherhood of all who believe in the prophets, the angels, the Day of Judgement, and the Unity of God. Such a confederacy, in essential spirit if not in terms of social form, is not only still possible today, but is increasingly called-for in the face of growing inter-religious violence, a great deal of which is being fomented by outside, non-religious forces so as to destroy all true religion, and sweep the remnants of God’s revelations from the face of the earth. The covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) call all believers of good will and social consciousness to stand shoulder to shoulder against the forces of globalization, militant secularism, and religious fanaticism that menace them all. Shema, Ysrael: Adonoi Elohenu, Adonoi Echad. Credo in Unum Deum. La ilaha illa Allah.

Open Letter to Aleksandr Dugin: An Invitation to Intellectual Combat

By Charles Upton [Sidi Akram]

Crescent International (Rabi’ al-Thani 24, 1440 / January 2019)

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Dear Professor Aleksandr Dugin:

I am writing to alert you to the publication of my book, Dugin against Dugin: A Traditionalist Critique of the Fourth Political Theory (Reviviscimus, 2018, 539 pp). In it I am pointedly critical of many of your published statements, though appreciative of some others. My criticism, however, far outweighs my appreciation, and it can sometimes get pretty hot.

You have reached out to western intellectuals such as myself — especially those who love Tradition and understand the abysmal corruption of the modern world — apparently promising to give us at least a virtual homeland in your Neo-Eurasian movement; you have also been generous enough to publish my writing on two of your websites. My response now, however — after digesting three of your books (Eurasian Mission, The Fourth Political Theory, and The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory) — is that even though I have opposed nearly every act of US foreign policy for the past 50 years, I would never consider making common cause against my own country with any international movement or foreign power; since I consider many of the leaders of my nation to be guilty of treason, I would be throwing away my right to denounce them if I committed the same crime.

I share your loathing for Postmodern Liberalism and its outrageous attempt to deconstruct the human form, seeing it as an ideology which is as far from Classical Liberalism as Cultural Marxism is from the theories of Karl Marx (though both Classical Liberalism and Classical Marxism, had plenty of problems of their own). And I gravely salute your accurate, courageous, and prophetic picture of the self-inflicted doom now faced by the entire human race, as well as your crucial attempt — no matter how wrongheaded it may be in actual practice — to ground political ideology in Traditional metaphysics and eschatology.

Beyond this, I entirely agree with you that the West, led by the United States, has been undermining Russian stability ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, offering provocation after provocation, and then portraying any legitimate act of Russian self-defense as a sign of expansionist aggression. On the other hand, I am not blind to the real expansionist aggression you have repeatedly advocated, nor to the elements of Postmodern Liberalism that you have incorporated into your own “Fourth Political Theory.”

You define Liberalism as the “absolute evil,” and claim that it would take nothing less than a third world war to destroy it. But before you subject all humanity to “revolutionary suicide” — a phrase made popular by one of our home-grown American madmen, Jim Jones — I would advise that you begin purging your own ideology and movement of the last traces of the absolute evil you denounce. If you succeed in this you may begin to realize that Liberalism is now deeply engaged and far advanced in the process of destroying itself. In light of this, I suggest that you leave revolutionary suicide to the Liberals, and renounce your desire to immolate yourself, and all the rest of us, on Liberalism’s pyre. A third world war would be the end of humanity, and likely the end of all life on earth. If you are deluded enough to believe that any good, for anyone or anything, could result from this cosmic crime, then I can only conclude that you have taken leave of your senses. Furthermore, as my wife Jenny comments, those most likely to survive this kind of war — if any survival is possible — would be the Luciferian global elites; the common man, who might still have a shred of human decency and Traditional sensibility, would likely be wiped out.

You claim, as one of the pillars of your Fourth Political Theory, the Traditionalism of the great French metaphysician René Guénon — a perspective that I myself firmly adhere to — which you define as “Conservatism in its purest form.” Unfortunately, your understanding of Tradition as Guénon defined it — namely, as the science of universal metaphysics which is epitomized in our own age by the great God-given religions and wisdom traditions — is woefully deficient; you give every appearance of attempting to expound upon a subject that you have never seriously studied, apparently relying upon the ignorance of your listeners, or else their vague notion that esoteric doctrines, since they are inherently mysterious, can mean anything their exponent wants them to mean at any given time. There are certainly many areas of academic learning, such as contemporary sociology and modern German philosophy, where your expertise surpasses mind, but when it comes to Traditional metaphysics I have no hesitation in pointing out exactly where, either knowingly or unknowingly, you have departed from its central principles.

Metaphysics is not just anything, it is one particular thing; the same is true of Orthodox Christianity, of traditional civilizational Islam, and of any of the other revealed religions or spiritual traditions, including the Primordial Tradition itself — from which, according to René Guénon, all later sacred traditions have branched. Due to your lack of solid intellectual grounding in these matters, your metaphysics is vague, contradictory and filled with glaring errors, your picture of Christianity clearly heretical, and your presentation of Guénon’s doctrines totally inverted. Furthermore, your notion of Islam, my own chosen religion, is seriously twisted. To take only one example, you present the takfiri Jihadists, who have killed even more Muslims than Christians, burning our mosques with copies of the Holy Qur’an still in them, as legitimate representatives of the religion of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)! And you continue to assert this even after these mad dogs, headed by international mercenaries, who have been willing to take funds, arms, and strategic support from the United States of America — the hated “Atlanteans” — have been formally excommunicated by the Grozny Declaration, promulgated in the city of Grozny, Chechnya, in August of 2016 by a number of Grand Muftis, as well as the Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar, the highest authority in traditional Sunni Islam — a declaration that was seconded by the Russian Council of Muftis itself.

To what degree these errors are based on simple ignorance, and how far they may be explained by deliberate and self-interested deception, cannot yet be determined. Nonetheless, in publishing them, you give every appearance of having taken certain sacred, God-given doctrines into your own hands, deliberately distorting them to serve various political agendas — and this is a degree of sacrilege that must not go unanswered. If Guénon exposed the spiritual deceptions of the Theosophists and the Spiritualists, I consider it my duty, if I am serious about following him, to subject you to the same treatment. Therefore I invite you, by this communiqué, to an intellectual contest on these matters. Both because you have touched upon many of the crucial issues of our time, and because the work of untangling your ingeniously-constructed contradictions presents a fascinating challenge in itself, I consider you a worthy opponent. I have issued this invitation to intellectual combat in line with the principle announced by the English poet William Blake, in his epic poem Jerusalem, namely that the suppression of the “mental war” by various “hirelings in the camp, the court and the university” must ultimately lead to the outbreak of bloody “corporeal war” — a war which, in our time, would inevitably spell the final end of Man. So read my book, and then answer it. If you cannot or will not do this, if you elect not to accept this challenge, then I will inform my readers that you have forfeited the match by default.

I await your reply.

Sincerely,
Charles Upton

Open Letter to Jayson Casper

Jayson

December 26, 2018

Dear Jayson Casper,

Greetings. I am associated with the Covenants Initiative, whose director, Dr. John Andrew Morrow, was mentioned in the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to acquit Asia Bibi on charges of blasphemy. Below are emails I just sent to two commentators mentioned in your article “Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?” in Christianity Today, Rev. Mark Durie and Mustafa Aykol. In addition to the arguments presented in these communications, I would like to take slight issue with your use of the term “covenantal theology” to apply to the Covenants of the prophet Muhammad. The covenants of Abraham, Moses and Jesus were “binding agreements” made between representatives of a particular faith community—either already in existence or yet to be formed—and God himself, whereas Muhammad’s covenants, to be strictly accurate, were treaties between two different faith communities. They were nonetheless related “covenantal theology” by the fact that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, declared that they were inspired (though not actually dictated, as was the Qur‘an) directly by Allah.

Here are our responses to Mustafa Akyol and Rev. Mark Durie:

Dear Rev. Durie:

I am a colleague of Dr. John Andrew Morrow, author of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World; I helped edit the book and wrote a foreword to it. Having just read “Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?”, I would like to respond to three of your assertions:

1) “I don’t know of any serious scholar who believes [these texts] are genuine.”

RESPONSE: We can send you a list of such scholars if you wish.

2) “Why would a community of monks receive a promise of religious freedom for Christian women who marry Muslims?”

RESPONSE: Many monasteries on the outskirts of the Byzantine Empire, near to Arab lands, represented the sole leadership of various Christian communities; this is why stipulations of the Covenants that applied to lay Christians were addressed to monks, and why they took it upon themselves to agree to them in the name of their wider flock.

3) “Muhammad had no contact with the tribes of Sinai when the covenant with St. Catherine’s monastery was supposedly composed.”

RESPONSE: According to both the records of St. Catherine’s and the oral tradition of the Sinai Bedouins, before Muhammad’s prophethood descended upon him with the Holy Qur’an, he was a caravan leader who supplied (among many other stops on his route) the Monastery of St. Catherine’s.

If you would like a concise compendium of the provenance of the Prophetic Covenants, including specific arguments against the notion that they were forgeries by Christians (except for a couple of doubtful texts), email me and I’ll send you the file.

Sincerely,
Charles Upton
for Dr. John Andrew Morrow
and the Covenants Initiative

Dear Cato Institute:

Greetings. This is a message for Mustafa Akyol, in response to his comments in the article “Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?” that just appeared in Christianity Today:

“In response to your objection to the legitimacy of these documents based on the fact that most Muslims have never heard of them, our response is: Before the fall of the Ottoman Empire many Muslims knew about them, including virtually the entire ‘ulama, as well as many western scholars, since they formed the basis of official Ottoman policy toward religious minorities, and were renewed periodically by the Ottoman sultans. If they have been largely forgotten until recently, this may be due to the fact that, after the dissolution of the Empire, they were viewed as no more than the irrelevant and dated documents of a defunct bureaucracy. In response to your other objection, that their authenticity has been disputed by some scholars, we offer the attached file, “The Provenance of the Prophet’s Covenants,” which is Chapter 11 of Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s work titled Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet. This document contains the essence of our arguments for the likely authenticity of (most) of the Prophetic Covenants; it answers in specific detail all the scholarly objections that we were aware of when the book was published (2013).”

I have also attached “The Provenance of the Prophet’s Covenants” for your perusal.

Sincerely,
Charles Upton
for Dr. John Andrew Morrow
and the Covenants Initiative

Open Letter to Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer.jpg

December 26, 2018

Dear Robert Spencer:

I am the partner of Dr. John Andrew Morrow in the Covenants Initiative, our campaign to bring back from historical obscurity the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad. In response to your article on Jihad Watch, “Christianity Today touts ancient forged document as basis for ‘Muslim-Christian peace today’,” about the acquittal of the Christian women Asia Bibi by the Pakistani Supreme Court on charges of blasphemy, and the role of the Covenants in this, I need to ask: Are you a competent scholar of these documents? Do you reject them based on a thorough study of the arguments for and against their legitimacy? Are you aware of our detailed and exhaustive arguments for the likely validity of (most) of the Prophetic Covenants that appear in Dr. Morrow’s book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World (Angelico, 2013), as well as in the three-volume anthology Islam and the People of the Book (Cambridge Scholars, 2017)? In these books we have specifically confronted and refuted most of the arguments brought by various scholars against the Covenants’ validity; if you have good reason to believe the Covenants are forged, it should be easy for you to refute our arguments, one by one. As for your other objections, there have certainly been Muslim leaders who have ignored the commands and example of the Prophet Muhammad by oppressing other religions, just as there have been Christians—the judges, torturers and executioners of the Inquisition, for example—whom “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “Whatever ye do unto the least of these, my brethren, ye do unto me” have not restrained from evil. Taking many centuries of history into account, no community of believers is free of major collective sin. Jesus Christ told his disciples “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” (John 13:34)—and Allah, in the Qur‘an, said of Muhammad, “And We have not sent you, except as a mercy to [all] the worlds” (Q:21:106-107). These passages demonstrate that anyone who hates unjustly in the name of a particular God-given religion has misrepresented and slandered that religion—just as the Inquisition slandered the religion of Christ—just as ISIS and their like have slandered the religion of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

But what is most disturbing about your response to the article in Christianity Today on the acquittal of Asia Bibi, is—that you don’t seem happy about it. Is it because she is Catholic rather than Orthodox that you show no sympathy for her? The defense of the life this woman, by pious Muslims, in obedience to the command of our Prophet—some of whom lost their lives in the process—was a stern and holy act of love, totally in line with both her tradition and ours. In the words of the Noble Qur‘an, “Whoever saves the life of one human being, it is as if he had saved the lives of all humankind” (Q. 5:32). It appears, however, that when you encounter such an act of true love, the first thing it does is bring out all the hate in you. Is your hatred for Islam stronger than your love for your fellow Christians? When Muslims defend a Christian woman, do you react with anger because this violates your image of Islam? If so, it is only one short step to secretly rejoicing when ISIS massacres Christians because their crimes confirm that image! We are not in a popularity contest, Mr. Spencer. The struggle is not to make Muslims or Christians look good, but to make sure that they are good. That’s why we have been in the thick of the ideological fight against ISIS since 2013, and why we submitted a paper to the Trump administration entitled “War on Five Fronts: A Comprehensive Plan to Defeat ISIS.” When you call into question the motives of Muslims who risk their lives to defend Christians, and claim this defense is based on a false notion of Islam, it’s as if part of you actually wants all Muslims to be terrorists—and anyone who wants all Muslims to be terrorists is not working against terrorism in the name of Islam, but rather for it. If you impugn the actions of Muslims who defend Christians, are you truly a friend to your fellow believers? Or are you really their enemy?

Here is a link to 43 contemporary stories of Muslims defending Christians from attack by ISIS and other groups; feel free to look them over, then let me know what you think:

https://covenantsoftheprophet.org/2018/10/15/muslims-defending-christians-around-the-world/

Sincerely,
Charles Upton
for Dr. John Andrew Morrow
and the Covenants Initiative

Towards building a pluralistic society in Iraq

Towards building a pluralistic society in Iraq

Caption: Dr John Andrew Morrow from the Covenants Initiative and ‘Allamah Sayyid Salih al-Hakeem from the Kalima Center for Dialogue and Cooperation.

By Dr John Andrew Morrow

AMUST (28 Dec, 2018)

I spent the last week of November in Iraq traveling between Najaf, Karbala, and Baghdad and presented my paper titled “The Sacred Duty of Protecting Sacred Sites” at a conference in Karbala on Iraq’s heritage and antiquities that featured scholars from 22 different countries.

I demonstrated that the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the Sirah, and the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (s) are testimonies to the tolerance of Islam and its commitment to protect the lives and property of both Muslims and non-Muslims.

I proved that, in Islam, the protection of people and their property is inseparable and that they always go hand in hand.

I also established that the rights to life, liberty, and property, predate John Locke, the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as they were proclaimed by the Prophet Muhammad (s) in the seventh century, in accord with divine decree.

Based on the foundational, primary sources of the Muslim faith, I concluded that respecting, maintaining, preserving, and protecting sacred and world heritage sites was a sacred duty.
In Najaf, I was granted an audience with the Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Saeed al-Hakeem, one of the four Sources of Emulation in Iraq, and the second most senior Shiite scholar after Grand Ayatullah ‘Ali al-Sistani.

I presented him a copy of “Uhud al-Nabi li-Masihiyyi al-‘alam,” the Arabic translation of “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (s) with the Christians of the World,” describing it as a weapon against the Takfiris.

The Grand Ayatullah and his senior staff were pleased to learn that my scholarship followed in the path of Dr Muhammad Hamidullah, the editor of “al-Watha’iq” or “The Treaties” and Ayatullah Ahmadi Minyanji, the editor of “Makatib al-Rasul” or “The Writings of the Messenger.”

‘Allamah Sayyid Salih al-Hakim, the nephew of the Grand Ayatullah, assured me that he would provide copies of “Uhud al-Nabi” or “The Covenants of the Prophet” to the three other Sources of Emulation, Grand Ayatullah ‘Ali al-Sistani, Grand Ayatullah Bashir al-Najafi, and Grand Ayatullah Ishaq al-Fayyaz, along with all the other senior scholars in the Seminary.

In Baghdad, I attended a marvellous inter-religious conference on the status of women in Iraq which brought together leaders from every faith community in the country, including Sabians, Mandeans, Zoroastrians, Yezidis, Christians, Sunnis, and Shiites.

It was remarkable: none of this lovey-dovey, wishy-washy, watered-down, New Age nonsense that we witness in the Western world were world religions are relativized to the point that they become meaningless.

The leaders who gathered in Baghdad were staunch believers, some with harsh words of criticism for one another, but who were determined and committed to build community ties for the betterment of the country and who were adamant about the need to co-exist as fellow citizens.

This was real interfaith work that mattered. What was taking place at that conference was worth more than one hundred Parliaments of the World’s Religions. It was meaningful. It was actionable. It was life and death.

Iraq is not a place where people who disagree with you write a bad review or unfriend you on Facebook. This is a place where your critics or opponents will kill you point blank; hence, the car inspections, the pat-downs, the bomb-sniffing dogs, and the soldiers armed with machine guns. Interfaith work entails no risk in the Western world.

In Iraq, it means placing your life on the line.

The interest in the Covenants of the Prophet was palpable. The thirst and hunger were real. The need was of the hour. This was one of the most religiously, ethnically, and linguistically diverse nations in the world: destroyed by the West by design, by the very proponents of pluralism.
Without meaningful action, we would be looking at the end of diversity in Iraq and the creation of homogenous statelets for Arab Shiites, Arab Sunnis, and Sufi Kurds, while the Yezidis, Sabians, Mandeans, and Zoroastrians are condemned to extinction.

I came to Iraq bearing the Covenants of the Prophet but I found that they were already there in the hearts of the Iraqi people who are committed to pluralism and co-existence in the most difficult and dangerous of circumstances.

Interfaith Conference on the Status of Women in Iraq

 

 

 

Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today? To acquit Asia Bibi of blasphemy, Pakistan’s Supreme Court relied on supposed seventh-century treaty by Islam’s prophet.

Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?

Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?

To acquit Asia Bibi of blasphemy, Pakistan’s Supreme Court relied on supposed seventh-century treaty by Islam’s prophet.

Jayson Casper December 21, 2018

Image: Aliraza Khatri Photography / Getty Images

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December 2018
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Christians esteem the biblical progression of covenants—Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic—finalized by Jesus as he ushered in the New.

But for the sake of religious freedom in the Muslim world, should they embrace a further covenant: Muhammadian?

Modern scholarship suggests the Muslim Prophet’s Christian covenants could offer contemporary guidance; they already influenced a favorable verdict in the case of Christian Asia Bibi in Pakistan.

After eight long years on death row, Bibi was acquitted of blasphemy by the Muslim nation’s Supreme Court in late October. The Christian mother of five had been sentenced for uttering contempt for Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, while attempting to drink water from a well.

The three-judge panel ruled that contradictions in accuser testimony and Bibi’s forced confession by a local cleric rendered the charges invalid.But in the official court document, one justice went as far as to partially base his judgement on how Bibi’s accusers violated an ancient covenant of Muhammad to the Christian monks of Mount Sinai—“eternal and universal … not limited to [them] alone.”

“Blasphemy is a serious offense,” wrote judge Asif Khosa, “but the insult of the appellant’s religion … was also not short of being blasphemous.”

He referenced a 2013 book by John Morrow, a Canadian convert to Islam. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World is an academic study of six treaties commanding the kind treatment of Christians, reportedly dated to the seventh century.

Each similar in scope, they command Muslims not to attack peaceful Christian communities, to aid in the construction and repair of churches, and even to allow self-regulation of tax payments.

It is “nothing short of providential,” Morrow wrote, that they have been “rediscovered” at a time of widespread Islamist violence against the Christians of the Middle East.

“For Muslims, it means a wake-up call, an awareness that they have deviated from the Islamic tradition,” Morrow told Patheos, the religion and spirituality website.

“[It] requires that Muslims not only tolerate Christians, but love them as their brothers and sisters.”

This resonates with Mustafa Akyol, Turkish author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty.

“The Supreme Court of Pakistan must be congratulated,” he said. “Both for saving Asia Bibi from execution, as well as taking great pains to explain why this was the right Islamic thing to do.”

But the senior fellow at the Cato Institute also gave two serious challenges for the treaties in Covenants. Some experts dispute their authenticity; and most Muslims are unaware of them.

“Yet to me, these covenants look convincing, at least in their general spirit,” said Akyol, “because they resonate with ecumenical themes already in the Qur’an.”

Islam’s holy book calls Christians the closest of all people to Muslims, with a direct call for the protection of synagogues, churches, and monasteries.

Professor Mustafa Abu Sway of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds University in Jerusalem said Muhammad made agreements with many Christian communities. He celebrates especially how the prophet received delegates from Najran (near the border with Yemen), hosting them in his mosque.

Covenants claims to rediscover the full text. Evaluation of any ancient manuscript involves the textual criticism principle that the shorter are likely the most authentic, said Abu Sway; however, he found Morrow’s findings to be genuine in spirit to others from Muslim history. The Pact of Omar is a well-known example, signed with the patriarch of Jerusalem in 638.

It is cited today as a mark of coexistence by the current Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, who also offered appreciation to Morrow.

“As our Middle East region passes through its contemporary plight, we commend your efforts to foster peace and reconciliation,” wrote Theophilos III in his official book endorsement. “We offer you wishes for success in sharing your positive message.”
Should other Christians do the same?

If Akyol raised two issues, Wilson Chowdhry of the British-Pakistani Christian Association raises a third: It may not make much difference.

Ever since the Bibi verdict, Pakistan has been awash in protests by extremist Muslims demanding her death—and that of the judges who acquitted her. Many local Christians—who make up less than two percent of a population of more than 200 million—refuse to speak to the media for fear of retribution, reported CNN.
Bibi remains in protective custody as asylum requests are considered.

“With the current situation in Pakistan,” said Chowdhry, “they may say they follow these agreements, but it will have little bearing on the human rights of Christians.”

For example, he cites how the Movement for Solidarity and Peace has calculated that up to 700 Christian girls have been kidnapped and forced into Islamic marriage every year.

In the ruling acquitting Bibi, chief justice Mian Nisar wrote that 62 people have been murdered following blasphemy accusations, before their cases could even come to court.
But from Jordan, even a famed fundamentalist has questioned the Pakistan case.

Bibi’s argument with her accusers started when they refused to drink water from a Christian hand. This is against the practice of Muhammad who freely ate with Jews, said Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi in Amman, who according to a report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center is the leading Salafi-Jihadi theoretician in the world.

Christians are free to state their differences in doctrine, said Maqdisi, who has interceded privately for several taken captive by Syrian rebel groups out of what he calls his love for Muhammad.

“But if there is a lack of respect, then the case is different,” he said. “Not every sentence is execution. Some only entail punishment.”

And despite acquitting Bibi, the Supreme Court verdict also upheld the duty of the state to prevent blasphemy and confirmed that capital punishment is consistent with Islam.

For Chowdhry, who linked positively to the covenant with Sinai monks while offering greetings on Muhammad’s birthday, this demonstrates the problem.

“Paul appealed to Caesar, so there is a benefit in knowing what your rights are wherever you may live,” he said.

“But in an effort to secure an ostensibly safer environment, the religious freedoms of Christians are still clearly being governed by Islamic traditions.”

And for some Western experts, Covenants is shoddy scholarship of traditions invented to begin with.

The book is “pious propaganda,” said Mark Durie, an Anglican pastor from Australia with a doctorate in Qur’anic theology. “I don’t know of any serious scholar who believes [these texts] are genuine.”

He believes they were produced by Christian communities angling for better treatment by Muslims.

For example, Muhammad had no contact with the tribes of Sinai when the covenant with St. Catherine’s monastery was supposedly composed. The stipulations better reflect concerns from later Egyptian history when Christians were persecuted and prevented from repairing churches.

Another curious note from the alleged recovered covenants: Why would a community of monks receive a promise of religious freedom for Christian women who marry Muslims?

“It is the survival strategy of a victim to praise the abuser and become an apologist for his better side,” said Durie. “There is no true freedom in making up stories about Muhammad; only proof of bondage.”

Authentic or not, Mitri Raheb, former president of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, said the covenants reflect how certain Muslims in certain contexts did treat Christians positively.

“But many Christians and Muslims today, including myself, strive for a society based on equal citizenship—and nothing less than that,” he said, critical also of recent legal developments in Israel.

But this form of citizenship might not be the objective of Morrow, who has poured his life into Covenants and its 400-plus pages, researching and documenting ancient texts to strengthen Muslim-Christian relations.

He longs for an alliance against secularism, and aches for oppressed Christians. But at the same time, Morrow praises the ideals of Islamic governance and the example of Hezbollah and the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Should the church nevertheless come alongside him, and help spread awareness of Islamic interpretations that encourage tolerance, educating Christian and Muslim alike?
Chowdhry has other priorities.

“As Christians, we do not need to encourage this worldview,” he said, focusing instead on love toward God, neighbor, and enemy.

“The persecuted church needs help from their brothers and sisters in Christ more than they need to normalize the traditions of another faith.”

But what if these traditions can free a wrongfully convicted believer, and quiet the crowds calling for her blood?

Akyol said the solution is internal.

“The antidote to such bigotry, among whose victims Asia Bibi is only one, must come from Islam itself,” he said.

“The Supreme Court of Pakistan just showed us an example.”

Additional reporting by Philip Madanat, an evangelical researcher in Jordan.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) and Religious Liberty: Building a Truly Free, Equitable, and Just Society

I.M.A.M. (December 20, 2018)

In democratic societies like the United States and Canada, where religious freedom is one of many protected liberties and people from all levels of society are constitutionally free to express their beliefs, it is essential to consider the viewpoint of each faith tradition towards the adherents of other religions. Indeed, history is pockmarked with religious intolerance and societal structures that prevented individuals from having the choice to practice their faith. Even within a free society like the one we live in today, secularism and individual freedom do not necessarily guarantee a harmonious milieu. Currently, one can see that advocacy for religious freedom includes not just those who practice a minority faith, but also those who do not ascribe to a religion and even the followers of the majority religion who claim that they are being judged because of their devotion to their faith. As a result, religious liberty must represent a philosophy that starts with freedom and tolerance, and then builds the foundations of a compassionate society through dialogue and outreach.

As such, to understand the Islamic perspective on this matter, past injustices, narrow mindedness, and oppression by various despotic regimes notwithstanding, a person only needs to examine the implementation of religious liberty in the city of Medina during the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp).

The Muslim society in which Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) established the fundamental code of Islam was similarly diverse; not only was it comprised of people of various religions, but numerous tribes and social groups as well. In fact, it is that narrated “when Muhammad arrived in Medina, its inhabitants were a mixed lot. They consisted of the Muslims united by the mission of the Messenger of God, the polytheists who worshiped idols, and the Jews who were the armored people of the forts and the allies of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj.”1 Reflecting on the diversity of Medina and the different religious backgrounds of its residents, one can ask how Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) fostered cooperation and cohesion. Did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) give any religious rights to Christians, Jews, and the followers of other religions? Were they free to practice their religion? In other words, does Islam impose belief upon humanity or is religious conviction a personal choice left to each human being? Furthermore, religious freedom, along with every other freedom (e.g., living in safety, owning property), must pertain to each human being and their value. To reflect on these questions, here we examine some examples of how the Prophet (pbuh&hp) treated followers of other religions.

There are many well-documented instances of Prophet Muhammad’s dealing with people of other religions. The Hilf al-fuḍul agreement, 2 his dealing with the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), the case of the Christians of Najran,3 the Constitution of Medina, and the numerous covenants with Christians of Arabia are among the many examples which historians have highlighted. These examples portray how the Prophet (pbuh&hp) treated non-Muslims in both Mecca and Medina, during times of war and peace and when struggling for freedom or while in power. In what follows we touch upon three of these instances: the Hilf al-fuḍul agreement, the Constitution of Medina, and one of the many covenants with the Christians of Arabia.

The Hilf al-fuḍul agreement

According to al-Baghdadi’s account of the Hilf al-fudul agreement, before the Prophet (pbuh&hp) received his mission, he signed, along with some other youth, an “Accord of Chivalry” (futuwwat) to respect the rights of other people who came to Mecca for trade. They agreed that “we will support the victim whether respectable or inferior in status, belongs to us or others.”4 Ibn Hisham and Ibn Athir have commented in the following manner on this agreement: “They pledged to stand with any victim at Mecca or from outside and against all those victimizing [others] unless they were convicted to make amend.”

The importance of this document becomes clear when considered in the context of the social norms in seventh century Hijaz, where rights and liberties were determined by blood ties and tribalism with very little provision made for or accommodation afforded to the outsider.

The Constitution of Medina

After the Hilf al-fudul agreement, the Constitution of Medina is the oldest piece of evidence that presents the Prophet’s legacy regarding people of other faiths. The documents were drafted after the Prophet’s migration to Yathrib (Medina al-Nabi) in 622 and is considered authentic by both Muslim scholars and historians of Western academia.5 The following are two short articles taken from the 30 articles that this document contains, showing examples of its progressive and inclusive approach to governance:

The Jews who follow us as clients are entitled to support and are granted equal rights; they shall not suffer any injustice, and no one will be aided against them.

The Jews of the clan of Awf are a community (umma) with the faithful covenanters, the Jews having their religion ([deen]) and the Muslims their religion, their clients, and their persons, except for any wrongdoer or traitor who brings perdition upon himself and his household. It is likewise the same as the Jews of the clan of Awf with the Jews of the clans of Najjar, Harith, Saida, Jusham, and the Aws.

Prophet’s covenants with Christians of Arabia

In addition to the Constitution of Medina, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) explained the rights of Christians under Islamic rule in several covenants. Dr. John Morrow has translated some of these covenants.6 In a covenant with the Christians of Mount Sinai, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) begins by saying, “This covenant [kitab] was written by Muhammad, the son of Abdullah.” It continues with many detailed articles that are beyond the scope of this discussion, yet three of the most significant include:

If a monk or pilgrim seeks protection, in mountain or valley, in a cave or in tilled fields, in the plain, in the desert, or in a church, I am behind them, defending them from every enemy; I, my helpers [awani], all the members of my religion [ahl millati], and all my followers [atbai].

A bishop shall not be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a hermit from his tower [sawma], nor shall a pilgrim be hindered from his pilgrimage.

Moreover, no building from among their churches [bayt min buyut kanaisihim] shall be destroyed, nor shall the money [mal] from their churches be used for the building of mosques or houses for the Muslims. Whoever does such a thing violates God’s covenant [ahd Allah] and dissents from the Messenger of God.

None of them shall be compelled to bear arms, but the Muslims shall defend them, and they shall never break this promise of protection until the hour comes and the world ends.

It is interesting that the mentioned documents show a consistency in the Prophet’s attitude toward religious liberty throughout his life. He presented the same level of tolerance in all circumstances, before and after his prophethood and while Muslims were a minority or a majority. He signed the Hilf al-fudul agreement before starting his mission as a prophet, showed the same level of tolerance in dealing with the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) while Muslims were a minority, and continued the same attitude when he signed the covenant with the Christians and Jews when Muslims were the majority in Arabia.

Other covenants that the Prophet (pbuh&hp) signed with the Christians and Jews of his time contain similar protections but unfortunately have rarely been studied and written about. The underrepresentation of these precious letters and treaties, both in the Muslim world and in the West, has probably been one of the causes of the misrepresentation of the Prophet’s character and Islam in general. Our efforts, as his followers in advocating for and representing these documents to the public, are necessary both to restore the true character of our beloved Prophet (pbuh&hp) as the “Prophet of Mercy” and to build a truly free, equitable, and just society—a society that he invited people to and fought for.

1. Saeid Amir Arjomand, “The Constitution of Medina: A Sociolegal Interpretation of Muhammad’s Acts of Foundation of the ‘Umma,’” Cambridge University Press, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 41, no. 4 (November 2009), 555- 575.
2. Muhammad b. Habib al-Baghdadi, Kitab al-munammaq fi akhbar Quraysh , ed. Khurshid Ahmad Faruq, Beirut: Alam al-Kutub, 1985.
3. Ref. Dr. Muhammad Yasin Mazhar Siddiqi, “The Prophet Muhammad: A Role Model for Muslim Minorities.”
4. Muhammad b. Habib al-Baghdadi, Kitab al-munammaq fi akhbar Quraysh, ed. Khurshid Ahmad Faruq, Beirut: Alam al-Kutub, 1985.
5. Saeid Amir Arjomand, “The Constitution of Medina: A Sociolegal Interpretation of Muhammad’s Acts of Foundation of the ‘Umma.’” Cambridge University Press, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 41, no. 4 (November 2009), 555- 575.
6. Morrow, J.A., The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, Sophia Perennis, 2013.

La Corte Suprema de Pakistán invoca al Pacto del Profeta: El caso de Asia Bibi

Por Dr. John Andrew Morrow
REVISTA DIGITAL BIBLIOTECA ISLAMICA
(17 de noviembre de 2018)
Asia Noreen Bibi es una mujer cristiana pakistaní analfabeta y madre de cinco hijos que ha estado en el centro de la controversia durante casi una década. Mientras recogían bayas, un grupo de mujeres musulmanas se negó a compartir el agua con ella alegando que era religiosamente impura. Si bien en el pasado algunos juristas chiítas duodecimanos sostuvieron que todos los no musulmanes eran “najis” o religiosamente impuros, quizás como consecuencia de antiguas creencias del zoroastrismo, las autoridades religiosas contemporáneas aducen normalmente que el Pueblo del Libro ―judíos y cristianos― son “tahir” o religiosamente puros. Algunos incluso afirman que todos los seres humanos son intrínsecamente puros. Sin embargo, en el Islam sunnita, que es la manifestación mayoritaria del Islam en Pakistán, la noción de que los no musulmanes son inmundos simplemente no existe. Y si aparece resulta, simplemente, un residuo del hinduismo que ve a los no hindúes como impuros. Se trata de una continuación del sistema de castas politeístas y del concepto de intocabilidad.
Después de que las mujeres musulmanas hicieran declaraciones despectivas sobre el cristianismo y exigieran que Asia Bibi se convirtiera al Islam, la mujer católica defendió sus derechos y dignidad como ser humano, afirmando: “Creo en mi religión y en Jesucristo, que murió en la cruz por los pecados de la humanidad. ¿Qué hizo tu profeta Mahoma para salvar a la humanidad? ¿Y por qué debería ser yo quien se convierta en vez de ti?” Como se puede apreciar, no hay ningún pecado en lo que dijo. Según la ley islámica, tal como la interpretan los otomanos y otras autoridades dominantes y moderadas, los no musulmanes tienen derecho a expresar sus creencias religiosas con plena libertad. Tales declaraciones de fe, aunque contradigan las enseñanzas del Islam, no incurren en la categoría de calumnia, difamación, herejía o blasfemia. Según la shariah tradicional, que tanto los islamófobos como los takfiristas tergiversan rutinariamente, esas manifestaciones entran en el ámbito de la libertad de expresión religiosa.
Poco después de la discusión generada, una turba se reunió alrededor de la casa de Asia Bibi, golpeando a ella y a los miembros de su familia. Las mujeres involucradas informaron a un oficial de policía local que la mujer católica había afirmado que el Corán era falso, que el Profeta Muhammad se casó con Khadijah solo por su dinero y que estaba lleno de gusanos antes de morir. Asia Bibi negó a voz en cuello la veracidad de esas afirmaciones. Puesto que ella rechazó las acusaciones, un imám local llamado Qari Muhammad Salim alegó, cinco días después del hecho, sin pruebas ni acceso al acusado, que Asia Bibi le confesó su crimen de blasfemia y le ofreció sus disculpas.
Acusada de blasfemia en 2009 ―en virtud del artículo 295 C del Código Penal de Pakistán― y encarcelada sin cargos formales, fue finalmente juzgada y condenada a morir ahorcada en 2010. Su caso se transformó desde entonces en un tema central por los extremistas musulmanes, quienes exigen airadamente el cumplimiento de la pena en una manifestación perversa de su supuesta lealtad al Islam. Los extremistas cristianos islamófobos la ven como una víctima de la ley islámica. Y los liberales seculares como una víctima de abusos fundamentales de los derechos humanos. Para colmo, y para añadir un insulto a las injurias, las condiciones en las que se mantuvo retenida a Asia Bibi eran deplorables según cualquier norma civilizada.
Desde el punto de vista de la jurisprudencia islámica, el caso en cuestión nunca debería haber llegado a los tribunales. Se basa enteramente en rumores: fulana dijo que ella dijo; fulano dijo que ella dijo. No puede compararse con el caso de Salman Rushdie u otros que dedicaron tiempo y esfuerzo a producir obras de literatura, erudición o arte, con la intención deliberada de calumniar al Profeta Muhammad y ofender el sentimiento musulmán. En el caso en cuestión, las mujeres acusadoras habrían deliberado y tramado detalladamente las acusaciones que presentarían. A pesar de ser premeditada, la descripción exagerada que dieron las mujeres musulmanas de los acontecimientos estuvo llena de contradicciones e inconsistencias. Aparentemente la presentación de cargos falsos se motivaría en la intolerancia religiosa, cuestiones de clase, estatus económico, disputas familiares y venganzas personales. En tanto que los acusadores masculinos, que ni siquiera fueron testigos de los hechos, se dejarían llevar por sentimientos misóginos. Todo el episodio recuerda al Capítulo Yusuf o José del Corán, que exclama: “¡Es una astucia propia de vosotras! ¡Es enorme vuestra astucia!” (12:28).
En los casos de rumores, el enfoque del Corán es claro, es decir, es el de mubahalah, la invocación mutua de las maldiciones (3:61). Ambas partes deben jurar que dicen la verdad e invocar la maldición de Dios sobre sí mismas si están mintiendo. El juez entonces se lava las manos del caso y pone el juicio en las manos de Dios. El mentiroso será condenado en el Más Allá. Incluso si suponemos que Asia Bibi habló mal del Profeta, algo que la mayoría de los cristianos que viven en naciones de mayoría musulmana ven como suicida ya que es tan ofensivo para los sentimientos religiosos, todo lo que correspondía era una disculpa. A pesar de las falsas tradiciones que afirman lo contrario, el Profeta Muhammad siempre puso la otra mejilla cuando se trataba de insultos dirigidos a su persona. De hecho, cuando se le pidió que maldijera a los politeístas que le hicieron la guerra, se negó rotundamente, diciendo, según Muslim: “No he sido enviado para maldecir a la gente, sino como una misericordia para toda la humanidad,” haciéndose eco de las palabras de Dios Todopoderoso en el Corán Glorioso: “Nosotros no te hemos enviado sino como misericordia para todo el mundo” (21:107). Mientras que los musulmanes defienden la justicia, también deben moderar su justicia con la misericordia. Necesitamos perdonar para ser perdonados.
Sin embargo, una parte de la población pakistaní mostró poca simpatía hacia una mujer pobre, analfabeta y campesina de la provincia de Punjab. En una encuesta, más de diez millones de pakistaníes declararon que estaban personalmente dispuestos a condenarla a muerte. ¡Qué vergüenza para el Islam y qué mancha para el Profeta de la Paz! Maulana Yousaf Qureshi, un clérigo musulmán, que ciertamente no sigue al Profeta de la Misericordia, ofreció una recompensa de medio millón de rupias a cualquiera que la asesinara, mostrando un total desprecio por la ley y el orden. Los políticos influidos por la moral y la gente de conciencia que acudieron en defensa de Asia Bibi y se opusieron a su ejecución, fueron condenados a morir. Salmaan Tasser ―gobernador del Punjab― y el Ministro de Asuntos de las Minorías ―Shahbaz Bhatti― fueron asesinados por los renegados religiosos, azotes del país. Incluso el abogado de Asia Bibi, Sail-ul-Mulook, se vio obligado a huir del país como resultado de amenazas cuando, en la ley islámica, se supone que los abogados están protegidos de tales represalias. De hecho, los Pactos del Profeta establecen claramente que a los no musulmanes se les debe proporcionar una representación legal adecuada.
Como dice el Mensajero de Dios en “El Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los cristianos de Najran,” contenido en la “Crónica de Seert,” así como en “Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los cristianos del mundo,” otorgados a los cristianos de Egipto y del Levante: “Si un cristiano comete un crimen o un delito, los musulmanes deben proporcionarle ayuda, defensa y protección. Deben perdonar su delito y animar a su víctima a reconciliarse con él, urgiéndole a que lo perdone o a que reciba una compensación a cambio.” Lo mismo se estipula en “El Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los cristianos de Persia:” “Si se descubre que algún cristiano ha delinquido inadvertidamente, los musulmanes considerarán su deber asistirlo, acompañándolo a los tribunales, para que no se le exija más de lo que Dios prescribe, y se restablezca la paz entre las partes en disputa según las Escrituras”.
Diversos medios de comunicación al servicio de las corporaciones aprovecharon la repugnante situación para presentar a los pakistaníes como salvajes. Pero esa es una acusación repudiable ya que la gran mayoría de la población odia profundamente a los takfiritas, wahhabitas, deobandis y barelvis. Son alimañas introducidas en el país por los británicos, Arabia Saudita y los Estados Unidos. Los pakistaníes son sunnitas y chiítas, los hijos de Allamah Muhammad Iqbal, entre los que se encuentran científicos, eruditos y santos. Las rabiosas ratas religiosas no representan a Pakistán ni al Islam.
El veredicto de 56 páginas de octubre de 2018 de la Corte Suprema de Pakistán, escrito por CJP Nisar, con un juicio concurrente escrito por Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, fue un alivio para muchos mientras exasperaba a las bandas de bárbaros que están empeñados en destruir la imagen del Islam en el mundo. El desconsuelo se produjo cuando el gobierno pakistaní decretó la prohibición de que Asia Bibi saliera del país hasta que se revisara el veredicto. Lo que parecía una debilidad por parte de Imran Khan parece haber sido una estratagema política destinada a apaciguar momentáneamente a los caníbales religiosos para dar a Asia Bibi el tiempo y la oportunidad de huir del país. La verdadera cobardía no vino de Pakistán, sino del Reino Unido, que se negó a considerar su solicitud de asilo alegando que podría causar disturbios religiosos en la nación, lo que demuestra que hay bastantes locos misóginos en las Islas Británicas.
Para los islamófobos del Centro Estadounidense para el Derecho y la Justicia y otras organizaciones cristiano-sionistas, Asia Bibi fue víctima de la ley islámica y ejemplo de los cristianos perseguidos en el mundo musulmán. Tales chiflados ignoran convenientemente que las leyes de blasfemia en Pakistán fueron introducidas, no por los pakistaníes, sino por los británicos, y no por los musulmanes, sino por los llamados cristianos. Los británicos, que creían en la ley y el orden, se vieron obligados a aprobar leyes de blasfemia para limitar las acciones de los provocadores misioneros cristianos que deliberadamente insultarían al profeta Muhammad con el fin de causar disturbios, desestabilizando así el país. Dichas leyes de blasfemia, heredadas por los pakistaníes de los británicos estaban destinadas a prevenir la violencia. Con las mismas se pretendía prevenir que personas como Salman Rushdie y otros publicasen cosas que denigrasen al Profeta Muhammad. No obstante, resultaron contraproducentes. Se suponía que iban a prevenir disturbios religiosos pero en realidad los motivaron. Se utilizan para perseguir a las minorías religiosas, como cristianos, chiítas y ahmadíes y para alimentar el fuego de quienes se sienten libres de acosar, amenazar, intimidar y atacar a cualquier persona, acusándoles falsamente de blasfemia.
La llamada cura al conflicto religioso ha demostrado ser cancerígena. Después de todo, ¿cómo pueden considerarse saludables las leyes contra la blasfemia cuando están en clara contradicción con la ley islámica? Como el mismo Abu Hanifah ha dictaminado, “Si un dhimmi (no musulmán protegido bajo el estado) insulta al Santo Profeta, no será asesinado como castigo. Un no musulmán no es asesinado por su kufr (infidelidad) o por su shirk (politeísmo). Kufr y Shirk son pecados mayores que insultar al Profeta.” Aunque algunos juristas creen que la gente puede ser condenada a muerte por blasfemia, rara vez extienden tal castigo a las mujeres. Y quienes lo hacen, dan a las culpables la oportunidad de arrepentirse pidiendo perdón. Al aplicar el Islam, el Profeta Muhammad nos ha enseñado a inclinarnos hacia la compasión y a adoptar el enfoque más moderado: “Haz las cosas más fáciles, no hagas las cosas más difíciles, difunde las buenas nuevas, y no odies” (Bukhari).
Como lo demuestra la evidencia presentada por la Jueza Khosa, si alguien debe ser castigado en el caso de Asia Bibi son sus acusadores, quienes “no tuuvieron ningún respeto por la verdad,” quienes inventaron la afirmación de que ella blasfemó a Muhammad en público y quienes violaron el Pacto del Profeta, el cual se mantiene plenamente vigente. Aunque Asia Bibi insistió en su inocencia, lo cual es suficiente según la ley islámica para liberarla, en los corazones de los lunáticos religiosos no existe piedad. Aunque el Papa Benedicto y el Papa Francisco pidieron clemencia, no hubo misericordia en los corazones de los neandertales religiosos. Aunque 600.000 personas de más de cien países pidieron la liberación de Asia Bibi, no hubo misericordia en los corazones de los primates bípedos. Gritan: “cuélguenla, cuélguenla.” Exigen: “Decapítenla, decapítenla.” Son personas cuyos corazones están llenos de odio y venganza. El Mensajero de Dios advirtió: “Quien no tenga misericordia de la gente no recibirá misericordia de Dios” (Muslim y Haythami).
Por mucho que los cristiano-sionistas aleguen que Asia Bibi fue una víctima del Islam, fue el Islam quien la salvó, ya que el fallo de la Corte Suprema de Pakistán se basó en gran medida tanto en el Corán como en los Hadices. De hecho, prestó mucha atención al Ashtiname, es decir, al “Pacto del Profeta Mahoma con los Monjes del Monte Sinaí” y citó “Los Pactos del Profeta Mahoma con los Cristianos del Mundo,” los cuales rescaté casi del olvido. Esos Pactos sirvieron de evidencia que Asia Bibi estaba protegida por los privilegios del Mensajero de Dios. Como escribió Arnold Yasin Moll, del Instituto Fahm de los Países Bajos, en relación con el caso Asia Bibi: “la erudición salva vidas.” Para el Dr. Craig Considine de la Universidad de Rice, “esto es notable.” En cuanto a mí, no me atribuyo ningún mérito. Fue el Mensajero de Dios ―paz y bendiciones sobre él― quien salvó a Asia Bibi de una muerte segura. Los que protestan contra la decisión del Tribunal Supremo de Pakistán lo hacen contra el propio Profeta Muhammad. Que Dios se apiade de sus almas. O, si los juzgamos de acuerdo a como ellos juzgan a otros, que Dios los condene a todos al infierno.
Imagen: VICE News
* John Andrew Morrow es hispanista e islamólogo, colaborador frecuente de la Revista Biblioteca Islámica.

Los Pactos del Profeta Presentados al Gran Ayatolá Sayyid Sa’id al-Hakim

Por Taraneh Tabatabai

Revista Digital Biblioteca Islamica (9 de diciembre de 2018)

El Dr. John Andrew Morrow, erudito y líder musulmán canadiense/estadounidense también conocido como al-Ustadh al-Duktur Ilyas Islam, se reunió el 26 de noviembre de 2018 con el Gran Ayatolá Muhammad Sa’id al-Hakim ―uno de los cuatro Grandes Ayatolás de Irak― en la ciudad santa de Najaf al-Ashraf.

Sayyid Salih al-Hakim, sobrino de la Autoridad Religiosa, hizo las presentaciones iniciales. Después el Gran Ayatolá realizó con un pequeño grupo de colaboradores íntimos, académicos y estudiantes avanzados una oración comunitaria.

El Dr. Morrow expresó con gran admiración: “Nunca, en mis sueños más descabellados, podría haber imaginado que rezaría las oraciones del mediodía y de la tarde detrás del Gran Ayatolá Sayyid Sa’id al-Hakim. Esas oraciones fueron, con mucho, las más llenas de bendiciones que ójamás he experimentado. Una oración detrás del Gran Ayatolá es como un millón detrás de un líder justo común.”

Después de completarse los rezos, el Gran Ayatolá invitó al Dr. Morrow a sentarse a su lado. Lo hizo de manera humilde y le estrechó la mano al Sa’id de un modo muy cordial. La conversación que tuvo lugar fue inusualmente larga, ya que las reuniones con los Grandes Ayatolás son por lo general breves. A veces se limitan a un simple saludo y bendición, o, a lo sumo, a la respuesta de una sola pregunta o a darse algún consejo.

El Gran Ayatolá al-Hakim estaba ansioso por conocer cómo llegó al Islam el Dr. Morrow. Se enteró de que era de ascendencia franco-canadiense y de los pueblos originarios de la región y que había abrazado el Islam hacía más de treinta años ―a la edad de dieciséis años― después de leer, entre otras obras, una traducción al inglés del Corán. Manifestó el Gran Ayatolá:

“Tenemos personas en este país que nacieron en familias musulmanas y se criaron como musulmanes. Sin embargo, no hay nada de musulmán en ellos. Tú, sin embargo, viniste al Islam sin haber conocido nunca a un musulmán. Aprendiste el Islam por el libro. Dios abrió tu corazón al Islam.”

El Dr. Morrow explicó al Gran Ayatolá que abrazó el Islam antes de la llegada de un gran número de musulmanes a Canadá y que los primeros supuestos musulmanes con los que se encontró eran en realidad salafitas-wahhabitas-takfiristas. Sin embargo, debido a la gracia de Dios, se encontró con los seguidores de Ahl al-Bayt a los dos años de haber dado su testimonio de fe.

El Gran Ayatolá al-Hakim se alegró de saber que el Dr. Morrow formaba parte de su comunidad académica. El Dr. Morrow explicó: “Fui alumno de Sayyid Muhammad Zaki al-Baqri y este fue alumno de Sayyid Salih al-Hakim. Aprendí el Islam de Sayyid Muhammad Zaki al-Baqri, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, el Dr. Liyakat ‘Ali Takim, junto con muchos otros shaykhs, doctores, profesores e incluso orientalistas.”

El Gran Ayatolá al-Hakim manifestó: “Entiendo el Islam. Sin embargo, no entiendo el pensamiento y la sociedad occidental. Pero usted entiende tanto el Islam como el pensamiento y la sociedad occidentales. Por lo tanto, usted está mejor equipado para difundir y defender el Islam en Occidente.”

Dijo El Dr. Morrow, en tanto entregaba una copia de Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo al Gran Ayatolá al-Hakim: “Deseo ofrecerle un regalo.” Y para poner un marco de referencia expresó:

“Un gran erudito sunita llamado Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, reunió todas las cartas, tratados y pactos del Profeta Muhammad ―que la paz y las bendiciones sean con él y su familia― en una obra titulada al-Watha’iq. Otro gran erudito shiíta llamado Ayatolá Ahmadi Miyanji, amplió la colección para incluir cartas, tratados y pactos encontrados en fuentes shiítas junto con su comentario. El trabajo, como saben, es Makatib al-Rasul.

El título del libro fue repetido al unísono por varios eruditos de alto nivel mientras agitaban la cabeza en señal de reconocimiento y sonreían. Añadió el Dr. Morrow “Este libro, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World,” continúa la investigación del Ayatolá Ahmadi Miyanji. Es un arma contra los takfiristas.” El Gran Ayatolá procedió a darle al Dr. Morrow una larga lista de consejos y oraciones para el éxito.

Cuando Sayyid Salih al-Hakim le preguntó al Dr. Morrow sobre su impresión del Gran Ayatolá al-Hakim, el Dr. Morrow lo describió como un wali salih, un amigo justo de Dios, amable, humilde, gentil, inteligente, sabio, de mente abierta, culto y piadoso. Y agregó: “El Ayatolá irradiaba luz. Podía ver literalmente los rayos que salían de sus ojos. Estaba rodeado de un aura de santidad. Emanaba santidad.”

Casi una semana después, el día de su partida y de su regreso a Occidente, se informó al Dr. Morrow que el Gran Ayatolá le había enviado sus mejores saludos. Al regresar a casa dijo el Dr. Morrow: “Aunque deje atrás al Ayatolá, lo llevaré en mi corazón.”

Aasia… and the Prophet’s Covenant: Pakistani High Court disarms all Islamophobic Naysayers

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

Crescent International (Rabi’ al-Awwal 23, 1440 / December 2018)

Aasia Noreen Bibi is an illiterate Pakistani Christian woman and mother of five children who has been at the center of controversy for nearly a decade. While out picking berries, a group of Muslim women refused to share water with her on the grounds that she was ritually and religiously impure. While some Twelver Shi‘i jurists in the past held the view that all non-Muslims were najis or religiously unclean, a possible residue from Zoroastrianism, contemporary religious authorities generally hold that the People of the Book, Jews and Christians, are tahir or religiously pure. Some even assert that all human beings are inherently pure.

In Sunni Islam, which is the majority manifestation of Islam in Pakistan, the notion that non-Muslims are unclean simply does not exist. It appears very much to be a residue of Hinduism that views non-Hindus as unclean. It is a continuation of the polytheistic caste system and the concept of untouchability.

After the Muslim women made derogatory statements about Christianity, and demanded that Aasia Bibi convert to Islam, the Catholic woman defended her rights and dignity as a human being, stating, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your prophet ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?”

This much she admits, and there is no sin in what she said. According to Islamic law, as interpreted by the Ottomans and other mainstream and moderate authorities, non-Muslims are entitled to express their religious beliefs with full freedom. Such statements of faith, even if they contradict the teachings of Islam, do not meet the standard of slander, libel, defamation, heresy, or blasphemy. According to the traditional Shari‘ah, which is routinely misrepresented by both Islamophobes and takfiris, they fall within the realm of freedom of religious expression.

Shortly after the argument that ensued, a mob gathered at Aasia Bibi’s home, beating her and members of her family. The women involved told a local police officer that the Catholic woman had asserted that the Qur’an was fake, that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) only married Khadijah for her money, and that he was filled with worms before he died. Aasia Bibi vociferously denied the veracity of these claims. Since she refused to confess, a local so-called imam, Qari Muhammad Salim, alleged, five days after the fact, without evidence or access to the accused, that Aasia Bibi confessed to him about her crime of blasphemy and offered her apology.

Accused of blasphemy in 2009, under Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code, and incarcerated without formal charges, she was eventually judged and sentenced to death by hanging in 2010. Since then, she has been transformed into a central issue by Muslim extremists, who angrily demand that she be hanged, in a perverse manifestation of their supposed loyalty to Islam, by Islamophobic Christian extremists, who view her as a victim of Shari‘ah law, and by secular liberals, who see her as a victim of fundamental human rights abuse. Adding insult to injury, the conditions in which Aasia Bibi was kept were deplorable according to any civilized standards.

From the point of view of Islamic jurisprudence, the case in question should never even have gone to court. It relies entirely on hearsay from people with little credibility: she said that she said and he said that she said. It cannot be compared to the case of Salman Rushdie, or others for example, who devoted time and effort to produce works of literature, scholarship or art, with the deliberate intent of slandering the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and offending Muslim sentiment. In the case in question, the women accusers reportedly deliberated prior to filing a complaint, plotting in detail the allegations that they would advance. Despite premeditation, their exaggerated and inflated account of the events was filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. In laying arguably false charges, the female accusers appear to have been motivated by matters of religious intolerance, social and economic class, an ongoing family feud, a desire to “settle old scores,” while the male accusers, who never even witnessed the events, were also driven by misogynistic sentiments. The entire episode recalls Surah Yusuf from the Qur’an, which exclaims, “Behold! It is a snare of you women! Truly, mighty is your snare!” (12:28).

In cases of hearsay, the approach of the Qur’an is clear, namely, it is that of mubahalah, the mutual invocation of curses (3:61). Both parties are to swear that they speak the truth and invoke the curse of God upon themselves if they are lying. The judge then washes his hands of the case and places judgement in the hands of God. The liar will be condemned in the Hereafter. Even if we assume that Aasia Bibi spoke ill of the Prophet (pbuh), something that most Christians living in Muslim majority countries view as suicidal since it is so offensive to religious sentiments, all that was in order was an apology. Despite false traditions that claim to the contrary, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) always turned the other cheek when it came to insults directed at his person. In fact, when asked to curse the mushriks who waged war against him, he adamantly refused, saying, “I have not been sent to curse people but as a mercy to all humankind” (Sahih Muslim), echoing the words of Almighty Allah in the glorious Qur’an, “And We have not sent you except as a mercy to humankind” (21:107). While Muslims stand for justice, they should also temper their justice with mercy. We need to forgive in order to be forgiven.

A portion of the Pakistani populace, however, showed little sympathy towards a poor, uneducated, peasant woman from a remote village in Punjab province. In a survey, over 10 million Pakistanis stated that they were personally willing to put her to death. What an embarrassment to Islam and a stain upon the Prophet of Peace (pbuh).

Maulana Yousaf Qureshi, a so-called Muslim cleric, who certainly does not follow the Prophet of Mercy (pbuh), offered a half-a-million-rupee bounty to anyone who would kill her, showing complete and total disregard for law and order. Morally upright politicians, and people of conscience, who came to Aasia Bibi’s defense, and opposed her death sentence, were themselves targeted for death.

Aasia Bibi in an undated photograph distributed by her family. Before this incident took place, she apparently spent some time in one of the service corps of the Pakistani military, as her uniform indicates. Inflamed by demagoguery inside and outside the country, the case was finally settled by judges of conscience who delivered a just verdict while facing down death threats.

Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, and Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were both murdered by religious renegades who are the scourge of the country. Even Aasia Bibi’s lawyer, Saiful-Mulook, was forced to flee the country as a result of threats when, in Islamic law, attorneys are supposed to be protected from such reprisals. In fact, the Covenants of the Prophet state clearly that non-Muslims must be provided with proper legal representation.

As the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran, as contained in the Chronicle of Sirah, as well as the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, granted to the Christians of Egypt and the Levant,

If a Christian were to commit a crime or an offense, Muslims must provide him with help, defense, and protection. They should pardon his offense and encourage his victim to reconcile with him, urging him to pardon him or to receive compensation in return.
He stipulated the same in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia, namely,

If any Christian shall be found inadvertently offending, Muslims shall deem it their duty to assist him, accompanying him to the law-courts, so that not more may be exacted of him than is prescribed by God, and peace may be restored between the parties to the dispute according to the Scripture.

Much of the corporate mass media has taken advantage of the sickening situation to paint a portrait of Pakistanis as savages, a scandalous accusation since the vast majority of the population hates takfiris, Wahhabis, Deobandis, and Barelvis with a passion. They are vermin that were introduced into the country by the British, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The people of Pakistan are Sunnis and Shi‘is, the sons of ‘Allamah Muhammad Iqbal, among whom are scientists, scholars, and saints.

The 56-page October 2018 verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, authored by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar, with a concurrent judgement authored by Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, came as a relief to many while infuriating the bands of barbarians who are hell-bent on destroying the image of Islam in the world. Consternation was caused when the Pakistani government decreed that Aasia Bibi was banned from leaving the country until the verdict was reviewed. What appeared as weakness on the part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government seems to have been a political ruse aimed at momentarily neutralizing the religious cannibals in order to arrange for Aasia Bibi’s departure from the country. The true cowardice did not come from Pakistan, but from the United Kingdom, which refused to consider her asylum application on grounds that it could cause religious unrest in the country, showing that there are just as many misogynistic madmen in the British Isles (Canada and Italy have offered to take her in).
For Islamophobes from the American Center for Law and Justice and other Christian-Zionist organizations, Aasia Bibi was the victim of Islamic law. She was the poster child for persecuted Christians in the Muslim world. They conveniently ignore that blasphemy laws in Pakistan were introduced, not by Pakistanis, but by the British, and not by Muslims, but by so-called Christians.

The British, who believed in law and order, were compelled to pass blasphemy laws to curtail the actions of Christian missionary provocateurs who would deliberately insult the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in order to cause riots, thereby, destabilizing the country. These blasphemy laws, which were inherited by Pakistanis from the British, and meant to prevent violence by tying the hands of people like Salman Rushdie and those who want to publish insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), have backfired. They were supposed to prevent religious riots. In reality, they are causing them. They are used to persecute religious minorities, such as Christians, Shi‘is, and others, and fuel the fires of vigilantes who feel free to harass, threaten, intimidate, and attack anyone they oppose on concocted claims of blasphemy.

In commenting on the verdict, Pakistani Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar delivered a speech on 11-1-2018 in which he showed immense love and respect toward the Prophet (pbuh), saying that he is ready to sacrifice his life for him, “…but no one can be punished without proof” and that love for the Prophet “does not mean punishing a person on the basis of doubt.” He further added that the judgement was started in the name of Allah (swt) and the Qur’an was referred to throughout the proceedings.

The so-called cure to religious conflict has been shown to be carcinogenic. After all, how can blasphemy laws be considered healthy when they are in clear contradiction of Islamic law? As Abu Hanifah himself has ruled,

If a dhimmi [protected non-Muslim under the state] insults the holy Prophet, he will not be killed as punishment. A non-Muslim is not killed for his kufr [denial of Allah’s authority/divinity] or shirk [the transferance of authority and dominion to a temporal rival of Allah]. Kufr and shirk are bigger sins than insulting the Prophet.

Although some jurists believe that people can be put to death for blasphemy, they rarely extend such punishment to women, and those who do so, give the guilty parties the opportunity to repent in return for pardon. In applying Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has taught us to lean toward compassion and adopt the most moderate approach, “Make things easier, do not make things more difficult, spread the glad tidings, and do not hate” (Sahih Bukhari).

As the evidence presented by Justice Khosa makes clear, if anyone should be punished in the case of Aasia Bibi it is her accusers who violated the Covenant of the Prophet, which remains valid today — those who “had no regard for truth,” and who concocted the claim that she blasphemed Muhammad (pbuh) in public. Although Aasia Bibi insisted that she was innocent, which was enough, according to Islamic law, to free her, no mercy was to be found in the hearts of the religious lunatics. Although Pope Benedict and Pope Francis called for clemency, no mercy was to be found in the hearts of religious Neanderthals. Although 600,000 people from over 100 countries asked that Aasia Bibi be freed, no mercy was to be found in the hearts of the Barmanous. They have shown themselves less human than the bipedal humanoid primates that allegedly inhabit the mountainous region of western Pakistan.

“Hang her, hang her,” they cry. “Behead her, behead her,” they demand. These are people whose hearts are filled with hatred and vengeance. As the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) warned, “Whoever is not merciful to people will not receive the mercy from Allah” (Muslim and Haythami).

As much as the Islamophobes allege that Aasia Bibi was a victim of Islam, it was Islam that saved her as the ruling from the Supreme Court of Pakistan drew heavily from both the Qur’an and the Hadith. In fact, it devoted great detail to the Ashtiname, namely, the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai, and cited The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, which I authored, as evidence that Aasia Bibi was covered by the protections and privileges of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). As Arnold Yasin Moll, from the Fahm Institute in the Netherlands, wrote regarding the Aasia Bibi Case, “scholarship saves lives.”

For Dr. Craig Considine from Rice University, “this is remarkable.” As for myself, I take no credit. It was the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) who saved Aasia Bibi from certain death. Those who are protesting the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan are protesting the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself. May God have mercy on their souls. Or, if we judge them according to how they judge others, may God damn them all to hell.

Parliament of World’s Religions Call for Understanding

Parliament of World’s Religions calls for understanding

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

AMUST (November 22, 2018)

The seventh Parliament of the World’s Religions, the oldest, largest, most diverse and inclusive global interfaith event, was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, between 1 November and 7 November, 2018.

The conference, which was themed, “The Promise of Inclusion, the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change,” was attended by over 10,000 people of faith and conscience from 80 different nations, and featured over 500 programs and events.

One particular panel, titled “An Offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad in the 21st Century,” featured Charles Upton, the Muslim American scholar, activist, and intellectual, who issued the following appeal to Christians and Muslims:

Islamophobia is on the rise. The Council for American-Islamic relations recorded a 17 percent increase in incidents of anti-Muslim bias in the US in 2017 over 2016, much of it undoubtedly due to the climate of fear created by the Trump administration.
This was accompanied by a 15 percent increase in hate crimes targeting U.S. Muslims, including children, youth, and families, over the same period. As for 2018, CAIR’s quarterly report indicates that anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes in the second quarter were up 83 and 21 percent respectively over the first quarter of this year. Internationally as well, the persecution of Muslims is increasing, as witness the attacks against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, as well as the massacre of Muslims by Christian militias in the Central African Republic.

For an individual or group in dire need to ask for help from another is humbling; it wounds our pride, even our legitimate pride. Those willing to risk the wounds of battle may still be reluctant to receive this wound, no matter how necessary it may finally prove to be—especially if we are of the unfortunate opinion that our pride is all we have. Those who know Allah, however, know that as pride weakens, faith and courage grow stronger—and also that to move beyond our pride is not to abandon that pride, but simply to transfer it to a greater and more worthy Object. As a Sufi poet once wrote: “Everyone is proud of someone, and we are proud of God!

To ask for help is go into debt, which means that only those who are willing to recognize that debt, and who also have faith that full repayment can be made, will risk incurring it. Our faith that all debts will ultimately be satisfied comes from the Quranic verse Allah is the Rich, and ye are the poor. Our Patron is generous and possessed of vast resources, and if our very existence, even to the actual number of our breaths, are a free gift from Him, then He will certainly pay all our lesser debts—if, that is, we are willing to recognize our intrinsic poverty and our nothingness without Him.

Christians of good will, we need your help; we need it badly, and we need it now. There are many ways of protesting Islamophobia, but it is our considered opinion that the single most powerful witness in defense of Muslims is a firm commitment by both Christians and Muslims to spread the word of the heroic defense of persecuted Christians by Muslims in Iraq, in Syria, and elsewhere in the world, and of the rediscovery of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, in the spirit though not always in the knowledge of which, such actions are taken. We request—we implore—we challenge every Christian of good will to make these documents and these actions known to everyone, from the local anti-Muslim agitator all the way up to the heads of his or her state and every state, the authorities of his or her religion, and the members of his or her faith community. As for our fellow Muslims, we invite you to sign the Covenants Initiative at www.covenantsoftheprophet.com

ISIS is an Open Enemy of Islam


Charles Upton [Sidi Akram]

Rabi’ al-Awwal 07, 1440

Crescent International

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim!

(In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

To all the participants in the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and most especially to our Christian brothers and sisters: Greetings of Peace, in the Name of the One God of All.
We of the Covenants Initiative, whose mission it is to disseminate the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with the Christians of the World, send our greetings.

By Charles Upton

Crescent International (November 2018)

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim!

(In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

To all the participants in the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and most especially to our Christian brothers and sisters: Greetings of Peace, in the Name of the One God of All.
We of the Covenants Initiative, whose mission it is to disseminate the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with the Christians of the World, send our greetings.

Like Islam, Christianity is suffering persecution in many parts of the world. It is estimated that Christians are persecuted in 103 countries, Islam in around 100. And although ISIS has massacred many more Muslims than Christians—the elimination of the Shi’a being first on their list—nonetheless, with the help of both regional and western powers, it has all but driven the Christians of Iraq and Syria from their ancient homelands, which are host to the oldest churches on earth. Christianity continues to lose cultural influence in the west, and both churches and mosques continue to be burned in North America.

The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time command all Muslims to not kill or rob or damage the buildings of peaceful Christians, or even prevent their Christian wives from going to church, but rather to actively defend them against their enemies “until the coming of the Hour”, the end of the world.
Consequently, we accept these covenants as legally binding upon Muslims today. The Prophet also extended covenants of protection to Jews, Sabaeans, Zoroastrians and other groups. Since the publication of Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s ground-breaking book, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World in 2013, the Covenants Initiative has become an international peace movement in the Muslim world, dedicated to defending persecuted Christians by restoring the memory of the Prophetic Covenants to the Muslim Ummah, and to humanity as a whole.

ISIS and other “Takfiri” terrorist groups—with the aid of the United States, who helped found the so-called “Islamic State” as a proxy army against Syria, Iran and ultimately Russia—are destroying my religion, the religion of Islam; that’s one of the reasons they were created. And though they have massacred Christians, Yezidis and others, they have killed many more Muslims than any other group, men women and children. They have burned mosques, some with copies of the Holy Qur‘an still in them. Thus ISIS is an open enemy of Islam.

Some people, however—non-Muslims who think of themselves as the Muslims’ friends—actually seem to believe that to condemn such Takfiri terrorism is a form of Islamophobia! Nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who condemns the mad dogs of ISIS and works for their ultimate defeat is—in potential at least—a friend and ally of Islam. The question of Islamophobia only arises when these enemies of radical Islamist extremism fail to clearly differentiate pseudo-Muslim terrorists from true and pious Muslims. Most of those we think of as Islamophobes fall into this category.
As for our would-be friends and allies—let’s call them Islamophiles—whenever such people mute their criticism of radical Islamist extremism because they fear they’ll be seen as Islamophobes—as if opposing the enemies of Islam could somehow hurt the Muslims’ feelings—they strengthen the false equation between radical Islamist extremism and Islam itself, and end up turning into Islamophobes in spite of themselves. We ask these well-intentioned but misguided potential allies to please consider their position more carefully, until they come to the clear understanding that anyone who refuses to condemn Takfiri terrorism in the most uncompromising terms is no friend of Islam.

Both misguided Islamophiles and even committed Islamophobes might become the true allies of Muslims if they could only correct their thinking and get a stronger grip on reality. If they did, they might realize that they have more in common with us than they suspect. Islamophobes presently operating in the United States are dedicated to preventing agents of ISIS and other Takfiri groups from entering our country, and though we may have serious differences with them about the best way to achieve this—to say the least—how can we possibly disagree with their ultimate objective, especially in view of the fact that ISIS keeps a hit-list of US Muslim leaders?
Unfortunately, it was the policy of the Obama Administration, under the smokescreen of its Countering Violent Extremism program, not to exclude or arrest the returning ISIS fighters, but to reintegrate them into American society!

It is way too easy for us to paint all Islamophobes as mindless bigots and hatemongers. Well, some of them are. But others are simply ill-informed. “Muslims perpetrated 9/11,” goes their argument, “and now Islam has given us ISIS. Therefore, Islam is the enemy.” If these bare facts were the whole story of all the hidden agendas behind the 9/11 attacks and the seemingly endless wars that have followed in their train, then the Islamophobes would be right. But if they could get a clearer picture of the widespread opposition to ISIS within Islam, of the history of the support for radical Takfiri Jihadists by various western nations going back to WWI and before, and of the tactical and logistical support, the funds and arms that ISIS and al-Qaeda have received from the US military, especially under the Obama administration, only the mindless bigots and hatemongers among them could fail to change their minds.

I ask both the Muslims of North America, and those Christians, such as the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign, who have stood chivalrously beside them in the fight against Islamophobia, to consider one simple proposition: that absolutely the best way to strike a powerful blow against Islamophobia, as well as change the minds of conservative Christians and others about the true nature of Islam—rather than simply preaching to the choir—is to dedicate themselves to collecting and promulgating the stories of the courageous actions taken by Muslims, at the risk of their own lives, to protect the lives and property of Christians under attack by ISIS in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, in our own time.

The Muslims of the city of Karbala in Iraq provided refuge for Christians fleeing ISIS; Kurdish Sufi Muslims helped Christians suffering attacks by ISIS in and around Mosul; in Syria, Hizbullah has defended Christians and Christian holy sites.

After churches were burned down or vandalized in Canada and the United States, Muslims rallied to raise funds to rebuild them, just as they did after the recent massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. There were also cases of Muslims making human chains around synagogues in France, and elsewhere, to protect them from Jew-haters, both so-called Muslims and members of the extreme Right.

And when ISIS came after Christians in the Philippines, the Muslims of Mindanao gave them Muslim dress so they could blend with the local population, thereby demonstrating both the promise of inclusion and the power of love. Words in themselves are weak, but words that recount heroic actions are authoritative and powerful. We are now in the process of collecting accounts of such actions, which can be viewed here.

As a witness against Islamophobia, Christians of good will have extended the hand of friendship to Muslims suffering persecution and discrimination in North America; therefore, we hold ourselves bound in religious duty, in personal honor, and in common courtesy, to offer the same kind and degree of friendship and help to them. We hope that this Parliament will give Christians a chance to inform Muslims of the kind of help they need. And irrespective of the Christian response, or lack of it, to our offer of help, we are commanded by our Prophet through his Covenants, which he tells us were inspired by Allah Himself, to actively defend the peaceful Christians of the world, insofar as it is in our power, until the end of time.

(Delivered at the Parliament of the World’s Religions on November 3, 2018, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad Offered at the Parliament of the Worlds Religions

By John Andrew Morrow

The Muslim Post

November 12, 2018

The seventh Parliament of the World’s Religions, the oldest, largest, most diverse and inclusive global interfaith event, was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, between November 1 and November 7, 2018. The conference, which was themed, “The Promise of Inclusion, the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change,” was attended by over 10,000 people of faith and conscience from 80 different nations, and featured over 500 programs and events.

One particular panel, titled “An Offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad in the 21st Century,” featured Charles Upton, the American Sufi scholar, his wife, Jenny Doane Upton, another accomplished thinker and writer, Dr. Craig Considine, the sociologist and interfaith activist from Rice University, as well as Dr. John Andrew Morrow, the author of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. After invoking God, and sending blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad and his family, Dr. Morrow shared the following words with the audience:

We are gathered here today to honor the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad and the tradition of the Assyrian Christians from the region of Mesopotamia. Like dozens upon dozens of other communities, who sought the Messenger of Allah out after he proclaimed prophecy, knowing full well that a prophet was set to surface in Arabia, the Assyrians sent a delegation to meet with him. As was his custom, the Prophet had written to Sa‘id, a Christian tribal leader, inviting him and his people to embrace the teachings of Islam. Sai‘d, along with Jahb Alahah, who was a bishop, set off on the long journey to Arabia where he agreed to submit to the Prophet’s authority and pay tribute in exchange for enjoying the freedom to continue practicing Christianity. The Messenger of Allah granted a special firman to the Church of the East along with a beautifully ornate dagger.

The document in question, the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians, was passed down from Patriarch to Patriarch from the seventh century until the nineteenth century. For as long as history records, the Covenant of the Prophet was at the center of religious devotion in the Assyrian Homeland, located in what is now part of northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, and northwestern Iran. Revered as a sacred relic, the Covenant of the Prophet was stored in the Cathedral of Mar Zaia in the city of Jilu. Once per year, as long as history records, a Muslim cleric would visit the city and would read the document in the public assembly for all to hear and for all to remember. Over half a dozen military officers, missionaries, scholars, and explorers who visited the Assyrian Homeland in the 19th century attested to the existence of the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians, described its physical appearance, and conveyed its content. None of them called its authenticity into question. Over twenty scholars, specialists, experts, authorities, and authors who studied the Assyrian Covenant in the 20th and 21st century also came to the same conclusion, namely, that it was both genuine and historically sound.

From the time of the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century to the time of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, the Assyrians were treated as a millah, namely, as an autonomous Christian community, that belonged to the Confederation of Believers that was the Ummah or Motherland of Abraham. This extended period of co-existence that spanned fourteen centuries was brought to an abrupt end as a result of the Great Game, namely, the meddling of Western European powers in Middle Eastern affairs, that had one aim and one aim alone, to manipulate all sides in order to destabilize, destroy, and divide the Muslim world. The Assyrian and Armenian Christians would be sacrificed to attain this goal. The Kurds, under Bedr Khan Beg, were unleashed upon the Assyrians. According to the Mar Shimun Patriarchs, the Kurds stole the satchel containing the Covenant and Dagger of the Prophet in the mid-1800s and turned it over to Bedr Khan. According to British forces, however, the Covenant of the Prophet was stolen by the Turks in 1899. Either way, the Covenant of the Prophet was stolen or destroyed prior to the Assyrian Massacres of 1843 and 1846 or prior to the Assyrian Atrocities of 1915. In any case, the violation of the Covenant of the Prophet on the part of the Kurds and Turks was an act of apostasy.

In memory of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, and the rights and privileges he provided to Christian communities, let us reenact the ritual reading of the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians, as was celebrated on a yearly basis in the Assyrian Homeland for fourteen centuries:
God has told me in a vision what to do, and I confirm His Command by giving my solemn promise to keep this agreement.

To the followers of Islam, I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Christian nation in this country of ours and in their own land.

Leave their places of worship in peace; help and assist their chief and their priests when in need of help, be it in the mountains, in the desert, on the sea, or at home.

Leave all their possessions alone, be it houses or other property. Do not destroy anything of their belongings. The followers of Islam shall not harm or molest any of this nation, because the Christians are my subjects, pay tribute to me, and will help the Muslims.
No tribute, but what is agreed upon, shall be collected from them. Their church buildings shall be left as they are; they shall not be altered. Their priests shall be permitted to teach and worship in their own way — the Christians have full liberty of worship in their churches and homes.

None of their churches shall be torn down, or altered into a mosque, except by the consent and free will of the Christians. If anyone disobeys this command, the anger of Allah and His Prophet shall be upon him.

The tribute paid by the Christians shall be used to promote the teachings of Islam and shall be deposited in the treasury. A common man shall pay one dinar, but the merchants and people who own mines of gold and silver and are rich shall pay twelve dinars. Strangers and people who have no houses or other settled property shall not have taxes levied upon them. If a man inherits property, he shall pay a settled sum to the treasury.

The Christians are not obliged to make war on the enemies of Islam, but if enemies attack the Christians, the Muslims shall not deny their help, but give them horses and weapons, if they need them, and protect them from evils from outside and keep the peace with them. The Christians are not obliged to become Muslims, until God’s will make them believers.

The Muslims shall not force Christian women to accept Islam, but if they themselves wish to embrace it, the Muslims shall be kind to them.

If a Christian woman is married to a Muslim and does not want to embrace Islam, she has liberty to worship at her own church, according to her own religious beliefs, and her husband must not treat her unkindly on account of her religion.

If anyone disobeys this command, he disobeys God and His Prophet and will be guilty of a great offense.

If the Christians wish to build a church, their Muslim neighbors shall help them. This shall be done, because the Christians have obeyed us and have come to us and pleaded for peace and mercy.

If there be among the Christians a great and learned man, the Muslims shall honor him and not be envious of his greatness.

If anyone is unjust and unkind to the Christians, he will be guilty of disobeying the Prophet of God.

The Christians should not shelter an enemy of Islam or give him a horse, a weapon or any other help.

If a Muslim is in need, the Christian shall for three days and nights be his host and shelter him from his enemies.

The Christians shall, furthermore, protect the Muslim women and children and not deliver them up to the enemy or expose them to view.

If the Christians fail to fulfill these conditions, they have forfeited their right to protection, and the agreement is null and void.

This document shall be entrusted to the Christian chief and head of their church for safe keeping.

Professor Morrow was followed by Dr. Craig Considine, who presented cases of Christians protecting Muslims, and Charles Upton, who passionately condemned the United States for its support of Takfiri terrorists who, in his words, were destroying his religion. The final speaker was Jennifer Doane Upton, who presented a perennialist perspective on Christianity and Islam. Towards the end of her speech, she stated that:

I am not a well-known Christian leader or hierarch, representing this or that particular church; if I were, some might accuse the Muslims of the Covenants Initiative of favoring one Christian denomination over another, perhaps in order to divide and conquer. But because I am, as it were, a nobody, I can hopefully step aside, and let the whole spirit of Christianity – the church militant, the church suffering, and the church triumphant – accept these Covenants in my place…

The Church is indeed “a voice crying in the wilderness” in these days. However, as Jesus Christ reminds us, “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me first; but be of good cheer, because I have overcome the world.” As exiles in our own lands, Christians must accept and welcome sincere efforts of help and defense wherever they can find them.

At this point, Dr. John Andrew Morrow, stepped forward, stating:

On behalf of all Muslims who know and accept our Prophet’s love for Jesus and his followers, we offer you the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.

After accepting the Covenants of the Prophet, Jennifer Doane Upton, replied:

I am honored to receive, from the Muslims of the Covenants Initiative, their friends and their allies, this offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad to the Christians of the world in the 21st century. As Jesus said to St. John the Evangelist in the Gospel according to Mark, “He who is not against us is for us.”

We can only pray that more Muslims and Christians will follow this example, established by the Prophet Muhammad himself, and enter into the bonds of brotherhood, sisterhood, and friendship with one another, granting, and accepting, treaties, alliances, and covenants, and vowing to protect one another from their common enemies who are enemies of all faiths. Peace and justice are both possible. The Prophet Muhammad has shown us the path.

Thirrja e Qerbelasë dhe mrekullia e Erbainit

Dr.John Andrew Morrow | Publikuar në Tet. 28, 2018, 11:37 p.m.

Që nga koha kur kam pranuar Islamin, para më shumë se tridhjetë vitesh, isha i bindur për rëndësinë e vizitës së pejgamberëve, imamëve dhe miqëve tjerë të Allahut, paqja dhe bekimi qoftë mbi ta. Sikurse që më i mëshirshmi nga të gjithë të mëshirshmit ka përmendur në Kur’anin Famëlartë, “Kushdo që respekton simbolet e Allahut, me të vërtetë, ajo është nga devotshmëria e zemrës”(22:32). Këto shenja apo simbole shënojnë gjithçka apo kush do që na përkujton në Allahun, na çon tek Allahu dhe na tërheq afër Allahut.Plotësisht kam ditur mirë se, në rast se është e mundshme, pelegrinazhi në varret e Pejgamberëve dhe pasardhësve të tij të pastër ishte obligim. Në fund të fundit, sikurse që Allahu fuqiplotë ka diktuar Pejgamberit tonë: “ Thuaj: Asnjë shpërblim nuk kërkoj nga juve për këtë, përveç dashurisë ndaj më të afërmit të Pejgamberit”(42:23).Identiteti i “kushërinjve më të afërm” është i padiskutueshëm. Sikurse që ka thënë ibn Abbasi,”Kur është shpallur ky ajet (42:23), as-habët kanë pyetur:”O i dërguari i Allahut! Kush janë ata më të afërm për të cilët Allahu ka përshkruar që duhet me i dashtë? “Pas kësaj, Pejgamberi, paqja dhe bekimi i Allahut qoftë mbi te, tha: “Aliu, Fatima dhe dy djemtë e tyre(Hasani dhe Hyseni)”, tri herë duke e përsëritur këtë fjali.
Statusi i imam Hyseinit, nipit të profetit, djalit të Fatimesë dhe Alisë, poashtu është i padikutueshëm. Sikurse ka thënë i dërguari i Allahut: “Hyseini është prej meje dhe unë jam prej tij”(Transmetojnë Ahmedi, Hakimi, Abu Nuami, Dulani, Taberani, Buhariu, Tirmidhiu, ibn Maxhe, ibn Haxhar, Hatib al Tabrizi). I dërguari i Allahut, paqja dhe bekimi i Allahut qoftë mbi te dhe pasardhësit e tij të pastër, ka konfirmuar se Hyseini është udhëheqës i të rinjëve në Xhenet(parajsë) (Transmetojnë Tirmidhiu, ibn Maxhe, Tabaraniu, Nesaiu, Ahmedi, Hakimi, abu Nuami, Hajthami, Lumzi, ibn Hibbani, ibn Haxhar al Hajthami, al Hatib al Tabrizi). I dërguari i Allahut, paqja dhe bekimi mbi të dhe mbi pasardhësit e tij të pastër, ka deklaruar se do të jetë në luftë me të gjithë ata të cilët ka qenë në luftë me Hyseinin, si dhe do të jetë në paqe me të gjithë ata të cilët ishin në paqe me te. (Tirmidhi, ibn Maxhe, Hakimi, Hajthemi, Taberanil Ibani, Hatib al Bagdadi, ibn Hagjar al Hajthami, Dahabi, Tabari). I dërguari i Allahud, paqja dhe bekimi qoftë mbi te dhe mbi pasardhësit e tj të pastër, poashtu ka deklaruar se e do çdo njëri i cili e do Hyseinin dhe është i zemëruar ndaj çdo njërit i cili e zemëron Hysinin (ibn Maxhe, Hakimi, Ahmedi, ibn Hajar aë Hajthami).
Tragjedia e cila e ka gjet imam Hyseinin në vitin 660 nuk ishte e panjohur pejgamberit të Allahut, paqja dhe bekimi i Zotit qoftë mbi të dhe pasardhësit e tij të pastër. Sikurse që Ummu Selem, Aisha dhe ibn Abbasi kanë thënë, Allahu i gjithëfuqishëm ka treguar profetit Muhamedit a.s vizionin e vrasjes së imam Hyseinit, ndërsa meleku Xhibrili bile ia ka pru pak dhe nga vendi i martirizimit të tij (Tirmidhiu, Hatib al Tabrizi, Ahmedi, Bejhakiu). I dërguari i Allahut ka dhënë këtë dhe nga Qerbelaja Ummi Selemes, bashkëshortes së tij, e cila atë dhe e ka vendosur në një kavanoz. Ka parashikuar se ky dhe do të jetë i përgjakur kur nipi i tij do të bie shehid(dëshmor). Dhe kjo doli e vërtetë. “Pra, kur do të kryesh Erbainin”. Më kanë pyetur shumë herë dashamirët e Ehli Bejtit. Nuk më kanë dënuar. As që më kanë shtyrë. Thjesht kanë dashur që të ndajnë dashurinë për Erbainin. Kaluan vitet. Edhe dekadat. Përgjigjja ime ishte e njëjtë. “Kur të vije koha, unë do të dijë. “Në të vërtetë, shumë herë isha i ftuar në Qerbela. Megjithatë, gjithnjë ka ekzistuar ndonjë pengesë: financiare, personale apo profesionale. Shumë vite me radhë thjesht nuk kisha mjete financiare që të përballojë një udhëtim të tillë. Shumë vite obligimet e mia familjare më kanë parandaluar nga çfarëdo udhëtimi. Kisha fëmijë të vegjël dhe duhesha të kujdesem për ta. Shumë vite me radhë obligimet e mia të punës më pamundësonin udhëtime të tilla. Në fund, situata e sigurisë në Irak me dekada ishte e rrezikshme.
“Kur të vije koha”, gjithmonë kam folur:”Unë do të dijë dhe do të shkojë”. E kjo kohë erdhi në gusht të vitit 2017. Arsimtari dhe mentori im para ca kohësh ka udhëtuar në Irak për Arbainin. Ky ishte njeri i cili më ka mësuar njësinë mësimore më të rëndësishme në jetën time: dashurinë ndaj Pejgamebrit dhe familjes së tij, le të jetë paqja mbi të gjithë ata. Kam mësuar për islamin në mënyrë të pavarur, dhe atë që kam studiuar Islamin në moshën më mes 13 dhe 16 vket. Kur përfundimisht kam kuptuar se gjithmonë kam qenë mysliman, më duhej të gjejë disa musliman për të qenë dëshmitar të fesës sime të re. Islamin e kam mësuar, sikurse thuhet, në mënyrë shkollore, sipas librit. Kur më parë nuk kam takuar as të përkushtuar e as më pak mysliman të përkushtuar.
Për fat të keq, myslimanët e parë në të cilët kam hasur ishin xhihadistët selefi, vehabi, tekfiri. Kam kaluar dy vite në shoqëri të personave të çrregulluar mentalisht dhe shpirtërisht. Nuk kishte nevojë të kuptojë se ata nuk ishin mysliman pa marr parasysh se si i quanin. Edhe në besim edhe në praktikë, ata ishin antiteza absolute e gjithë asaj që kam mësuar nga Kur’ani, Suneti dhe Sira. Këndvështrim i tyre bardh e zi mbi botën sillej rreth ndalesës dhe eksluzivitetit. Të dhunshëm, plot urrejtje dhe jotolerance, ata terroristët së shpejti përpiqeshin të më bindin që të bashkohem xhihadit ndërkombëtar. Me mëshirën e Zotit, hasa në disa dashamirë të Ehli Bejtit. Flitnin për Pejgamberin, Fatimen, Aliun, Hasanin dhe Hyseinin, me respekt të thellë. Më kanë magjepsur me lavdërim dhe bekim. Kjo ka mbet në kontrast të fuqishëm me selefitë – vehabitë të cilët më heret i pata takuar, dhe të cilët nuk kishin kurgjë përveç mospërfillës për Pejgamberin. Ata theksonin se ai ishe vetëm njeri si të gjithë njerëzit tjerë. Ata theksonin se Zoti ka mundur të dërgojë Shpalljen çdo kujt tjetër. Të ngratët grotesk, djemtë e ibn Tejmijes dhe Muhamed ibn Abdylvehavit, kanë fajësuar Pejgamberin, Fatimen, Aliun, Hasanin dhe Hysenin dhe theksonin se ithtarët e Ehli Bejtit janë pabesimtar gjaku i të cilit është i lejuar të derdhet. Në kuptim të kësaj, Zoti më ka shpëtuar dy herë: nga injoranca e Islamit dhe nga Islami i rrejshëm mashtrues. Kam parë qartë dhe kthjelltë se në Islam ekzistojnë dy tradita: Islami i Pejgamebrit dhe aniislami i Ebu Sufjanit, Islami i Aliut dhe antiislami i Muavisë, Islami i Hysejnit dhe antiislami i Jezidit. Me fjal tjera ekziston Islami i Allahut dhe antiislami i shejtanit.
Miku dhe mentori im, njeriu i cili më ka mësuar mësimin e dashurisë, qartë më ka treguar se nuk mund të dashuroni Zotin pa dasht Pejgamberin e tij, ndërsa nuk mund të doni Pejgamberin pa dashur edhe pasardhësit e tij. Kur e takova në kongresin mysliman në vitin 2017, kam ndjerë dashurinë e madhe kur ka filluar të flas për Erbainin. “Kur dikush përjeton dashuri të tillë, ai dëshiron atë të e ndaj me ata të cilët i do”, ka thënë ai. “Të dua në emër të Allahut” më ka thënë, më ka përqafur, dhe lutur që Zoti të më dhuron bekimin e vizitës së imam Hysejnit, paqja qoftë mbi të. Në lutjen e tijë është përgjigjur. Dhe ftesa ka ardhur.
Kur imam Hyseni fton dikë, ai nuk thirrë në telefon. Ai nuk dërgon e-mail. Ai nuk komunikon nëpërmes porosive tekstuale. Ju thirr me zemër. Dhe pikërisht kjo ka ndodhur, Ka thirrë emrin tim. Ka folur me zemër. Ka thirrur shpirtin tim. Ftesa ishte aq tërheqëse sa ka mundur të rrënojë malin dhe të shndërrojë në pluhur. Paramendoni kulminacionin me intensitet prej mijëra herë i cili rrezaton duke prek prej kokës gjer në këmbë. Paramendoni kënaqësin aq intensive që sfidon lotët të lotojnë nga sytë në ekstazë. Paramendoni çdo atom në trupin tënd i cili thirrë ”Ja Hysejn”. E tillë është thirrja e Imamit, paqja qoftë mbi te, zotëriu i të gjithë dëshmorëve.
E kam ditur atëherë, me siguri se duhet të shkojë. Nuk kam mundur të them jo. Gjithnjë kam qenë i gatshëm të vizitojë mikun e Allahut, megjithatë, kam pritur thirrjen. Tani kam lejen. Kanë mbetur vetëm disa javë gjer në fillim të Erbainit. A duhet të planifikojë që të shkojë? A duhet të thërras studiuesit të cilët vite me radhë më thërrasin? Kam vendosur të punoj atë që me vite e kam bërë: kam lënë besimin tek Allahu. Në rast se Imami më ka ftuar, kam kuptuar , se Imami do të përkujdeset për udhën. Edhe ashtu ishte. “A keni lexuar e-mailin të cilët më keni dërguar?”. Ka pyetur miku im . “Jo”, u përgjigja gjersa nisa të kërkojë postën time të padëshiruar. Ja ku është: thirrja e Fondacionit New Horizont në bashkëpunim me Fondacionin Imam Husejn, që të bashkëngjitem grupit të dijetarëve, profesorëve, diplomatëve, artistëve, autorëve dhe gazetarëve në pelegrinazhin në Qerbela.

“A do të pranosh?”, më pyeti bashkëshortja. Përgjegjja ishte e dukshme.” Si mund të them jo?”, u përgjigja. “Refuzimi i thirrjes së Imamit do të ishte sikurse të mohojë identitetin tim dhe ekzistimin”. Dhe ashtu e pranova. Dhe kështu, thirrjet zemrës sime vazhduan të vijnë nga dita në ditë, në shtëpi, në punë, gjersa kam vozit, isha apo jo në opinion. Thirrjet ishin shpirtërore. Kanë folur shpirtit tim.

Së shpejti kanë marrë aspekt të qartë dhe kam mund të dëgjojë britmat e miliona miliona pelegrinëve të cilët klithnin”Ja Hysejn!”. Kam mundur të dëgjojë salavatete nga qyteti i Qerbelas. Edhe pse do të ishte vështirë të marrësh vizën në afat shumë të shkurtër, u mbështeta në Krijuesin dhe krijesën më të të mirë të tij. Vetëm një javë para datës së vlerësuar të shkuarjes sime më vdiq baba dhe ishte ringjallë. Ka ndërue jetë dhe ishte ringjall pesë herë. “ A do të shkosh akoma në Erbain?”, më ka pyetur bashkëshortja ime.”Baba i fesë sime është në vendin e parë”, iu përgjigja.

Mora vizën të premtën pas dite dhe shkova në Irak dy ditë më vonë, të dielën. Udhëtimi ishte brutal. Me ndalesa udhëtimi zgjati 24 orë gjersa braktisa Shtetet e Bashkuara të Amerikës dhe aterova në qytetin e Nexhefit në Irak. Mbërrina në hotel në ora 22.30 në të cilën u njoftova me nikoqirët e mi mikpritës, motrën Zejnebe dhe burrin e saj, vëllaun Nadir Talebzadeh, producentin e shquar të filmit. Ceremonia ka filluar ditën e ardhshme, të hënën. Na udhëheqnin udhëheqësit, nikoqirët dhe personeli i sigurimit të cilën e ka siguruar fondacioni i imam Hysejnit. Profesionalizmi dhe mikpritja e tyre ishte diq e paparë. Ecja prej Nexhefit gjer Qerbela nuk ishte si çfarëdo shëtitje tjetët. Disa e përshkruajnë si autostradë gjer në qiell. Për tjerët, kjo është provë për takimin përfundimtar në Ditën e Gjykimit.Komparacioni i tillë është i pakrahasueshëm. Vlerësohet se milion njerëz, dhe atë në mes 20 gjer 30 milion pelegrinë , prej të cilëve shumë të zbathur , ecin 40 milja prej Nexhefit, qytetin e imam Aliut, gjer në Qerbela, qytetin e imam Hysejnit. Ajo është ecja e cila kalon nëpër histori, hapësirë dhe kohë. Kjo është ecja drejt ardhmërisë. Kjo është udhëtimi i fesë drejt rrugës së drejtë e cila fillon me imam Alium, pasardhësit të Pejgamberit, dhe përfundon me imam Mehdiun i cili do të themelojë kryeqytetin në Kufa dhe do të qeveris me ligjin e Zotit në tokë. Ky është mobilizimi i fuqisë së imamit të dymbëdhjetë i cili do të lirojë të shtypurit dhe do të sjellë drejtësinë në botë. Kur këndojnë ”Lebejke ja Hysein”, ata këndojnë” Lebejke ja Mehdi”. Ata përkushtohen për lojalitetin imam Hysejnit dhe përkushtimin për imam Mehdin, Allahu e përshpejtoftë ardhjen e tij.

Iraku është shteti i cili është i shkatërruar. Nën kërcënimin e regjimit baathtist, Iraku ishte i vuajtur. Është shkatërruar me luftën vëllavrasëse të pakuptimitë me Iranin, Iraku pësoi edhe nga lufta dhe agresioni amerikan, invadimi dhe okupimi. Miliona njerëz kanë humbër jetërat e tyre. Iraku ka pak në kuptim të infrastrukturës dhe ka shpenzuar në shumë se njëqind miliard dollar në luftën kundër ISIS-it, por është nikoqir i takimit më të madh fetar në botë, me krenari dhe kënaqësi, marshin paqësor i cili në të shumtën e rasteve nuk e merr vëmendjen e shtëpive mediale në botë sepse është në kundërshtim me rrëfimin islamofob të cilët ata e inkurajojnë.

Sauditët me milliarda dollar në dispozicion, me infrastrukturë të gjerë bashkëkohore dhe kontrollorët profesional të masave, po hjekin zitë e ullirit me akomodimin e 2-3 miliona haxhinjëve, shpesh edhe me pasoja katatrofale, mijëra e mijëra njerëz janë shkelur gjer në vdekje. Qerbelaja, qyteti i cili mezi mund të pranojë gjysmë million njerëz, në ditën e Qerbelasë pranon njëzet apo tridhjetë herë më shumë njerëz. Por askush nuk lëndohet, nuk gabon, sepse të gjithë janë besimtar në sjelljen e tyre më të mirë, të bashkuar në dashurinë e tyre ndaj imam Hysejnit, paqja qoftë mbi të. Në rast se Haxhi në Meke është emocional, ajo nuk është diq me pelegrinazhin në Erbain. Vet numri i pelegrinëve është mahnitës. Njëzet gjer në tridhjetë million njerëz ecin së bashku. Njerëzit nga të gjitha sferët e jetës. Njerëzit nga të gjitha shtresat shoqërore. Njerëzit e të gjitha racave, nacionaliteteve dhe bashkësive etnike, duke folur çdo gjuhë që mund të paramendohet. Dashamirët e Ehli Bejtit nga të gjitha anët e botës të cilët mbajnë flamujtë e shteteve të tyre, port ë gjithë të bashkuar nën emrin e imam Hysejnit, paqja qoftë mbi të.

Më të varfërit me krenari përgadisin tendat që të akomodojnë pelegrinët nga mbarë bota. Këta janë njerëz të cilët në esencë nuk kanë kurgjë përveç asaj që japin, duke kursuer gjatë tërë vitit për të ofruar strehim dhe ushqim atyre të cilët e duan imam Hysejnin. Nga Nexhefi gjer në Qebela, e tëra ofrohet gratis, pa pare në rrugën e Allahut dhe për dashurinë e imam Hysejnit. Njerëzit ecin bashkë, ushqehen bashkë, pijnë bashkë, luten bashkë dhe flejnë bashkë. Janë me kilometra e kilometra tenda të cilët ofrojnë ujë, lëngje, çaj, shujta ushqimi dhe vende për pushim dhe fjetje. Meshkujt në moshë të lusin, bukvalisht të lusin, që të fitojnë nderin e larjes dhe masazhës së këmbëve të enjtur, gjersa meshkuj tjerë shfrytëzojnë rastin të ndreqin këpucat e tyre. Thjeshtë më ka magjepsur qëndrimi i tillë. Kjo është përulja e Jezu Krishtit, djalit të Marisë. Kujdesi për pelegrinët konsiderohet obligim fetar. Janë më shumë se dhjetë mijë mawakiba, gjegjëisht tenda të cilët ofrojnë strehimin, ushqimin, pijen, shërbimet mjekësore dhe stomatologjike. Ku tjetër në botë mund të gjesh, të zgjohesh nga gjumi dhe të shohësh se nikoqirët, të huajt tërësish, kanë larë, kanë hekuros teshat e tua gjersa ju keni fjetur?
Unë isha dëshmitar njerëzve të cilëve bënin masazh supeve të pelegrinëve të cilët ecnin udhës së imam Hysejnit, e cila nuk është asnjë udhë tjetër përveq udhës së dashurisë. Kam përcjell barinjtë të cilët kanë marr me vet tufat e dhenëve dhe deveve gjer në Qerbela, ashtu që imami të i bekojë. Kam parë meshkujt dhe gratë në moshë të cilët po shtyhen të kalojnë, të qëndrojnë. Kam parë të sëmurë, të pafuqishmit, të hendikepuar, se si vet përpiqen që të shtyhen me karroca invalidore gjer te të afërmit e tyre. Kam parë shumë fëmijë dhe foshnje, me shami të kuqe rreth kokës. Kam parë miliona njerëz, të veshur në ngjyrën e zezë të Pejgamberit dhe pasardhësve të tij, të cilët lëviznin sikurse valet në oqeanin e njerëzisë. Dhe në këtë detë, kam parë kopjen e anijes së Ehli Bejtit, duke përsëritur fjalët e Pejgamberit:”Ehli Bejti është si anija e Nuhit. Kush ka hyrë në atë, ka shpëtuar, kush është kthyer nga ajo, është i humbur”.(Hakimi, Ahmedi, Fahrdudin al Razi, Bezzari, ibn Hagjar al Hajthami, Sujuti, Tabarani, Abu Nuajmi, Dulabi, Kunduzi). Marshi është i pasur simbolikisht. Është i vështirë. Kërkon disiplinë. Bën thirrje në flijim. Ai shpreh udhëtimin e jetës dhe rrugën e shpirtit njerëzor.Në përfundim, është dhuratë e përhershme. Porosit të cilat i kam dërgura bashkëshortes gjatë përpjekjes sime fizike dhe emocionale tregon ndikimin e Erbainit:

E gjitha është e shkëlqyer. Më pëlqen. Përvojë jetësore. Lebejke ja Hysejn! Ky është vendi ku qielli prek tokën. Duhet edhe ti të vizitosh imamët. Jeta jote kur nuk do të jetë e njëjtë. Dashuria ndaj Hysejnit do të shkrijë zemrën dhe shpirtin tënd. Kurrë nuk kam qenë aq i lumtur dhe aq i dëshpëruar në të njëjtën kohë. Allahu i do ata që e duan Hysejnin. Le të na shton Allahu dashurinë tonë ndaj Hysejnit. Do të mund përherë të mbes pran Hysejnit. Po më dhemb, që duhet ta braktis.Po vetëm të mund të ndiej fuqinë e këtij vendi. Bile edhe mysafir ynë jomysliman e ndjen këtë shenjtëri, Bereqeti i këtij vendi është jashtëzakonisht i fuqishëm.

Kam krijuar miqtë për tërë jetën. Jam njohur me disa njerëz vërtet të mrekullueshëm. Zoti i bekoftë. Ky vend është i jashtëzakonshëm: 30 miliona njerëz ecin së bashku, luten së bashku, ushqehen së bashku dhe flejnë së bashku. E gjitha është gratis. Do të duhet të shohish se si respektojnë zuwwarin nga imam Hysejni. Njerëzit të cilët nuk kanë kurrgjë të shpërndajnë. Kursejnë tërë vitin vetëm që të jenë nikoqir të pelegrinëve. Njerëzit e vjetër do të luten për larjen dhe masazhin e këmbëve të pelegrinëve. Kurrë nuk kam parë përulësi të tillë. Dashuria e këtyre njerëzve ndaj Ehli Bejtit është inspirimi i tyre. Përkushtimi i tyre ndaj Islamit dhe Pejgamberit. Ashtu janë plot spiritualitet.
Shkova në ambulancën mjekësore për më shumë ilaçe dhe inhalator. Nuk mund të marrsha frymë. Shërbimi urgjent menjëherë më pranoi. Fare nuk ka pritje. Fare nuk ka pagesë. Vetëm buzëqeshje miqësore. E gjitha për dashurinë e Husejnit.Nuk ndalen lutjet, salavatet, recitimet ditë e natë, Sikurse ai të kishte vdekur dhe shkuar në xhenet me këngët e melekëve. Do të lejë zemrën time këtu. Për çdo hap të cilin duhet ardhur këtu, 1000 mëkate të fshihen, 1000 bekime fitohen, ndërsa pozita e atij i cili këto hapa i bën është i ngritur 1000 herë në qiejt. Ai i cili vjen në Qerbela, e braktis të pastër nga mëkate. Xhibrili vjen çdo natë të viziton varin e Hysejnit. Vallahi e ndiej prezencën e tij. Njerëzit të cilët me këtë pelegrinazh besojnë në Zot janë të gatshëm të vdesin në rrugën e Allahut. Ata nuk frikësohen nga asgjë përveq Sunduesit të Botërave. Aq bukur është të mos jesh pakicë dhe të jesh i rrethuar me Ehli Hakun nga të gjitha anët e botës. Kjo do të jetë kryeqendra e imam Mehdiut, Allahu e shpejtoftë ardhjen e tij. Le të lejon Allahu nderin të përgjigjem në thirrjen e tij. Nuk ndalem së lotuari që nga koha që erdha.
Pelegrinazhi në Qebela është kulminacion i shpirtërores. E tërë ngjarja, rrjedh nga dashuria, Në jetën time kam vizituar tyrbe(mauzole) të shumë personave religjioz, duke përfshirë edhe pelegrinazhin madhështor në varin e Idrisit I, nipit të madh të pejgamberit Muhamedit a.s në Zerhun të Marokosë, si dhe të djalit dhe pasardhësit të tij Idrisit II në Fes. Edhe pse bereqeti Muhamedijah mes djemve të imam Hasanit dhe themeluesve të dinastisë së Idrisit, është e fortë, asgjë nuk ka mund të më përgatis për fuqinë e pastër shpirtërore e cila ndriqon nga imam Hysejni. Sikurse miliona pelegrin tjerë jam i përshkruar në mënyrë magnetike në shenjtërinë e imamëve dhe përher kam mundur të mbështetem në dritën e tyre shpirtërore. Imami është Drejtim, shenjë e cila tregon rrugën drejt Allahut.

Me mëshirën e Zotit, dhe me lejen e imamit, kam mund të kryej pelegrinazhin në Qerbela. Kam parë se si fuqia e fesë manifestohet në formën fizike. Vërtetësa, salavati dhe latmijati nga e cila të tronditet shpirti. Lëvizja e masave ishte diq e fuqishme dhe poetike. Fuqia e tërmetit me shkall 7,3 e cila e ka dridh 13 nëntorin 2017 nuk është kurgjë në krahasim me klithjen e dashurisë ndaj imam Hysejnit. Kisha nderin të vizitojë faltoren e hazreti Abasit, vëllait guximtar të imam Hysejnit. Kisha përparësinë e qëndrimit në pjesën e VIP-ave në faltoren e imam Hysejnit në kulminacion të Erbainit ku emocionet eksplodojnë sikur Shpërthimi i madh. Kisha privilegj të takohem me rojtarin e saj shejh Mehdin, përfaqësuesin e ajetullah Sistanit, i cili ishte i thirrur të bisedojë në faltoren e imam Hysejnit në takimin privat prej 50 personalitete dhe mysafir të shquar. Isha njëri ngatë paktë të cilët patën lejen të përcjellin kortezhin e Erbainit nga kulmi i faltores së shenjtë.

Atje në kulmë të faltores, gjersa dielli perëndonte, ndërsa nata binte, ditën e katërdhjetë të Erbainit, unë isha e rrethuar me milion mysliman të cilët ishin të dehur shpirtërisht me dashurinë e imam Hysejnit. Qëndrojsha i rrethuar me llambat ndiquese dhe ngjyrat të cilët ndriqonin nga vendet e shenjta të cilët dërgonin përshëndetjet e mia përulëse të dashurit Hysejn të cilën e kam pritur me dekada që të vizitoja: Eselamualejk ja abd Allah! Eselamualejk ja ibn Resulullah!

Më ke thirrë emrin tim, o Imami i madh, dhe i jam përgjigjur në ftesën tënde. Falënderoj Alahun i cili më ka mundësur pelegrinazhin tim. Paqja dhe rahmeti i Zotit çoftë mbi imam Hysejnin i cili ka thirr zemrën time. Dhe le të shpërpblejë Allahu të gjithë ata të cilët më mundësuan ardhjen time në Erbain vitin e kaluar.

Burimi : ePogledi

Poziv Kerbele i čudo Arbaeena

 

Još od vremena kada sam prigrlio Islam, prije više od trideset godina, bio sam svjestan važnosti posjećivanja poslanika, imama i drugih prijatelja Allaha, mir i blagoslov na sve njih.

Kao što je Najmilostiviji od najmilostivijih spomenuo u Časnome Kur’anu, “Ko god poštuje simbole Allahove, zaista, to je od pobožnosti srca” (22:32). Ovi znaci ili simboli označavaju bilo šta ili bilo koga ko nas podseća na Allaha, vodi nas do Allaha i privlači nas bliže Allahu.

Potpuno sam dobro znao da je, ako je moguće, hodočašće na mezare Poslanika i njegovog čistog potomstva bila obaveza. Na kraju krajeva, kao što je Svemogući Allah diktirao Poslaniku: “Reci: Nijednu nagradu ne tražim od vas za ovo, osim ljubavi prema onim najbližih Poslaniku.”(42:23).

Identitet “najbližih rođaka” je nesporan. Kao što je Ibn ‘Abbas kazao, “Kada je objavljen ovaj ajet (42:23), Ashabi su upitali: “O Allahov Poslaniče! Ko su oni najbliži za koje je Allah propisao da ih moramo voljeti? “Nakon toga, Poslanik, mir i blagoslov na njega, reče: “Ali, Fatima i njihova dva sina”, tri puta ponavljajući ovu rečenicu.

Status Imama Huseina, unuka proroka, i sina Fatime i Alija, također je neosporan. Kako je Allahov Poslanik rekao: “Husein je od mene i ja sam od njega.” (Ahmad, Hakim, Abu Nu’am, Dulabi, Tabarani, Buhari, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hajar, Khatib al-Tabrizi).

Allahov Poslanik, mir i blagoslov na njega i njegovo čisto potomstvo, potvrdio je da je Husein bio vođa mladih u Džennetu (raju). (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Tabarani, Nisa’i, Ahmad, Hakim, Abu Nu’am, Haythami, Lumzi, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, al-Khatib al-Tabrizi)

Allahov Poslanik, mir i blagoslov na njega i njegovo čisto potomstvo, izjavio je da je bio u ratu sa svima koji su bili u ratu s Huseinom i u miru sa svima koji su bili u miru s njim. (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Hakim, Haythami , Tabarani, Ibani, Khatib al-Baghdadi, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Dahabi, Tabari)

Poslanik Muhamed, mir i blagoslov na njega i njegovo čisto potomstvo, također je proglasio da voli svakoga ko voli Husejna i da je ljut na svakoga ko ljuti Husejna. (Ibn Majah, Hakim, Ahmad, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami)

Tragedija koja je snašla Imama Huseina u 660. godini nije bila nepoznanica Allahovom Poslaniku, mir i blagoslov na njega i njegovo čisto potomstvo. Kao što su Umm Salamah, A’ishah i Ibn ‘Abbas kazali, Svemogući Allah je pokazao poslaniku Muhamedu a.s. viziju ubistva imam Husejna, a melek Džibril mu je čak donijeo malo tla sa mjesta njegovog mučeništva (Tirmidhi, al-Khatib al-Tabrizi, Ahmad, Bayhaqi). Allahov Poslanik je dao ovo zemljište sa Kerbele Umm Salemi, supruzi, koja je tu zemlju stavila u teglu. Predvidio je da će ta zemlja postati krvava kada njegov unuk postane šehid. I to je se obistinilo.

“Dakle, kada ćeš obaviti Arbaeen?” Upitali su me više puta ljubitelji Ahl al-Bayta. Nisu me osudili. Niti su me gurali. Jednostavno su htjeli da podjele ljubav. Prošle su godine. I desetljeća. A moj odgovor je ostao isti. “Kada dođe vrijeme, ja ću znati.”

U stvari, u više navrata sam bio pozvan na Kerbelu. Međutim, uvijek je postojala prepreka: finansijska, lična ili profesionalna. Već dugi niz godina jednostavno nisam imao sredstva da priuštim takvo putovanje. Mnogo godina moje porodične obaveze sprečavale su me od ikakvih putovanja. Imao sam malu djecu i morao sam skrbiti o njima. Već dugi niz godina moje radne obaveze su onemogućile takvo putovanje. Na kraju, sigurnosna situacija u Iraku je već decenijama opasna.

“Kada dođe vrijeme”, uvijek sam govorio: “Ja ću znati i otići ću”. A to vrijeme je došlo u augustu 2017. godine. Nastavnik i moj mentor je nedavno putovao u Irak za Arbaeen. To je čovjek koji me je naučio najvažniju lekciju u životu: ljubav prema Poslaniku i njegovoj porodici, neka je mir na njih sve.

Saznao sam o islamu samostalno, i to tako što sam prostudirao Islam između dobi od 13 do 16 godina. Kada sam konačno shvatio da sam oduvijek bio musliman, trebalo mi je da pronađem neke muslimane da bi bili svjedoci moje nove vjere. Islam sam naučio, kako se kaže, školski, po knjizi. Nikada ranije nisam sreo ni posvećenog niti manje posvećenog muslimana.

Nažalost, prvi muslimani na koje sam naletio su bili Salafi-Wahhabi-Takfiri-Džihadisti. Proveo sam dvije godine u društvu tih mentalno i duhovno poremećenih osoba. Nije trebalo dugo da shvatim da nisu bili muslimani ma kako ih pokušali nazvati. I u vjerovanjima i praksi, oni su bili apsolutna antiteza svega što sam naučio iz Kur’ana, Sunne i Sire. Njihov crno-bijeli pogled na svijet se okretao oko zabrane i ekskluzivnosti. Nasilni, puni mržnje i netolerancije, ti teroristi su ubrzo pokušali da me ubijede da se pridružim međunarodnom džihadu.

Božijom milosti, naišao sam na neke ljubitelje Ahl al-Bayta. Govorili su o Poslaniku, Fatimi, Aliju, Hasanu i Huseinu, sa dubokim poštovanjem. Oduševili su me hvalom i blagoslovom. Ovo je ostalo u oštrom kontrastu sa Salafi-vehabijama koje sam ranije sreo, koji nisu imali ništa osim prezira za Poslanika. Oni su tvrdili da je on samo čovjek kao i svaki drugi čovjek. Oni su tvrdili da je Bog mogao da pošalje Objavu bilo kome drugom.

Groteski ingrati, sinovi Ibn Taymiyah i Muhammada ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaba, okrivili su Poslanika, Fatimu, Alija, Hasana i Huseina i tvrdili su da su sljedbenici Ahl al-Bayta bili nevjernici čiju je krv dozvoljeno proljevati. U izvjesnom smislu, Bog me je spasio dva puta: od neznanja Islama i od lažnog i prevaranstkog Islama. Vidio sam jasno i lucidno da postoje dvije tradicije: Islam Poslanika i anti-islam Abu Sufyana, Islam Alija i anti-islam Muawiyye, Islam Husejna i antislam Yazida. Drugim riječima, postoji Islam Boga i anti-islam Sotone.

Moj prijatelj i mentor, čovjek koji me je naučio lekciju ljubavi, jasno mi je pokazao da ne možete da volite Boga bez da volite Njegovog Poslanika, a da ne možete voljeti Poslanika bez ljubavi prema njegovom potomstvu. Kada sam ga sreo na muslimanskom kongresu 2017. godine, osjetio sam ogromnu ljubav kada je počeo govoriti o Arbaeenu. “Kada neko doživi takvu ljubav, on želi da je dijeli sa onima koje voli”, rekao je on. “Volim te u ime Allaha”, rekao je, dok me je zagrlio, i pomolio se da mi Bog podari blagoslov posjećivanja imama Huseina, mir neka je s njim. Na njegovu molitvu je odgovoreno. I poziv je došao.

Kad imam Husejn zove nekog, on ne zove na telefon. On ne šalje e-mail. On ne komunicira putem tekstualnih poruka. Poziva vas srcem. I upravo to se dogodilo. Zvao je moje ime. Pričao mi je srcem. Pozivao mi je dušu i moj duh. Poziv je bio tako privlačan da je mogao srušiti planinu i pretvoriti je u prašinu. Zamislite vrhunac sa intenzitetom od hiljadu puta koji zrači od glave do pete. Zamislite zadovoljstvo tako intenzivno da izaziva suze da izlaze iz očiju u ekstazi. Zamislite svaki atom u svom tijelu koji doziva “Ya Husayn!”. Takav je poziv Imama, neka je mir na njega, Gospodara svih mučenika.

Znao sam tada, zasigurno, da moram ići. Nisam mogao reći ne. Uvijek sam bio spreman da posjetim Allahovog prijatelja; međutim, iščekivao sam poziv. Sada imam odobrenje. Ostalo je samo nekoliko sedmica do početka Arbaina. Da li treba da planiram da idem? Da li treba da pozovem učenjake koji me godinama pozivaju? Odlučio sam da radim ono što sam godinama učinio: stavio sam svoje povjerenje u Allaha. Ako me je Imam pozvao, shvatio sam, Imam će se pobrinuti za put. I tako je i bilo.

“Da li ste pročitali e-mail koji ste mi proslijedili?”, Pitao je moj prijatelj. “Ne”, odgovorio sam dok sam krenuo da pretražujem svoju neželjenu poštu. Evo je: poziv Fondacije New Horizon u saradnji sa Fondacijom Imam Hussain, da se pridružim grupi naučnika, profesora, diplomata, umjetnika, autora i novinara na hodočašću do Kerbele.

“Hoćeš li prihvatiti?”, upitala me supruga. Odgovor je bio očigledan. “Kako mogu reći ne?”, odgovorio sam. “Odbijanje poziva Imama bi bilo kao da poričem svoj identitet i postojanje.” I tako sam prihvatio. I tako, pozivi mome srcu su nastavili da dolaze, iz dana u dan, kod kuće, na poslu, dok sam vozio, bio sam ili u javnosti. Pozivi su bili duhovni. Pričali su mojoj duši. Uskoro su poprimili jasan aspekt i mogao sam čuti uzvike miliona i miliona hodočasnika koji su vikali “Ya Husayn!” Mogao sam čuti salavate iz svetog grada Kerbele.

Iako bi bilo teško dobiti vizu u tako kratkom roku, povjerio sam se u Stvoritelja i Njegovo najbolje stvorenje. Samo sedmicu dana prije procijenjenog datuma odlaska moj otac je umro i bio je oživljen. Preminuo je i bio oživljen pet puta ukupno. “Da li i dalje ideš u Arbaeen?”, upitala me je moja supruga. “Otac moje vjere je na prvom mjestu”, odgovorio sam.

Dobio sam vizu u petak popodne i otišao za Irak dva dana kasnije, u nedjelju. Putovanje je bilo brutalno. Sa presjedanjima trajalo je 24 sata dok sam napustio zapadne Sjedinjene Države i sletio u sveti grad Najaf u Iraku. Stigao sam u hotel u 22:30h gdje sam upoznao svoje ljubazne domaćine, sestru Zeinab Mehannu i njenog supruga, brata Nadera Talebzadeha, uglednog filmskog producenta. Ceremonija je počela već sljedećeg dana. Vodili su nas vodiči, domaćini i osoblja obezbeđenja koje je obezbjedila fondacija Imam Husein. Njihov profesionalizam i gostoprimstvo bili su neviđeni.

Šetnja od Najafa do Karbale nije kao bilo kakva druga šetnja. Neki je opisuju kao autoput do neba. Za druge, to je proba za konačni skup na Sudnjem Danu. To iskustvo je neuporedivo. Procjenjuje se da su milioni ljudi, i to između 20 do 30 miliona hodočasnika, od kojih su mnogi bosi, šetali 40 milja od Najafa, grada Imama Alija, do Karbale, grada Imama Huseina. To je šetnja koja prolazi kroz historiju, prostor i vrijeme. To je također šetnja prema budućnosti. To je putovanje vjere duž pravog puta koji počinje sa Imamom Alijem, nasljednikom Poslanika, a završava se sa imamom Mahdijem koji će osnovati svoj glavni grad u Kufah i vladati Božjim zakonom na Zemlji. To je mobilizacija snaga dvanaestog imama koja će osloboditi potlačene i donijeti pravdu svijetu. Kada pjevaju “Labayka ya Husayn!”, Oni pjevaju “Labayka ya Mahdi!”. Oni se zalažu za svoju lojalnost Imamu Husejnu i zalažu se za imama Muhameda al-Mahdia, da Allah ubrza njegov dolazak.

Irak je zemlja koja je bila uništavana. Pod prijetnjom režima Baath, Irak je napaćen. Poražen je besmislenim bijednim bratoubilačkim ratom sa Iranom. Irak je patio od američkih ratova agresije, invazije i okupacije. Milioni civila su izgubili život. Iako Irak ima malo u smislu infrastrukture i potrošio je više od stotinu milijardi dolara u ratu protiv ISIL-a, domaćin je najvećem vjerskom skupu na svijetu, sa ponosom i zadovoljstvom, mirovnim maršom koji većinom ne prima pažnju medijskih kuća u svijetu jer je u suprotnosti sa islamofobičnom narativom koju oni podstiču.

Saudijci, sa milijardama dolara na raspolaganju, sa savremenom infrastrukturom i profesionalnim kontrolerima gomile, bore se za smještaj nekoliko miliona hodočasnika sa često katastrofalnim posljedicama: hiljade i hiljade ljudi su gažene do smrti. Karbala, grad koji jedva može primiti do pola miliona ljudi, primi na dan Kerbele dvadeset ili trideset puta više ljudi. A ipak, niko se ne povrijedi, niko ne griješi, jer su svi vjernici u njihovom najboljem ponašanju, ujedinjeni u njihovoj ljubavi prema Imamu Huseinu, mir neka je na njega.

Ako je hodočašće u Meki emotivno, ono je ništa u poređenju sa hodočašćem u Arbaine. Sama brojka hodočasnika je zapanjujuća. Dvadeset do trideset miliona ljudi hoda zajedno. Ljudi iz svih sfera života. Ljudi iz svih društvenih klasa. Ljudi svih rasa, nacionalnosti i etničkih zajednica, govoreći svaki jezik koji se može zamisliti. Ljubitelji Ahl al-Bejta iz svih krajeva svijeta koji nose zastave svojih zemalja, ali svi su ujedinjeni pod imenom Imam Husayna, mir neka je na njega.

Najsiromašniji sa ponosom pripremaju šatore da ugoste hodočasnike iz cijelog sveta. To su ljudi koji u suštini nemaju ništa osim onoga što daju, štedeći cijelu godinu da pruže sklonište i hranu onima koji vole Huseina. Od Najafa do Karbale, sve se nudi besplatno, na putu Allaha i za ljubav Huseina. Ljudi hodaju zajedno, jedu zajedno, piju zajedno, mole zajedno i spavaju zajedno. Kilometri i kilometri šatora koji nude vodu, sok, čaj, grickalice, obroke i mjesta za odmor i spavanje.

Stariji muškarci će moliti, bukvalno moliti, da dobiju čast pranja i masiranja nateknutih stopala hodočasnika dok drugi muškarci iskoriste priliku da poprave njihove cipele. Jednostavno me je očarao takav stav. To je bila poniznost Isusa Hrista, sina Marije. Briga o hodočasnicima smatra se vjerskom dužnošću. Preko deset hiljada mawakib odnosno šatora koji nude smještaj, hranu, napitke, zubarske i medicinske usluge. Gdje se drugo, na zemlji, možeš probuditi da saznaš da su ti domaćini, potpuni i totalni stranci, oprali i ispeglali tvoju odjeću dok ste vi spavali?

Ja sam bio svjedok ljudima koji su masirali leđa i ramena hodočasnika koji su hodali putem Imama Huseina, koji nije nijedan drugi put nego put ljubavi. Pratio sam pastire koji su uzeli svoje ovce i kamile do Karbale, tako da ih imam blagoslovi. Vidio sam starije muškarce i žene koji se guraju da prođu, da izdrže. Vidio sam bolesne, nemoćne i hendikepirane, sami se bore ili se guraju na invalidskim kolicima do svojih najbližih. Vidio sam mnogo djece i bebi, crvenih bandana oko glave. Vidio sam milione ljudi, obučenih u crnu boju Poslanika i njegovog potomstva, koji su se kretali kao talasi u okeanu čovječanstva. I na ovom moru, video sam replike lađe Ahl al-Bayt, ponavljajući riječi Poslanika: “Moj Ahl al-Bayt je poput Nuhove lađe. Ko je ušao u nju, spašen je, i ko god se okrenuo od nje, izgubljen je.” (Hakim, Ahmad, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Bazzar, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Suyuti, Tabarani, Abu Nu’aym, Dulabi, Qunduzi, Saban)

Marš je bogato simboličan. Težak je. Zahtijeva disciplinu. Poziva na žrtvu. Ona odražava putovanje života i put ljudske duše. Konačno, to je vječna nagrada. Poruke koje sam poslao supruzi tokom mog fizičkog i emocionalnog napora pokazuju utjecaj Arbaeena:

Sve je odlično. Sviđa mi se. Životno iskustvo. Labayka ya Husayn! Ovo je mjesto gdje nebo dodiruje zemlju. Trebaš i ti posjetiti Imame. Tvoj život nikada neće biti isti.

Ljubav prema Huseinu istopiće tvoje srce i dušu. Nikad nisam bio tako sretan i tužan u isto vrijeme. Allah voli one koji vole Huseina. Neka Allah poveća našu ljubav prema Huseinu!

Mogao bih zauvijeek ostati pored Huseina. To me boli, to što moram da ga ostavim. Da samo možeš osjetiti moć ovog mjesta. Čak i naš nemuslimanski gost osjeća svetost. Bereket ovog mjesta je nevjerovatno moćan.

Stvorio sam prijatelje za život cijeli. Upoznao sa neke istinski divne ljude. Bog ih blagoslovio. Ovo mjesto je nevjerovatno: 30 miliona ljudi šetaju zajedno, mole zajedno, jedu zajedno i spavaju zajedno. Sve je besplatno. Trebalo bi da vidiš kako poštuju zuwwar od Imama Huseina. Ljudi koji nemaju ništa da dijele. Štede čitavu godinu da bi bili domaćini hodočasnika. Stari ljudi će moliti za pranje i masiranje stopala hodočasnika. Nikad nisam vidio takvu poniznost.

Ljubav ovih ljudi prema Ahl al-Baytu je inspiracija. Njihova posvećenost islamu Poslanika . Tako su puni duhovnosti.

Otišao sam u medicinsku ambulantu za više lijekova i inhalatora. Nisam mogao da dišem. Hitna služba me odmah primila. Nema čekanja. Nema naplate. Samo prijateljski osmijeh. Sve za ljubav Huseina. Ne prestaju molitve, latmiyyat, poezija i salavati, dan i noć. Kao da sam umro i otišao u raj sa pjesmama meleka (anđela). Ostaviću svoje srce ovdje.

Hodočašće do Huseina vrijedi 1.000 hodočašća u Meku i 1.000 umri (umrah; muslimanski ritual obilaska Kabe van vremena hadždža). Za svaki korak koji treba da se dođe ovdje, 1.000 grijeha se briše, 1.000 blagoslova se dobije, a položaj onoga ko te korake radi je je podignut hiljadu puta na nebesima. Onaj ko dođe na Kerbelu, napušta je čist od grijeha. Džibril dolazi svake noći da posjeti Huseinov mezar. Wa Allahi, osjećam njegovo prisustvo.

Ljudi koji ovim hodočašćem povjeruju u Boga su spremni da umru na putu Allaha. Oni se ne plaše ničega osim Gospodara Svjetova.

Tako je lijepo ne biti manjina i okružen Ahl al Haqqom iz svih krajeva svijeta. Ovo će biti prijestolnica imama Mahdija, da Allah ubrza njegov dolazak! Neka mi Allah odobri čast da odgovorim na njegov poziv. Ne prestajem plakati od kada sam stigao.

Hodočašće u Kerbalu je vrhunac duhovnosti. Cijeli događaj proizilazi iz ljubavi. U životu sam posjetio mauzoleje mnogih religioznih osoba, uključujući i veličanstveno hodočašće na mezar Idrisa I, velikog unuka Poslanika Muhammeda a.s. u Zerhunu u Maroku, kao i njegovog sina i naslijednika Idrisa II, u Fezu. Iako je Barakah Muhammadiyyah među sinovima Imama al-Hasana i osnivačima dinastije Idrisid, moćna, ništa me nije moglo pripremiti za čistu duhovnu moć koja sija iz svetišta Imama Huseina. Kao i milioni drugih hodočasnika, magnetno sam nacrtan u svetište imama i zauvijek sam mogao da se oslonim na njegovo duhovno svjetlo. Imam je Kibla: znak koji pokazuje prema Allahu.

Po milosti Božijoj, i uz dozvolu imama, mogao sam da izvršim hodočašće do Kerbele. Vidio sam kako se moć vjere manifestuje u fizičkom obliku. Iskrenost, salawat i latmiyyat od kojeg se trese duša. Kretanje masa bilo je moćno i poetično. Snaga zemljotresa veličine 7,3, koja je potresla grad 13. novembra 2017. godine, ništa je u usporedbi s krikom ljubavi prema Imamu Huseinu. Imao sam čast da posjetim svetište Hazrati Abbasa, hrabrog brata Imama Huseina. Imao sam prednost stajanja u VIP dijelu hrama Imama Huseina na vrhu Arbaine kada su emocije eksplodirale poput Velikog praska. Imao sam privilegiju da se sastanem sa čuvarom Haramayna, Shaykh Mahdijem, predstavnikom Ayatullah Sistanija, koji je bio pozvan da razgovara u hramu imama Huseina na privatnom skupu od pedeset velikodostojnika i gostiju. Bio sam jedan od malobrojnih koji su imali dozvolu da prate Arbaeenovu procesiju sa krova Svetog Svetišta.

Tamo, na krovu Svetišta, dok je sunce zalazilo, a noć padala, četrdeseti dan Arbaeena je započet, a ja sam bio okružen milionima muslimana koji su bili duhovno opijeni Huseinom, napojeni njegovom ljubavlju; Stajao sam, okružen uzvišenim svjetiljkama i bojama koje su sijale sa svetih mjesta i slale su moje ponizne pozdrave voljenom Huseinu kojeg sam čekao decenijama da ga posjetim: Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Aba’ Abd Allah! Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya ibn Rasulillah! Mir neka je na tebe, oče. “Abd Allaha! Mir neka je na tebe, Sine Allahovog Poslanika! Zvao si moje ime, o veliki Imamu, i odgovorio sam na tvoj poziv.

Hvala Allahu koji je učinio moje hodočašće mogućim. Neka je mir i Božiji rahmet na Imam Husejna koji je pozvao moje srce. I neka Allah nagradi sve one koji su moj dolazak na Arbaeen, prošle godine, učinili mogućim.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow: Kerbela’nın çağrısı ve Erbain’in görkemi

26 Ekim 2018 Cuma

Necef-Kerbela yürüyüşü diğer yürüyüşlere benzemiyor. Bazılarınca Cennete giden otoban olarak tanımlanıyor bu yol. Başkalarına göre de Kıyamet Günündeki nihai toplanmanın kostümlü provasına benziyor. Benzersiz bir tecrübe! Pek çoğu yalınayak olan tahmini 20-30 milyon ziyaretçi İmam Ali’nin şehri Necef’ten İmam Hüseyin’in şehri Kerbela’ya, 80 km boyunca yürüyor.

Kerbela’nın çağrısı ve Erbain’in görkemi

Dr. John Andrew Morrow (İlyas İslam)

15 Ekim 2018

SHAFAQNA

İslam’ı kucakladığım günden sonraki 30 yıl boyunca peygamberlerin, imamların ve diğer evliyaullahın (a.s.) kabirlerini ziyaretin öneminin farkında oldum.

Merhametlilerin en merhametlisinin Kur’an-ı Kerim’de buyurduğu üzere “İşte böyle; kim Allah’ın şiarlarını yüceltirse, şüphesiz bu, kalblerin takvasındandır.” (Hacc, 32). Bu ayet ya da semboller bize Allah’ı hatırlatan, bizi O’na hidayet edip yaklaştıran kişi ya da şeyler anlamındadır.

Hz. Peygamber’in ve O’nun pak neslinin kabirlerini ziyaretin de eğer mümkünse, zorunlu olduğunu çok iyi biliyordum. Nitekim Yüce Allah “De ki: Sizden, tebliğime karşılık bir ücret istemiyorum, istediğim, ancak yakınlarıma sevgidir” (Şura, 23) buyuruyor.

Yakın akrabanın kimliğinde tartışma yoktur. İbn Abbas’ın naklettiği üzere yukardaki ayet nazil olduğunda sahabe “Ey Allah’ın elçisi! Allah’ın bize sevgisini emrettiği akraba kimlerdir?” diye sormuş, o da “Ali, Fatıma ve iki oğlu” diye buyurmuş ve bu cümleyi üç kez tekrar etmiştir.

Hz. Peygamber’in torunu İmam Hüseyin’in, Hz. Fatıma ve Hz. Ali’nin oğlunun konumu da tartışılmazdır. Hz. Rasulullah’ın buyurduğu üzere “Hüseyin bendendir, ben de Hüseyin’denim.” (Buhari, Ahmed b. Hanbel, Hâkim, Ebu Nuaym, Dulabi, Tabarani, Tirmizi, İbn Mace, İbn Hacer, Hatib el-Tebrizi)

Allah’ın Elçisi (O’na ve Ehl-i Beyt’ine selam olsun) İmam Hüseyin’in “Cennet gençlerinin serveri” olduğunu da tasrih etmiştir. (Tirmizi, İbn Mace, Tabarani, Nesai, Ahmed b. Hanbel, Hâkim, Ebu Nuaym, Heysemi, Lumzi, İbn Hibban, İbn Hacer, Hatib el-Tebrizi).

Hz. Peygamber (s.a.a.) “Hüseyin’le savaşanla savaşacağını, O’nunla barış içerisinde olanla barış içinde olacağını” buyurmuştur. (Tirmizi, İbn Mace, Hâkim, Heysemi, Tabarani, İbani, Hatip Bağdadi, İbn Hacer Heytemi, Zehebi, Taberi)

Hz. Peygamber (s.a.a.) “Hüseyin’i seveni seveceğini ve O’na öfke duyana öfkeleneceğini” de vurgulamıştır. (İbn Mace, Hâkim, Ahmed, İbn Hacer)

İmam Hüseyin’in 660 senesinde başına gelecek trajik hadise Hz. Peygamber (s.a.a.) tarafından bilinmiyor değildi. Ümmü Seleme, Aişe ve İbn Abbas’ın nakline göre, Yüce Allah Hz. Peygamber’e İmam Hüseyin’in şehadetini göstermiş ve hatta Hz. Cebrail şehitlik meydanından biraz toprak da getirmişti (Tirmizi, Hatib Tebrizi, Ahmed, Beyhaki). Rasulullah (s.a.a.) bu toprağı eşi Ümmü Seleme’ye vermiş, o da onu bir küpte saklamıştı. Hz. Peygamber, torunu şehit edildiğinde toprağın kanlanacağını haber vermiş, o vakit geldiğinde ise bu haber ayniyle gerçekleşmişti.

Bu nedenle ben de devamlı Ehl-i Beyt muhiplerinin “Erbain’e ne zaman gidiyorsun?” sorularına muhatap olmaktaydım. Yargılamıyor, taciz etmiyorlar, sadece bu aşkı paylaşmak istiyorlardı. Yıllar, on yıllar geçti ve cevabım hep aynı kaldı: “Vakti gelince bunu kendim bileceğim.”

İşin doğrusu pek çok kez de Kerbela daveti almıştım. Fakat finansal, mesleki ve şahsi engellerle karşılaştım her defasında. Yıllar boyunca böyle bir yolculuğun altından kalkacak paraya sahip olamadım. Bazı senelerde de aile sorumluluklarım beni bu uzun yolculuktan alıkoydu, bakmam gereken küçük çocuklarım vardı. Pek çok yıl işlerim bu seyahati imkânsız kıldı. Öte yandan Irak’taki güvenlik durumu onlarca yıl süresince hep çok tehlikeliydi.

Her zaman “Zamanı gelince bunu bileceğim ve gideceğim” dedim. Ve bu zaman 2017 Ağustos’unda geldi. Bir üstadım yakınlarda Erbain için Irak’ı ziyaret etmişti. Bu kişi bana dünya ve ahiretteki en büyük dersi veren, Ehl-i Beyt’in (a.s.) sevgisini öğreten şahıstı.

İslam’ı kendi kendime, 13 ila 16 yaşlarındaki özel araştırmalarım sonucunda öğrenmiştim. Aslında her zaman bir Müslüman olduğumu nihayet anladığımda inancıma tanıklık edecek bazı Müslümanları bulmam gerektiğinin farkına vardım. İslam’ı kitaplardan öğrenmiştim, daha önce hiçbir mümin ve amel ehli bir Müslümanla tanışmış değildim.

Maalesef tanıdığım ilk Müslümanlar da Selefi-Vehhabi-Tekfirci-Cihadistler oldu. İki yılımı zihinsel ve ruhsal olarak hasta bu kişiler arasında geçirdim. Hayalimi ne kadar zorlasam da bunların gerçek Müslümanlar olmadıklarını anlamam fazla vaktimi almadı. Hem inanç hem de pratikte Kur’an, Sünnet ve Siret’ten öğrendiğim herşeyin tam anlamıyla antiteziydiler. Miyop dünyagörüşleri yasaklar, bidatler ve tekfir etrafında dönüyordu. Şiddet ve nefret dolu, müsahamasız bu teröristler kısa bir süre sonra da beni “uluslararası cihada” katılmaya iknaya çalıştılar.

Allah’ın inayetiyle ardından bazı Ehl-i Beyt dostlarıyla tanıştım. Onlar derin bir saygıyla Hz. Peygamber, Fatıma, Ali, Hasan ve Hüseyin’den (a.s.) bahsediyor, onları övgü ve kutsamayla tazim ediyorlardı. Bu, tanıdığım Selefi-Vehhabilerin durumuyla derin bir zıtlık arz ediyordu. Onlar Hz. Peygamber’i küçümsemekten başka bir şey yapmazlardı. Onun da diğer kişiler gibi olduğunu, Allah’ın vahyi başka herhangi birine de gönderebileceğini iddia ederlerdi.

Bu gülünç nankörler, İbn Teymiyye ve Muhammed b. Abdülvehhab’ın bu çocukları Hz. Peygamber, Fatıma, Ali, Hasan ve Hüseyin’e iftira ve hakaret ediyor, Ehl-i Beyt takipçilerini kanlarının dökülmesi caiz kâfirler sayıyorlardu. Bugün geriye baktığımda Allah’ın beni iki kez kurtardığından hiç şüphe duymuyorum: İslam’ı bilmeme cehaletinden ve yanlış ve sahte İslam’dan kurtarılmışım. Çok açık bir şekilde iki gelenek olduğunu görüyordum: Hz. Peygamber’in İslam’ı ve Ebu Süfyan’ın anti İslam’ı, Ali’nin İslam’ı ve Muaviye’nin anti İslam’ı, Hüseyin’in İslam’ı ve Yezid’in anti İslam’ı. Başka bir ifadeyle, Allah’ın İslam’ı ve Şeytan’ın anti-İslam’ı.

Dostum ve üstadım, bana aşkın dersini veren kişi bir insanın Peygamberini sevmeden Allah’ı ve Ehl-i Beyt’i sevmeden de Peygamberi sevemeyeceğini net bir şekilde göstermişti. 2017’de kendisiyle Müslüman Kongresi’nde tanıştığımda Erbain’den bahsederken aşk ve nurla ışıyordu. “Bir insan böylesi bir aşkı tattığında onu sevdikleriyle paylaşmak istiyor. Ben de seni Allah için seviyorum” demiş ve beni kucaklayarak “Allah’ın bana İmam Hüseyin’i (a.s.) ziyareti nasip etmesi” için dua etmişti. Ve duası cevaplandı ve davet geldi.

İmam Hüseyin birisini davet ettiğinde telefon kullanmaz, mail göndermez. Sizi kalbinizin içinden çağırır. Ve bu tam da vuku bulan şeydi. Benim adımı andı, benim kalbimle konuştu. Kalbime, ruhuma hâkim oldu. Davet o kadar güçlüydü ki bir dağı parçalayıp toza çevirebilrdi. Bir insanın gözlerinden coşkuyla yaş getiren bir mutluluğun yoğunluğunu düşünün. İnsanın vücudundaki her atomun “Ya Hüseyin!” demesini tahayyül edin. Şehitlerin Efendisi’nin (a.s.) çağrısı işte böyledir.

İşte o zaman kati surette gitmem gerektiğini anladım. Artık hayır diyemezdim. Allah’ın velisini ziyaret etmeyi hep istemiştim, fakat bir davet bekliyordum. Şimdi izni almıştım. Erbain’in başlamasına ise sadece birkaç hafta kalmıştı. Gitmek için plan yapmalı mıydım? Beni yıllardır davet eden âlimlere mi ulaşmalıydım? Yıllardır hep yaptığım şeyi yapmaya karar verdim: Allah’a tevekkül et. Beni İmam davet etmişse, seyahat düzenlemelerini de yine O ayarlar diye düşündüm. Böyle de yaptı zaten.

Bir arkadaşım “Sana ilettiğim emaili aldın mı?” diye sordu. Hayır deyip önemsiz postalarıma baktım. Evet oradaydı; Yeni Ufuk Vakfı (New Horizon Foundation), İmam Hüseyin Vakfı ile ortaklaşa bir şekilde bir grup bilgin, profesör, diplomat, sanatçı, yazar ve gazeteciyi Kerbela ziyaretine davet ediyordu.

Eşim “Kabul edecek misin?” diye sorduğunda cevabım netti: “Nasıl hayır diyebilirim? İmam’ın davetini reddetmek kendi kimlik ve varlığımı inkâr olur.” Ve böylece kabul ettim.

Bu kadar kısa bir süre içerisinde vize almak çok zor olmasına rağmen Yaratıcıya tevekkül ettim. Ayrılışımdan sadece bir hafta önce babam öldü dirildi, öldü ve dirildi, öldü tekrar dirildi! Toplamda beş kez vefat etti! Eşim tekrar “Hala Erbain’e gidecek misin?” diye sordu. “İmanımın babası daha öncelikli” diye cevapladım.

Cuma öğleden sonra vizemi aldım ve iki gün sonra (Pazar) da Irak için yola çıktım. Yolculuk çok zorlu geçti, ABD’nin ortabatısından kutsal şehir Necef’e varmam molalarla birlikte 24 saati bulmuştu. Akşam 10.30’da otelime vardığımda iyiliksever evsahiplerim Zeyneb Mehanna ve eşi, saygıdeğer film yapımcısı kardeşim Nadir Talebzade ile buluştum. Hemen ertesi gün yürüyüşe başlayacaktık. İmam Hüseyin Vakfının yönetici, rehber ve güvenlik personelinin yetkin ellerine teslim edildik. Profesyonellik ve misafirperverlikleri emsalsizdi.

Necef-Kerbela yürüyüşü diğer yürüyüşlere benzemiyor. Bazılarınca Cennete giden otoban olarak tanımlanıyor bu yol. Başkalarına göre de Kıyamet Günündeki nihai toplanmanın kostümlü provasına benziyor. Benzersiz bir tecrübe! Pek çoğu yalınayak olan tahmini 20-30 milyon ziyaretçi İmam Ali’nin şehri Necef’ten İmam Hüseyin’in şehri Kerbela’ya, 80 km boyunca yürüyor. Tarih, mekân ve zamandan geçen bir yürüyüş bu, aynı zamanda da geleceğe doğru bir yürüyüş. Hz. Peygamber’in halife ve vasisi İmam Ali ile başlayan ve Kufe’de başkentini ve Tanrı’nın yeryüzündeki hükümetini kuracak olan İmam Mehdi ile bitecek olan dosdoğru yol boyunca ilerleyen inancın yolculuğu bu! Ezilenleri özgürlüğe kavuşturacak ve dünyaya adalet getirecek olan On İkinci İmam’ın kuvvetlerinin seferberliği bu. Lebbeyke ya Hüseyn dediklerinde “Lebbeyke Ya Mehdi” diye de sesleniyor, İmam Hüseyin ve İmam Mehdi’ye (a.s.) (Allah zuhurunu çabuklaştırsın) bağlılık ve biatlerini arz ediyorlar!

Irak ezilip hırpalanmış, vahşete maruz bırakılmış bir ülkedir. Baas rejiminin canavarlığından çok çekmiştir. İran ile kardeş kavgasından, Amerika’nın işgal savaşlarından ciddi zarar görmüş, milyonlarca sivil hayatını kaybetmiştir. Irak, altyapı olarak zayıf olmasına ve IŞİD karşısındaki savaşta yüz milyar dolardan fazla para harcamasına rağmen dünyadaki bu en kalabalık dini toplantıya, dünyanın büyük medya kurumlarının sürdürdükleri İslamofobik anlatıyla çeliştiği için önem vermediği bir barış yürüyüşüne gurur ve mutlulukla ev sahipliği yapmaktadır.

Suudiler, ellerindeki milyarlarca dolar, modern bir altyapı ve profesyonellere rağmen birkaç milyon hacıyı ağırlamak için ciddi mücadele vermekte ve bu durum da çoğunlukla feci sonuçlar doğurmakta, binlerce kişi çiğnenerek ölmektedir. Normal günlerde bir buçuk milyon insanı ancak barındırabilen Kerbela şehrinin nüfusu ise Erbain döneminde yirmi otuz kart artmasına rağmen şimdiye dek hiçkimse yaralanmamış, ezilmemiştir, zira tüm müminler ellerinden gelen en iyi şekilde davranmaktadırlar ve İmam Hüseyin (a.s.) aşkında birleşmişlerdir.

20 ila 30 milyon insan hep beraber yürüyor! Hayatın her kesitinden, tüm sosyal sınıflardan insanlar. Tüm ırklardan, uluslardan, tahayyül edilecek tüm dilleri konuşan insanlar. Dünyanın dört tarafından kendi ülkelerinin bayraklarını taşıyan fakat İmam Hüseyin’in (a.s.) sancağı altında toplanan Ehl-i Beyt âşıkları!

Dünyanın dört bir yanından ziyaretçileri ağırlamak için en yoksul insanlar gururla çadır hazırlıyorlar. Neredeyse hiçbir şeyi olmayan insanlar yıl boyu biriktirdikleri her şeyi İmam Hüseyin âşıklarına barınak ve besin sağlamak için sunuyorlar. Necef’ten Kerbela’ya kadar her şey bedava, Allah yolunda ve İmam Hüseyin aşkına! İnsanlar beraber yürüyor, beraber yiyip içiyor, birlikte namaz kılıyor ve uyuyorlar. Kilometrelerce uzayan yol boyunca kurulmuş çadırlarda su, meyvesuyu, çay, yemek, atıştırmalıklar ve insanların dinlenip uyumaları için yerler ikram ediliyor.

Yaşlı başlı insanlar ziyaretçilerin şişmiş ayaklarını yıkayıp masaj yapmak için yalvarıyor -gerçekten yalvarıyorlar-, yine aynı derecede istekli başkaları da ayakkabılarını boyayıp onarıyorlar. Böylesi bir tevazu karşısında tam anlamıyla çarpıldım! Bu Meryem oğlu İsa Mesih’in tevazüsüydü. Ziyaretçilerin ağırlanıp gözetilmesi dini bir vazife addediliyordu. On binden fazla çadır istirahat, yemek, içecek, diş ve tıbbi tedavi servisleri için hazırlanmıştı. Dünyanın neresinde uyandığında, sana tamamen yabancı ev sahibinin sen uyurken elbiselerini yıkayıp ütülediğini görebilirsin?

İmam Hüseyin yolunda, aşk yolundan başka bir şey olmayan burada insanların ziyaretçilerin ağrıyan sırt ve omuzlarına masaj yaptıklarına tanık oldum. Çobanların koyun ve develerini berekete nail olmak için Kerbela’ya getirdiklerini gözlemledim. Yaşlı kadın ve erkeklerin fiziksel limitlerinin sonuna dek kendilerini zorladıklarını gördüm. Hasta, sakat insanların tekerlekli sandalyelerinde kendi başlarına ya da sevdikleri tarafından itilerek yol aldıklarına şahit oldum. Başlarına kızıl bandajlar bağlamış pek çok çocuk ve bebek gördüm. Peygamberin ve Ehl-i Beyt’inin rengi olan siyahlara bürünmüş, insanlık okyanusunun dalgaları gibi hareket eden milyonlarca insan gördüm. Ve bu denizin üstünde de Hz. Peygamber’in sözünü yansıtan Ehl-i Beyt’in Gemisinin suretini: “Ehl-i Beyt’im Nuh’un gemisi gibidir. Kim ona binerse kurtulur, yüz çeviren ise boğulur.” (Hâkim, Ahmed, Fahreddin Razi, Bezzar, İbn Hacer Heysemi, Suyut, Tabarani, Dulabi, Kunduzi, Saban)

Yürüyüş semboller açısından aşırı derecede zengin. Evet çok yorucu, disiplin ve özveri istiyor, zira insan ruhunun yolunu, hayat yolculuğunu yansıtıyor. Ve nihayeten de sonsuzca gönül alıcı. Fiziksel ve ruhsal olarak sınırlarımı aştığım bu yürüyüşte eşime yollaldığım mesajlar Erbain’in bendeki etkisini gösteriyor:

“Herşey harika! Çok sevdim. Hayat değiştiren bir tecrübe bu. Lebbeyke ya Hüseyn! Cennetin yeryüzüne dokunduğu bir yer burası. İmamları ziyaret etmen gerekiyor. Hayatın asla eskisi gibi olmayacak.

Hüseyin’in sevgisi kalbini ve ruhunu eritecek. Hiçbir zaman aynı anda bu kadar mutlu ve bu kadar kederli olmamıştım. Allah Hüseyin’i seveni sever. Allah Hüseyin sevgimizi artırsın!

İmam Hüseyin’in kabri karşısında sonsuza dek durabilirim. Onu terkedecek olmak canımı acıtıyor. Keşke burasının gücünü hissedebilseydin! Müslüman olmayan konuğumuz bile buradaki kutsiyeti hissediyor. Burasının bereketi çok güçlü.

Ömür boyu sürecek arkadaşlıklar edindim. Gerçekten harika insanlarla tanıştım. Allah onları kutsasın. Burası inanılmaz: 30 milyon insan beraber yürüyor, beraber namaz kılıyor, yiyor ve uyuyor. Herşey bedava. İmam Hüseyin’in ziyaretçilerini nasıl onurlandırdıklarını görmelisin. Yaşlı insanlar ziyaretçilerin ayaklarını yıkayıp masaj yapmak için yalvarıyorlar. Böylesi bir tevazüyü hiçbir yerde görmedim.

Bu insanların Ehl-i Beyt sevgisi çok ilham verici. İslam’a ve Hz. Peygamber’e adanmışlıkları çok derin. Maneviyatla dopdolular.

Solutucu bir ilaç almak için bir kliniğe gittim. Nefes alamıyordum. Acil serviste sıra beklemedim, para ödemedim. Dostça bir gülümseme sadece. Her şey İmam Hüseyin aşkına. Dualar, mersiyeler, şiir ve salavatlar gece gündüz hiç durmuyor. Sanki ölmüşüm de melekler korosunun ezgileriyle birlikte cennete girmişim. Kalbimi burada bırakacağım.

Hüseyin’in ziyareti 1000 hacca ve 1000 umreye bedel. Buraya gelirken her adımda 1000 günahın siliniyor, 1000 sevap veriliyor ve cennetteki makamın da 1000 derece yükseliyor. Kerbela’yı terkettiğinde insan doğduğu gün gibi günahsız oluyor. Cebrail her gece Hüseyin’in kabrini ziyarete geliyor. Allah’a and olsun ki onun varlığını hissedebiliyorsun.

Bu ziyarete çıkan insanlar Allah’a tevekkül ediyorlar fakat Allah yolunda ölmeye de hazırlar. Allah’tan başkasından korkmuyorlar.

Azınlık olmamak ve dünyanın her tarafından gelen Hak ehli tarafından kuşatılmak çok güzel bir duygu. Burası İmam Mehdi’nin -Allah zuhurunu tez kılsın- başkenti olacak. Allah bana O’nun çağrısına lebbeyk demeyi nasip etsin. Geldiğim günden beri ağlıyorum.”

Kerbela ziyareti maneviyatın zirvesi. Tüm hadiseden aşk fışkırıyor. Hayatım boyunca pek çok dini figürün türbesini, bazı seyyidlerin kabirlerini ziyaret ettim. Her ne kadar Bereket-i Muhammediye buralarda da mevcut ise de hiçbiri İmam Hüseyin’in türbesinden ışıldayan saf manevi kudretle kıyaslanacak cinsten değildi. Milyonlarca diğer ziyaretçi ile birlikte mıknatıs gibi İmam’ın kabrine çekildim. Onun ruhani ışığı önünde sonsuza kadar durabilirim. İmam kıbledir, Allah’a işaret eden ayettir.

Allah’ın inayeti ve izniyle Kerbela ziyaretimi tamamlayabildim. İnancın gücünün pratiğe nasıl yansıdığını gördüm. Mersiye ve salavatların ihlası ruhlarımızı sarsıyordu. Kitlelerin hareketi çok güçlü ve şiirseldi. İmam Hüseyin’in yiğit kardeşi Hz. Abbas’ın kabrini ziyaretle müşerref oldum. Erbain merasimlerinin zirvesinde, duyguların Big Bang gibi infilak ettiği esnada İmam Hüseyin türbesinin VIP bölümünde bulunma fırsatım oldu. Türbelerin Müdürü ve Ayetullah Sistani’nin temsilcisi Şeyh Mehdi ile yaklaşık 50 özel misafirle birlikte hususi bir görüşmemiz oldu. Erbain törenlerini Kutsal Türbenin çatıkatından izleyen birkaç misafirden biri olmakla şereflendim.

İşte orada, kutsal türbenin çatısında, güneş batıp kırkıncı gün, Erbain başlarken, Hüseyin aşkıyla sarhoş milyonlarca Müslüman ile çevrili halde, türbeden yansıyan yüce ışıklar ve renklerle bezeli olarak ayağa kalktım ve ziyaret etmek için onlarca yıl beklediğim mevlam Hüseyin’e selamlarımı yolladım: Es selamu aleyke ya Eba Abdallah! Selam olsun sana ey Resulullah’ın oğlu! Sen benim adımı andın ey İmam! Ben de sana icabet ettim!

Bana bu ziyareti inayet eden Allah’a hamd olsun. Kalbime çağrıda bulunan İmam Hüseyin’e selat ve selam olsun! 2017 Erbain’ine katılmamı sağlayan herkesten Allah razı olsun.

Yüce Allah’ım… Kalbimi Kerbela’da bıraktım…

Çeviri: Ozan Kemal Sarıalioğlu

http://www.medyasafak.net

Küresel İmparatorluğun Selefi ve Sufileri

7 Haziran 2018 Perşembe

Radikal Selefilik ve Cihadçılığı ekip büyüterek meyvelerini devşirmek için kaynak harcayan aynı Batılı güçler şu sıralarda çok özenle korunan seralarında genetiği ile oynanmış Sufilik yetiştiriyorlar.

Crescent.icit-digital.org

Dr. John Andrew Morrow ile röportaj

1990’ların sonunda Batı’daki pek çok Müslüman arasında Selefi yönelişte büyük bir yükseliş gözlemleniyordu. Selefiliğin bu popülaritesinin azaldığını düşünüyor musunuz? Eğer öyleyse, niçin? Değilse niçin değil?

1980’lerin ortasında Müslüman olduğumda bir Selefilik okyanusunda yüzüyordum. Açık olmak gerekirse, Selefiler/Tekfirciler İslam’ın hayat bahşeden ruhsal oksijeninin çoğunu tüketmişlerdi ve boğulmak üzereydik. Eğer içinde soluklanabildiğim bazı küçük, geleneksel Şii, Sufi ve Sünni Müslüman gruplar bulmasaydım boğulup kıyıya vurmuştum. Şu sıralar devran değişmiş gözüküyor, bununla birlikte aynı denizin dalgalarıyız diye de kendimizi aldatmayalım. Selefiliğin ortaya çıkıp yayılması organik değildi. Osmanlı Saltanatını çözmek isteyen Britanya’nın emperyal çıkarlarına hizmet etti. İslam’ın politik gücünü tahrip ettiler. İslam dünyasını birbirleri aleyhine dönecek itaatkâr ulus devletlere böldüler.

İngiliz emperyalistlerin varisleri olarak davranan Amerikalılar Selefi/Vehhabi/Tekfircileri komünist emperyalistlerin yayılması karşısında kullanmak için işe koştular. Bu iki emperyalist taraf da İslam’a ve Müslümanlara düşmandı. Fransızlar, Pakistan ve Hindistanlılar kendi çıkarlarını korumak için mücahit grupları donatıp finanse ettiler. Sovyetler Afganistan’dan çekildikten sonra pek çok savaşçı grup kendi aralarında kardeş kavgasına girişti. Mücahitlerden arta kalan zayıflayıp bölünmüş gruplar ise çok daha aşırılıkçı başka bir topluluk, Deobandi Taliban tarafından kısa sürede süpürüldü.

Taliban, Amerikalı patronlarına itaat etmeyi reddettikten sonra Taş Devrine dönünceye kadar bombalandı. Fanatik dinsel aşırılıkçıları onlarca yıl boyunca eğitip, silahlandırıp finanse edenler ardından Afganistan’a Batı demokrasisi getirme kararı alıverdiler. Kuzey Afrika’da da durum benzerdi: insanlığın düşmanları, tekfirci teröristleri 1990’lardaki meşru İslami özlemlerini zayıflatmak için Cezayir halkına musallat ettiler. Avrupa’da 1990’larda Yugoslavya’yı paramparça etmek ve birkaç yıl sonra da Kosova’da sözde bir devlet yaratmak için onları kullandılar. Güneydoğu Asya’da aynı on yılda Mindanao’daki iyi niyetli Moro hareketini itibarsızlaştırmak için yararlanıldı kendilerinden.

11 Eylül 2011 stratejik bir değişimin dönüm noktasıydı. Gizli ve açık bir şekilde desteklenen, kullanılan tekfirci teröristler, kullanışlı ahmaklıktan kendileriyle çatışılacak kullanışlı bahanelere döndüler. En azından sosyo-ekonomik adalete özlem duyan komünizmin çöküşüyle dünya, sinsi planlarını uygulamada daha özgür hale gelen, tüm gezegenin kaynaklarını kurutmak ve insanlığın kanını son damlasına dek içmeyi planlayan küreselci ve kapitalist vampirlerin insafına kaldı. Soğuk Savaş sona erdiğinden ve çatışmaya ihtiyaç duyduklarından yeni bir düşman ideoloji yaratılmalıydı: İslam. “Radikal İslamcılık” başlıklı tehdit bağımsız Irak devletine saldırıp işgal etmede (2003-2013) bahane olarak kullanıldı. Savaşın bedeli bir milyon sivilin ölümü ve milyarlarca dolarlık kaynağın çalınmasıydı. Amerikalılar demokrasi vadetmelerine rağmen geride bıraktıkları tek şey bir felaket oldu: Tüm canavarların anası olan ve somutluğunun zirvesine “İslam Devleti” olarak çıkan (gerçekten ne İslami idi ne de devletti) mezhebi ve etnik çatışma.

11 Eylül hadiselerinden sonra radikal Selefiliğin Doğu ve Batı’daki camilerde açık tebliğinin durduğu ve boşluğu daha ılımlı bir İslami formun doldurduğu doğruysa da bu süreç de organik bir şekilde gelişmedi. “Geleneksel İslam” ve “Sufizm” kulağa Selefi Cihadilikten, Vehhabilik, Radikal İslamcılık ve Tekfircilikten daha az tehditkâr gelse ve ana akım ve ılımlı İslam’ın yaygınlaştırılması olumlu gözükse de bu değişim gerçekte göz boyama ve vitrin değişikliğinden başka bir şey değil. 1990’larda Selefiliğin ve 21. yüzyılın ikinci on yılında da IŞİD’in yaygınlaştırılmasının sorumluları 2001’den beri Eh-i Sünnet ve’l-Tasavvuf (yani Ortodoks Sünnilikle Ortodoks tasavvufun kombinasyonu) olarak bilinen akımı yayanlarla aynı kişiler. Dahası Tekfircilik de ortadan kalkmış değil, kamusal alandan siber alana geçti sadece.

Küreselciler tam kapsamlı hâkimiyetlerini gerçekleştirmeye uzun zamandır azmetmiş durumdalar. Bu plan tüm muhalefetin kontrolünü ve tüm kartları birbiri karşısında kullanmayı içeriyor: muhafazakârlar karşısında liberaller, Şiiler karşısında Sünniler, Sufiler karşısında Sünniler ve Şiiler, siyahlar karşısında beyazlar, yerliler karşısında göçmenler ve mülteciler. Kısaca, herkes herkese karşı. Küreselcilerin politik stratejistlerine göre Radikal İslam ile ılımlı İslam paralel yollardır. Bunlar kendi gündemlerini ilerletmede kullanılan ideolojiler, amaçlarına ulaşmada araçlar sadece. Bunlardan birini diğerine karşı tercih ettiklerine inanmak ahlaki bir çerçeve içerisinde faaliyet yürüttüklerini ve etik bir pusulaları olduğunu zannetmektir. Hayır, böyle bir şeyleri yok. Elitlerin jeopolitiğinde ahlak diye bir şey yoktur, sadece kendi çıkarları vardır. Henry Kissenger bunu “Bazen devlet adamları kötüler arasından seçim yapmak zorunda kalır” diyerek rasyonalize etmişti. Bu Allah’ın kullarıyla Şeytan kullarını ayıran şeydir. Peygamberler ve İmamların (a.s.) hiçbir zaman çiğnemedikleri ahlaki ve etik sınırları vardı. Kissenger “Adalet ve düzensizlik ile adaletsizlik ve düzen arasında seçim yapmak zorunda kalsam her zaman ikincisini seçerim” demişti. Düzen kaosa tercih edilse de hiçbir mümin adaletsizliği adalete tercih etmeyecektir. Roma İmparatorluğu hakkında konuşan Publius Tacitus -hatip, yasa koyucu ve senatör- şöyle demişti: “Yağma ediyor, katlediyor ve çalıyorlar; buna haksız yere imparatorluk adını koyuyor ve viraneye çevirdikleri yerlere de barış geldi diyorlar.”

Düzen ve istikrar ihtiyacı İmam Hüseyin’in (a.s.) katledilmesini meşru göstermek isteyen Emeviler tarafından da kullanılmıştı. Günümüzde bile barış kavramını adaletsizliği hoş görme olarak anlayan âlimler görüyoruz. İslam’ın bu konudaki pozisyonu ise bellidir: “Ey iman edenler! Kendiniz, ana babanız ve en yakınlarınızın aleyhine de olsa, Allah için şahitlik yaparak adaleti titizlikle ayakta tutan kimseler olun.” (Nisa, 135)

Radikal Selefilik ve Cihadçılığı ekip büyüterek meyvelerini devşirmek için kaynak harcayan aynı Batılı güçler şu sıralarda çok özenle korunan seralarında genetiği ile oynanmış Sufilik yetiştiriyorlar. 2004 yılında Sunday Times, “Contest” (Yarışma, Çekişme) kodu adı verilen bir proje hakkında Britanya hükümetinin gizli raporlarını sızdırmıştı. İngiliz Müslümanlar arasındaki aşırılıkçılığın büyümesini engellemek isteyen Tony Blair hükümeti iki tarafı da kesen bir yaklaşım benimsemişti: aşırılıkçıları ezerken ılımlılarla uzlaşma. Buna havuç ve sopa, ya da yumuşak ve sert güç kullanımı da diyebilirsiniz.

Geçerken kaydedeyim. Bir keresinde Arap yarımadasından, üst düzeyden ve geniş ilişkileri olan biri bana reddetmeyeceğimi düşündüğü bir teklifte bulunmuştu. “Seni yeni bir Hamza Yusuf yapacağız” sözünü verdi. Birebir böyle demişti. Hayatımda hiç o kadar hakarete uğramamıştım. Satılık olduğumu düşünen herkese bugün de aynı şekilde diyeceğim gibi “Cehennemin dibine git” demiştim. Aslında kullandığım dil bundan çok daha renkliydi.

Sufizm onlar için bir moda, durum tam olarak böyledir. Bu bir ihya, klasik İslam’ın rönesansı filan değil. Sufizme yüzlerce yıl önce sızıldı. Gizli şebekeleri emperyalistler için büyük, somut bir tehdit arz ediyordu. Uygun bir önderlik altında sömürgeci güçler karşısında kullanılmaları mümkündü. Aynı şekilde bir fırsatı da temsil ediyorlardı. İstihbarat servislerinin kontrolüne girmeleri halinde ajanlar ve her türden yıkıcılar için büyük bir kaynak olabilirlerdi. Barış Gönüllüleri (Peace Corp) ve diğer sivil toplum kuruluşları gibi Sufi tarikatları de ajanlar için müthiş bir örtü sağlar. Pek çok Sufi tarikatının Batı dünyasındaki gizli topluluklar ve kardeşlik örgütleriyle ilişkili olması şaşırtıcı değildir. Bir pedofil tarafından kurulan bunlardan biri Derin Devlet, neo-conlar, Pers saltanatçıları, gericiler ve ilaveten Arap-Müslüman krallar, despot ve diktatörlerle çok yakın ilişkilidir. Eğer şeytan bir sufi olsaydı onun tarikatına intisap ederdi. Muhtemelen o da bir şeytan zaten.

Her ne kadar “gnosis”, yani tasavvuf ve irfan İslam dünyasında ruhsal ve entelektüel bir elit arasında yaygın idiyse de her zaman bir azınlık hareketi olmuştur. 2001’den bu yana ise Sufizm giderek artan bir şekilde ana akım haline dönüştü. Elbette bu ruhsal içe bakışın, murakabenin kuvvetlenmesinden değil, kitlesel ve sanal medyadan kaynaklı algı ve bilinç yönetimiyle oldu. Tek gözlü web yaygınlaştığı ve etkisini güçlendirdiği oranda, nüfusun yüzde birlik elitinin yeryüzü ölçeğinde psikolojik operasyonlar ve sosyal mühendislik yürütmesi daha kolay hale geldi. Bunlar paranoyak bir şizofrenin hayalleri değil, araştırma temelli, delillere dayanan neticelerdir. Bir hakikatin dillendirilmesi deyin siz.

Contest Projesi bir realite idi ve halen öyledir. Kontr-terör stratejisi Britanya hükümeti tarafından 2003’te yürürlüğe girdi. Kamuoyuna açıklanması ise yıllarca yıl sonraydı. Dört temele odaklanmıştı: Saldırılara hazır ol, kamuoyunu koru, saldırganları takip et ve radikalleşmelerine en başından engel ol. Contest’ten 2014’te istifa eden Dr. Chris Allen’e göre projenin gizli hedeflerinden biri devşirilmiş liberal Müslümanlar ve hükümet tarafından İslam’ın ana akım ve ılımlı yorumlarının tescili ve yaratılmasıydı. Hükümet kaynaklı, devletin finanse ettiği bu İslami organizasyonlar genelde bütün girişimin mahiyetinden habersiz ünlü uzmanlar ve bilginler tarafından destekleniyordu. Projenin başlangıcından bu yana vergi fonlarının milyonları Birleşik Krallıktaki Müslümanların radikalleşmelerini önleme amaçlı 1000’den fazla projede, kayda değer bir başarı elde edilmeksizin harcandı.

Radical Middle Way ve National Muslim Women Advisory Grup gibi devlet fonlu Müslüman organizasyonlar iyi niyetli insanlar tarafından desteklenip yönetilmelerine rağmen İngiliz hükümeti amaçlarının ne olduğu noktasında çok şeffaf değildi. Vergi veren, üretici vatandaşlar olarak Müslümanlar akıllıca girişimlerinin desteklenmesi için devlet fonlarından yararlanma hakkı kazanmışlardı ve bu fazla tepki çekmiyordu. Britanya hükümetinin hedefiyse sadece sözde İslami aşırılıkçılığın yayılmasına engel olmak değildi, amaç Müslüman toplumu izleyip gözetim altında tutmak, değerlerini yeniden biçimlendirmek ve dünya görüşlerini baştan yapılandırmaktı. Başka bir ifadeyle İçişleri Bakanlığının dikkatli gözlemi altında Müslümanları sekülerizmle uzlaşmacı, uyumlu kılmak ve bu ideolojiye döndürmekti. Bu sosyal mühendisliğe ve devlet onaylı İngiliz ya da Batı İslam’ına karşı çıkan herkes aşırılıkçı olarak değerlendirilecek ve bir tehdit muamelesi görecekti.

Bu projeyi yürüten kişiler aynı zamanda IŞİD’i de desteklemeseler aşırılıkçılık ve terörizm karşısındaki iyi niyetli propaganda savaşında biraz ileri gitmiş müspet devlet adamları olarak görülebilirdiler. 1000’den fazla Britanyalı psikopatın Suriye ve Irak’taki terörist gruba katılmasına izin verilmiş, sorgulanmadan dönmeleri sağlanmış ve hatta İngiliz toplumuna “rehabilite” (İngiliz kraliçesine ve ülkeye hizmetleri karşılığında verilen ödülün şifreli ismi) edilmelerine yardım için kendilerine her türlü imkân sunularak vergi mükelleflerinin sağladığı evlerle ödüllendirilmişlerdir.

ABD’deki durum ise benzersizdi. 11 Eylül neo-conlara Irak ve halkını yağmalayıp servet edinmeleri ve bonus olarak da Amerikan halkının anayasal ve medeni haklarını kırparak süreç içerisinde bir gözetim devleti kurmaları için zengin seçenekler sunmuştu. Kilise ve devletin ayrılığı nedeniyle Amerikan hükümeti radikalizmle savaşan Müslüman grupları açıktan finanse etmede ketum idi. Amerikan yönetimi kaynaklarını, terörle savaşını meşru göstermek için kendi teröristlerini yaratıp izlemede sarf etti daha çok. Teröristlerle savaşın finanse edilmesi sadece terörizmin varlığı halinde meşru gösterilebileceğinden, zihinsel olarak istikrarsız yamaklarını İslamofobinin güçlendirilmesi için sahte bayrak operasyonlarında kullanıldılar.

CIA, Suriye hükümetini devirmek için eski müttefiklerini, tekfirci teröristleri kirli işleri yapmak üzere sahaya sürerken Suudiler, Türkler ve Katarlılar ABD’nin emriyle faturayı ödediler. Obama’nın zorunlu kıldığı angajman kuralları Pentagon’un teröristlerle savaşmasını imkansızlaştırıyordu. Obama “ifade özgürlüğü” altında IŞİD’in kullandığı sosyal medya hesaplarının kapatılmasına engel oldu. Amerikalı IŞİD teröristlerinin insanlık karşıtı suçlar, savaş suçları ve soykırım gibi nedenlerle tutuklanması istendiğinde Washington’daki “liberal” hükümet, Suriye’nin Uluslararası Ceza Mahkemesi’nin Roma Anlaşmasını imzalamadığını ve bu nedenle salahiyeti olmadığını iddia etti. ABD’nin pek çok egemen ülkeye illegal olarak saldırıp işgal ettiği düşünüldüğünde aniden uluslararası kuralları hatırlaması çok ironik doğrusu.

Akademi ödülüne layık görülecek bir performansla IŞİD kurbanlarına timsah gözyaşı döken plüralizmin sahte peygamberleri, Irak ve Suriye’deki tekfirci teröristlere karşı çıkmaktan ziyade onları desteklediler. Obama sadece başkanlığının son döneminde Şiddet Yanlısı Radikalizmle Mücadele İnisiyatifini destekleme çağrısı yaptı. Obama yönetiminin önde gelen üyelerinden biri Beyaz Saray’a çağırdığı bir grup Müslüman lidere “IŞİD yakında bölgeden atılacak. Onların topluluklarınıza tekrar entegre edilmesinde yardımınızı bekliyoruz” demişti. Bu bir insana işkencecisi ile eziyet etmekle aynı anlama geliyordu. Bu toplu tecavüze uğramış bir kadından saldırganları için makyaj yapmasını, onları misafir edip yardım etmesini istemek ve onların bu şekilde toplumun üretici üyeleri olacağını söylemek gibi bir şeydi. Gerçekte bu kadının isteyeceği tek şey onların bir mezarlıkta kurtlar için ziyafet olmalarıdır.

Beyaz Saray’daki hâlihazırdaki durum çok karmaşıktır. İslam ve Müslümanları överken bir yandan da radikal “İslamcı” terörizmi destekleyen Obama’nın aksine Başkan Trump Müslümanlarla onları tahkir edercesine konuşurken Suriye’deki teröristleri sistematik ve etkili bir şekilde yok ediyor. Suudileri IŞİD’i ve diğer grupları finanse etmeyi durdurmaları için ikna ya da mecbur etti. Katar’a şamar oğlanı rolü verildi ve Suudi Arabistan ile Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri tarafından arabadan aşağı atıldı.

Bu durum Katar’ı bölgesel politikalarını yeniden gözden geçirmek ve İran İslam Cumhuriyeti’nin yörüngesine girmek zorunda bıraktı. Trump böylece tüm “kötü adamları” tek bir kampa soktu: IŞİD’in eski finansörü Katar ve Hizbullah ve Hamas’ın fiili finansörü İran. İç cephede ise Trump Obama’nın Şiddet Yanlısı Radikalizmle Mücadele İnisiyatifini Radikal İslami Aşırılıkçılıkla Mücadele kampanyası olarak değiştirmeye azmetti ve böylece ABD’deki aşırı sağ ve aşırı solun tehdidini görmezden geldi. Birisi kendi kuyusunu kazıyor gibi.

Dolayısıyla, radikal ve şiddet yanlısı formuyla Selefiliğin önü gerçekte kesilmiş oldu, fakat kalpleri kan ağlayan liberaller -gerçekte beyin yiyen zombiler- tarafından değil. Tekfircilik aşırı bir şekilde İslam karşıtı olan sağ kanat sözde muhafazakârlar ve neo-faşist kapitalist küreselciler tarafından dövülüyor. Düşmanlardan biri sahadan çekilirken, diğeri yükseliyor. Müslümanlar kötü akıbete maruz kalmamak için uyanık olmalıdırlar.

Çeviri: Medya Şafak

Comparando la Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta con la Carta de Derechos de los Estados Unidos

Por Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Ilyas Islam)

By Revista At miércoles, octubre 17, 2018 0

Aunque conocidos por los eruditos desde los primeros días del Islam, la Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta fueron abandonados por algunos juristas y autoridades políticas a lo largo de la historia musulmana. A pesar de que desempeñaron un papel central en la política interior y exterior del Imperio Otomano, han sido generalmente ignorados desde su colapso en 1923 y la abolición del Califato en 1924. De hecho, fue Muhammad Hamidullah, posiblemente uno de los más grandes eruditos y académicos musulmanes del siglo XX y autor de más de 250 libros y 1.000 artículos, el principal responsable de sacar a la luz la Constitución de Medina. Se trata de la Primera Constitución Escrita del Mundo, publicada en 1941, 1975 y 1986. Finalmente ocupó el sitio central que le correspondía. Muhammad Hamidullah no sólo recordó a los musulmanes que en realidad tenían una constitución, sino que fue el primer erudito en compilar y estudiar las cartas, tratados y pactos del Profeta en su Watha’iq. Estos, a su vez, fueron comentados por el ayatullah Ahmadi Miyanji en Makatib al-Rasul.

Las cartas y tratados del Profeta Mahoma, sin embargo, no se dieron a conocer ampliamente hasta la publicación de Los Pactos del Profeta Mahoma con los Cristianos del Mundo en 2013, una obra que desencadenó una oleada o más bien una tormenta de debate, discusión y diálogo. Como resultado de la Declaración de Marrakech y la Iniciativa de los Pactos, la Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta son ahora objeto de un serio debate entre musulmanes y no musulmanes que buscan fuentes bíblicas para apoyar la coexistencia, la tolerancia, la sociedad civil, los ritos religiosos, el imperio de la ley, el amor y la buena voluntad para todos. Con el fin del Islam como potencia mundial, la mayoría de los musulmanes miraron hacia Occidente en busca de derechos civiles y humanos, descuidando su propia y rica tradición espiritual y legal. A través de una comparación de la Constitución de Medina, los Pactos del Profeta y la Declaración de Derechos de los Estados Unidos, se hará evidente que la Tradición Islámica no sólo es totalmente compatible con los derechos civiles y humanos tal como se entienden en el mundo occidental, sino que en realidad concibió tales derechos y los otorgó ya en el siglo VII.

En Occidente, el imperio de la ley se remonta a los antiguos griegos. Platón, por ejemplo, promovió la noción de monarquía benevolente. Aristóteles predica que los ciudadanos deben ser gobernados de acuerdo a los mismos principios. El siguiente hito importante en el mundo occidental fue la Carta Magna o Gran Carta que data del siglo XIII en Inglaterra y que proporcionó una larga lista de derechos y libertades, incluyendo la libertad para la Iglesia de Inglaterra, la libertad individual, el derecho al debido proceso y la protección contra el despotismo. El siguiente gran desarrollo en la ley occidental vino como resultado de la Declaración de Independencia, la Constitución Americana y la Declaración de Derechos. Éstas, a su vez, inspirarían constituciones y cartas de derechos en materia de libertades en gran parte del mundo occidental. Todo esto culminó finalmente en la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos, proclamada en 1948. Sin embargo, falta una pieza importante, central, del rompecabezas: la Constitución de Medina y, junto con ella, los Pactos del Profeta Mahoma. La ignorancia, voluntaria o no, tiene consecuencias. El desconocimiento de estos documentos fundacionales musulmanes lleva a personas de todos los bandos del espectro político, desde izquierdistas y liberales hasta derechistas y conservadores, desde agnósticos hasta fundamentalistas religiosos, y desde multiculturalistas hasta nacionalistas y fascistas blancos, a afirmar que el Islam en general, y la Shariah en particular, es incompatible con los valores sociales y políticos occidentales. ¿Cómo respondemos a la ignorancia? Sustituyéndola por conocimiento: conocimiento de la Constitución de Medina y de los Pactos del Profeta.

¿Cuáles son los grandes principios establecidos por la Constitución de Medina, creada por el profeta Mahoma a principios del siglo VII? Para empezar, dice claramente que se trata de un documento constitucional. Establece: ciudadanía y nacionalidad; una identidad distintiva; obligaciones para el gobernante y el gobernado; la creación de un tribunal de apelaciones; igualdad; pluralismo; libertad religiosa, cultural y lingüística; igualdad de derechos para musulmanes y no musulmanes; derechos políticos; libertad de expresión; libertad de asociación; impuestos justos y equitativos; seguro social para los necesitados; fin del tribalismo y las enemistades sangrientas; el estado de derecho y la justicia para todos; el derecho a vivir; la prohibición del asesinato; la obligación de respetar y aplicar la ley; prohibición del favoritismo y el nepotismo; la centralización de la autoridad; la creación de un sistema de justicia que dependiera de la comunidad y no del individuo; una garantía de paz y seguridad basada en la igualdad y la justicia; el Islam como código de vida; responsabilidad legal; el líder como Comandante en Jefe de las Fuerzas Militares; resistencia colectiva contra la injusticia, la tiranía y el mal; el apoyo de los aliados militares; responsabilidad proporcional en los gastos de guerra; ayuda mutua obligatoria en caso de guerra; prohibición de apoyar a enemigos colectivos; el derecho a la objeción de conciencia y a no participar en la guerra; consultas mutuas y trato honorable; la prohibición de la traición; la obligación de ayudar a los oprimidos; la protección de las mujeres; la obligación de respetar los tratados de paz; el derecho a la autodefensa y a luchar por la supervivencia de la propia forma de vida; igual status constitucional; la prohibición de violar la constitución; la prohibición de proteger a traidores y opresores; el favor de Dios sujeto a la observancia de la constitución que será aplicada por el Estado.

Todo esto y mucho más fue concluido e implementado en Arabia en el siglo VII. Y hay más. La Constitución de Medina es breve y concisa. Proporciona el marco de un sistema político. No se puede ni debería leérsela sin consultar los Pactos del Profeta así como los estatutos de derechos y libertad que él proveyó a judíos, samaritanos, cristianos y zoroastrianos. Hay algunos escépticos que sostienen que son falsificaciones. Si es así, se trata de falsificaciones que se remontan al siglo VII, ya que estos documentos han sido transmitidos consecutivamente durante 1400 años. Así que, quienquiera que fuera autor de los Pactos del Profeta estaba mil años adelantado a su tiempo. Si es así, ¿de dónde obtuvo sus principios? ¿Cuál es el precedente? El único lugar donde encontramos los principios fundamentales de la Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta es en el Corán y la Sunnah de Muhammad, el Mensajero de Dios. Así que, a todos los efectos, la Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta son auténticos en contenido. Los Pactos del Profeta proporcionan una lista larga y detallada de derechos comparables a los que figuran en la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos. Entonces, ¿cómo se compara esto con la Carta Magna, la Declaración de Independencia, la Declaración de Derechos y la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos? ¿Es esto incompatible con los principios occidentales del derecho y la justicia? Creo que no. Lo que tenemos es un terreno común.

El primer artículo de la Carta de Derechos hace un llamado a la libertad de religión, de expresión y de prensa. El segundo artículo exige el derecho a tener y portar armas. El tercer artículo no obliga a los ciudadanos a hospedar soldados sin su consentimiento en tiempos de guerra. El cuarto artículo prevé la seguridad de las personas, las casas y los bienes frente a registros e incautaciones irrazonables. El quinto artículo garantiza el derecho a un juicio rápido y público. El sexto garantiza el derecho a un juicio rápido y público. El artículo séptimo establece el derecho a juicio por jurado en casos de derecho consuetudinario. El octavo limita la fianza. El noveno artículo establece que los derechos enumerados en la Constitución no niegan ni menosprecian otros derechos que no se mencionan. Finalmente, el décimo artículo establece que los poderes no delegados a los Estados Unidos están reservados al estado o al pueblo.

La Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta prevén la representación política. El Estado musulmán está dividido en comunidades religiosas autónomas: musulmanes, judíos, samaritanos, cristianos, etc. El líder de cada comunidad, ya sea tribal o religiosa, consultaba con su grey y transmitía su consenso al jefe de estado. Aunque no había elecciones per se, había participación popular, debate, discusión y diálogo sobre temas políticos. La Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta se elaboraron en consulta con los ciudadanos. El Profeta, como líder unánimemente aclamado, recibía promesas anuales de lealtad del pueblo sobre el que gobernaba. Se permite la libertad de expresión y de reunión. Aunque no había prensa, había narradores de historias y poetas que compartían los acontecimientos del momento. Eran libres de expresarse en el ámbito de lo razonable. Los ciudadanos tenían derecho a presentar denuncias. Si los líderes tribales y religiosos no podían llegar a un acuerdo, era el jefe de Estado como mediador imparcial de la comunidad en su conjunto quien tenía la última palabra.

La Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta mencionan que todos tienen derecho a portar y poseer y armas. Incluso se aclara que cualquier arma prestada por los ciudadanos para ayudar en el esfuerzo bélico sería devuelta. Y si no fuese posible, se reembolsaría su valor. A diferencia de la Carta de Derechos, que se ocupaba de los excesos del ejército británico al acuartelar a los soldados en los hogares, los Pactos del Profeta exigen que los aliados de los musulmanes, ya sean judíos o cristianos, acojan a los musulmanes en tiempos de conflicto. Es una obligación colectiva y no individual. La comunidad, en su conjunto, debe asegurarse de que sus aliados musulmanes que viajan a través de la región estén a salvo. La Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta también insisten en la seguridad de las personas y de sus bienes. Aunque el sistema jurídico se encontraba en sus inicios, prevía juicios públicos rápidos supervisados por partes imparciales. A veces atendidos por un solo juez o, en su defecto, por comités o jurados. En la sociedad islámica primitiva no había, per se, fianza. Las personas peligrosas que podrían huir eran encarceladas. Las acusadas de delitos menores podían moverse en libertad bajo palabra. Los documentos no limitan los derechos a los enumerados. Al igual que los Estados Unidos, la Ummah musulmana era en realidad una Confederación de Creyentes que delegaba poderes a las comunidades autónomas y a los aliados.

Entonces, ¿se desarrolló la tradición occidental independientemente de la tradición islámica? No fue así. Las luminarias que desarrollaron las nociones occidentales de derechos y libertades no actuaron en el vacío. No fueron ajenos a la tradición islámica. Al contrario, se inspiraron en ella. Napoleón mismo firmó una copia del Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los monjes del monte Sinaí. El Ashtiname, junto con obras sobre la ley islámica, fueron motive de inspiración para componer el Código Napoleónico. Este es el código legal en Quebec, Canadá, de donde provengo con orgullo. Supongo que estamos viviendo bajo la legislación de la Shariah después de todo. Lo prefiero a la barbarie que prevaleció en Europa y Arabia antes del pensamiento más ilustrado. Los Pactos del Profeta eran bien conocidos por los intelectuales, eruditos, diplomáticos y monarcas europeos a lo largo de la mayor parte de la historia. Los citaron, los tradujeron en su totalidad y los difundieron. Inspiraron decenas de tratados entre europeos, cristianos, poderes de Oriente Medio y del Norte de África. Los Pactos del Profeta fueron incluidos en el Manuels des Consuls (Manual de Cónsules) de Alexandre Miltitz en 1838. Se trata de una obra clásica sobre diplomacia, todavía en imprenta, que se consideraba de lectura obligatoria para políticos, cónsules, diplomáticos y embajadores. Una vez más, los Pactos del Profeta, en su totalidad aparecieron en la famosa obra de Edward A. Van Dyck sobre diplomacia en 1881. ¿Quién fue Van Dyck? Nada más que el Secretario Consular de los Estados Unidos en El Cairo. Su trabajo fue publicado por el Departamento de Estado. Los líderes occidentales han estado estudiando la Constitución de Medina y los Pactos del Profeta durante siglos. No solo eso sino que han estado consultando el Corán para obtener inspiración política. ¡Cómo no iban a estar familiarizados con los Pactos del Profeta cuando el propio Imperio Otomano hizo un Pacto con los Estados Unidos de América en 1796: el Tratado de Paz y Amistad entre los Estados Unidos de América y los Bey y Súbditos de Trípoli de la Costa de Berbería. Inspirado en el Pacto del Profeta con los cristianos, dice:

Dado que el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos de América no se basa, en ningún sentido, en la religión cristiana; dado que no tiene ningún tipo de enemistad contra las leyes, la religión o la tranquilidad de los musulmanes; y dado que dichos Estados nunca han entrado en guerra ni en actos de hostilidad contra ninguna nación musulmana, las partes declaran que ningún pretexto que surja de las opiniones religiosas producirá jamás una interrupción de la armonía existente entre los dos países.

Los Estados Unidos de América firmaron un Pacto de Coexistencia con el Imperio Otomano. Todo lo que tenía que hacer era respetarlo. Si hubiese tratado a las naciones musulmanas como amigas y lo aliadas, no estaríamos en el lío en el que estamos hoy. Aunque todas las partes se han desviado de sus respectivas tradiciones religiosas ―musulmanes, cristianos y judíos― en los últimos dos siglos, todas están sobre los hombros de Abraham, la paz sea con él. Somos la progenie religiosa del Gran Patriarca. Detengamos la rivalidad entre hermanos y obedezcamos a nuestro honorable padre, acordando que Dios es Uno, que la Humanidad es Una, y que la justicia debe ser una. También debemos reconocer que muchos valores seculares se inspiraron en los valores religiosos. La Carta Magna, la Declaración de Independencia, la Declaración de Derechos y la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos tienen sus raíces en valores judíos, cristianos y musulmanes. Reunámonos en torno a ellos.

Message from the Covenants Initiative to all Muslims at the Parliament of the World’s Religions: a Strategy for Self-defense

October 15, 2018

Asalaamu alaikum.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, to all Muslims participating in the Parliament of the World’s Religions: we of the Covenants Initiative, whose mission it is to disseminate the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, send greetings of peace. The Covenants of Muhammad, which our Prophet tells us were inspired by Allah himself, command all Muslims not to kill or rob or damage the buildings of peaceful Christians, or even prevent their Christian wives from going to church, but rather to actively defend them against their enemies “until the coming of the Hour”, the end of the world. Consequently we accept these covenants as legally binding upon Muslims today. Since the publication of Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s ground-breaking book, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World in 2013, the Covenants Initiative has become an international peace movement in the Muslim world, dedicated to defending persecuted Christians by restoring the memory of the Prophetic Covenants to Muslim Ummah, and to humanity as a whole.

ISIS and other “Takfiri” terrorist groups—with the aid of the United States, who helped found the so-called “Islamic State” as a proxy army against Syria, Iran and ultimately Russia—are destroying my religion, the religion of Islam; that’s one of the reasons they were created. And though they have massacred Christians, Yezidis and others, they have killed many more Muslims than any other group, men women and children. They have burned mosques, some with copies of the Holy Qur‘an still in them—not to mention the fact that that ISIS keeps a hit-list of U.S. Muslim leaders. Thus Da’esh is an open enemy of Islam.

Like Islam, Christianity is suffering persecution in many parts of the world. It is estimated that Christians are persecuted in 103 countries, Islam in around 100. And although ISIS has massacred many more Muslims than Christians, nonetheless—with the help of both regional and western powers—it has all but driven the Christians of Iraq and Syria from their ancient homelands, which are host to the oldest churches on earth.

As you well know, Islamophobia is on the rise in North America. The Council for American-Islamic relations recorded a 17 percent increase in incidents of anti-Muslim bias in the U.S. in 2017 over 2016, much of it undoubtedly due to the climate of fear created by the Trump administration. This was accompanied by a 15 percent increase in hate crimes targeting U.S. Muslims, including children, youth, and families, over the same period. As for 2018, CAIR’s quarterly report indicates that anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes in the second quarter were up 83 and 21 percent respectively over the first quarter of this year.

We ask the Muslims of North America to consider one simple proposition: that absolutely the best way to strike a powerful blow against Islamophobia, as well to hopefully change the minds of conservative Christians and others about the true nature if Islam—rather than simply preaching to the choir—is to dedicate themselves to collecting and promulgating the stories of the courageous actions taken by Muslims, at the risk of their own lives, to protect the lives and property of Christians under attack by ISIS in Iraq, in Syria, and elsewhere, in our own time. The Muslims of the city of Karbala in Iraq provided refuge for Christians fleeing ISIS; Kurdish Sufi Muslims helped Christians suffering attacks by ISIS in and around Mosul; in Syria, Hizbullah has defended Christians and Christian holy sites. After churches were burned down or vandalized in Canada and the United States. Muslims rallied to raise funds to rebuild them. There were also cases of Muslims making human chains around synagogues in France, and elsewhere, to protect them from Jew-haters, both so-called Muslims and members of the extreme Right. And when ISIS came after Christians in the Philippines, the Muslims of Mindanao gave them Muslim dress so they could blend with the local population, thereby demonstrating both “the promise of inclusion” and “the power of love.” We are now in the process of collecting accounts of such actions, which can be viewed at: ( )

As a witness against Islamophobia, Christians of good will, such as the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign, have extended the hand of friendship to Muslims suffering persecution and discrimination in North America; therefore we hold ourselves bound in religious duty, in personal honor, and in common courtesy, to offer the same kind and degree of friendship and help to them. And irrespective of the Christian response, or lack of it, to this offer of help, we are commanded by our Prophet through his Covenants, which he tells us were inspired by Allah himself, to actively defend the peaceful Christians of the world, insofar as it is in our power, until the end of time.

It is our considered opinion that the single most way for Muslims to defend themselves against the growing Islamophobia is for us to make a firm commitment by to spread the word of the heroic Muslim defense of persecuted Christians in Iraq, in Syria, and elsewhere in the world, and of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, in the spirit of which such actions are taken. We challenge every Muslim to pledge to make these documents and these actions known to everyone from the local anti-Muslim agitator all the way up to the head of his or her state, and every state, as well as to his or her imam and fellow worshippers. If you decide to take this pledge, please inform us by contacting Charles Upton at cupton@qx.net. The Covenants Initiative can be signed at: http://www.covenantsoftheprophet.com

We cordially invite you to attend our event at the Parliament, “An Offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad to the Christians of the World in the 21st Century,” featuring the speakers Dr. John Andrew Morrow, Charles Upton, Craig Considine, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, and Jennifer Doane Upton, on Saturday, November, 3rd, room 714B, 6:00—7:00 PM.

Sincerely,
Charles Upton
For Dr. John Andrew Morrow
and the Covenants Initiative
cupton@qx.net
http://www.covenantsoftheprophet.com

Message from the Muslims of the Covenants Initiative to the Christians at the Parliament of the World’s Religions: A Call for Help

October 15, 2018

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim: In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, to our Christian brothers and sisters participating in the Parliament of the World’s Religions, greetings of peace. The mission of the Covenants Initiative is to disseminate the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the world. In these covenants, our Prophet commands all Muslims not to kill or rob or damage the buildings of peaceful Christians, or even prevent their Christian wives from going to church, but rather to actively defend them against their enemies “until the coming of the Hour”, the end of the world. Consequently we accept these covenants as legally binding upon Muslims today.

Since the publication of Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s ground-breaking book, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World in 2013, the Covenants Initiative has become an international peace movement. Some highlights: In 2016 we were contacted by Bishop Francis Kalabat, leader-in-exile of the Chaldean Catholics of Iraq, now living in the United States. Bishop Kalabat asked us to issue an initiative calling for the actions of ISIS to be declared genocide. This became the Genocide Initiative, which we posted as a petition on the Change.org website. In March of that year, the Fortenberry Amendment, defining the actions of ISIS as war crimes and genocide, was passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives, followed shortly by a statement to the same effect by Secretary of State John Kerry. Our work was hailed in an article in the premier U.S. armed forces publication Stars and Stripes as one of the factors that led to the passage of the Fortenberry Amendment. And when ISIS burned St. Mary’s Cathedral in the Philippines in 2017, the governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao immediately invoked the Covenants of the Prophet to prove that this act was “un-Islamic”; we are confident that this was due largely to our efforts.

Islamophobia, unfortunately, is on the rise. The Council for American-Islamic relations recorded a 17 percent increase in incidents of anti-Muslim bias in the U.S. in 2017 over 2016, much of it undoubtedly due to the climate of fear created by the Trump administration. This was accompanied by a 15 percent increase in hate crimes targeting U.S. Muslims, including children, youth, and families, over the same period. As for 2018, CAIR’s quarterly report indicates that anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes in the second quarter were up 83 and 21 percent respectively over the first quarter of this year.

We ask Christians to consider one simple proposition: that absolutely the best way to strike a powerful blow against Islamophobia, as well to hopefully change the minds of conservative Christians and others about the true nature if Islam—rather than simply preaching to the choir—is to dedicate themselves to collecting and promulgating the stories of the courageous actions taken by Muslims, at the risk of their own lives, to protect the lives and property of Christians under attack by ISIS in Iraq, in Syria, and elsewhere, in our own time. The Muslims of the city of Karbala in Iraq provided refuge for Christians fleeing ISIS; Kurdish Sufi Muslims helped Christians suffering attacks by ISIS in and around Mosul; in Syria, Hizbullah has defended Christians and Christian holy sites. After churches were burned down or vandalized in Canada and the United States. Muslims rallied to raise funds to rebuild them. There were also cases of Muslims making human chains around synagogues in France, and elsewhere, to protect them from Jew-haters, both so-called Muslims and members of the extreme Right. And when ISIS came after Christians in the Philippines, the Muslims of Mindanao gave them Muslim dress so they could blend with the local population, thereby demonstrating both “the promise of inclusion” and “the power of love.” We are now in the process of collecting accounts of such actions, which can be viewed at: ( )

Christians of good will, we need your help; we need it badly, and we need it now. There are many ways of protesting Islamophobia, but it is our considered opinion that the single most powerful witness in defense of Muslims is a firm commitment by both Christians and Muslims to spread the word of the heroic defense of persecuted Christians by Muslims in Iraq, in Syria, and elsewhere in the world, and of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, in the spirit of which such actions are taken. We request—we implore—we challenge every Christian of good will to pledge to make these documents and these actions known to everyone from the local anti-Muslim agitator all the way up to the head of your state, and every state, as well as to your religious leaders and the members of your own congregation. If you decide to take this pledge, please inform us by contacting Charles Upton at cupton@qx.net.

We cordially invite you to attend our event at the Parliament, “An Offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad to the Christians of the World in the 21st Century,” featuring the speakers Dr. John Andrew Morrow, Charles Upton, Craig Considine, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, and Jennifer Doane Upton, on Saturday, November, 3rd, room 714B, 6:00—7:00 PM.

Sincerely,
Charles Upton
For Dr. John Andrew Morrow
and the Covenants Initiative
cupton@qx.net
http://www.covenantsoftheprophet.com

Muslims Defending Christians Around the World

Saint Matthew Monastery (Der Mar Matti), overlooking Bashiqa and Bartella, between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq 16.jpg

Saint Matthew Monastery (Der Mar Matti), a Syriac Orthodox monastery overlooking the Nineveh Plains towns of Bashiqa and Bartella, in between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq (Public Domain)

October 15, 2018

By Charles Upton and John Andrew Morrow

In recent years many stories of the heroic defense of Christians by Muslims, often against attacks by ISIS, Boko Haram and other Takfiri terrorists, have emerged from Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the Philippines, Canada, France and elsewhere. These actions are entirely in the spirit, though not always in the awareness, of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, as elucidated in The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World by Dr. John Andrew Morrow (see http://www.covenantsoftheprophet.com). Here are links to 43 of them:

https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2018/06/christianity-in-syria-is-under-threat-from-forces-the-west-is-supporting/

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2016/may/more-than-300-islamic-leaders-denounce-extremism.html

https://www.christianpost.com/news/muslims-jordan-guard-churches-easter-sunday-180756/

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/12/christmas-iraq-christians-minorities.html

https://hcef.org/programs/mcc/

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-philippines-islamic-state-20170907-story.html

https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/coe/film-showing-muslims-protecting-christians-nominated-oscar/

http://www.egypttoday.com/Article/2/41218/Evidence-of-protecting-Christians%E2%80%99-rights-churches-in-Islam

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/22/kenya-al-shabaab-attack-muslims-protect-christians-mandera

When 300 Muslims Defended Christians but Few Noticed

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/0bf04873-a57e-4429-aaa5-25f11b703ee9

https://www.therebel.media/the_rebel_in_iraq_meeting_righteous_kurdish_muslims_who_protect_christians

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2014/january/is-kurdistan-syria-churchs-best-hope-for-survival

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/06/iraq-christians-seek-refuge-with-kurds-2014624867119947.html

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/1221/In-Hezbollah-stronghold-Lebanese-Christians-find-respect-stability

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46415.htm

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35151967

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/kenyan-muslim-man-who-died-protecting-christians-in-terror-attack-awarded-top-honour-a6964936.html

https://parliamentofreligions.org/content/thousands-egyptian-muslims-serve-human-shields-protect-coptic-christians

https://www.cnn.com/2015/12/22/africa/kenya-bus-attack-al-shabaab-muslim-christians/index.html

Christians Protect Mosques on Fri., Muslims Guard Churches on Sunday

https://www.voanews.com/a/cameroons-muslims-and-christians-unite-against-boko-haram/3152365.html

https://www.france24.com/en/20131216-central-african-republic-car-christian-muslim-neighbourhoods-bangui

200 Muslim Men Surround Christian Church On Christmas Day…To Protect Worshippers

3 Muslim Women Died Defending Christians on Palm Sunday

https://www.ucanews.com/news/viral-photo-shows-muslims-defending-catholic-church-in-egypt/69064

http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2017/egyptian-priest-praises-muslim-support-of-threatened-christians.cfm

Some Surprising and Hopeful Signs: Muslims Defend Jews, Jews Defend Muslims

Thousands Of Egyptian Muslims Show Up As ‘Human Shields’ To Defend Coptic Christians From Terrorism

https://www.globalministries.org/bishop_thanks_muslims_for_10_10_2014_1348

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/muslims-return-favor-join-hands-christian-protesters-mass-cairo-tahrir-square-article-1.137961

http://theboniukfoundation.org/christians-protecting-muslims-as-they-pray-during-the-revolution-cairo-egypt-2011/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/muslims-christians-philippines-marawi-isis-flee-seige-a7771126.html

https://www.gospelherald.com/articles/70921/20170614/muslims-protecting-christians-isis-lending-hijabs-besieged-philippines-town.htm

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/philippines-muslim-saves-64-christians-islamic-militants-marawi-rodrigo-duterte-abu-sayyaf-a7777351.html

https://tribune.com.pk/story/614333/muslims-form-human-chain-to-protect-christians-during-lahore-mass/

Muslims Protect Christmas Mass After France Heightens Security at Churches

https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/why-holiest-shrine-christianity-guarded-two-muslim-families-007843

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/muslims-raise-over-100000-to-help-rebuild-black-churches-in-the-south_us_55ad4be7e4b0d2ded39fac57

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-36498867/the-muslims-building-a-christian-church-in-pakistan

Muslims Pitch in to Help Catholic Neighbors Rebuild Church Destroyed in Storm

Muslim Mosque Helps Catholic Church Recover Following Shocking Vandalism

11 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Ashtiname Signed with Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Handprint

Written by Rumi’s Garden

11 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Ashtiname Signed with Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Handprint

Rumi’s Garden -By the Grace of God – recently received the Ashtiname of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ which is a beautiful and important of a covenant!

Ashtiname is a Persian means “Book of Peace”. This is a word often designated to treaties and covenants. We have obtained the document directly from the Museum of St. Catherine’s Monastery – whom in turn are the caretakers of it. At Rumi’s Garden, we strongly feel that this blessed covenant is the most profound message against the oppression faced by minorities in Muslim lands.

The Ashtiname is available for purchase at http://www.RumisGarden.co.uk. It has been printed on high quality canvas and it measures 57 x 112 cm – the same size as the original document.

What is the Ashtiname of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ?

The Ashtiname is an agreement that the Prophet ﷺ personally made with the Christians of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt in 4 Hijri (approximately 625 CE). Evidence shows that the original document was written by Sayidna Ali and signed and sealed with our Beloved’s ﷺ blessed palm print.

According to the monks’ of St. Catherine’s Monastery and their well kept history, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ visited them and had deep relationships and discussions with the Sinai fathers.

Several certified historical copies of the Ashtiname are displayed in the library of St. Catherine’s Monastery to this day, some of which were witnessed by the judges of Islam to affirm historical authenticity.

The monks claim that during the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in the Ottoman–Mamluk War of 1516–17, the original document was seized from the monastery by Ottoman soldiers and taken to Sultan Selim I’s palace in Istanbul for safekeeping. A copy was then made to compensate for its loss at the monastery.

The Ashtiname of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is a fascinating oath that he took on behalf of all Muslims. It is a covenant of extreme importance and it gives Muslims very strong directives on how to take care of our non-Muslim brothers and sisters on a personal, social and political level. In the Prophet’s ﷺ own words, he says:

“This is a letter which was issued by Muhammad, Ibn Abdullah, the Messenger, the Prophet, the Faithful, who is sent to all the people as a trust on the part of God to all His creatures, that they may have no plea against God hereafter. Verily God is Omnipotent, the Wise. This letter is directed to the embracers of Islam, as a covenant given to the followers of Jesus the Nazarene in the East and West, the far and near, the Arabs and foreigners, the known and the unknown.

This letter contains the oath given unto them, and he who disobeys that which is therein will be considered a disbeliever and a transgressor to that whereunto he is commanded. He will be regarded as one who has corrupted the oath of God, disbelieved His Testament, rejected His Authority, despised His Religion, and made himself deserving of His Curse, whether he is a Sultan or any other believer of Islam.”

So what is this oath that our Beloved Prophet ﷺ has made which can have repercussions on our own personal afterlife? What is this oath, that if we break it, can lead us to disbelief in God, Islam and The Messenger of God ﷺ?

The following 11 points are a breakdown of the oath that we as Muslims are all bound by, according to the blessed Ashtiname.

Purchase a copy from http://www.RumisGarden.co.uk

11 Point Breakdown of the Ashtiname of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

As Muslims, we must protect the wellbeing of Christian monks, devotees and pilgrims. This applies to their physical health, their properties and their morals whether they be in the mountains or valleys, dens of plains or in their houses of worship. The Prophet swears by his own very Self, his Friends, and his Assistants, that the Christians are his subjects and under his Protection.

The Prophet ﷺ insists that Christians should absolutely not be disturbed. From their income, they should not give anything except what they are willing to give. They should not be offended, coerced or compelled. Their judges should not be removed or stopped from accomplishing their work, nor should monks or hermits be disturbed from exercising their religion.

Plundering the Christians is forbidden. Their churches must not be destroyed or spoiled nor can their houses of worship be plundered. Muslims are not allowed to take what is belongs to the Christians and bring the stolen goods to the houses of Islam. The Prophet says: ‘And he who takes away anything therefrom, will be one who has corrupted the oath of God, and, in truth, disobeyed His Messenger.’

The Jizya tax is forbidden to be placed on judges, monks, and those whose vocation is the worship of God. Nothing is to be taken from them whether it be a tax, fine or an unjust right. The Prophet ﷺ says: ‘Verily I shall keep their compact, wherever they may be, in the sea or on the land, in the East or West, in the North or South, for they are under My Protection and the testament of My Safety, against all things which they abhor.’

For those who devote themselves to God, no taxes or tithes should be taken and no one should interfere with their affairs or take action against them. Rather, when crops grow, a provision of wheat should be given to them without anyone saying ‘this is too much’, or imposing payment.

No one should impose on the Christians exile and they shouldn’t be forced to carry arms and go to war. It is the Muslims who must fight for them.

Muslims must not dispute or argue with Christians, but must deal with them according to the verse in the Holy Quran: ‘Do not dispute or argue with the People of the Book but in that which is best’ [29:46]. They should live well and protected from everything which may offend them, wherever they may be and in any place they may dwell.

If any Christian woman is married to a Muslim, the marriage should not occur unless it has her full consent. As a Christian wife, she must not be stopped from going to her church for prayer.

Christian churches must be honored and Christians must not be stopped from building churches or repairing convents.

The Prophet ends the covenant by stating: ‘It is positively incumbent upon every one of the followers of Islam not to contradict or disobey this oath until the Day of Resurrection and the end of the world.’

Besides the handprint of our Beloved Prophet, the covenant lists the witnesses of the signing which includes Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Quhafah, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan, Abu al-Darda, Abu Hurayrah, Abd Allah ibn Masud, Abbas ibn Abd, al-Muttalib, Harith ibn Thabit, Abd al-‘Azim ibn Hasan, Fudayl ibn ‘Abbas, al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam, Talhah ibn ‘Abd Allah, Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh, Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubadah, Thabit ibn Nafis, Zayd ibn Thabit, Abu Hanifah ibn ‘Ubayyah, Hashim ibn Ubayyah, Mu‘azzam ibn Qurashi, Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and Amir ibn Yasin.

Authenticity of The Ashtiname of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Authenticity was historically given to the covenant by Caliph al-Mu‘izz (953-974 CE), Caliph al-‘Aziz (975-996 CE), Caliph al-Hakim (996-1021 CE), Caliph al-Zahir (1024 CE), Vizier al-Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali (1094-1121 CE), Caliph al-Hafiz (1134 CE), as well as by the Decree of Shirkuh (1169 CE). It was authenticated by the Ayyubids Caliphs (1195, 1199, 1201/02, and 1210/11 CE), by the Mamluk Decrees (1259, 1260, 1272, 1268/69, 1280 and 1516 CE), and by all the Ottoman Sultans from 1519 all the way to 1904.
Furthermore, the covenant was a primary source document that was reviewed by the Fatimids, Ayyubids, and Mamluks. It was verified often by the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali and Ismaili schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The Monastery of St. Catherine’s has a collection of nearly 2,000 fatwas regarding the Ashtiname, from various scholars ranging from the years of 975 to 1888 CE.

A few concluding thoughts…

At the Eve of Ramadan of May 2018 – when most of us are preparing for a month of devotion and inner work – in Surabaya (Indonesia), a wave of suicide bombings occurred against Christians. The attack included two church blasts, killing 13 people and injuring many more. A third attack was foiled, and this saved many lives. What is most disturbing is that the attacks were done by families, including children and teenagers. ISIS claimed these attacks.

How contradictory to the spirit of Islam are these actions against our brothers and sisters of other faiths? What about the atrocities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Egypt against minorities who have lived in these areas for hundreds – if not thousands – of years?

While we should not overlook that more Muslims have been killed by Christians than Christians by Muslims throughout history, we need to understand that murder is not the way of our Beloved Prophet ﷺ. Indeed, it puts us out of the fold of Islam for God calls us to the Abode of Peace. The Bible too, in the Sermon on the Mount states: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’

Bibliography

Atiya, Aziz Suryal (1955). The Arabic Manuscripts of Mount Sinai: A Handlist of the Arabic Manuscripts and Scrolls Microfilmed at the Library of the Monastery of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Indonesia Suffers Its Worst Terrorist Attack in a Decade. Here’s What to Know About the Latest Wave of Violence
Haddad, Anton F., trans. The Oath of the Prophet Mohammed to the Followers of the Nazarene. New York: Board of Counsel, 1902; H-Bahai: Lansing, MI: 2004.
Pococke, Richard. ‘Chapter XIV: The Patent of Mahomet, which he granted to the Monks of Mount Sinai; and to Christians in General.’ Description of the East. Vol. 1. London, 1743. pp. 268–70.
Manaphis, K.A., ed. (1990). Sinai: Treasures of the Monastery of Saint Catherine. Athens. pp. 14, 360–1, 374.
Morrow, John Andrew. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. Kettering, OH: Angelico Press / Sophia Perennis, 2013.
Morrow, John Andrew. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.

Book Review: Islam and the People of the Book

Islam and the People of the Book

Islam and the People of the Book, Volumes 1-3

Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet

John Andrew Morrow

Cambridge, England:
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
December 2017.
1782 pages.
$299.99.
Hardcover.
ISBN 9781527503199.
For other formats: Link to Publisher’s Website.

Review

These three rather bulky volumes form a sequel to the book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World (Angelico Press, 2013), also edited by John Andrew Morrow. These books are part of a larger project, the “Covenants Initiative,” which tries to awaken interest in a number of documents that have been preserved in Ottoman archives and Christian monasteries. The Covenants Initiative now has its own website (covenantsoftheprophet.org). The book published in 2013 is organized around three such covenants: the covenant of the Prophet with the monks of Mount Sinai, the covenant of the Prophet with the Assyrian Christians, and the covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of the world. The three volumes that are under review here contain thirty-three chapters (half of them written by the editor) about aspects of these three covenants and three more covenants (namely the covenants of the Prophet with the Christians of Najrān, the Christians of Persia, and the Armenian Christians) in volumes 1 and 2. The third volume contains translations of these six documents into fourteen languages.

Both the 2013 book and the 2017 extended documentation are praised by many Islamic and Christian religious leaders and scholars as an effective antidote to the negative image of Islam spread by ISIS and other self-declared radical Muslims, and I have personally witnessed Dr. Sayyid Syeed, Emeritus National Director for the Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances for the Islamic Society of North America, endorse it as one of the most important contemporary developments that will help to balance the image of Islam in the world. On the other hand, it must be said that many scholars are quite hesitant to acknowledge the historical value of these covenants for two reasons.

In the first place, it is clear that the copies that have been preserved in the archives and the monasteries are substantially younger than the originals from which they claim to be copied. It is therefore quite possible that the documents have a later origin and cannot be used as evidence of Muhammad’s personal attitude toward Christian groups. In the second place, the text of the documents strongly suggests a situation in which Christians need protection by Muslim authorities, presupposing a rather established and wide-reaching Muslim administration. On the one hand, quite a few historians have argued that such covenants were most likely forged by Christian groups who could not produce any more powerful means for their protection than a document supposedly signed by the Prophet himself. On the other hand, John Andrew Morrow and other defenders of the authenticity of these covenants are able to show that there is a multiple attestation (tawātur in hadith science) of such covenants, which in itself shows that the texts of the covenants were acceptable not only to Christians but also to Muslims as arguments on a traditional basis.

Since I am not an historian, but a theologian interested in Christian-Muslim relations, I am glad that the Covenants Initiative has been able to highlight a positive approach to Christians and other People of Scripture in the early history of Islam, even if this approach cannot be traced back to Prophet Muhammad. In my own studies of the term ahl al-kitāb—usually translated “People of the Book”—in the Qur’ān I have noticed that most texts addressing Jews and Christians as “People of Scripture” contain strong polemical elements. Yet they are based on actual or fictional dialogues in which the Qur’ān argues against Jews and Christians who trust their own religious traditions rather than being receptive to God’s revelation. Modern uses of terms like “People of the Book,” “A Common Word,” or “Abrahamic Religions” as labels of what we all have in common are therefore misleading, because they indicate differences rather than commonalities. Yet they do so on the basis of an insight that human beings are in this world together and that they are created to find a better understanding by using their differences as mirrors to “emulate one another in doing good,” as the Qur’ān famously states.

The three volumes of Islām and the People of the Book help us to come to a better understanding by bringing together the voices of many scholars who investigate the historical and contemporary possibilities of highlighting the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the different People of the Book. They do not help as much when the argument is narrowed down to the particular issue of authenticity, especially when the confrontation with critics takes on a strong ad hominem flavor as happens in Morrow’s first chapter. Many chapters that follow are just strings of endless citations that give the impression of a very intense but also very myopic form of scholarship. Morrow tends to overstate his case, for instance when he writes at the end of the second volume that “the Covenants of the Prophet should sit side by side with the Qur’ān on the bookshelf of every believer” (II:544). Even if the covenants contain the actual words of the Prophet, still his sunna is not the very Word of God. At the same time, Morrow is right when he writes on the same page that the covenants “need to be studied, criticized, and scrutinized. And they need to launch scholars from a multitude of complementary fields in various directions.” Much work needs to be done, especially since I have not encountered many names of scholars that are well-known in the Western academic world of Qur’anic and Islamic studies among the contributors to these three volumes. In that sense, the Critical Studies of the Covenants of the Prophet are still in their infancy. But we should be grateful that Morrow and his collaborators in the Covenants Initiative have worked tirelessly to give us these dialogue-oriented testimonies from the world of early Islam.

About the Reviewer(s):
Wilhelmus (Pim) Valkenberg is Ordinary Professor of Religion and Culture at the Catholic University of America.

Date of Review:
August 29, 2018

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s):

John Andrew Morrow completed his Honors BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Toronto, as well as post-doctoral studies in Arabic in Morocco and at the University of Utah’s Middle East Center. Besides his academic training, he has also completed the full cycle of traditional Islamic seminary studies.

Book Review: The Importance of the Covenant of Medina

By Rabbi Allen S Maller

Khutba Bank (15 July 2018)

The Constitution, Charter or Covenant of Medina pre-dated the English Magna Carta by almost six centuries. It applied to the 10,000+ citizens living in Medina at that time. Remarkably, 45% of the total population in Medina consisted of pagan Arabs, 40% consisted of Jews, and only 15% were Muslims, at the start of this treaty. These numbers were recorded by Prophet Muhammad through a census he commissioned. So Prophet Muhammad’s Charter/Covenant of Medina was designed to govern a multi-religious pluralistic society in a manner that allowed religious freedom for all.

The Charter’s 47 clauses protect human rights for all citizens, including equality, cooperation, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Clause 25 specifically states that Jews and pagan Arabs are entitled to practice their own faith without any restrictions: “The Jews of the Banu ‘Auf are one community with the Muslim believers, their freedmen and their persons, except those who behave unjustly and sinfully for they hurt but themselves, and their families.

(26-35) The same applies to the Jews of the Banu al-Najjar, Banu al-Harith, Banu Sai’ida, Banu Jusham, Banu al-Aus, Banu Tha’laba, and the Jafna, a clan of the Tha‘laba and the Banu al-Shutayba. Loyalty is a protection against treachery. The freedmen of Tha‘laba are as themselves. The close friends of the Jews are as themselves. So the Covenant of Medina was the first political document in history to establish religious freedom as a fundamental constitutional right.

The “Charter of Medina” created a new multi-tribal ummah/community soon after the Prophet’s arrival at Medina (Yathrib) in 622 CE. The term “constitution” is a misnomer. The treaty was more like the American Articles of Confederation that proceeded the U.S. Constitution because it mainly dealt with tribal matters such as the organization and leadership of the participating tribal groups, warfare, the ransoming of captives, and war expenditure. Two recensions of the document (henceforth, “the treaty”) are found in Ibn Ishaq’s Biography of Muḥammad (sira) and Abu ʿUbayd’s Book of State Finance (Kitāb al-amwāl). Some argue the final document actually comprises several treaties concluded at different times.

According to Arjomand, the treaty is a “proto-Islamic public law.” Some clauses in the second part of the treaty, or the treaty of the Jews section (namely clauses 53–64), form a pact with the Jewish Qurayza tribe that was incorporated in this treaty at a later stage. However, clause 44 (“Incumbent upon the Jews is their expenditure and upon the muslimun theirs”) and, clause 45 (“They will aid each other against whosoever is at war with the people of this treaty”) clearly were part of the original pact.

According to Denny, the ummah of the Constitution is made up of Muslims and Jews; although the Jews also constitute a separate ummah “alongside” the Muslims. The treaty was a political-military document of agreement designed to make Yathrib and its people more secure. The Jewish tribes were a party to it as a special group, a “sub-ummah” with its own din (religion and law). Yathrib was to be “sacred for the people of this document,” which adds a factor of locality and religion. Kinship was not to be the main binding tie of the new ummah; for monotheistic religion was of much greater importance. The ummah is the tribe, a supertribe, with God and Muhammad as arbiters and authorities.

According to Goto, the three main Jewish tribes—Nadir, Qurayza, and Qaynuqaʿ had agreements with Muhammad that were separate. Muhammad himself made a document or documents for the three major Jewish tribes. The six Jewish groups called “yahud bani so-and-so” mentioned in the treaty were not the three large Jewish tribes, but refer to significant groups of Jewish converts to Judaism within the pagan Arab tribes of Medina (since most Jews married other Jews these groups grew into large clans within the larger pagan Arab tribe of which they were a part).

Muhammad Hamidullah divides the document into two parts: (1) The rules affecting the Muhajirun and the Anṣar that go back to the beginning of the first year after the Hijrah, and (2) the code for the Jews concluded after the Battle of Badr. In his view it was a constitution promulgated for the city-state of Medina. It included the prerogatives and obligations of the ruler and the ruled, as well as other immediate requirements (including social insurance for the needy).

According to Rubin, the Jewish participants were not the three main Jewish tribes, but Jewish groups that unlike the three main tribes, had neither a territory of their own nor a separate Jewish tribal affinity, because they were families and clans of converts to Judaism within the various pagan Arab tribes. Muhammad’s ummah was a unity sharing the same religious orientation (monotheism) and included the Jews as “an umma of believers.” They were entitled to complete protection for themselves that also included their din (religion and law).

The original Covenant of Medina influenced later generations of Muslims to include Christians within its provisions. There are a total of six different versions of such covenants with different Christian groups, which have been largely ignored by both Muslim and European historians.

A recent book by John Morrow “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World” published by Angelico Press is a good exposition of these historical documents that should be read by everyone concerned with improving political relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims. The Qur’an strongly supports religious pluralism and wasatia, a religious term in Islam for the middle path of temperance and reconciliation.

Extremists who deny the value of wasatia should read Prophet Muhammad’s original Covenant of Medina, as well as “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World”.

Rabbi Maller’s web site is: http://www.rabbimaller.com. His book ‘Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms: A Reform Rabbi’s Reflections on the Profound Connectedness of Islam and Judaism’ (a collection of 31 articles by Rabbi Maller previously published by Islamic web sites) is for sale ($15) on Amazon and Morebooks.

Practical Steps Toward Muslim Unity

John Andrew Morrow

Crescent International (July 2018) 

Shawwal 17, 1439

In our continuing discussion with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, we conclude by asking him about practical steps on how to achieve unity among Muslims. He is best known for his Covenants’ Initiative for Muslims and Christians.

CI: What practical steps can be taken to develop unity among Muslims of different schools of thought in Islam?

We should commence by being human beings, God’s creation, the children of Adam and Eve (a). We should appreciate human unity within diversity. We need to respect one another. As Imam ‘Ali said, “People are of two kinds. They are either your brothers in faith or your equals in humanity.” Respect is one of the Seven Grandfather teachings of the indigenous nations from the Eastern Woodlands of North America. We must honour all of creation. This is why racism and sexism are unacceptable in Islam. Tawhid literally means to make as one, to unify, and to bring together. Tawhid, unity or oneness, is theological, social, economic, and political. As Muslims, we seek to unite and not to divide. Just like we need to be exposed to people of different colors and cultures when we are young, we need to be exposed to people of other creeds, denominations, and schools of jurisprudence, theology, and spirituality. This is why comparative jurisprudence is so important. Muslim children should learn that there is more than one way of doing things and that jurisprudence is not the goal: it is the means to the goal, namely, conformity to the One God. It is not how you pray that is important, namely, whether your arms are crossed or are left hanging, the important thing is to pray. While Muslims should follow one way of doing things, otherwise it results in confusion and chaos, they should recognize that the other ways are perfectly valid as well. Muslims need to be taught critical thinking, from an early age, as opposed to blind following. Masjids should be open to Muslims of all schools of jurisprudence and thought. They should be open to all genders. They should also be open to non-Muslims who wish to listen and learn without necessarily participating in prayers. It has become à la mode for open-minded Muslims to engage in interfaith dialogue. While this is important, it is imperative that we have intra-faith dialogue. I know one gentleman who is very active in Christian-Muslim dialogue. He is also of the opinion that Shi‘is are kafirs whose blood is permissible to shed. In his words, “Shi‘is are worse than Jews and Christians.” How tolerant is that? Let us put our cultural baggage, preconceptions, prejudices, stereotypes, misconceptions, and slanderous allegations aside and learn from one another. As Almighty Allah (swt) says in the glorious Qur’an, He made us different so that we would get to know one another; not so that we may despise one another (49:13). So, let us reach out to our neighbours; let us make acquaintances, and let us make new friends.

Küresel İmparatorluğun Selefi ve Sufileri

Radikal Selefilik ve Cihadçılığı ekip büyüterek meyvelerini devşirmek için kaynak harcayan aynı Batılı güçler şu sıralarda çok özenle korunan seralarında genetiği ile oynanmış Sufilik yetiştiriyorlar.

  • GİRİŞ08.06.2018 12:22:27
  • GÜNCELLEME08.06.2018 12:22:27
Küresel İmparatorluğun Selefi ve Sufileri

Rasthaber – Dr. John Andrew Morrow ile röportaj

1990’ların sonunda Batı’daki pek çok Müslüman arasında Selefi yönelişte büyük bir yükseliş gözlemleniyordu. Selefiliğin bu popülaritesinin azaldığını düşünüyor musunuz? Eğer öyleyse, niçin? Değilse niçin değil?

1980’lerin ortasında Müslüman olduğumda bir Selefilik okyanusunda yüzüyordum. Açık olmak gerekirse, Selefiler/Tekfirciler İslam’ın hayat bahşeden ruhsal oksijeninin çoğunu tüketmişlerdi ve boğulmak üzereydik. Eğer içinde soluklanabildiğim bazı küçük, geleneksel Şii, Sufi ve Sünni Müslüman gruplar bulmasaydım boğulup kıyıya vurmuştum. Şu sıralar devran değişmiş gözüküyor, bununla birlikte aynı denizin dalgalarıyız diye de kendimizi aldatmayalım. Selefiliğin ortaya çıkıp yayılması organik değildi. Osmanlı Saltanatını çözmek isteyen Britanya’nın emperyal çıkarlarına hizmet etti. İslam’ın politik gücünü tahrip ettiler. İslam dünyasını birbirleri aleyhine dönecek itaatkâr ulus devletlere böldüler.

İngiliz emperyalistlerin varisleri olarak davranan Amerikalılar Selefi/Vehhabi/Tekfircileri komünist emperyalistlerin yayılması karşısında kullanmak için işe koştular. Bu iki emperyalist taraf da İslam’a ve Müslümanlara düşmandı. Fransızlar, Pakistan ve Hindistanlılar kendi çıkarlarını korumak için mücahit grupları donatıp finanse ettiler. Sovyetler Afganistan’dan çekildikten sonra pek çok savaşçı grup kendi aralarında kardeş kavgasına girişti. Mücahitlerden arta kalan zayıflayıp bölünmüş gruplar ise çok daha aşırılıkçı başka bir topluluk, Deobandi Taliban tarafından kısa sürede süpürüldü.

Taliban, Amerikalı patronlarına itaat etmeyi reddettikten sonra Taş Devrine dönünceye kadar bombalandı. Fanatik dinsel aşırılıkçıları onlarca yıl boyunca eğitip, silahlandırıp finanse edenler ardından Afganistan’a Batı demokrasisi getirme kararı alıverdiler. Kuzey Afrika’da da durum benzerdi: insanlığın düşmanları, tekfirci teröristleri 1990’lardaki meşru İslami özlemlerini zayıflatmak için Cezayir halkına musallat ettiler. Avrupa’da 1990’larda Yugoslavya’yı paramparça etmek ve birkaç yıl sonra da Kosova’da sözde bir devlet yaratmak için onları kullandılar. Güneydoğu Asya’da aynı on yılda Mindanao’daki iyi niyetli Moro hareketini itibarsızlaştırmak için yararlanıldı kendilerinden.

11 Eylül 2011 stratejik bir değişimin dönüm noktasıydı. Gizli ve açık bir şekilde desteklenen, kullanılan tekfirci teröristler, kullanışlı ahmaklıktan kendileriyle çatışılacak kullanışlı bahanelere döndüler. En azından sosyo-ekonomik adalete özlem duyan komünizmin çöküşüyle dünya, sinsi planlarını uygulamada daha özgür hale gelen, tüm gezegenin kaynaklarını kurutmak ve insanlığın kanını son damlasına dek içmeyi planlayan küreselci ve kapitalist vampirlerin insafına kaldı. Soğuk Savaş sona erdiğinden ve çatışmaya ihtiyaç duyduklarından yeni bir düşman ideoloji yaratılmalıydı: İslam. “Radikal İslamcılık” başlıklı tehdit bağımsız Irak devletine saldırıp işgal etmede (2003-2013) bahane olarak kullanıldı. Savaşın bedeli bir milyon sivilin ölümü ve milyarlarca dolarlık kaynağın çalınmasıydı. Amerikalılar demokrasi vadetmelerine rağmen geride bıraktıkları tek şey bir felaket oldu: Tüm canavarların anası olan ve somutluğunun zirvesine “İslam Devleti” olarak çıkan (gerçekten ne İslami idi ne de devletti) mezhebi ve etnik çatışma.

11 Eylül hadiselerinden sonra radikal Selefiliğin Doğu ve Batı’daki camilerde açık tebliğinin durduğu ve boşluğu daha ılımlı bir İslami formun doldurduğu doğruysa da bu süreç de organik bir şekilde gelişmedi. “Geleneksel İslam” ve “Sufizm” kulağa Selefi Cihadilikten, Vehhabilik, Radikal İslamcılık ve Tekfircilikten daha az tehditkâr gelse ve ana akım ve ılımlı İslam’ın yaygınlaştırılması olumlu gözükse de bu değişim gerçekte göz boyama ve vitrin değişikliğinden başka bir şey değil. 1990’larda Selefiliğin ve 21. yüzyılın ikinci on yılında da IŞİD’in yaygınlaştırılmasının sorumluları 2001’den beri Eh-i Sünnet ve’l-Tasavvuf (yani Ortodoks Sünnilikle Ortodoks tasavvufun kombinasyonu) olarak bilinen akımı yayanlarla aynı kişiler. Dahası Tekfircilik de ortadan kalkmış değil, kamusal alandan siber alana geçti sadece.

Küreselciler tam kapsamlı hâkimiyetlerini gerçekleştirmeye uzun zamandır azmetmiş durumdalar. Bu plan tüm muhalefetin kontrolünü ve tüm kartları birbiri karşısında kullanmayı içeriyor: muhafazakârlar karşısında liberaller, Şiiler karşısında Sünniler, Sufiler karşısında Sünniler ve Şiiler, siyahlar karşısında beyazlar, yerliler karşısında göçmenler ve mülteciler. Kısaca, herkes herkese karşı. Küreselcilerin politik stratejistlerine göre Radikal İslam ile ılımlı İslam paralel yollardır. Bunlar kendi gündemlerini ilerletmede kullanılan ideolojiler, amaçlarına ulaşmada araçlar sadece. Bunlardan birini diğerine karşı tercih ettiklerine inanmak ahlaki bir çerçeve içerisinde faaliyet yürüttüklerini ve etik bir pusulaları olduğunu zannetmektir. Hayır, böyle bir şeyleri yok. Elitlerin jeopolitiğinde ahlak diye bir şey yoktur, sadece kendi çıkarları vardır. Henry Kissenger bunu “Bazen devlet adamları kötüler arasından seçim yapmak zorunda kalır” diyerek rasyonalize etmişti. Bu Allah’ın kullarıyla Şeytan kullarını ayıran şeydir. Peygamberler ve İmamların (a.s.) hiçbir zaman çiğnemedikleri ahlaki ve etik sınırları vardı. Kissenger “Adalet ve düzensizlik ile adaletsizlik ve düzen arasında seçim yapmak zorunda kalsam her zaman ikincisini seçerim” demişti. Düzen kaosa tercih edilse de hiçbir mümin adaletsizliği adalete tercih etmeyecektir. Roma İmparatorluğu hakkında konuşan Publius Tacitus -hatip, yasa koyucu ve senatör- şöyle demişti: “Yağma ediyor, katlediyor ve çalıyorlar; buna haksız yere imparatorluk adını koyuyor ve viraneye çevirdikleri yerlere de barış geldi diyorlar.”

Düzen ve istikrar ihtiyacı İmam Hüseyin’in (a.s.) katledilmesini meşru göstermek isteyen Emeviler tarafından da kullanılmıştı. Günümüzde bile barış kavramını adaletsizliği hoş görme olarak anlayan âlimler görüyoruz. İslam’ın bu konudaki pozisyonu ise bellidir: “Ey iman edenler! Kendiniz, ana babanız ve en yakınlarınızın aleyhine de olsa, Allah için şahitlik yaparak adaleti titizlikle ayakta tutan kimseler olun.” (Nisa, 135)

Radikal Selefilik ve Cihadçılığı ekip büyüterek meyvelerini devşirmek için kaynak harcayan aynı Batılı güçler şu sıralarda çok özenle korunan seralarında genetiği ile oynanmış Sufilik yetiştiriyorlar. 2004 yılında Sunday Times, “Contest” (Yarışma, Çekişme) kodu adı verilen bir proje hakkında Britanya hükümetinin gizli raporlarını sızdırmıştı. İngiliz Müslümanlar arasındaki aşırılıkçılığın büyümesini engellemek isteyen Tony Blair hükümeti iki tarafı da kesen bir yaklaşım benimsemişti: aşırılıkçıları ezerken ılımlılarla uzlaşma. Buna havuç ve sopa, ya da yumuşak ve sert güç kullanımı da diyebilirsiniz.

Geçerken kaydedeyim. Bir keresinde Arap yarımadasından, üst düzeyden ve geniş ilişkileri olan biri bana reddetmeyeceğimi düşündüğü bir teklifte bulunmuştu. “Seni yeni bir Hamza Yusuf yapacağız” sözünü verdi. Birebir böyle demişti. Hayatımda hiç o kadar hakarete uğramamıştım. Satılık olduğumu düşünen herkese bugün de aynı şekilde diyeceğim gibi “Cehennemin dibine git” demiştim. Aslında kullandığım dil bundan çok daha renkliydi.

Sufizm onlar için bir moda, durum tam olarak böyledir. Bu bir ihya, klasik İslam’ın rönesansı filan değil. Sufizme yüzlerce yıl önce sızıldı. Gizli şebekeleri emperyalistler için büyük, somut bir tehdit arz ediyordu. Uygun bir önderlik altında sömürgeci güçler karşısında kullanılmaları mümkündü. Aynı şekilde bir fırsatı da temsil ediyorlardı. İstihbarat servislerinin kontrolüne girmeleri halinde ajanlar ve her türden yıkıcılar için büyük bir kaynak olabilirlerdi. Barış Gönüllüleri (Peace Corp) ve diğer sivil toplum kuruluşları gibi Sufi tarikatları de ajanlar için müthiş bir örtü sağlar. Pek çok Sufi tarikatının Batı dünyasındaki gizli topluluklar ve kardeşlik örgütleriyle ilişkili olması şaşırtıcı değildir. Bir pedofil tarafından kurulan bunlardan biri Derin Devlet, neo-conlar, Pers saltanatçıları, gericiler ve ilaveten Arap-Müslüman krallar, despot ve diktatörlerle çok yakın ilişkilidir. Eğer şeytan bir sufi olsaydı onun tarikatına intisap ederdi. Muhtemelen o da bir şeytan zaten.

Her ne kadar “gnosis”, yani tasavvuf ve irfan İslam dünyasında ruhsal ve entelektüel bir elit arasında yaygın idiyse de her zaman bir azınlık hareketi olmuştur. 2001’den bu yana ise Sufizm giderek artan bir şekilde ana akım haline dönüştü. Elbette bu ruhsal içe bakışın, murakabenin kuvvetlenmesinden değil, kitlesel ve sanal medyadan kaynaklı algı ve bilinç yönetimiyle oldu. Tek gözlü web yaygınlaştığı ve etkisini güçlendirdiği oranda, nüfusun yüzde birlik elitinin yeryüzü ölçeğinde psikolojik operasyonlar ve sosyal mühendislik yürütmesi daha kolay hale geldi. Bunlar paranoyak bir şizofrenin hayalleri değil, araştırma temelli, delillere dayanan neticelerdir. Bir hakikatin dillendirilmesi deyin siz.

Contest Projesi bir realite idi ve halen öyledir. Kontr-terör stratejisi Britanya hükümeti tarafından 2003’te yürürlüğe girdi. Kamuoyuna açıklanması ise yıllarca yıl sonraydı. Dört temele odaklanmıştı: Saldırılara hazır ol, kamuoyunu koru, saldırganları takip et ve radikalleşmelerine en başından engel ol. Contest’ten 2014’te istifa eden Dr. Chris Allen’e göre projenin gizli hedeflerinden biri devşirilmiş liberal Müslümanlar ve hükümet tarafından İslam’ın ana akım ve ılımlı yorumlarının tescili ve yaratılmasıydı. Hükümet kaynaklı, devletin finanse ettiği bu İslami organizasyonlar genelde bütün girişimin mahiyetinden habersiz ünlü uzmanlar ve bilginler tarafından destekleniyordu. Projenin başlangıcından bu yana vergi fonlarının milyonları Birleşik Krallıktaki Müslümanların radikalleşmelerini önleme amaçlı 1000’den fazla projede, kayda değer bir başarı elde edilmeksizin harcandı.

Radical Middle Way ve National Muslim Women Advisory Grup gibi devlet fonlu Müslüman organizasyonlar iyi niyetli insanlar tarafından desteklenip yönetilmelerine rağmen İngiliz hükümeti amaçlarının ne olduğu noktasında çok şeffaf değildi. Vergi veren, üretici vatandaşlar olarak Müslümanlar akıllıca girişimlerinin desteklenmesi için devlet fonlarından yararlanma hakkı kazanmışlardı ve bu fazla tepki çekmiyordu. Britanya hükümetinin hedefiyse sadece sözde İslami aşırılıkçılığın yayılmasına engel olmak değildi, amaç Müslüman toplumu izleyip gözetim altında tutmak, değerlerini yeniden biçimlendirmek ve dünya görüşlerini baştan yapılandırmaktı. Başka bir ifadeyle İçişleri Bakanlığının dikkatli gözlemi altında Müslümanları sekülerizmle uzlaşmacı, uyumlu kılmak ve bu ideolojiye döndürmekti. Bu sosyal mühendisliğe ve devlet onaylı İngiliz ya da Batı İslam’ına karşı çıkan herkes aşırılıkçı olarak değerlendirilecek ve bir tehdit muamelesi görecekti.

Bu projeyi yürüten kişiler aynı zamanda IŞİD’i de desteklemeseler aşırılıkçılık ve terörizm karşısındaki iyi niyetli propaganda savaşında biraz ileri gitmiş müspet devlet adamları olarak görülebilirdiler. 1000’den fazla Britanyalı psikopatın Suriye ve Irak’taki terörist gruba katılmasına izin verilmiş, sorgulanmadan dönmeleri sağlanmış ve hatta İngiliz toplumuna “rehabilite” (İngiliz kraliçesine ve ülkeye hizmetleri karşılığında verilen ödülün şifreli ismi) edilmelerine yardım için kendilerine her türlü imkân sunularak vergi mükelleflerinin sağladığı evlerle ödüllendirilmişlerdir.

ABD’deki durum ise benzersizdi. 11 Eylül neo-conlara Irak ve halkını yağmalayıp servet edinmeleri ve bonus olarak da Amerikan halkının anayasal ve medeni haklarını kırparak süreç içerisinde bir gözetim devleti kurmaları için zengin seçenekler sunmuştu. Kilise ve devletin ayrılığı nedeniyle Amerikan hükümeti radikalizmle savaşan Müslüman grupları açıktan finanse etmede ketum idi. Amerikan yönetimi kaynaklarını, terörle savaşını meşru göstermek için kendi teröristlerini yaratıp izlemede sarf etti daha çok. Teröristlerle savaşın finanse edilmesi sadece terörizmin varlığı halinde meşru gösterilebileceğinden, zihinsel olarak istikrarsız yamaklarını İslamofobinin güçlendirilmesi için sahte bayrak operasyonlarında kullanıldılar.

CIA, Suriye hükümetini devirmek için eski müttefiklerini, tekfirci teröristleri kirli işleri yapmak üzere sahaya sürerken Suudiler, Türkler ve Katarlılar ABD’nin emriyle faturayı ödediler. Obama’nın zorunlu kıldığı angajman kuralları Pentagon’un teröristlerle savaşmasını imkansızlaştırıyordu. Obama “ifade özgürlüğü” altında IŞİD’in kullandığı sosyal medya hesaplarının kapatılmasına engel oldu. Amerikalı IŞİD teröristlerinin insanlık karşıtı suçlar, savaş suçları ve soykırım gibi nedenlerle tutuklanması istendiğinde Washington’daki “liberal” hükümet, Suriye’nin Uluslararası Ceza Mahkemesi’nin Roma Anlaşmasını imzalamadığını ve bu nedenle salahiyeti olmadığını iddia etti. ABD’nin pek çok egemen ülkeye illegal olarak saldırıp işgal ettiği düşünüldüğünde aniden uluslararası kuralları hatırlaması çok ironik doğrusu.

Akademi ödülüne layık görülecek bir performansla IŞİD kurbanlarına timsah gözyaşı döken plüralizmin sahte peygamberleri, Irak ve Suriye’deki tekfirci teröristlere karşı çıkmaktan ziyade onları desteklediler. Obama sadece başkanlığının son döneminde Şiddet Yanlısı Radikalizmle Mücadele İnisiyatifini destekleme çağrısı yaptı. Obama yönetiminin önde gelen üyelerinden biri Beyaz Saray’a çağırdığı bir grup Müslüman lidere “IŞİD yakında bölgeden atılacak. Onların topluluklarınıza tekrar entegre edilmesinde yardımınızı bekliyoruz” demişti. Bu bir insana işkencecisi ile eziyet etmekle aynı anlama geliyordu. Bu toplu tecavüze uğramış bir kadından saldırganları için makyaj yapmasını, onları misafir edip yardım etmesini istemek ve onların bu şekilde toplumun üretici üyeleri olacağını söylemek gibi bir şeydi. Gerçekte bu kadının isteyeceği tek şey onların bir mezarlıkta kurtlar için ziyafet olmalarıdır.

Beyaz Saray’daki hâlihazırdaki durum çok karmaşıktır. İslam ve Müslümanları överken bir yandan da radikal “İslamcı” terörizmi destekleyen Obama’nın aksine Başkan Trump Müslümanlarla onları tahkir edercesine konuşurken Suriye’deki teröristleri sistematik ve etkili bir şekilde yok ediyor.  Suudileri IŞİD’i ve diğer grupları finanse etmeyi durdurmaları için ikna ya da mecbur etti. Katar’a şamar oğlanı rolü verildi ve Suudi Arabistan ile Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri tarafından arabadan aşağı atıldı.

Bu durum Katar’ı bölgesel politikalarını yeniden gözden geçirmek ve İran İslam Cumhuriyeti’nin yörüngesine girmek zorunda bıraktı. Trump böylece tüm “kötü adamları” tek bir kampa soktu: IŞİD’in eski finansörü Katar ve Hizbullah ve Hamas’ın fiili finansörü İran. İç cephede ise Trump Obama’nın Şiddet Yanlısı Radikalizmle Mücadele İnisiyatifini Radikal İslami Aşırılıkçılıkla Mücadele kampanyası olarak değiştirmeye azmetti ve böylece ABD’deki aşırı sağ ve aşırı solun tehdidini görmezden geldi. Birisi kendi kuyusunu kazıyor gibi.

Dolayısıyla, radikal ve şiddet yanlısı formuyla Selefiliğin önü gerçekte kesilmiş oldu, fakat kalpleri kan ağlayan liberaller -gerçekte beyin yiyen zombiler- tarafından değil. Tekfircilik aşırı bir şekilde İslam karşıtı olan sağ kanat sözde muhafazakârlar ve neo-faşist kapitalist küreselciler tarafından dövülüyor. Düşmanlardan biri sahadan çekilirken, diğeri yükseliyor. Müslümanlar kötü akıbete maruz kalmamak için uyanık olmalıdırlar.

Crescent.icit-digital.org

Medya Şafak

Selefizam je “odslužio“, sada će se upotrijebiti sufizam

Kada sam ušao u Islam sredinom osamdesetih, plivao sam u okeanu selefizma. Da budem iskren, selefije/tekfirije su islamu uzeli toliko životno potrebnog duhovnog kisika, da me to gušilo. Da nisam pronašao tradicionalne šiitske, sufijske i sunitske muslimane, gdje ustvari mogu da dišem, umro bih, napuhao bi se i isplivao na površinu. Izgleda da su se vremena promijenila; međutim, ne bi trebalo da se zavaravamo jer i dalje znamo odakle sve to dolazi. Geneza i širenje selefizma nije organsko. Poslužilo je imperijalnim interesima Britanaca koji su nastojali da razbiju osmanski sultanat. Oni su uništili islam kao političku moć. Podijelili su muslimanski svijet u podređene nacije koje se mogu okretati jedna protiv druge.

Amerikanci, koji su djelovali kao nasljednici britanskih imperijalista, raspoređivali su selefije, vehabije i nevjernike kako bi se suprotstavili ekspanziji komunističkih imperijalista: od kojih su obje strane neprijatelji muslimana. Francuzi, Pakistanci i Indijci su svi finansirali mudžahedinske ogranke kako bi zaštitili svoje interese. Nakon što su se Sovjeti povukli iz Afganistana sa repom između nogu, razne borbene skupine su se sukobile jedna s drugom u bratoubilačkom građanskom ratu. Oslabljeni i podijeljeni, ono što je ostalo od mudžahedina je vrlo brzo pometeno od još ekstremnije skupine: Deobandi Talibana. Kada su talibani odbili da poslušaju svoje američke gospodare, bombardovani su nazad u kameno doba. Oni koji su decenijama obučavali, naoružavali i finansirali fanatične vjerske ekstremiste ubrzo su insistirali na tome da zapadnu demokratiju dovedu u Afganistan. U Sjevernoj Africi, situacija je bila slična: neprijatelji čovječanstva su tekfiri teroriste poslali na obične ljude u Alžiru kako bi potkopali njihove legitimne islamske aspiracije 1990. godina. U Evropi su ih koristili kako bi 1990. godine razbili Jugoslaviju i napravili pseudo-državu Kosovo nekoliko godina kasnije. U jugoistočnoj Aziji, oni su ih koristili za diskreditovanje “bona fide Moro“ pokreta u Mindanau te iste decenije.

11. septembar 2001. godine je označio stratešku promjenu. Od korisnih idiota, koji su bili podržavani i javno i tajno, tekfiri teroristi su pretvoreni u koristan izgovor kojeg treba napasti. Sa padom komunizma koji je barem težio ka socio-ekonomskoj pravdi, svijet je ostavljen na milost i nemilost kapitalističkim i globalističkim vampirima koji su sada imali još veću slobodu da sprovedu svoje zle planove da ogole planetu njenih resursa i izvuku svaku kap krvi iz čovječanstva. Pošto je završen Hladni rat, koji je iskorišten do maksimuma, trebalo je identificirati novu neprijateljsku ideologiju: Islam. Prijetnja “radikalnog islamizma” poslužiće kao izgovor da se napadne i zauzme suverena država Irak od 2003. do 2013. godine, i to po cijeni od preko milion civilnih žrtava i nekoliko milijardi dolara ukradenih sredstava. Iako su Amerikanci obećavali demokratiju, jedina stvar koju su isporučili bila je katastrofa: sektaški i etnički sukob koji je kulminirao u “majku svih zvjerstava“: Islamsku Državu (ISIL) koja nije bila niti “islamska” niti “država”.

Iako je tačno, u velikoj mjeri, da je radikalni selefizam prestao da se otvoreno propovijeda u mesdžidima na Istoku i Zapadu nakon 11. septembra i da je naizgled umjereniji oblik Islama počeo popunjavati vakuum, proces se nije dogodio organski. Iako izrazi kao što su “Tradicionalni islam” i “Sufizam” zvuče manje opasnim od selefijskog džihadizma, vehabizma, radikalnog islamizma i takfirizma, a širenje onoga što je predstavljeno kao normativan, mainstream i umjereni Islam izgleda pozitivno, promjena je ustvari obično ponovno brendiranje istog proizvoda. Isti ljudi koji su bili odgovorni za širenje selefizma tokom devedesetih godina i ISIL-a u drugoj deceniji 21. stoljeća, također su odgovorni za širenje onoga što je poznato kao Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Tasawwuf – naime, ortodoksni sunizam kombinovan sa ortodoksnim sufizmom – od 2001. godine. Štaviše, takfirizam nije nestao: jednostavno se preselio iz javne sfere u cyber sferu.

Globalisti su već dugo bili posvećeni apsolutnoj dominaciji. To podrazumijeva kontrolu svih protivnika i igranje svih aktera jednih protiv drugih: liberali protiv konzervativaca, kršćani nasuprot muslimana, Suniti naspram Šitta, Suniti i Šiiti protiv Sufija, bijelci protiv crnaca i domicilno stanovništvo protiv izbjeglica. Ukratko, svako je protiv svakog. Za globalističke političke stratege, radikalni Islam i umjereni Islam su jedno te isto. To su jednostavno ideologije koje oni koriste po potrebi zarad svojih interesa. One su sredstvo kojim postižu cilj. Vjerovati da favorizuju jednu nasuprot druge je isto što i vjerovati da posluju u etičkom okviru i posjeduju moralni kompas. To je nemoguće. Ne postoji takva stvar kao moral u geopolitici elite: samo sebični interesi.

-Ponekad državnici moraju da biraju između dva zla – racionalizovao je Henry Kissinger.

To je ono što razlikuje slugu Boga od sluge Sotone. Postojale su moralne i etičke linije koje proroci, poslanici i imami (a) nikada ne bi prešli.

-Ako bih morao da izaberem između pravde i nereda, s jedne strane, i nepravde i reda, s druge strane – rekao je Kissinger, “uvijek bih izabrao ovo drugo “.

Dok je red bolji od nereda, nijedan vjernik ne bi volio nepravdu nad pravdom. Govoreći o Imperijalnom Rimu, Publius Tacitus, orator, advokat i senator, je rekao: “Oni pljačkaju, oni kolju i oni kradu: to je ono što oni lažno nazivaju carstvom, i gdje ostave pustoš, to nazivaju mirom.“ Ovu potrebu za stabilnosti su podržale pristalice Emevija da bi racionalizovale ubistvo Imama Huseina (a). Čak i danas pronalazimo naučnike čiji koncept “mira” toleriše nepravdu. Što se tiče Islama, pozicija je jasna: “O vi koji ste se obavezali Allahu, istrajni budite u pravdi, svjedoci Allahu, čak i ako to bude protiv vas samih ili roditelja vaših i rođaka…” (4,15).

Same Zapadne sile koje su uložile svoje resurse u sadnju, kultivaciju i ubiranje sjemena radikalnog selefizma i džihadizma, su one koje su istovremeno zasadile duhovni, socio-politički i genetski modifikovani sufizam u pažljivo čuvane plastenike. Godine 2004., Sunday Times je objavio povjerljive dokumente britanske vlade koji su raspravljali o projektu pod nazivom “Contest”. Odlučna da spriječi rast ekstremizma među britanskim muslimanima, vlada Tonyja Blaira usvojila je dvostruki pristup: srušiti ekstremiste, a sa njima u krizu uvući i umjerene muslimane. Nazovite to „malo milom, malo silom“ ili tvrdo pokazivanje moći i mehko pokazivanje moći.

Da se zna, nekada davno mi se obratila dobro pozicionirana i dobro povezana osoba sa Arapskog poluostrva koja mi je ponudila nešto što je je mislila da ne mogu da odbijem.

-Napravićemo od vas sljedećeg Hamzu Yusufa – obećao je on. To su tačne riječi koje je koristio. Nikad nisam bio tako uvrijeđen u svom životu. Svima koji misle da sam na prodaju, kažem isto kao što sam i njemu tada rekao: “Možete ići pravo u pakao.” U stvari, jezik koji sam koristio bio je mnogo šareniji.

Sufizam je u stilu i to je upravo ono što jeste. To nije oživljavanje. To nije renesansa klasičnog Islama. Sufizam je postao dio Islama vijekovima ranije. Njegove tajne mreže predstavljaju opipljivu prijetnju. Pod odgovarajućim smjernicama, one se mogu iskoristiti za borbu protiv kolonijalnih snaga. One su također predstavljale i priliku. Ako bi došle pod kontrolu obavještajnih službi, mogle bi postati nosioci špijuna i štetnih elemenata svih vrsta. Kao i Mirovni korpus i nevladine organizacije, Sufijski redovi služe kao savršen paravan za razne radnje. Nije iznenađenje što su mnoga sufijska društva povezana sa tajnim društvima i bratskim organizacijama zapadnog svijeta. Jedno takvo društvo, koje je osnovao pedofil, usko je povezano sa Deep State, američkim neokonzervativcima, perzijskim rojalistima i reakcionarima, zajedno sa arapskim i muslimanskim kraljevima, despotama i diktatorima.

Da je Sotona bio sufija, bio bi član ovog tarikata. Vjerovatno već i jest. Iako gnostički, tesawwuf i ‘irfan su oduvijek bili omiljeni duhovnoj i intelektualnoj eliti islamskog svijeta, koja je uvijek bila manjinski pokret. Od 2001. godine sufizam postaje sve više mainstream, ne zbog veće duhovne introspekcije, već zbog stvaranja svijesti što je i moguće zbog masovnih medija i društvenih mreža. Što se više špijunska mreža širi i jača svoj utjecaj, lakše postaje onima kojih je jedan posto da se uključe u psihološke operacije i društveno-psihološki inžinjering širom svijeta. Ovo nisu halucinacije paranoidnog šizofrena. Ovo su istraživački ukorijenjeni, zasnovani na dokazima, zaključci. Nazovite to kao činjeničnu izjavu.

Projekt „Contest“ je bio i ostao stvarnost. Britanska vlada je 2003. predstavila strategiju protiv terorizma koja je objavljena tek nekoliko godina kasnije. Njen fokus je četvorostruki: Pripremiti se za napade, zaštititi javnost, progoniti napadače i spriječiti njihovu radikalizaciju. Prema riječima dr. Chrisa Allena, koji je podnio ostavku iz Prevent-a, jedne od grana Contesta, u 2014. godini, projekat ima “prikriveni cilj stvaranja “institucionalno odobrenog”, mainstream i umjerenog islama koji bi bio podržan kako od strane različitih “liberalnih” Muslimana tako i od samih vlada“. Te islamske organizacije koje su finansirane od strane države, uz podršku vodećih naučnika, koje su bile nesvjesne čitavog poduhvata, bile su zadužene, ne samo za borbu protiv radikalizma već i za upotrebu moći u muslimanskoj zajednici. Od svog osnivanja, desetine milijardi sredstava poreskih obveznika potrošene su na preko 1.000 projekata namijenjenih spriječavanju radikalizacije muslimana u Velikoj Britaniji ali bez ikakvog konkretnog uspjeha.

Dok su ljudi dobre volje usmjeravali, podržavali i radili sa muslimanskim organizacijama koje su finansirane od strane države, poput Radikalnog Srednjeg Puta i Nacionalne Muslimanske Ženske Savjetodavne Grupe, između ostalih, britanska vlada nije bila transparentna kada se govorilo o stvarnim ciljevima. Kao produktivni građani koji plaćaju porez, muslimani imaju pravo da dobiju vladina sredstva za podršku zdravih inicijativa. Cilj britanske vlade nije bio samo da se suprotstavi širenju tzv. “islamskog” ekstremizma, već da prati, kontroliše i preoblikuje vrijednosti i svijetonazor muslimanske zajednice. Drugim riječima, natjerati muslimane da se pridržavaju, afirmišu i preobrate na sekularizam, pod budnim okom Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova. Svako ko se suprotstavi ovom društvenom poduhvatu i državno sankcionisanom “britanskom” ili “zapadnom” islamu smatrat će se ekstremistom i tretirati kao prijetnja. Ovo bi sve izgledalo kao da su dobri državnici otišli predaleko u svom dobronamjernom propagandnom ratu protiv ekstremizma, da ti isti ljudi ne podržavaju ISIL: i dozvoljavaju da se preko 1000 britanskih psihopata pridružuje redovima terorističkih ogranaka u Siriji i Iraku, te im nakon odsluženog roka omogućuju i povratak bez krivičnog gonjenja, čak ih nagrađujući sa kućama i ostalim pogodnostima plaćenim od strane poreznih obveznika, pod krinkom „službe za kraljicu i domovinu“.

U Sjedinjenim Državama situacija je bila, da kažemo, jedinstvena. Za neokonzervativce, 9. 11. je ponudio širok spektar mogućnosti za stjecanjem bogastva pljačkanjem Iraka i njegovih stanovnika uz dodatni bonus u vidu lišavanja američkih građana njihovih ustavnih i civilnih prava te kreiranja državnog nadzora u istom procesu. Zbog ustavne odredbe da je vjera odvojena od države, američka vlada je bila uzdržana oko finansiranja muslimanskih grupa koje su posvećene borbi protiv ekstremizma. Umjesto toga, američka administracija je uložila svoja sredstva u stvaranje i praćenje domaćih terorista kako bi opravdala svoj rat protiv terorizma. Budući da se finansiranje borbe protiv terorizma može opravdati samo ako postoji terorizam, mentalno nestabilne marionete su često korištenje u sprovođenju lažnih operacija u cilju širenja islamofobije.

U pokušaju da sruši vladu Sirije, CIA je iskoristila svoje stare saveznike, takfiri teroriste, da obave prljavi posao, dok su Saudijci, Turci i Katari platili račun na američkom tenderu. Obamina obavezna pravila angažovanja onemogućavala su Pentagonu da se bori protiv terorista. Navodeći “slobodu izražavanja”, Obamina administracija je odbila da zatvori račune socijalnih medija koje koristi ISIL. Kada je upitana da uhapsi, optuži i osudi američke borce u redovima ISIL-a za ratne zločine i genocid, liberalna vlada u Washingtonu je tvrdila da Sirija nije potpisnica Rimskog Statua, sporazuma kojeg je uspostavio Međunarodni Krivični Sud, te samim time ne postoji jurisdikcija da se to sprovede. S obzirom na to da su Sjedinjene Države ilegalno napale i okupirale suverene nacije, uvijek je ironično kada se iznenada pozove na međunarodno pravo.

Pored proljevanja krokodilskih suza za žrtvama ISIL-a u performansu vrijednom Oskara, lažni proroci pluralizma podržali su takfirske teroriste u Iraku i Siriji, umjesto da im se suprostave. Tek je na kraju svog predsjedavanja Obama objavio poziv za podnošenje prijedloga kako bi podržao svoju Inicijativu za Borbu Protiv Nasilnog Ekstremizma. “ISILu će uskoro ponestati teritorija”, rekao je jedan od vodećih članova Obamine administracije grupi muslimanskih lidera koji su pozvani u Bijelu Kuću, “računamo na vas kako biste im pomogli u reintegraciji u vaše zajednice”. To je bilo ravno tome da vas zadirkuje onaj koji vas muči. To je kao da pitate ženu koja je silovana da se pomiri sa silovateljem, da mu pruži toplu dobrodošlicu i podršku, kako bi on opet postao produktivan član društva, kad u suštini ta žena želi da on bude produktivan član na groblju.

Trenutna situacija u Bijeloj kući je složena. Za razliku od Obame, koji je pohvalio Islam i muslimane dok je podržavao radikalan “islamski” terorizam, predsjednik Trump govori loše o muslimanima dok u isto vrijeme strateški, sistematski i efikasno zatire takfiri teroriste po Siriji. Ubjedio je ili prisilio Saudijce da zaustave finansiranje ISIL-a i drugih takvih grupa. Katar je dobio ulogu žrtvenog jarca i bačen je pod autobus Saudijske Arabije i Ujedinjenih Arapskih Emirata. To je primoralo Katar da ponovo razmotri svoju regionalnu politiku i da uđe u orbitu Islamske Republike Iran. Trump stoga stavlja sve “loše momke” u jedan koš: Katar, bivši finansijer ISIL-a, i Iran, aktuelni finansijer Hezbollaha i Hamasa. Na domaćem frontu, Trump je utvrdio da Obaminu inicijativu za borbu protiv nasilnog ekstremizma treba preoblikovati u kampanju usmjerenu ka suzbijanju radikalnog islamskog ekstremizma, ignorišući stvarnu prijetnju ekstremne desnice i ekstremne ljevice u Sjedinjenim Državama. Čovjek planira prema sopstvenim prijetnjama.

Dakle, selefizam, u svojoj radikalnoj, nasilnoj formi, je znatno umanjen, ali ne od ranjenih liberala koji su u suštini zombiji. Takfirizam uništavaju desničarski pseudo-konzervativci i neofašistički kapitalistički globalisti koji su poravnati sa anti-islamskom politikom. Kako jedan neprijatelj blijedi, drugi se stvara. Muslimani moraju uvijek biti na oprezu u suprotnom su osuđeni na propast.

From Salafism to Sufism

Salafism served its purpose, and now it’s time to use Sufism

By John Andrew Morrow

Crescent International (Ramadan 16, 1439)

We continue our conversation with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, an author and a scholar, about Muslims residing in the West. He is best known for his Covenants’ Initiative that aims to create better understanding between Muslims and Christians in the world today.

CI: In the late 1990s there was a spike in salafi perspective on Islam in the West among many Muslims. Do you think salafi Islam is declining in its popularity? If yes, why? If no, why not?

When I came into Islam in the mid-1980s, I was swimming in an ocean of Salafism. To be frank, the Salafis/Takfiris had taken so much life-giving spiritual oxygen from Islam that it was suffocating. Had I not found pockets of traditional Shi‘i, Sufi, and Sunni Muslims, where I could breathe, I would have died, bloated, and floated to the surface. The tide seems to have changed; however, we should not fool ourselves for it stems from the same sea. The genesis and spread of Salafism was not organic. It served the imperial interests of the British who set out to dismantle the Ottoman Sultanate. They destroyed Islam as a political power. They divided up the Muslim world into subservient nation-states that could be turned against one another.

The Americans, who have acted as heirs of the British imperialists, deployed the Salafis/Wahhabis/Takfiris to counter the expansion of communist imperialists: both of whom were enemies of Islam and Muslims. The French, the Pakistanis, and the Indians all funded mujahidin outfits to protect their interests. After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan with their tails between their legs, the various fighting forces were pitted against each other in a fraternal civil war. Weakened and divided, what remained of the mujahidin was quickly swept away by an even more extreme band of extremists: the Deobandi Taliban. When the Taliban refused to obey their American masters, they were bombed back to the Stone Age. Those who had trained, armed, and funded fanatical religious extremists for decades soon insisted on bringing Western democracy to Afghanistan. In North Africa, the situation was similar: the enemies of humanity unleashed takfiri terrorists on the people of Algeria to undermine their legitimate Islamic aspirations in the 1990s. In Europe, they used them to tear Yugoslavia to pieces in the 1990s and to create the pseudo-state of Kosovo a couple of years later. In Southeast Asia, they used them to discredit the bona fide Moro movement in Mindanao during the same decade.

September 11, 2001, marked a strategic change. From useful idiots, who were supported both overtly and covertly, takfiri terrorists were turned into useful excuses, who were to be combated. With the fall of communism which, at least, aspired toward socio-economic justice, the world was left at the mercy of capitalist and globalist vampires who now had even greater freedom to enact their sinister plan to suck the planet dry of its resources and extract every drop of blood from humanity. Since the Cold War had ended, and the conflict had been beneficial to the bottom line, a new enemy ideology had to be identified: Islam. The threat posed by “Radical Islamism” would serve as a pretext to attack, invade, and occupy the sovereign state of Iraq from 2003–2013 at the cost of over one million civilian casualties and billions of dollars of stolen resources. Although the Americans promised democracy, the only thing they delivered was catastrophe: a sectarian and ethnic conflict that culminated in the mother of all monstrosities: an Islamic State that was neither “Islamic” nor a “state.”

While it is true, to a large extent, that Radical Salafism stopped being openly preached in masjids in both East and West after 9/11, and that a seemingly more moderate form of Islam started to fill the vacuum, the process did not take place organically. Although terms like “Traditional Islam” and “Sufism” sound less threatening than salafi Jihadism, Wahhabism, Radical Islamism, and Takfirism, and the spread of what is presented as normative, mainstream, and moderate Islam seems positive, the change is merely one of window-dressing and rebranding. The same people who were responsible for the spread of Salafism in the 1990s, and ISIS in the second decade of the 21st century, are also responsible for spreading what is known as Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Tasawwuf — namely, orthodox Sunnism combined with orthodox Sufism — since 2001. What is more, Takfirism did not disappear: it simply moved from the public sphere to the cyber sphere.

The globalists have long been committed to full-spectrum dominance. That includes controlling all opposition and playing all cards against each other: liberals versus conservatives, Christians versus Muslims, Sunnis versus Shi‘is, Sunnis and Shi‘is versus Sufis, whites versus blacks, and the native-born versus immigrants and refugees. In short, everyone against everyone else. For the political strategists of the globalists, radical Islam and moderate Islam are parallel tracks. They are simply ideologies deployed to advance their agenda. They are means to an end. To believe that they favour one over the other is to assume that they operate within an ethical framework and possess a moral compass. They do not. There is no such thing as morality in the geopolitics of the elite: only selfish interests. “Sometimes statesmen must choose between evils,” rationalized Henry Kissinger. This is what differentiates a servant of God from a servant of Satan. There were moral and ethical lines that the Prophets, the Messengers, and the Imams (a) would never have crossed. “If I had to choose between justice and disorder, on the one hand, and injustice and order, on the other,” said Kissinger, “I would always choose the latter.” While order is preferable to disorder, no believer would prefer injustice over justice. Speaking of Imperial Rome, Publius Tacitus, the orator, lawyer, and senator, said, “They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.” This need for stability was invoked by the supporters of the Umayyads to rationalize the slaughter of Imam Husayn (a). Even today we find scholars whose concept of “peace” is tolerating injustice. As far as Islam is concerned, the position is clear, “O you who have committed to Allah, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives” (4:135).

The very Western powers that have invested their resources in planting, cultivating, and harvesting the seeds of Radical Salafism and Jihadism, are also the ones that have concurrently planted spiritually, socio-politically, and genetically-modified Sufism in carefully guarded greenhouses. In 2004, the Sunday Times leaked confidential British government papers that discussed a project code-named “Contest.” Determined to curb the growth of extremism among British Muslims, the Tony Blair government adopted a two-pronged approach: crack down on extremists while co-opting moderates. Call it the carrot and the stick. Call it hard power and soft power.

For the record, I was once approached by a well-placed and well-connected person from the Arabian Peninsula who made me an offer he thought I could not refuse, “We will make you the next Hamza Yusuf,” he promised. Those are the very words he used. I have never been so insulted in my life. To anyone who thinks I am for sale, I say the same now as I said then, “You can go straight to hell.” In fact, the language I used was much more colourful.

Sufism is in style and that is exactly what it is. It is not a revival. It is not a renaissance of classical Islam. Sufism was co-opted centuries ago. Its secretive networks posed a tangible threat. Under proper guidance, they could be used to counter colonial forces. They also represented an opportunity. If they came under the control of intelligence agencies, they could become a vehicle for spies and subversives of all sorts. Just like the Peace Corps and NGOs, Sufi orders serve as a perfect cover for spooks. It comes as no surprise that many Sufi orders are associated with the secret societies and fraternal organizations of the Western world. One such order, founded by a pedophile, is closely connected to the Deep State, American neo-conservatives, Persian royalists and reactionaries, along with Arabian and Muslim kings, despots, and dictators. If Satan were a Sufi, he would be a member of this †ariqah. He probably already is. Although gnosis, namely tasawwuf and ‘irfan, has always appealed to a spiritual and scholarly elite in the Muslim world, it has always been a minority movement. Since 2001, Sufism has become increasingly mainstream, not because of greater spiritual introspection, but because of the crafting of consciousness that is possible due to mass media and social media. The greater the one-eyed web spreads and extends its influence, the easier it has become for the one-percenters to engage in psychological operations and social engineering on a planetary scale. These are not the delusions of a paranoid schizophrenic. They are research-rooted, evidence-based, conclusions. Call it a statement of fact.

Project Contest was and is a reality. The counter-terror strategy was introduced by the British government in 2003. It was only made public several years later. Its focus is four-fold: Prepare for attacks, Protect the public, Pursue the attackers, and Prevent their radicalization in the first place. According to Dr. Chris Allen, who resigned from Prevent, one of the branches of Contest, in 2014, the project has the “covert objective” of creating an “institutionally approved, ‘mainstream’ and ‘moderate’ expression of Islam that would be dually endorsed by various co-opted ‘liberal’ Muslims as also Government itself.” These government-generated, state-funded Islamic organizations, supported by leading scholars, who were often entirely oblivious to the entire enterprise, were tasked, not only with countering radicalism but with engineering, if not enacting, power in the Muslim community. Since its inception, tens of billions of taxpayer funds have been spent on over 1,000 schemes aimed at preventing the radicalization of Muslims in the UK with no measurable degree of success.

While people of good faith directed, supported, and worked with state-funded Muslim organizations like Radical Middle Way and the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group among others, the British government was not exactly transparent when it came to its aims. As productive, tax-paying citizens, Muslims are entitled to receive government funding to support sound initiatives. The goal of the British government was not simply to counter the spread of so-called “Islamic” extremism, it was to monitor the Muslim community, to control and reshape its values, and to restructure its worldview. In other words, make Muslims comply, conform, and convert to secularism, under the careful watch of the Home Office. Anyone who opposed this social engineering and the government’s state-sanctioned “British” or “Western” Islam would be deemed an extremist and treated as a threat. This may all seem like good government leaders going too far in their well-intentioned propaganda war against extremism and terrorism, were it not for the fact that the very same people were supporting ISIS at the time: allowing over 1,000 British psychopaths to join the ranks of the terrorist outfit in Syria and Iraq, allowing them to return without prosecution, and even rewarding them with taxpayer paid houses and support of all sorts so as to help “reintegrate” them into British society, a code word for “reward them for their service to Queen and Country.”

In the United States, the situation was, shall we say, unique. For the neocons, 9/11 offered a wealth of opportunities to make wealth by pillaging Iraq and its people with the bonus of stripping American citizens of their constitutional and civil rights and creating a surveillance state in the process. Due to the separation of church and state, the US government was reticent to overtly fund Muslim groups that were committed to combating extremism. Rather, the American administration invested its resources in creating and tracking domestic terrorists to justify its War of Terror. Since funding to fight terrorists can only be justified if there is terrorism, mentally-unstable stooges were often set up in false-flag operations to help foster Islamophobia.

In its attempt to overthrow the Syrian government, the CIA enlisted its old allies, the takfiri terrorists, to do their dirty deeds while the Saudis, the Turks, and the Qataris paid the bill at the bidding of the US. Obama’s onerous rules of engagement made it impossible for the Pentagon to fight the terrorists. Citing “freedom of expression,” the Obama administration refused to shut down the social media accounts used by ISIS. When asked to arrest, try, and convict American ISIS terrorists for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, the “liberal” government in Washington claimed that Syria was not a signatory to the Rome Statute, the treaty established by the International Criminal Court, and therefore had no jurisdiction. Considering that the United States has illegally attacked, invaded, and occupied sovereign nations, it is always ironic when it suddenly invokes international law.

Besides shedding crocodile tears for the victims of ISIS in a performance worthy of an Academy Award, the false prophets of pluralism supported, rather than opposed, the takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria. It was only at the end of his presidency that Obama issued a call for proposals to support his Countering Violent Extremism initiative. “ISIS will soon run out of territory,” said a leading member of the Obama administration to a group of Muslim leaders who were invited to the White House, “we count on you to help reintegrate them into your communities.” It was tantamount to being teased by one’s tormentor. It is like asking a woman who has been gang-raped to make up with her assailants, to give them housing, hospitality, and support, so that they can become productive members of society when, in truth, the woman really wants them to be productive members of the cemetery as a feast for maggots.

The current situation in the White House is complex. Unlike Obama, who praised Islam and Muslims while supporting radical “Islamic” terrorism, President Trump has trash-talked Muslims while strategically, systematically, and efficiently exterminating takfiri terrorists in Syria. He convinced or coerced the Saudis to stop funding ISIS and other such groups. Qatar was given the role of the fall guy and thrown under the bus by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This forced Qatar to reconsider its regional policies and to enter the orbit of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Trump therefore put all the “bad guys” into one camp: Qatar, the former funder of ISIS, and Iran, the current funder of Hizbullah and Hamas. On the domestic front, Trump has determined that Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism initiative should be revamped into a campaign aimed at Countering Radical Islamic Extremism, ignoring the very real threat posed by the extreme right and the extreme left in the United States. One plans to one’s own peril.

So, Salafism, in its radical, violent, form has indeed been curtailed, but not by the bleeding-heart liberals who, in reality, are brain-eating zombies. Takfirism is being taken down by right-wing pseudo-conservatives and neo-fascist capitalist globalists who are aligned with profoundly anti-Islamic political and Islamic interests. While one enemy fades, another one rises. Muslims must always be vigilant lest they be doomed.

The Covenants of Compassion from the Messenger of Mercy (Part 3)

By

AMUST (27 May, 2018)

Although the Covenants of the Prophet were common knowledge to educated Muslims throughout most of Islamic history, knowledge of them faded after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.

While the works of Hamidullah and Miyanji were familiar to some Muslim scholars, it was only after the publication of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World that knowledge of them became widespread.

The publication of the book in 2013 inspired the Covenants Initiative, an international movement that calls upon Muslims to abide by the spirit and the letter of the Covenants of the Prophet as they are in perfect agreement with the traditional teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

The Covenants Initiative has been signed by over three hundred Muslim scholars, intellectuals, and activists. The movement helped inspire the Marrakesh Declaration on the rights of religious minorities in the Muslim world as well as the Fortenberry Resolution which condemned ISIS for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Fourteen hundred years after the death of the Prophet, these Covenants demonstrate that the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by extremist groups and the destruction of their religious buildings represents a gross violation of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet, including the Prophet’s letters and Covenants.

Indeed, these Covenants can serve as a source of inspiration for the establishment of insuperable harmony between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The Covenants of the Prophet can strengthen tolerance, goodwill, and better understanding between faiths. They represent a genuine call for reconsidering the deteriorated relationships between the three religions. These findings serve to promote peaceful coexistence, respect, and care beyond mere tolerance.

In fact, they shed light upon the nature and policy of the Prophet vis a vis how to govern diverse groups and maintain relationships among other people, both of which are completely in line with the Prophet’s life and teachings.

Whether it is the Constitution of Medina, the letters or Covenants of the Prophet, or the Qur’an, these teachings represent a practical example for how to build peaceful and successful relationships between different faith communities in the contemporary world.

AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

May 18, 2018

SHAFAQNA – In the Name of the Most-High. Respected Professor and Doctor John Andrew Morrow. May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you. We would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude for accepting to be interviewed by the Dalil Foundation Magazine which is published by the Holy Sanctuary of Imam Husayn. We wish to point out that you are free to share any additional information that you deem appropriate to this dialogue.

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

May the peace and blessings of Almighty Allah be with you. I am at your humble service. I am willing, by the grace of God, to respond to all your questions.

QUESTION 1

Respected doctor and professor, can you kindly share with us details of your personal life, your conversion from Roman Catholic Christianity to the true religion of Islam?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

Like everyone, I was a believer [mu’min] when I came into this world. As the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every child that is born is naturally predisposed to be a believer.” [ كُلِّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ ]. Consequently, we are all believers [mu’minin] by nature. It is our families and our societies that turn us into Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, polytheists, heretics, and atheists.

I always felt the love of God. I always felt the presence of God. I prayed only to the One God. I did not believe that Jesus was God. I could accept him as “Son of God” in the spiritual sense. However, I never conceived of him as being eternal. I worshipped the Creator of the Universe and not His Creation. I viewed Jesus as a source of intercession. I certainly did not believe that God consisted of Three Persons. For me, God was, is, and will always be, One. It was only when I was a teenager, when I understood Christian theology better, that I realized that I was not a Christian. I was simply seeking a path to God. I studied all religions in depth and found that Islam, submission and surrender to the One, was my home. It was a journey to the center of my own soul.

I respect the Roman Catholic Church enormously. I learned to love and worship God. I learned about the prophets and messengers of God, peace be upon them all. I learned the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses, peace be upon him. I learned morals and ethics. I learned Natural Law and Canon Law. I am not one of the ungrateful. Christianity is a path to God. Both Allah, glorified and exalted be He, and His Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, said that it was so. We may have differences but they are differences in degree. We must recognize and respect elements of truth wherever they are found. This is why the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his purified progeny, granted covenants of the protection to the People of the Book.

QUESTION 2

What motivated you to select the School of Ahl al-Bayt over other Islamic schools of thought?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

I respect all schools of thought in Islam. The school of Ahl al-Bayt has a special status since it was transmitted by the Imams of the Progeny of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon them all. It has a long, rich, and living tradition of ijtihad.

QUESTION 3

Could you please provide a brief statement of the necessity of faith in general and its importance in human life?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

Faith is like air, water, and sunlight. It is essential for life. Without it, one dies a spiritual death. May God make us thirsty. And may God quench our thirst with the water from the Fountain of Kawthar.

QUESTION 4

Professor, as you know, the Islamic world is subjected to fierce ideological attacks by groups outside the Islamic system. What do you think the most important reasons for this? What are the remedies?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

Islam is under attack. Morality is under attack. Justice is under siege. Muslims must struggle. We must fight words with words and ideas with ideas. We must fight culture with culture and science with science. We need to inspire an Islamic renaissance. There are no simple solutions. We need to implement a comprehensive strategy for the revival of Islamic civilization and culture plan

QUESTION 5

 How can we confront, from an intellectual and doctrinal point of view, the perverse understanding of the teachings of Islam that are spread by misguided and ignorant people who operate from within the Islamic system?

Islam is an open system. We should allow freedom of thought within the broadest possible parameters. Otherwise, all progress is stifled. So long as one agrees on basic principles, Islam provides a great deal of latitude and flexibility. Islam is eminently malleable and adaptable to changing times and circumstances. Islam truly belongs to the age. We cannot impose beliefs and practices on people. Human beings were created free. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Difference of opinion in my Community is a mercy” [ الخلاف في أمتي رحمة ]. We need to educate people. We need to foster critical thought. We need to present Islam as a viable socio-political and economic model. We need to stress that Islam is committed to justice. Religious institutions play a crucial role in the revival of Islam. They are the vanguard. They need to have achievable and measurable goals. They need to work in cooperation rather than competition. They must use all means to get the message to the masses.  

QUESTION 6

Based on the previous question, what role can the scientific institutions of religious belief, as well as intellectual elites in this regard?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

Rather than view atheism as a negative, we can employ reverse psychology and treat it as a positive. To declare that “There is no god” is the first half of the shahadah. Atheists are half way there. We only need to insert “but Allah” and convince them that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” It is the nature of people to believe. Either they believe in the right thing or they believe in the wrong thing. If people reject religion based on reason, at least they are thinking. Hence, there is hope. In some cases, they are not rejecting religion itself or God itself but the explanations that were given to them. As Imam ‘Ali, peace be upon him, explained, if given a choice between religion and reason, on should select reason for reason will always lead back to religion whereas religion will not lead back to reason. This is why Shiite books of traditions begin with the “Chapter of Reason” while Sunni books of traditions begin with the “Chapter of Faith.” We only have to look at the Salafis, Wahhabis, and Takfiris to see how dangerous it is to abandon the intellect, reasoning, and critical thinking.

QUESTION 7

Professor and Doctor… Of the intellectual and doctrinal dilemmas that have afflicted some human societies is the question of atheism and secularism. What are the main reasons for the spread of this phenomenon and the best ways to address this problem and reduce it?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

There is a clear correlation between secularism and materialism. There is a clear connection between modernity and atheism. We need to fight atheism with faith. We repel evil with good. We need to encourage what is good and discourage what is bad in the best possible way. We need to show people a better way of life. A life without spirituality is like a rose without rain: it withers and dies. It is empty, meaningless, and hollow. It is a life that is a prelude to eternal death. Islam, tasawwuf, and ‘irfan are better than this fleeting world as they offer eternal life. Islam offers individuals the opportunity to lead productive and meaningful lives: to be in this material world but not of it.

QUESTION 8

How can we, who live in an age of technological and scientific development, root our Muslim youth in the theoretical foundations of our faith, and keep them from slipping and deviating from the intellectual and the doctrinal foundations of Islam?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

Talk to people in a language people. Reach out to young people. Communicate with young people. Engage and empower young people. The youth are our future. The future of our faith, and the future of our planet, depends on them. Give them a voice and give them a choice.

QUESTION 9

One of the academic and ethical projects of the Dalil Foundation is to build an intellectual system on a sound basis. From your point of view, what are the best methods, strategies, and mechanisms to achieve this goal?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

I encourage all institutes, scholars, scientists, intellectuals and ordinary people to identify themselves with the primordial principles, rights and freedoms found in the covenants of the Prophet with the Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Zoroastrians. There are pearls of wisdom within those shells. We need to share them with the world with pride for they can enrich us all. They provide a blue-print for the Ummah of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his Household. They pave the way for the return of the Messiah and the Hidden Imam, may Almighty Allah hasten their reappearance.    

QUESTION 10

What are the modern means of engagement that influence the Western mentality?

DR. JOHN ANDREW MORROW

People are the product of their environment. To understand Western thought, you need to understand history in its broadest sense. If Westerners have reached a place ideologically, it is the result of a complex trajectory. Different paths lead to different destinations. Many Westerners turned away from religion because it defied reason and contradicted science. They were disillusioned by religion because it was racist, misogynistic, and oppressive. What is more, it was exploited by people in power. In short, they had every right to reject religion as an institution.

Muslim leaders need to learn from these lessons. Otherwise, they may inadvertently lead people away from Islam. Politics and policies have long-term and unintended consequences. Although many Westerners have become secular, many have reconnected with various spiritual traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam, to lead more balanced lives. There are many problems in the West. However, there are just as many problems in the Muslim world. What we have in common is hope: hope for a better and more just future. Never quit and never abandon faith.

QUESTION 11

Is there today in the Western world a breakdown between the different interpretations of the Islamic religion, and a distinction between the strict understanding adopted by the Wahhabi Salafi thought of the teachings of Islam and the moderate approach to non-Muslims adopted by the Ahl al-Bayt?

For many Westerners, Takfirism is Islam and Islam is Takfirism. The media is responsible for this distortion since it serves the interests of their globalist masters. Many nominal Muslims also bear responsibility for promoting such misconceptions. Fortunately, there are many groups, like the Covenants Initiative, that are working hard to correct these misconceptions, to build bridges, and to promote tolerance and pluralism. We need to promote unity within diversity, set aside secondary issues, and focus on commonality and universality. We pray that Almighty God help us all through these difficult times.

 QUESTION 12

Do you have any final words for the readers of Dalil Magazine?

As for any parting words for your readers, I simply urge them to read the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his purified progeny, as these primary foundational sources provide solutions to the problems that we face in the world today.

From the Bullet to the Ballot: A Strategic Shift in the Palestinian Struggle

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

The Muslim Post (May 16, 2018)

(The following opinion piece was published in al-Bawaba: The Middle East Gateway on April 15, 2004, and has long been removed from the newspaper’s archives. It was supposed to be included in Islamic Insights: Writings and Reviews, an anthology of Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s journalism, published by Ansariyan Publications in 2010; however, it was excluded due to the fact that it did not meet the approval of Iran’s Ministry of Culture. The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran was to support armed struggle as opposed to non-violence and diplomacy. As the 2018 developments in Gaza demonstrate, many Palestinian people have developed greater political maturity over the past decade and a half and are now engaging in more effective methods of opposition that are far more likely to inspire sympathy as opposed to terrorist actions committed against civilians.)

After over 50 years of struggle, the time has come for Palestinians to make a strategic shift in their struggle, break the impasse, and move from the bullet to the ballot. Rather than fighting for a fractured Palestinian state, Palestinians should demand their rights as citizens of the single state of “Israel/Palestine” and wage their battle through the ballot.

In the Palestinian context, the path of violence has been proven ineffective and incapable of leading to a lasting solution. Moreover, the military destruction of Israel is an unrealistic ambition. The Arabs do not have the might to defeat Israel. Not only does Israel have the most powerful army in the Middle East, it is a nuclear power under the protection of most of the Western world. If the recent history of the Palestinian problem has taught us anything, it is that it cannot be resolved by force. Both Israelis and Palestinians have cornered themselves into untenable ideological trenches engendering an unending spiral of violence and suffering. It is time for both parties to start from scratch and come up with a more creative compromise: the creation of a liberal secular democratic state where all people, Jews, Christians and Muslims, are equal before the law and can coexist in freedom, mutual respect, peace and harmony. This single state, which would certainly be supported by the immense majority of the world population, may be the only viable solution to the Palestinian problem and the only approach that can bring peace to Israel and Palestine.

Both sides will scream “sell-out.” The Zionists will insist on the concept of a Jewish state purged of Palestinians. The Arab nationalists will continue to demand their tiny piece of leftover pie when they can actually have the whole pie and eat it too. Islamists will demand the destruction of Israel and the creation of an “Islamic” state purged of Jews. Clearly, these positions have no place in a pluralistic society and can only lead to death, destruction and mayhem. Zionism is not palatable to Arabs. Arab nationalism is not palatable to Jews. And Islamic fundamentalism is not palatable to either. While Palestinians may empathize with the despair that leads young men and women of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to perform “martyrdom operations,” they certainly would not want to be ruled by them. Unlike other Arabs who seem content with more or less dictatorial governments, the vast majority of Palestinians want a liberal democracy not unlike the one in Israel, minus the human rights abuses. Muslim activists will denounce such a strategy as an implicit or even explicit recognition of the state of Israel which it certainly is not. It is recognition that Israel is Palestine, that Palestine is Israel, that the land is one and should remain one. Call it Israel, call it Palestine, call it the Federation of Israel and Palestine, call it what you wish, it is one nation that should join the distinct international organizations of the region. Change its name if you wish, it remains the same. Scattered in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel, Palestinians must resign themselves to lack of influence, lack of territory, lack of recognition, lack of nationhood and lack of rights. If they demand the vote of Israel, are represented by population, their impact would be decisive.

Israel has a population of 6,116,533 inhabitants, 20% of which are Palestinians. If we add these 1,223,306 Arab Israelis to the 3.5 million Palestinians living in the occupied territories we come up with a figure of over 4.7 million Palestinian Muslims and Christians along with 4.9 million Jewish Israelis. Instead of destroying “Israel,” Palestinians can easily coexist with Jews, Christians, atheists, polytheists, etc., in the same country. If the Palestinians demand the vote, the Israelis will be hard pressed to grant it to them. If they fail to do so, they will place themselves in the position of American segregationists and South African supremacists who denied the vote to blacks. If the Palestinians demand the vote, and the Israelis refuse to respect their rights, world public opinion will turn increasingly against the Israelis. The Palestinian struggle would immediately be viewed as a struggle for universal human and civil rights. They can turn to marches, demonstrations and sit-ins demanding their right to vote. They can make the choice clear to Israelis: “The Ballot or the Bullet.” If the Israelis decide to repress the democratic movement it would be to their own downfall, for in that case the Palestinians could move from a localized intifada to a full-blown civil war against an apartheid regime. The repression of Palestinians who wish to co-exist with Jews in a pluralistic democratic state would lead to widespread censure of Israel as well as economic boycotts as was the case with South Africa. Palestinians need to think strategy and to change strategy. While the suicide bombings of civilians and the blowing up of babies has done little to boost support and solidarity for the Palestinian cause, turning from the bullet to the ballot can change the course of history. And if the Palestinians are the ones who cannot accept or understand the need for adopting a new strategy, then it will only lead to endless bloodshed without any possibility of changing the course of events. And Allah knows best.

Who Fears The Covenants Of The Prophet Muhammad With The Christians Of The World?

By Roberto Vertutti

The Muslim Post (May 16, 2018)

To ask: “Who fears the Covenants of the Prophet?” is synonymous with asking “Who fears the truth?” This is the issue at hand. Those who fear the truth also fear the one who spreads it. They fear The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World because they go together with the truth. Although either title would be suitable, we feel that it is better to ask, “Who fears the Covenants of the Prophet?” since “truth” is an abstract noun that acquires “life” when applied: truth is tied to the objective of knowledge and manifests itself when results are obtained that cannot be questioned since they are obvious.

As the object of knowledge, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World contain nothing that is abstract; rather, they are a reality like the universe, like the flowing river, and like the text that you are reading. Although they are feared, in and of themselves, what is feared the most about The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World is their spread, application, and implementation.

After the rediscovery of these Covenants on the part of Dr. John Andrew Morrow, attempts were made to conceal them or distort them in diverse ways, for example, by claiming that they corresponded to a particular historical period and that they were no longer applicable. The attempt to “change something so that nothing changes” was also made under the form of “saying something to say nothing so that everything stays the same.” This politically-motivated and perverted approach to the Covenants stands in contrast to the historical, rational, contextualized, and profound scholarly approach that is rooted in fact.

This is the methodology that Dr. John Andrew Morrow has applied to The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World and which has triggered a veritable tsunami in the obsolete and ill-intentioned minds from both East and West. These frightened decrepit minds babble, stammer, and stutter to say nothing of weight. For example, they present the text or supposed text of a Covenant of the Prophet without any explanation or clarification except for negation or rejection. Hence, the majestically brilliant rediscovery of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World by Dr. John Andrew Morrow who analyses them profoundly and meticulously, shares his research in various languages, debates honestly with those who deny, reject or ignore them, relying on documented evidence, and demonstrates how they were successfully applied – although with many shortcomings – throughout the centuries. And such an attitude stands out, exceedingly and exemplarily, to even the humblest passer-by on that path.

It is worthwhile to mention that anyone who crosses Dr. John Andrew Morrow on this path will be impacted in all areas of life. Those who object to the Covenants of the Prophet know that their application would put an end to the murderous blood-bath that accompanies the quest for limitless wealth that is sought after, precisely, by those who denigrate them. In effect, the great enemies of life, who are the great enemies of truth, as well as the great enemies of humanity, see how the work that is accomplished with these documents is creating antibodies who will neutralize the despicable maneuvers that are based on lies and deceit, as well as genocidal and criminal theft and plunder.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow brings to light a work that is magnificent both in its content and objective. It contains stipulations given by God to humanity and pursues the long-desired peace, harmony, and fraternity between all human beings of good-faith who wish to turn weapons into instruments of progress and public welfare; the secret meetings of evil and greed into popular assemblies of joy and happiness; and vexatious misery and selfishness into solidarity, brotherhood, and peaceful co-existence.

This is precisely what the powerful despise. They are those who wish to place all of humanity at their service by means of sanguinary slavery and by means of a gigantic lie that relies on the demonization of Islam and the absolute condemnation of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World which are treated as “Christian forgeries.” Even worse, these powerful people who hate all religions, although they disguise themselves with some of them, wish to eliminate, for their own benefit, one sixth or more of the world’s population, a fact that has been documented in many sources.

We have the Georgia Guide Stones, erected in 1980, which propose to maintain the world population under 500 million people governed by a single global executive, a number that is close to the one proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev. We also have the proposal of Ted Turner, the creator of CNN, who believes that the maximum amount of people on earth should be only 300 million. Or, even worse, we have the proposal of Dave Foreman, the co-founder of Earth First, who says that the population of the earth should not exceed 100 million.

However, what Dr. John Andrew Morrow maintains, based on The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, is that the planet can provide for a population that is much greater than the current number on the condition that the stipulations enunciated by the Prophet Muhammad in his Covenants are fulfilled, namely: the creation of a Confederation of Free Peoples governed by the guidelines given by the Creator. Therefore, what is most feared by the genocidal manipulators of the New World Order is the possibility of re-applying The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.

Those who fear the rediscovery of Dr. John Andrew Morrow, namely, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World – who are not few – are overwhelmed by the truth. This is because The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World and the truth are one, as we said, in both spirit and essence.

Who are those who fear the truth? The truth terrifies the oppressor, the pervert, the terrorist, the selfish, the usurper, the confidence trickster, the criminal, the narcissist, the stingy, the tight-fisted, the materially powerful, the savage militaristic hawk, the liar, the exploiter, the enslaver, the racist, the elitist, the dishonest, the deceitful, the despicable, and the immoral, as well as the hypocrite and the corrupt ruler, namely, all those who love ridicule and disdain.

Those who oppose the truth, because blind and absurd hatred devours theirs hearts and souls, take advantage of any political maneuver or offensive act that is available to maintain and protect their privileges and abominable behavior. It is for this reason that someone said that truth and politics have never gotten along very well since truth has never been considered a political virtue. Politics is only uplifting and becomes a virtue when it is guided and grounded in the sacred laws contained in revealed scriptures as well as great spiritual expressions or genuine religious traditions.

It is crystal clear. Those who fear the truth, namely, the lovers of selfish political interests, are those who love ridicule and disdain. Hence, when the sun of justice, love, fraternity, honesty, commitment, effort, solidarity, and sacrifice, among others, surfaces – namely, those attributes that are exhibited in the texts that God revealed to humanity as well as The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World – the demented and devastating anger of those who feel that they are marked for shame and disgrace attempts to negate, by any means possible, that very manifestation. It is for this reason that they fear the one who lights up the world with this sun.

The great weapon, and the first one that is used to negate something, is a combination of distortion, twisting, and misrepresentation, as well as lies, and deceit. Let us learn some more about those who openly or secretly oppose the work that Dr. John Andrew Morrow is accomplishing by means of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. By doing so, we will get to know the spirits of darkness that despise these documents. Unfortunately, in more than a few cases, we are dealing with individuals who are permanently illuminated by the lights of luxurious settings or by their appearance as “famous personalities,” “honest intellectuals,” and “distinguished religious scholars.”

As evil as these spirits of darkness may be, they do not, in general, cease to be cunning. They use all available methods to present the truth as lie and vice versa. They use every type of intellectual, philosophical, ideological, psychological, and political instrumentation to make people believe that something does not truly exist or is unsuitable. They call virtually everything into question in order to make something seem unbelievable: what exists does not exist; what is said never took place; the dates that are presented as documented facts cannot be corroborated; the authorship of such and such documents is unknown despite the fact that there is a list of ten, twenty or thirty witnesses; the historical circumstances cannot be proven, and so on and so forth. They create a tangled web of confusion with the objective of boring people or making them feel that they are unable to discern the truth. In so doing, they “convince” people that something never took place and viciously attack, using the most absurd accusations, those who clearly demonstrate the facts and the truth of the matter. On the contrary, those who move with truth, who present the facts based on solid and verifiable evidence, need not recur to nefarious means to advance their arguments.

Abel stands for truth while Cain stands for deceit and distortion. Truth is indisputably inferior materially in comparison to falsehood. He who stands for falsehood relies on any tool available, regardless of how false and untrue that it may be, to prevail. However, he who stands for truth would never do such a thing. As a result, falsehood, deceit, and concealment are more “practical” when it comes to worldly matters. Furthermore, for many people, truth is generally inconvenient since it prevents them, if they hold fast to it, from obtaining ordinary pleasures as well as material power through the exploitation and violation of the most basic of human rights.

It is for this reason that so many people distance themselves from those who will not tolerate falsehood and who will not compromise truth. Many times, truth produces pain and most people are not willing to subject themselves to suffering. As a result, many only accept The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World formally. They say that they are good, that they are authentic; however, they do not act accordingly. Neither terrorists who follow the most insane lies, neither genocidal dictators disguised as good Muslims, nor others with a morbid fascination for Islam — who are not few – are willing to recognize The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World — beyond formalities — and to act in accordance with them, since to proceed in such a fashion would interfere with or harm their selfish, egotistical, and irreligious interests. The spirits of the shadows, who inhabit the darkness that houses the wicked, only wander about, reproduce themselves, and are strong in the shadows. That is why they oppose the truth and, in this case, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. On the other hand, truth seeks light and is a friend of light. Truth avoids hiding itself and manifests itself with great clarity.

In the world, especially the current one, deceit, misrepresentation, and lies are the “normal” means of operating. Lies have become so widespread in human society that they are like a habit or a custom that fears it opposite: truth. As much it may harm most of the world population, and however much it may produce disastrous results, everything has become inverted. The despots and those who sully and tarnish the truth present themselves as democrats and advocates of honesty and morality; terrorists and rapists present themselves as liberators; the corrupt present themselves as virtuous puritans and good people; the aggressors present themselves as victims; those who promote violent injustice present themselves as promoters and recipients of peace prizes; and the most unjust and the most intellectually inept present themselves as “renowned academics.”

For the spirits of darkness, anything goes, including lies and the invention of non-existent situations. This leads them to fear The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. We have already identified those who are afraid of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. We have also explained why their dread is so evident. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World turn the entire ideological and supposedly religious lie that feeds the anti-Islamic terrorism that presents itself as Islamic and, most importantly, it marks for death those who created it and continue to create it, namely, Western Genocidal Empires (WGEs) and their vile servants in the Arabian Peninsula and the surrounding region.

The presentation of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World to the anti-Islamic kinglets in the Arabian Peninsula, to the terrorists, and to the countries who have entered the murderous alliance of NATO, has the same effect as presenting The Bible to Dracula: all their lies crumble apart and are exposed along with their wretched plots and conspiracies which are advanced at the expense of the successive slaughter of innocents in both East and West.

The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World are a terrible blow to evil-doers since they represent, not merely a theory, but rather the blue-prints of a social-political system that has been applied successfully. Attempting to revive the practical application of the Covenants of the Prophet generates hatred and fear in the hearts of shadow-dwellers who, for the moment, refuse to recognize them, deny them, and reject them.

Finally, we should never forget that, to a considerable extent, the world is controlled by the unjust, namely, by the forces of darkness. There are those, however, like Kant, who hold that “human beings cannot tolerate life in a world devoid of justice” and that this “human right is considered sacred regardless of the sacrifices it entails.” Everything indicates that Dr. John Andrew Morrow is following this path with his rediscovery and study of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World for which reason he deserves all our support.

(This article is an English translation of an original Spanish article titled “¿Quién le teme a los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo” which was published in “Red Islam” on March 19, 2018, and which is available at: http://www.redislam.net/2018/03/quien-le-teme-los-pactos-del-profeta.html)

Alleged Anomalies in the Ashtiname

By Masihi Theophilos
The Network (May 14, 2018)

A British man who hides behind the acronym ECAW claims that the Ashtiname or Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai suffers from three anomalies and, therefore, is “definitely fake.” For the sake of honest individuals who might be misled by the writings of the individual in question, I have stepped up to the stage. Consequently, in the following paragraphs, I will concisely debunk these allegations.

Anomaly # 1

ECAW asks: “Why would Mohammed grant a covenant of protection in 623 AD to a group who were not under his control and he was therefore not in a position to protect?” He also argues that:

Since Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, that means it was written just one year after the Hijra, Mohammed’s migration to Medina. By that time Mohammed had not yet fallen out with the other religious and tribal groups in Medina. In fact, the only substantive thing he is reported to have done in his first year was to set up the Constitution of Medina which gave equal rights and responsibilities to Muslims and non-Muslims.

The fact of the matter is that the Prophet Muhammad was already signing treaties, making covenants, and forging alliances before he migrated to Medina. In fact, the Sirah of Ibn Ishaq reports that he received a delegation of Christians in Mecca (Morrow, 2017, vol. 2: 16). This is independently confirmed by early Christian sources.

Not only did the Messenger of Allah sign covenants of good-will with religious communities and denominations, he also made agreements with the Negus of Abyssinia (Bangash 41-60). The Messenger of Allah was acting like a head of state even when he was stateless. This infuriated the idol-worshiping infidels of Mecca. As a result of the First and Second Pacts of ‘Aqabah, the landless leader soon found himself at the head of the Medinan State.

From the time he settled in Medina to the time he passed away, he wrote hundreds of letters and signed dozens of treaties with communities of all kinds. “Prior the Battle of Badr… of 2 AH,” writes Zafar Bangash, “there were a total of eight expeditions” to the tribes west of Mecca (161). Another two expeditions were sent to Yanbu‘ and to Safawan (161). The Prophet Muhammad offered treaties to the Tribe of Damrah, the Tribe of Juhaynah, the Tribe of Zur‘ah, the Tribe of Rab‘ah, the Tribe of Muzaynah, the Tribe of Mudlij, the Tribe of Ghifar, and the Tribe of Ashja‘ (159-190).

By the second year of the hijrah, the Messenger of Allah had placed most of north-western Arabia under his protection from Medina all the way to the Sinai. This fact is confirmed by Nektarios of Sinai (c. 1600 to 1676 CE). As he explains in his Epitome, which was written in 1659 or 1660, and based on ancient Arabic manuscripts from the Monastery of St. Catherine:

In the second year of Muhammad’s hijrah his religious and military power increased. During that time, two Christian rulers …  gathered some men with the aim of waging war against one of Muhammad’s companions… The latter sustained defeat and all his men were killed. Once this became known to Muhammad, he took all the men that he had with him at that time, around three hundred and ten in number, and when the two parties met, they swiftly fought. The Christians were only one hundred and ninety and subsequently lost the battle. Seventy of them were killed, whilst only fourteen from Muhammad’s side perished. This was the first war Muhammad had with Christians and by God’s providence, he defeated them.

This victory became the source of fear for many people, who turned to him to pay tribute, bounding to pay taxes in order for him to let them retain their Faith. These were idolaters, who came from Persia and worshiped the sun as God, along with Jews and many other Greeks. [Among them] there were also many Christians from the region of the Red Sea, [the Erythraean Sea] who came to visit him, as well as the monks from Mount Sinai along with the Christian slaves they had from the period of Justinian.

A Christian ruler named Paxikios came to Muhammad and when the latter saw his merits, he offered him great hospitality and knelt before him. His companions then asked him why he did so and he replied to them that “you should also honor these people, for their Faith is righteous and true and their Books, as I read, were sent by God.” He then asked the monks what they required from him, and they replied: “we see that everyone turns to you and wish to make an agreement to stay unmolested by your people. Therefore, we came to ask for your permission to keep our Faith and monastery unharmed.”

He then asked them where their Monastery was and when he heard that they came from the Mount where the Law [Ten Commandments] was given to Moses, he revered them greatly and affirmed to them that “you should not have any fear nor feel that someone would harm or be unfair to you, for he who would treat you like that, may God smite him. I am also planning to visit that holy Mount and there I will grant you a letter, so that no one will cause you or the Christian people any harm for all eternity. From you, I do not wish for any payment perpetually, since you are the worshippers of that holy place, however, from the rest of the Christians I will demand that they pay tax and their faith will not be threatened.”

Once the monks had heard these words, they went on their way. Shortly after and within the same year, Muhammad himself, traversing the desert sands, came to the monastery and climbed up the mountain. He highly honored and venerated the place as holy; he also ordered his companions to do the same and revered the peak of the mountain as holy. For, according to him, this was the place where God had a long discussion with the Prophet Moses. Even today, this event is known to the most learned Turks. He [Muhammad] then climbed down the mountain, and the abbot along with the rest of the fathers, had a great feast with him, offering him hospitality for an extended period of time. Far from the monastery, in an area half the size of a lodging house, the local Arabs, in fact, indicate a place and claim that this is where he stood and spoke. This place is venerated and worshiped by Arabs with piety, when they pass by there.

While staying at the Monastery, he [Muhammad] granted a Letter to them, known as the Covenant or agreement as he calls it, which encompasses a wide range of worthy subjects for the monks of that Monastery, as well as for the whole of Christendom. This Letter should certainly be considered quite noticeable, as it was not written by any human but through God’s providence. For, if the Letter had not been composed then no monastery nor any monk would have existed. All the lay Christians through this Letter, may maintain their Faith unharmed and unmolested, because the Letter includes some beneficial articles for them. (Morrow, 2017, vol. 2: 434-435)

Granting a covenant to the monks of Mount Sinai in the second year of the hijrah is not an anomaly: it formed part of an established and strategic pattern that lasted the entire course of Muhammad’s prophetic mission.

Anomaly #2

ECAW asks: “Why would he release them from the obligation to pay the Jizya tax which they were therefore not subject to?”

The fact of the matter is that the Prophet Muhammad offered to make alliances with non-Muslims throughout the Middle East and beyond. If they pledged loyalty to the Prophet, as opposed to the Byzantines and Persians, he promised to offer them freedom of religion and freedom from onerous taxation. Only those who violently opposed the Prophet were subject to conquest and tribute. Call it the carrot or the stick. The Christians of Najran, the Sinai, Assyria, Armenia, and Persia actively sought the protection of the Prophet Muhammad from their oppressive overlords. The same can be said of the Jews and Samaritans from Palestine, the Jews from Yemen, and the Jews of Maqna. The same also applied to the Zoroastrians. As Nektarios of Sinai noted, polytheists, Magians, Jews, and Greek Christians submitted to the Prophet Muhammad during the early years of his rule in Medina. As Stephen J. Shoemaker has shown in The Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad’s Life and the Beginnings of Islam, “The oldest Islamic biography of Muhammad, written in the mid-eighth century, relates that the prophet died at Medina in 632, while earlier and more numerous Jewish, Christian, Samaritan, and even Islamic sources indicate that Muhammad survived to lead the conquest of Palestine, beginning in 634-35.” If this is correct, the spread of Islam into the Sinai and Palestine did not take place during the reign of the first two Caliphs: the Prophet Muhammad had himself consolidated Islam in all of Arabia, and several surrounding regions, during his own lifetime.

Anomaly #3

ECAW alleges that “[t]he Jizya tax which the Covenant exempted the monks from paying did not yet exist, even in Medina.”

The fact of the matter is that the jizyah, which simply means “tribute” or “tax,” has existed since time immemorial. For those who possess a Wikipedia level of understanding of Islam, let us quote from its entry on the subject:

William Montgomery Watt traces its origin to a pre-Islamic practice among the Arabian nomads wherein a powerful tribe would agree to protect its weaker neighbors in exchange for a tribute, which would be refunded if the protection proved ineffectual. Jews and Christians in some southern and eastern areas of the Arabian Peninsula began to pay tribute, called jizya, to the Islamic state during Muhammad’s lifetime.

Jizyah, therefore, existed before the rise of Islam. Among the Arabs, it was tribute paid for protection. Among the Byzantines and the Sassanians, it was a system of taxation and tribute. According to Morrow, “The jizyah, which is a Persian as opposed to Arabic word, was a continuation of a national tax from Sassanian times.” (vol. 2: 448). “As for the jizyah,” he explains, “it was not a late introduction as traditionally believed by Muslim scholars. In fact, it was a Persian tax that was adopted by the Prophet.” (vol. 2: 452).

When Morrow wrote that “the jizyah did not exist in the early days of Islam” (2013: 94), he was apparently referring to the Meccan period and the initial Medinan period. The Prophet, for example, did not impose jizyah on the non-Muslim citizens of the Ummah in Medina. The Jews of Medina, with whom the Prophet concluded the Constitution of Medina, were not subject to the jizyah. The same cannot be said of the Jewish Opposition, namely, the three tribes that lived on the outskirts of Medina and who were apparently not parties to the Constitution of Medina.

The only agreement that existed between the Prophet and the Banu Qurayzah, for example, was a pact of non-aggression which the Jews violated. “Despite having broken their treaty obligations,” writes Morrow, “the Prophet’s emissary urged the Banu Qurayzah to enter, once again, into an agreement with the Messenger of Allah. Otherwise, they were offered the opportunity to pay the jizyah” (2013: 40). As Morrow explains, “The Banu Qurayzah, however, remained defiant, and stated that they preferred to die than to pay taxes” (2013: 40).

The jizyah did not apply to citizens of the Ummah who were subject to the Constitution of Medina nor did it apply to covenanted communities of priests, monks, and rabbis. It did, however, apply to allied non-Muslims as well as belligerent populations that were subjected by force. However, even they could be excused from the jizyah in return for military service. Simply because verse 29 of chapter 9 of the Qur’an, which commands Muslims to fight unbelievers until they pay the jizyah, was reportedly revealed in the year 630 CE, namely, year 9 of the hijrah, does not mean that this form of taxation did not previously exist. In fact, it is mentioned in prophetic traditions that date from the seventh, fourth, and second year of the hijrah.

As for ECAW’s allegation that the jizyah was discriminatory, he can be pointed to Morrow’s study on the subject. As the good professor explains,

jizyah was not punitive nor was it intended to be a financial burden. Consequently, any Muslim ruler who used and abused jizyah to oppress the People of the Book committed a grave sin… The jizyah is not the end all and be all of Islam. It is not absolute. Its meaning and mode of application varied… According to a precedent set by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, the jizyah is not an obligation and can be replaced by an alternative form of taxation… In fact, in India, Akbar the Great (r. 1556-1605 CE) did away with seven centuries of Muslim rulers imposing the jizyah on non-Muslims…

As to whether jizyah has any place in modern times, my jurisprudential position is clear; it is … null and void, and none but Imam Mahdi and Jesus could reinstate it by divine decree. Until then, either all citizens pay taxes or they do not pay taxes. There is no place for a two-tiered or three-tiered tax system. Since the sum of jizyah and zakat were more or less equal in the time of the Prophet, citizens should not be taxed at different rates on the basis of their religion. The only people exempt from certain types of taxes are rabbis, monks, priests, nuns, and other clerics. In short, any non-profit engaged in charitable work can request tax-free status…

According to the Covenants of the Prophet, levels of taxation can only vary based on income: those who have more are both expected and obliged to contribute more to society… As for the jizyah, the various schools of jurisprudence imposed its upper limits in accordance with the Covenants of the Prophet. Rather than increase taxation, many Muslim rulers, like Mu‘awiyyah, Yazid, and ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, lowered it, as they did with the Najranites who now lived in ‘Iraq and, in the case of Harun al-Rashid, went so far as to abolish it completely…

Finally, while some critics of Islam insist that the jizyah was oppressive and discriminatory, they conveniently ignore the fact that a similar tax was imposed by Christian rulers upon Muslim minorities… “In the context of the early history of Muslim-Christian encounters,” concludes Green, “Islam, not Christianity, often proved more accepting of religious diversity” … As for the issue of jizyah, it is important to remember the words of Caliph ‘Abd al-‘Aziz who said: “God has sent the Prophet Muhammad to invite people to Islam and not as a tax collector”… (Morrow, 2017, vol. 1: 145-149)

As empirical evidence demonstrates, there is no basis to anomaly 1, anomaly 2, and anomaly 3. They are not anomalies. They are not inconsistencies. They are misinterpretations. “If the promoters of the Covenants Initiative can refute my objections,” promises ECAW, “then I will apologise and wish them well but, going by past experience, they won’t even try.” Well, I have tried and, many will argue, I have succeeded in debunking the allegations of ECAW. Will he then honor his word?

Sources

Bangash, Zafar. Power Manifestations of the Sirah: Examining the Letters and Treaties of the Messenger of Allah. Toronto: The Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, 2011.

Morrow, John Andrew. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. Tacoma, WA: Angelic Press and Sophia Perennis, 2013.

—. Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet. 3 vols. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017.

Shoemaker, Stephen J. The Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad’s Life and the Beginnings of Islam. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

Different but not Separate: A Muslim Reconciliation with Christianity

mosque
Pic: The Christ Church and the Jibril Mosque located in Stone Town, Zanzibar. (Picture by me, 2013.)

“The essential problem that the study of religion poses is how to preserve religious truth, traditional orthodoxy, the dogmatic theological structures of one’s own religion and yet gain knowledge of other traditions and accept them as spiritually valid ways and roads to God.” – Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Islam and the Encounter of Religions” (1999)

Christian-Muslim relations have been in the spotlight in recent years. Much have been due to the rise of religious extremism and conflicts involving and affecting the Christian and Muslim communities. In a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, Christians were the subject of harassment in 108 out of the 159 countries, while Muslims were harassed in 100 countries. These harassments include physical assaults, arrests and detentions, desecration of holy sites, discrimination and verbal assaults. In several of these cases, the tensions and conflicts involve direct Christian-Muslim clashes. Alas, despite the professed ‘Abrahamic roots’ of the two religions, Christian-Muslim relations remain fragile in the face of contemporary challenges. Given that both communities constitute more than half of world’s population (54% combined in 2010; Christianity 31%, Islam 23%) and projected to grow, Christian-Muslim relations have been the focus of several interfaith initiatives in the last few years; and rightly so.

Factors causing and driving these conflicts vary, but two historical determinants cannot be ignored. First, is the residue of the past memory of the imperial rivalry culminating in the era of the Crusades that continues to shape contemporary extremist narratives weaved along with an a-historical and de-contextualised theological response towards the Other. Second, is the mess of postcolonial conditions shaped by the baggage of a colonial era that pits the ‘Christian West’ against the ‘Muslim ummah’ read into unresolved contemporary geopolitical and economic conditions of the Muslim world. Hence, mending Christian-Muslim relations in the contemporary context must not ignore a critical evaluation of history and how the past had shaped the present.

These past determinants that has seeped through the contemporary reality may have amplified, inadvertently, the extremist narrative that Islam and Christianity are bound for a clash, defined by a cosmic narrative that the two religions are eternally locked in rivalry till the end of time where one’s legitimacy and presence can only be substantiated by the denial and obliteration of the other. It was as though co-existence and embrace between the two religious communities was anathema and contrary to the very essence of what it means to hold the truth or to be a faithful believer. For Muslim extremists in particular, this antipathy towards Christianity may range from a refusal to greet Christians on festivities such as Christmas, to an avowal to launch armed jihad against them. On the other side, for Christian extremists, the antipathy towards Islam may range from discriminatory treatment of Muslims to support for the bombing and invasion of Muslim countries.

Inter-connected and complex history

The extremist narrative, however, has mistaken the true nature of the Christian-Muslim relationship, which has never been of a single track. It ranges from mutual cooperation to rivalry, diatribe to dialogue, and conciliation to confrontation. (Bennett, 2008; Goddard, 2000) This is true, even of the medieval period, where Fletcher (2003) remarked: “Wherever and whenever we direct our gaze we find a diversity in the type or the temperature of encounter.” While acknowledging the centuries old conflict and rivalry that has shaped perceptions and relations between two of the world’s biggest religions (Jamieson, 2016), one must also be cognisant of the much-ignored strand of authentic embrace between the two religions, particularly in the formation of a civilisation that forms the basis of the modern world. Richard Bulliet’s The Case for an Islamo-Christian Civilization (2004) made excellent overtures to this. Bulliet dismisses the idealised notion of a separate (and antithetical) “Western” and “Islamic” civilisations, and argues that there are more similarities and peaceful interactions between the Christian and Muslim world than we would care to admit. A case in point is the much studied la convivencia (‘the coexistence) of the Muslim Iberian Peninsula of the medieval period that Menocal (2002) describes eloquently in her book, Ornament of the World.  A specially commissioned study compiled as Borders of Islam (2009) further strengthens the case that Huntington’s once popular idea of an inevitable ‘clash of civilisation’ is a myth that ignores the complexity of conflicts involving Muslim and non-Muslim societies that cannot be reduced to a simplistic dualism or fault-line between Islam and other religions.

It is important, therefore, to firstly, highlight these nuanced situations as a counter to the supremacist view of religion that denies the value (not just the fact) of religious diversity and is bent upon dominating or obliterating the Other. Secondly, there is a need to promote a different narrative: one that is not simply utilitarian in the face of our contemporary reality of religious pluralism, but derives its legitimacy from the rich and diverse religious tradition and informed by the complex nature of Christian-Muslim relations from the formative period of Islamic history. Below, I shall highlight three aspects deserving of attention in the narrative. It is a narrative that can form a basis for the reformulation of a contemporary Muslim ‘theology of religions’ that departs from the notion of an irreconcilable division and opposition between Christianity and Islam that extremists peddle towards fulfilling the self-professed inevitable confrontation between the communities of both faiths. However, I am cognisant that I am discussing this from the Muslim angle and will leave further elaborations on the Christian perspective to my Christian friends and theologians.

An alternate theology and reading of early relations

Historical amnesia, historians often caution, is a danger that makes every society vulnerable to ideological manipulations. This is certainly germane to today’s situation, with the rise of demagoguery and extremism via global technology and mass communication. In highlighting an alternate reading of Christian-Muslim relations from the earliest period of Islamic history, I hope that new and creative engagements with the tradition can occur that can lead to better prospects to mend the relationship amidst the increasingly divisive rhetoric of extremists from both sides. This, inevitably, will involve an exploration into three components: the sacred foundational text of Islam (i.e. the Qur’an), the early interactions between both communities prior to the age of dynasties, and the continuous strand linking the formative period to later evolution at the theological and practical level.

In looking at these three components, I would affirm that the general validity of the Christian faith was never doubted during the formative years, even though Islam did try to correct ‘errors’ that could be understood as minor and not significant enough to set them apart from the monotheistic path emphasised by Islam. In fact, the idea of Islam nullifying the Christian faith through supersession is one interpretation that cannot be confused with the default theology of all Muslims. In his erudite analysis of pluralism, Sachedina (2001) wrote: “There is no doubt that the Koran [sic.] is silent on the question of supersession of the previous Abrahamic revelations through the emergence of Muhammad. There is no statement in the Koran, direct or indirect, to suggest that the Koran saw itself as the abrogator of previous Scriptures… It is important to bear in mind that the Koran introduces the idea of abrogation in connection with specific legal injunctions revealed in particular verses but apparently repealed, that is, abrogated or superseded by other verses. Accordingly, applying abrogation to Islam’s attitude toward preceding Abrahamic traditions was, to say the least, debatable.”

Throughout Islamic history, there have been voices that were amenable to an inclusive theology of religions. Within this alternate theology, Christians and Muslims are linked through a divine thread that unites them beyond the literal and outward forms of religion. Sufism, the spiritual branch of Islam, offers the most promising resource to understand this aspect further. (Nasr, 1999) A case in point is the writing of the celebrated mystic-philosopher, Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240), whose interpretation of Q. 5:17 (“They have disbelieved/kafara who said: Truly God is the Messiah son of Mary…”) to mean a literal “covering up” (kufr) and not disbelief. For Ibn ‘Arabi, the Christians concealed God in the form of Jesus and not in “saying ‘He is God’ nor ‘the son of Mary’” (Fusūs al-Hikam, in Shah-Kazemi, 2006). Other Muslim scholars with an inclusive approach to Christianity includes Jalaluddin Rumi (d. 1273) and al-Kashani (d. 1329), both hailing from the mystical and esoteric tradition in Islam. The Syrian 18th century Mufti of Damascus, al-Nabulusi (d. 1731), represents another interesting alternate theology that departs from the dominant exclusivist strand by saying that Christians with faith in God in their hearts are indeed believers, even if they remain as non-Muslim in their legal status. (Khalil, 2012) This is similar to how Indonesian scholar, Nurcholish Madjid (2003) interprets the distinction between islām (submission to God) and Islam (a legal category of being a follower of Muhammad) – as the Qur’an 3:67 declares Abraham, who preceded Muhammad, as ‘one who submits’ (muslīm). This distinction allows for a more inclusive truth-claim while being expansive in defining the path to the divine beyond the human construction of religion; or, as the Qur’an puts it: “To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way (shirʿatān wa minhāj). If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people…” (Q. 5:48)

Textual resource

Firstly, the close affinity that Muslims had with the Christians can be substantiated through the foundational text of the Qur’an. Q.5:82 declares that “nearest among them in love to the believers will you find those who say, ‘We are Christians’…” The context of the verse was not entirely clear nor can be substantiated, but what is certain is that it acknowledges “a certain spiritual affinity between the Christians and the Muslims.” (Nasr, 2015) This affinity was also grounded in notable extension found in the Prophetic tradition. In one report (ahadith) found in both Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the Prophet said: “I am the closest of the people to Jesus the son of Mary in this life and in the Hereafter.” When asked how is that, he further replied: “The prophets are brothers from one father with different mothers. They have one religion and there was no other prophet between us.”

Notably, Q.5:82 was not an isolated verse. In fact, twice in the Qur’an was the salvific possibility of the Christians mentioned in unequivocal terms – “wa lā khawfun ‘alaihim wa la hum yahzanūn / on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” (Q.2:62; cf. 5:69). Fazlur Rahman, in his Major Themes of the Qur’an (1989), mentions that the Prophet was aware of the unity of the Abrahamic faiths, but gradually acknowledged the mutually exclusive “communities” only when in Medina. In fact, the Qur’an’s frequent witness to the authenticity of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews included) is remarkable that Cyril Glassé (2001) once remarked, “The fact that one Revelation [i.e. the Qur’an] should name others [i.e. the Ahl al-Kitāb/People of the Book] as authentic is an extraordinary event in the history of religions.”

Examples abound in the Qur’anic text. In Q.10:94 and 16:43, Prophet Muhammad was asked to enquire from the People of the Book with regards to the truth of God’s revelation to him in the face of the Meccan detractors, while Q.74:31 mentions that the Prophet sought consolation from the People of Book who were certain of the truth that God revealed to him. In fact, the recognition of the People of the Book as bearers of divine truth in the Prophetic age was confirmed by a late Medinan verse that attempts to remove two important social barriers – dietary and marriage restrictions: “The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time…” (Q.5:5). Mahmoud Ayoub (2007), a foremost scholar on Christian-Muslim relations observes that these verses “demonstrate clearly the unity of faith and purpose which, according to the Qur’an, should exist among the three communities of faith [i.e. the Jews, Christians and Muslims].”

In one interpretation of early Islam, Donner (2010) notes that the Prophet and his early followers were less enamoured by the exclusive distinctiveness of their faith – a marked difference during the age of Muslim dynasties that understandably, would have carved out an exclusive faith to consolidate its position of power amidst the presence of the Christian Roman-Byzantine and Zoroastrian Persian-Sassanid empires to the west and the east of Arabia, contemporaneously. Hence, the early “believers” (mu ͗minūn, as a confessional identification, instead of the later and more exclusive identification of muslimūn) sense themselves as “constituting a movement open to all who believed in God’s oneness and in righteous living”, which forms the ecumenical character of early Islam.

Early interactions

Secondly, the Qur’an’s acknowledgement of the Christians in largely positive terms (except in a few verses, e.g. Q.5:72-3, Q.9:30 and Q.5:116, which describe Christian beliefs in ways that even the majority of the Christians would not identify with and hence, can be seen as Christian ‘heterodoxies’ or possibly, ‘heresies’), is best understood in the significant presence of Christianity in the Arabic context during the Prophetic age, particularly in north-west, north-east of Arabia, as well as the east coast of the south. This presence has been amply discussed in Trimingham’s Christianity among the Arabs in Pre-Islamic Times (1979). “The fact remains,” wrote the El Hassan bin Talal (1998), “that the Christian Arabs are in no way aliens to Muslim Arab society: a society whose history and culture they have shared for over fourteen centuries to date, without interruption, and to whose material and moral civilization they have continually contributed, and eminently so, on their own initiative or by trustful request.”

Based on one of the earliest biographical sources on Prophet Muhammad, Sirāt Rasul Allah (‘The Life of the Prophet of God’) by Ibn Ishaq (d.767), there were at least five direct encounters between the Prophet/early Muslims and the Christians, and in all of these, they were largely non-hostile and affirming of the closeness in faith: (1) a monk in the desert by the name of Bahira who saw the mark of prophethood in Muhammad when the latter was 12 years old and followed his uncle, Abu Talib for trade to Syria; (2) a Christian scholar by the name of Waraqa ibn Naufal, who assured Khadijah, the Prophet’s wife, that Muhammad will be a prophet to the Arabs, when she sought his advice concerning the traumatic experience of Muhammad after receiving his first revelation, (3) the early converts’ migration to Abyssinia circa 615 CE to seek protection from Negus, a Christian ruler of the kingdom of Axum, following the Meccan persecution – and upon hearing the Muslim delegation’s recital of a verse on Jesus from a chapter on Mary from the Qur’an, was reported to have picked up a stick and said that the difference between the Muslim and Christian belief on Jesus is no greater than the length of the stick; (4) the Prophet’s hosting of a delegation of Christians from Najran for a discussion, which ended with peaceful disagreements but of significance was the invitation of the Prophet to the Christians, led by a bishop, to perform their prayers within the Prophet’s mosque compound; and (5) the Prophet, towards the end of his life, sending letters to the neighbouring Christian rulers such as Heraclius, the emperor of Byzantine and the Negus of Axum, to accept Islam – an encounter that reflected the expanding power of the early Muslim community more than an exclusive theological assertion.

Later attitude

Thirdly, the positive attitude of the early Muslims may have informed the largely tolerant nature of later Muslims with regards to the Christians. Reza Shah-Kazemi in his book, The Spirit of Tolerance in Islam (2012) demonstrates how “tolerance of the Other is in fact integral to the practice of Islam; it is not some optional extra, some philosophical or cultural indulgence, or still less, something that one needs to import from some other tradition.” Examples abound in various periods of Islamic history. So much so that even Voltaire who was extremely critical of religion, pointed to the “sociable and tolerant religion” of Islam, in contrast to rabid intolerance of the Christian West where no mosque was allowed, but “the Ottoman state was filled with churches”.

One interesting document that may be representative of the tolerant characteristic of early Islam that shapes later Muslim attitude is the “Covenant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World” (known in Arabic as al-‘Ahd wa al-shurut allati sharataha Muhammad rasul Allah li ahl al-millah al-nasraniyyah) that was extensively discussed – along with other similar covenants to the monks of Mount Sinai, Christians of Persia, Najran, Assyria and the Armenian Christians of Jerusalem – in John Andrew Morrow’s book, The Covenants of Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World (2013). In the covenant, the Prophet gave the promise “to guard and protect” the “all those who profess the Christian religion, in the Eastern lands and its West, near and far, be they Arabs or non-Arabs, known or unknown” which includes not “to remove a bishop from his bishopric, a monk from his monastic life, a Christian from his Christianity, an ascetic from his tower, or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches or their businesses or to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of the believing Muslims.” The document further outlined various other protections, including freedom of religion: “No one who practices the Christian religion will be forced to enter into Islam… They must be covered by the wing of mercy and all harm that could reach them, wherever they may find themselves and wherever they may be, must be repelled.” Remarkably, the covenant covers the specific protection of Christian women, where “the girls of the Christians must not be subject to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent” and “If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

Although the authenticity of the covenant was disputed – a copy of which was dated to 1538 and widely circulated in the Ottoman Empire and Europe in the 17th century – it nonetheless corroborates with other similar covenants, and with Qur’anic ethos discussed earlier, and may be representative of the historic largely tolerant treatment of Christians during the Ottoman period and before. It was recorded that when the Muslims took Jerusalem in 638 CE, the second caliph, ‘Umar b. al-Kattab (d. 644) had a written message to the city’s inhabitants: “In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is a written document from ‘Umar b. al-Khattab to the inhabitants of the Sacred House (bayt al-maqdīs). You are guaranteed (āminūn) your life, your goods, and your churches, which will be neither occupied nor destroyed, as long as you do not initiate anything [to endanger] the general security (hadathan ‘āmman).” (Sachedina, 2001) Throughout Muslim history, co-existence between Muslims and Christians was a cultural norm and mutual learning – testament to early Islam’s acceptance of the universality of the good, regardless of its religious origin – was not uncommon. For example, it was known that a luminary thinker, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111) had no qualms in using Christian and Jewish sources as nass (text, used in argumentation as dalil/proof) in his writings, such as his Kitāb al-‘Ilm (Book of Knowledge). In fact, well-known 10th/11th century philosophers such as al-Sijistani (d. 1001) and Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi (d. 1023) were students of a leading Jacobite Christian, Yahya ibn ‘Adi (d. 974) who lived in Baghdad. In the Sufi tradition, it was reported that the ascetic, Ibrahim bin Adham (d. 782) turned to a Christian monk named Father Simeon, who was “my first teacher in ma ͗rifāh (mystical knowledge).”

Embracing the Other as ‘Us’

What can be observed from the brief discussion above is that early Muslims had significant contact and engagements with the Christians that were largely peaceful and respectful. This was driven by the very message of Islam that, as seen in various parts of the Qur’an, accepted the inherent diversity of religions as God’s Will. In the context of family tradition, i.e. the People of the Book, Christianity was seen as a valid religion that has elements of truth which was affirmed in the Qur’an. Much of the disagreement that the Qur’an has with regards to Christian theology are not significant enough that prohibits social integration at the most intimate level, such as the permissibility of inter-marriage and sharing of food. It was this belief that informed later cordial and friendly interactions and protection of the other. Unfortunately, as the Muslim community expanded and established an empire of its own, a need for a constituted separate and unique political identity emerged along with a more exclusivist theology that accentuate differences more than the earlier affinity and closeness. This was further compounded by a hostile period where both communities clashed during the Crusades and locked in imperial rivalry that impacted further the theology of one against the other. This carried on to the colonial period and Muslims emerging from the colonised situation still carry the burden and baggage of the period of ‘Christian West’ dominating and plundering Muslim lands and humiliating them by the racist notion of a ‘superior Judeo-Christian-Western civilisation’ and suppressing any memory of the contributions of Islam to the rise of Europe in the Middle Ages.

Knowing the burden of history requires us to confront the narrative that has and continues to shape the present perceptions. This involves a reworking of the theology of religions based on knowledge of the historicity and contingency of views located in a certain period in time, while offering a new reading derived from the same authoritative early sources but contextualised to the present. This will also require laying the foundations for conciliatory approaches as opposed to the confrontational. Diatribe that has characterised Christian-Muslim relations for the last few decades, must be replaced with greater dialogue and mutual learning. Humility to acknowledge what has gone wrong in history and our sense of inadequacy in grasping the entire majestic truth of the divine, are prerequisites.

At the popular level, theological disputes must be replaced with narrative-building. This can start with common stories and wisdoms shared across the two communities. Just as early Islam benefited and grew out of positive inter-cultural contact and interactions, we must allow for new encounters that can lead to creative reworking of theology and how we make sense of our own present religious conditions, inter-religiously. This need not be an amalgamation of the two religions, which is neither possible nor desirable. But it can be a mutual partaking of wisdom and shared commitment in the pursuit of the divine and of truth that transcends the boundaries of each religious community. Differences may exist, but just like in the earliest period of Islam, they do not define the relationship or rebuke the divine basis and legitimacy of the other. It is how Mona Siddiqui (2013) eloquently remarked: “However differently Christians and Muslims define God and their relationship to God, God remains the deepest presence in our lives… whenever and wherever I turn to God, I share this humbling but joyful relationship with all who turn to him in faith.” It is to God that we turn to ultimately, not the worship of our own religion, much less, the Ego Self.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ayoub, Mahmoud. 2007. A Muslim View of Christianity: Essays on Dialogue by Mahmoud Ayoub. Edited by Irfan Omar. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

Bennett, Clinton. 2008. Understanding Christian-Muslim Relations: Past and Present. London: Continuum.

Bulliet, Richard W. 2004. The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization. Columbia University Press.

Donner, Fred M. 2010. Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam. Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Fletcher, Richard. 2003. The Cross and the Crescent: The Dramatic Story of the Earliest Encounters between Christians and Muslims. London: Penguin Books.

Glassé, Cyril. “Ahl al-Kitāb” in The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, Revised Edition. London: Stacey International.

Goddard, Hugh. 2000. A History of Christian-Muslim Relations. Chicago: New Amsterdam Books.

Guillaume, A., tr. 1967. The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Isḥāq’s Sīrat Rasūl Allāh. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hansen, Stig Jarle, Mesoy, A. and Kardas, T. 2009. The Borders of Islam: Exploring Samuel Huntington’s Faultlines from Al-Andalus to the Virtual Ummah. New York: Columbia University Press.

Jamieson, Alan G. 2016. Faith and Sword: A Short History of Christian-Muslim Conflict, Second Expanded Edition. London: Reaktion Books.

Muslims in North America

“Not Muslim enough for the masjids… too Muslim for Western society”
John Andrew Morrow

“Not Muslim enough for the masjids… too Muslim for Western society”

We continue our conversation with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, an author and a scholar, about Muslims residing in the West. He is best known for his Covenants’ Initiative that aims to create better understanding between Muslims and Christians in the world today.

CI: Do you think Muslims in North America will be assimilated into the broader society within the next 10–20 years?

By and large, they already are. Rather than reject the negative aspects of their cultures of origin, and embrace the positive aspects of Western culture, many transnational Muslims tend to do the exact opposite. In some ways, they are only western in their passports. In other ways, they are more Westernized than Westerners. I remember the case of the gorgeous Yasmeen Ghauri in the 1990s. If the daughter of a Montreal-based imam of Indian origin can become a supermodel who poses nude, how does that bode for the rest of the Muslim community? For many young Muslims in the West, their role models are Zayn Malik along with Gigi and Bella Hadid who, incidentally, were raised as practising Muslims. They are models of successfully integrated Muslims of immigrant origin. For others, their role models are people like Linda Sarsour, a hijab-wearing leftist, and Masuma Khan, a Talibanesque leftist, both of whom support sexual immorality.

“Opposition 2 gay marriage today is same as opposition 2 interracial marriage 50 yrs ago” Sarsour tweeted. No, Linda, it is not. Interracial marriages are permitted according to the law of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (a); however, same-sex marriages are not. Or, how about these classic quotes from the Canadian-hating Afghan, “Be proud of this country? For what, over 400 years of genocide… I stand by Indigenous students.” No, you don’t, Masuma. I am an indigenous person and you certainly do not speak for my people or for Muslims. Masuma Khan, who is incapable of independent thinking, is famous for regurgitating the radical rhetoric that she has been taught by leftist college professors, including the nonsensical notion that only whites can be racist and that Caucasians cannot be victims of racism since racism supposedly does not work in reverse. Such notions are both illogical and un-Islamic. Islam denounces all racial discrimination irrespective of who is directing it and who is receiving it. Young Muslims in the West are being drawn to extremes, Salafi/Wahhabi/Takfiri terrorism on the one hand, and radical liberalism, leftism, and secularism on the other whether it is dressed in a burqa like Masuma Khan, a modern hijab like Linda Sarsour, or a mini-skirt and micro-bikini like Gigi and Bella Hadid.

These extreme alternatives are not the product of chance or random development. They are the product of programming. They are the fruit of generations of serious study, including trial and error, conducted at huge cost by powerful think tanks, policy makers, and social engineers. To a large extent, the work in question is “invisible.” Apart from attentive observers, who can put together the pieces of the puzzle, most of the research conducted, as well as its ultimate goals, goes unnoticed by 99.9% of the population since it takes place primarily in private institutions or is spread so thinly throughout public institutions that its interconnectedness is not perceived. Just like the scientists who produced the atomic bomb in New Mexico were unaware of the goal of their research, since they were separated into isolated groups that were assigned to work on very specific tasks, many of the scholars and scientists involved in social-engineering research are unaware of the implications and outcome of their work. Although they believe they are independent actors, they are but puppets on a string, without agency and impetus of their own: ignorant of the script that was written for them and the global design of the directors. Take the “Arab Spring” and the “Color Revolutions,” for example. They were the complete and total creation of intelligence agencies that conveniently exploited the shortcomings, weaknesses, and failings of distinct Arab and Muslim societies. According to Oscar LHpez Rivera, the Puerto Rican sovereigntist, David Rockefeller, and others, said more than 40 years ago that there was too much democracy and that they had to do away with it. That was the origin of the Trilateral Commission and the New World Order.

Although only small numbers of Muslims move toward takfiri terrorism, much larger numbers are dragged into the sludge and slime of secular Western society. According to research conducted by the Family and Youth Institute, 57% of male Muslim college students have engaged in pre-marital sex (48% for females); 45% of male Muslim college students have consumed alcohol (48% for females); and 28% of male Muslim college students have used illicit drugs (19% for females). If we look at individuals between the ages of 17–35, we find that 67% of Canadian and US Muslims have engaged in pre-marital sex. The situation in the Muslim world is not much better. In some cases, it is even more dismal. Some Muslims get livid when I cite these statistics. Some say straight out, “I don’t believe you.” They can stick their heads in the sand for only so long before they will suffocate. To them I say, “Take your head out of the hole, take a deep breath, face reality, and work with the community on both prevention and treatment. Wake up.” We, as Muslims, are losing our children to the secular world order. We, conscious and educated Muslims from the West, can help. Marginalizing us will cost you dearly. Your children are succumbing to the sickness of this godless society. We have the medicine. If 76% of Muslims received sex education from the public school, only 4% received it from the masjid. Muslims are failing their children. They are not Muslim enough for the masjids, yet they are too Muslim for Western society. They are torn. We need to create safe spaces for Muslims in the West: places for those who have lived here for centuries and for those whose families immigrated in more recent times. As Imam ‘Ali said, “Do not expect your children to be like you for they were born for a different age.”

Intelligence is the ability to adapt. Failing to adapt results in extinction. We, western Muslims, can help immigrant Muslims, and their progeny, to integrate, survive, and prosper in the West without compromising primordial principles. Spiritually and morally healthy integration is possible but not for those who live in la-la-land.

CI: How could Muslims balance healthy integration with commitment to normative traditional Islam in North America?

We are supposed to be a justly-balanced Ummah (2:143). That applies to all aspects of life. We need to avoid all extremes. That includes religious extremism; however, that also includes irreligious extremism. We must learn to pick our battles and focus on pillars of faith and practice. We need to be flexible and avoid rigidity; however, we must not bend ourselves to the breaking point. We must remember that Islam represents a spectrum. While we should try to stick to safety of the center as much as reasonably possible, we must also be able to appreciate, and at times apply, aspects from both sides and even peripheral perspectives. When faced with an issue, we should examine the various rulings throughout the ages and adopt the one that is most appropriate to this period. We must consult with scholars who are traditional exponents of Islam but who are equally versed in the challenges of modernity. We have plenty of scholars of the text; however, we have very few who comprehend the context. Minority jurisprudence, which has historically been strong in Malikism, remains relevant.

Rather than rely on rulings derived from regions that were 100% Muslim, and where there was little or no racial, cultural, or linguistic diversity, western Muslims should emulate the example of Islam as it was practiced in places where pluralism flourished: al-Andalus, Sicily, the Balkans, the Ottoman Sultanate, China, and Southeast Asia. We should learn from the struggles and successes of the past, particularly the Muslims in the United States who were first organized here in the early-1900s. I consider it mandatory for all Muslim leaders in North America to familiarize themselves with the history of Caucasian and African-American Muslims in the United States. Patrick D. Bowen’s two-volume History of Conversion to Islam in the United States should be required reading. Let us learn from our failures and triumphs. Let us plan strategically to ensure our future, the future of our children, and the best possible future for the societies in which we choose to live and contribute. Is it possible for Muslims to balance healthy integration with commitment to normative traditional Islam in North America? Yes, indeed. However, it will require serious soul-searching on the part of transnational Muslims along with serious sacrifice. They need to cast off their cultural chrysalis and emerge as beautiful, western, Muslim butterflies.

Islam Between Love and Hate

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

The Muslim Post (April 16, 2018)

Islam Between Love and Hate by Dr. John Andrew Morrow

In the Name of Adonai. In the Name of the Father. In the Name of Allah. In the Name of the Great Spirit, Manitou, the Creator, the Omnipresent and Omniscient. That covers Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the spiritual teachings of the First Nations. Welcome. And if you don’t believe in God or you believe in many gods, welcome to you as well. This is an interfaith gathering. We insist on being inclusive and having a sense of humor.

So, a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim walk into a bar. The bartender asks: “What? Is this a joke?” Well, actually, it is. A Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim walk into a bar. The Muslim was the designated driver. A Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim walk into a bar… a juice bar. After a nice evening, they all leave with a deeper appreciation of each other’s religions. That’s a true story. It happens when people are pleasant and do not act like jerks.

I come before you today to tackle a terrible topic: Islam Between Love and Hate. Well, what can I say: there is a whole lot of hating going on. But why rely on what I have to say. Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth or in this case from God’s mouth.

“Do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people.”

“Utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

Seriously, now. What kind of a person would kill a donkey? What kind of crime could a donkey possibly commit. Sure, they are stubborn, but that does not mean that you have the right to kill them? If you think killing innocent donkeys, camels, sheep, oxen, nursing children, infants, women, and men is bad enough, consider the following verse:

“Kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

Ponder upon this a bit. How could men determine if women were or were not virgins? God is not calling for a gynecological examination to ascertain the intact nature of their hymens. No, the men who rape them: if they were non-virgins, they would kill them, if they were virgins, they would spare them the sword and take them as concubines, the “politically correct” term for sex slaves. And all of this was divinely sanctioned. Can you stomach more sexual assault and slaughter? Here are a few other key verses from the so-called religion of peace:

“Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women”

“Stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire”

“When he got home, he took a knife and cut his concubine’s body into twelve pieces. Then he sent one piece to each tribe throughout all the territory.”

Terrible, isn’t it. The violence. The gore. The injustice. The atrocities. And those are just a few key quotes. There are over 1000 similar passages in “Holy” Book that I will not mention by name. Compare that to the Sacred Scripture of another faith. The contrast is remarkable:

“God loves those who are just.”

“He has put love and mercy between your hearts.”

“God loves the doers of good.”

“God loves those who are constantly repentant.”

“God loves those who purify themselves.”

“God loves those who fear Him.”

“God loves the steadfast.”

“God loves those who rely upon Him.”

“God loves those who act justly.”

“God loves those [who fight for justice] in His cause.”

A God Who Hates. That is how Wafa Sultan describes Allah. Wafa is a medical doctor who was trained as a psychiatrist in Syria. She claims to be an authority on Islam. She works with Stop Islamization of Nations, an organization founded by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, among others. Considering the verses that I quoted initially, it appears the God of the Qur’an is a God of Hate. The only problem is that the verses that I first quoted are all drawn from the Bible and the verses that I quoted after are all drawn from the Qur’an.

The Bible

“Do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people.” (Bible: Deuteronomy 13: 8-10)

“Utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (Bible: 1 Samuel 15:3)

“Kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” (Bible: Numbers 31:15)

“Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women” (Bible: Ezekiel 9:6)

“Stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire” (Bible: Ezekiel 23: 47)

“When he got home, he took a knife and cut his concubine’s body into twelve pieces. Then he sent one piece to each tribe throughout all the territory.” (Bible: Judges 19:29)

The Qur’an

“God loves those who are just.” (Qur’an 60: 8)

“He has put love and mercy between your hearts” (Qur’an 30:21)

“God loves the doers of good” (Qur’an 2:195: 3:134; 5:13; 5:195)

“God loves those who are constantly repentant” (Qur’an 2:222)

“God loves those who purify themselves” (Qur’an 9:108)

“God loves those who fear Him” (Qur’an 3:76; 9:4; 9:7)

“God loves the steadfast” (Qur’an 3:146)

“God loves those who rely upon Him” (Qur’an 3:159)

“God loves those who act justly” (Qur’an 5:42; 49:9; 60:8)

“God loves those [who fight for justice] in His cause” (Qur’an 61:4)

I mean no insult to my Jewish and Christians friends for I, as a Muslim, am a follower of Muhammad, Jesus, John-the-Baptist, Elijah, Moses, Abraham, and Adam. I, as a Muslim, believe in all the prophets and messengers that were sent by the Creator to guide humanity. I, as a Muslim, believe in the scrolls, scriptures, and books that were revealed by God to Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad: the Scroll of Abraham, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Qur’an. I respect them all and I revere them all. I consider it prohibited to say anything that is unbecoming of them. I reject any allegations of wrongdoing on their part. The prophets and messengers of God were divinely-guided and protected: they did not sin.

I compare and I contrast the Bible and the Qur’an to make a point: that sacred scriptures must not, and cannot, be quoted out of context. It is dishonest. It is disingenuous. It is duplicitous. My strategy here is didactic or educational. Call it: giving Islamophobic Jews and Christians a taste of their own medicine by misrepresenting their religions, namely, by showing that Islam is a religion of love and peace and Judaism and Christianity are religions of hatred and violence.

I could easily have taken some of the more violent passages from the Qur’an and contrasted them to loving, merciful, and compassionate verses from the Old and New Testaments to prove the opposite, namely, that Judaism and Christianity are religions of love and peace and that Islam is a religion of hatred and violence.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have a long history of exegesis, hermeneutics, analysis, commentary, and interpretation. If you believe in sola scriptura, namely, that everyone and anyone can interpret the Bible as they deem fit, you are flying solo. You are going to crash and burn. There are people like that in Christianity. They tend to be extremists. There are people like that in Islam. They tend to be extremists as well. They tend to be literalists, fundamentalists or apologists. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we have a priestly class, a clerical class, scholars, and theologians: rabbis, priests, and shaykhs. Call it Tradition. Call it Consensus of Experts throughout the Ages. Call is Magisterium. Call it Religious Authority.

So, let’s talk about Islam and hate. To hate, in Arabic, is kariha / yakrihu / al-kurh. It means to feel disgust, be disgusted, to detest, to loathe, to abhor, and to dislike. It is something that gives offense. The verb “to hate,” in English, has no direct equivalent in Arabic. It is only translated as “hate” in English for idiomatic reasons. In English we say that something is hated. In Arabic we say that is makruh which means it is disliked, offensive or detestable. So, where does the Qur’an promote hate? Where does Allah, Almighty, say that He hates. Nowhere. The word “hate,” in this negative sense, does not appear in the Qur’an. Nothing. Rien. Nada. Walu. Ma kayn’sh.

God mentions the unbelievers “disliked” what He revealed “so He rendered worthless their deeds” (47:9). God warns against spying and backbiting, comparing it to cannibalism: “Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it” (49 :12). The step-father of Abraham is quoted as saying: “Do you dislike my gods, O Abraham? If you do not desist I will certainly revile you, and leave me for a time” (19:46). An ancient Arab prophet once said that he loathed paganism and polytheism. As God describes in the Qur’an: “The leaders, the arrogant party among his people, said: ‘O Shu’ayb! we shall certainly drive you out of our city – (you) and those who believe with you; unless you all return to our ways and religion.’ He said: ‘What! even though we do detest (them)?” (7:88).

God Almighty, in the Holy Qur’an, never, ever, says that He hates. God never says that He hates the unbelievers. The strongest words of reproach that we find in Muslim Scripture is that “God loves not: “God loves not the unbelievers” (2: 276; 3:32; 30:45); “God loves not transgressors” (2:190); “God loves not those given to excess” (5:90); “God loves not those who trespass beyond bounds” (7:55); “God loves not corruption” (2:205; 5:67; 28:77); “God loves not the wrongdoers” (3:57; 3:140; 42:40); “God loves not the wasters” (6:141; 7:31); “God loves not any arrogant boaster” (31:18; 57:23; 4:36); “God loves not the arrogant” (16:23); “God loves not those who exult in riches” (28:76); “God loves not the treacherous” (8:58); “God loves not one given to perfidy and crime” (4:107); “God loves not that evil be noised abroad in public” (4:148).

There is no hatred in the Qur’an. There is only lack of love for atheists, polytheists, and evil-doers. I know some of our Christian friends believe that God loves everyone irrespective of whether they believe or not or whether they are righteous or not. I am sorry, but I do not expect God to love genocidalists, imperialists, mass murderers, drug barons, human traffickers, pimps, pedophiles, child abusers, pornographers, rapists, Satanists, and atheists. In Islam, God is Loving, but God is also Just. He rewards and punishes. His Mercy, however, “extends over all things” (7:156). In Islam, Muslims are supposed to be caring and compassionate: “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace” (25:63 and 28:55). As merciful as Muslims are meant to be, they must always balance justice with compassion and compassion with justice. As Almighty God says in the Holy Qur’an:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for God, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (4:135)

Since only God is God, and humans, as much as they aspire to be godly, cannot be God, we, Muslims, are not expected to be indifferent to evil. We must love what God loves and disapprove of what God disapproves. We must love what the Prophet loves and dislike what the Prophet dislike. While we must reach out to others, and invite them to the Path of Love, we must also avoid getting embroiled in evil, and disassociate ourselves from the enemies of God and the Prophets. We should never, however, dehumanize them. We should avoid becoming consumed with hatred lest it clouds our vision and leads us to injustice.

Although Muslims can hate evil and evil-doers, in Islam, God does not hate. In the worst-case scenario, He deprives the wicked from His love. And what can be a greater punishment than that? That is worse than any wrath He could reign down upon them. Call it the eternal silent treatment. According to the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka Kansas, however, “God hates fags.” This is not something any believing Muslim with a functioning brain would ever say. According to Fred Phelps, there are dozens of verses in the Bible that prove that the Judeo-Christian God is a God of Hate.

“And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” (Leviticus 20:23)

“And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.” (Leviticus 26:30)

“And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.” (Deuteronomy 32:19)

“The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” (Psalm 5:5)

“Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” (Psalm 5:6)

“For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.” (Psalm 10:3)

“The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” (Psalm 11:5)

“There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.” (Psalm 53:5)

“As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.” (Psalm 73:20)

“When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel.” (Psalm 78:59)

“Therefore, was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.” (Psalm 106:40)

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

“The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.” (Proverbs 22:14)

“And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.” (Lamentations 2:6)

“All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.” (Hosea 9:15)

“Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me.” (Zechariah 11:8)

“And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” (Malachi 1:3)

“As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” (Romans 9:13)

So, apparently, there is a whole lot of hate going on in the Bible. Really, now? So, I checked. Some of these verses are in Greek. The verb that has been translated as “to hate” means to detest or to persecute: not to hate, per se. Some of these verses are in Hebrew. The verbs used literally mean “to be abhorred,” “to be a foe,” and “to be odious.” So, Mr. Phelps should learn some Hebrew and some Greek. He should also buy himself a Biblical Lexicon and learn, once and for all, that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are religions of love; not hate. They are divinely-revealed religions that, applied as intended, foster divine unity and human unity. They are all rooted in the Golden Rule: do not unto others as you would not have them do unto you.

As for the Arab psychiatrist from Syria, she should master her own language before claiming that Allah is a God of Hate. She should also use her psychiatric skills to treat Islamophobes instead of promoting Islamophobia. I own and operate a large mental health facility. I studied psychoanalysis at the PhD level. I can tell you in definite terms that people who are possessed with hatred suffer from serious mental disorders. They need professional psychological and spiritual help. So, here is my prescription: a little love from Allah. Yes, a little love from Allah.

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“O son of Adam! Serve Me! Verily, I love those who serve Me.” (Shirazi)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

O son of Adam! If I did not love forgiveness I would not test anyone by means of sin. (Shirazi)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“O Son of Adam! Behave with the people with good manners until I love you.” (Shirazi)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“O son of Adam! The more your heart longs for this world, the more My love leaves your heart. Verily, I will not let My love and the love of this world join together in one heart. Devote yourself to My worship. Purify your deeds from showing off until I dress you in the clothing of My love.” (Shirazi)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“O son of Adam! You desire and I desire but nothing happens except what I desire. He who tries to reach Me knows Me. He who knows Me wants Me. He who wants Me seeks Me. He who seeks Me finds Me. He who finds Me serves Me. He who serves Me remembers Me. He who remembers Me, I remember him with My mercy.” (Shirazi)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me, and I shall guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of me and I shall clothe you. O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you.” (Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to aske Me for refuge, I would certainly grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.” (Bukhari)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“A servant [of God] committed a sin and said: O God, forgive me my sin. And He said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He, glorified and exalted be He, said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He, glorified and exalted be He, said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for sins. Do what you wish, for I have forgiven you.” (Muslim and Bukhari)

As Almighty God says in a Sacred Saying transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad:

“O son of Adam! So long as you call upon me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! Were you to come with Me with sins as nearly as great as the earth and were you to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness as great as it.” (Tirmidhi and Ahmad)

Allah, which is simply Arabic for God, the equivalent of Elohim, Adonai, and Jehovah, is Loving. As we read in the Holy Qur’an, “Verily, My Lord is Merciful and Loving” (11:90). And yet again: “And He is the Forgiving and the Loving” (85:14). As Almighty Allah, glorified and exalted be He, states in a sacred saying: “I was a Hidden Treasure and I loved to be known. Therefore, I created the creatures so that I might be known” (Ibn ‘Arabi, Ibn al-Khatib, Mulla Sadra).

Almighty God create men and women so that they could love each other in sacred matrimony: “It is He who created you from a single soul, and made his mate of like nature, in order that ye may dwell with her [in love]” (7:189). The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was described by Almighty God as a man who was “full of kindness, mercy, and love” (9:128).

Although some misinformed individuals attribute misogynistic ideas to Islam, the Messenger of God commanded Muslim men to love members of the opposite sex: “It is the tradition of the Prophets to love women” (Kulayni). The Prophet Muhammad taught that God loves those who love their families (Bayhaqi). The Prophet also taught that spouses should love each other and express such love: “The words of a husband to his wife, ‘I truly love you,’ should never leave her heart” (‘Amili). At the same time, the Messenger of Allah stresses that “The best of you among women are those who are loving and affectionate” (Majlisi). As he said on another occasion, “When you love someone, let the person know” (Majlisi). The Prophet Muhammad also instructed his followers to care for minors: “Love children and be compassionate with them, and when you promise them something, always fulfill it.”

Love is central in Islam. It is at the heart of the Golden Rule. As the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, stated: “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself” (Muslim); “Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and to enter Paradise… should treat the people as he wishes to be treated” (Muslim); “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself” (Nawawi); “None of you is a believer if he eats his full while his neighbor hasn’t anything” (Ahmad); “Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves” (Abu Dawud); “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you” (Farewell Sermon); and “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” (Ibn Majah). In fact, the Qur’an goes beyond the Golden rule by encouraging Muslims to “Return evil with kindness” (13:22, 23:96, 41:34, 28:54, 42:40).

Does this sound like Islam to you? Not necessarily so. It certainly does not sound like the Islam that they show on television and social media. It certainly does not sound like the Islam of ISIS. That’s because it isn’t. ISIS is no more Islamic than the Klan is Christian. Al-Qaedah is no more Muslim than Mexican and Colombian drug lords are Catholic. Al-Nusrah is no more Islamic than Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army is Protestant. However, this Islam, true Islam, original Islam, normative Islam, classical, traditional, civilizational Islam is the Islam that is followed by 99.9% of Muslims. Less than 0.01% of Muslims are so-called Radical Islamic terrorists. As far as I am concerned, they are not even Muslims.

For people like Osama Ben Laden and Abu Bakr Baghdadi, for groups like the Taliban, al-Qaedah, al-Shabab, Boko Haram, and Daesh, for Takfiri terrorists, the followers of a demonic death cult created a mere two hundred years ago, Islam is nothing but hate. They may argue otherwise, but hate is the very essence of their existence. You shall know them by the fruits they bare. The Ten Commandments, as you know them, are all found in the Qur’an and they have all been violated by terrorists who claim to act in the name and interests of Islam. The Constitution of Medina, and the Covenants of the Prophet with the People of the Book, which assure civil and human rights, have been desecrated and defiled by fake and fraudulent Muslims. Hatred is at the heart of the terrorist creed. Compare that to the true teachings of the Prophet as preserved, protected, and transmitted by the Family of the Prophet, may God be pleased with them. As Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, the great great grand-son of the Prophet, stated: “Religion is love and love is religion” (Kulayni). I repeat: “Religion is love and love is religion.” I send you greetings of peace and prayers for peace. Let us love so that we can be loved.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow and Ghulam Hasnain from Salt Lake American.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow and Ghulam Hasnain from Salt Lake American.

Delivered at Salt Lake City Downtown Library Auditorium on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at an event organized by Salt Lake American and funded in part by Utah Humanities. UH empowers Utahns to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.

Dr. Morrow’s Take on Celebrity “Shaykhs”

Dr. Morrow’s Take on Celebrity “Shaykhs”

“Transnational Muslims made a major strategic mistake in the West”
John Andrew Morrow

Crescent International


This is the second part of our interview with author, scholar, and activist Dr. John Andrew Morrow. He is best known for his Covenants’ Initiative that aims to create better understanding between Muslims and Christians in the world today.

CI: You have taken a public stand against celebrity “shaykhs” with ties to networks that in turn are tied to Gulf monarchies. It is no secret that Wahhabi networks have bought their way into masjids in Western countries, often with the blessings of Western regimes and normalized the regressive and parochialized understanding of Islam. What could Muslims in the West do in practical terms in order to reduce the influence of petrodollars and their socio-political agenda?

Since the passing of the Prophet (pbuh), and the end of relatively righteous rule, Muslim scholars were compelled to make decisions: to side with those in power or to operate independently on the basis of principle. From the Umayyads to the Ottomans, Muslim rulers were of many kinds. Some were corrupt, to varying degrees. Others, however, were relatively benign. It was long determined, in both Sunni and Shi‘i circles, that collaborating with governments, and even joining military forces, was permissible, so long as one was not directly involved in any evildoing and the rulers one served were operating, to a reasonable degree, within the limits of the legal and the illegal. Unfortunately, a clerical class developed that served the people in power regardless of their orientation and actions. Rather than “promote the good and forbid the wrong,” these court clerics legitimized the rule of wrongdoers and endorsed their evil deeds in the name of Allah (swt), the Prophet, and Islam. They are those who sold the signs of Allah for a miserable price (3:187). They are merchants of religion and hypocrites of the highest order who trafficked Islam for money, power, and influence.

The greatest scholars of Islam were not court clerics but independent thinkers and actors who supported the authorities when they acted according to the best interests of humanity and reprimanded them when they acted nefariously. After the disintegration of the Ummah, and the dark days of occupation, many court clerics turned to the service of Western powers. They called upon Muslims to submit and collaborate with the colonialists and when the spark of independence started to shine, they strove to snuff it out. Although the imperialists were driven out physically, they continued to control the Muslim world by means of puppet regimes that continued the campaign to secularize and Westernize the Islamic world. Understanding that non-Muslim orientalists had limited legitimacy in Muslim eyes, Western powers set out to create a class of “Muslim” authorities — lackeys of imperial powers — who could advance their ideas on their behalf. Hence, the rise of the Muslim academic, professor, and cleric who was trained directly or indirectly by non-Muslims and thoroughly saturated with contagious ideas that would contaminate the Islamic faith. Whether they wear a suit and tie or a turban and a cloak, these scholars for dollars spread STDs, namely, spiritually-transmitted diseases, among legions of Muslims.

How is consciousness shaped? By means of think thanks that produce policy papers. By means of universities and intellectuals. Academic freedom? There is no such thing. It exists only in appearance and in a limited and controlled scope. Think tanks, funded by the real rulers of the world, the billionaire elites, set the objectives. Long gone are the days of overthrowing governments and imposing an ideology on a people. That was not sufficiently sophisticated. The occult emperors of the New World Order set out to change the thought patterns, beliefs, values, and worldviews of entire populations. If you change the way people think, over the course of a few decades, they will not even notice that they have been overthrown.

Judaism and Islam strongly dislike and disapprove of divorce unless there are extenuating circumstances. It is so serious that the Throne of God trembles when it takes place. The Catholic Church, however, is adamant that divorce is prohibited unless properly annulled. In the 1980s, it was still taboo to get divorced. Teachers would whisper to each other that the parents of such and such a child were divorced. It was shameful to speak about it. The establishment determined that divorce would be normalized as a means of weakening the traditional family network. Within a few decades, they succeeded. It was decided, long before the 1960s, that fornication, adultery, illegitimacy, and other forms of sexual immorality, perversion, and debauchery, would be normalized to weaken the moral and ethical fabric of Judeo-Christian and Islamic society. And succeed they did.

Psychological programming is a reality. Since most people are like livestock, nay, even more astray (7:179), namely, content to follow blindly, they are relatively easy to reprogram over time. Only people with strong spirituality, deep convictions, and a sharp intellect can resist the process of brainwashing. The spread of radical Salafism, Jihadism, and Takfirism, produced by Western powers and supported by Eastern lackeys, is simply one example of how people with power, money, and influence can hijack, redirect, and redeploy a religion. It was no easy feat. When the Wahhabis took power in Arabia in the late-18th century, they represented less than 1% of the world Muslim population. By the 20th century, they were dominating Muslim discourse. It took two centuries for takfiri ideology to saturate the Ummah. Most of the damage, however, was done during the second half of the 20th century.

This Great Theft took billions of dollars. It took state support. It took embassies and attaches. It took thousands of masjids and schools. It took foundations of all sorts. It took a network of national and international organizations. It took universities around the world. It took endowed departments and chairs in East and West. It took hundreds of thousands of full scholarships for students. It took publishing houses and distributors. It took grants and scholarships. It took academic journals. It took dozens of television stations. It took billions of dollars in support to extremist groups. It also involved domestic and foreign policy along with diplomacy not to mention billions in investment in foreign countries to convince them to open their doors to takfiri influence. This is how radical Salafism was spread.

To avoid being tools of the enemies of Islam, both internal and external, Muslims should strive to maintain their independence from foreign and domestic governments. We must reject interference in our religious affairs. We should neither be lackeys of the East or West. We should not do their bidding. We should feel free to criticize the governments in both the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world. Does this mean we should not accept foreign funds? Not necessarily. We can accept financial support so long as no strings are attached. The funds need to advance our interests, as western Muslims, and not the interests of some foreign nation. Does this mean we should not accept domestic, tax-payer funds? Not necessarily. So long as it serves our interests as western Muslims and not the interest of governments that wish to make Muslims more malleable so that they can shape them into secularists, reformists, liberals, or terrorists as the political climate calls for. We, western Muslims, those who have been here for centuries, and those of us who are of immigrant origin, must call the shots: end of story. Our survival depends on our sovereignty, not our submission to domestic and foreign forces. We are western Muslims and proud of it. Unlike transnational Muslims who left the land of Islam to enrich themselves materially in the West, we western Muslims wish to enrich the West with Islam.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow, also known as Imam Ilyas ‘Abd al-‘Alim Islam, presenting his major work, “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.”

Muslim immigrants made a major strategic miscalculation when they started to move to the West in the 20th century. They appealed to the authorities. They presented themselves as pliant, obedient, and loyal citizens who were patriotic and simply wanted a piece of the material pie. There have been Muslims in the West since the time of slavery. The most massive repression of Muslims took place in BahSa, Brazil, in 1835. Unlike others, this rebellion was entirely planned, executed, and directed by Muslims. The fact that Muslims could plan such a powerful revolt, under such horrific and subhuman circumstances, is testimony to the power of Islam. Although there were organized communities of African, Hispanic, and Caucasian Muslims in the West in the 1920s and 1930s, Muslims from abroad opted, not to join, support, and help strengthen the existing communities; rather, they decided to create institutions catering to their own racial, cultural, ethnic, national, linguistic, and sectarian origins. While American Muslims were acting independently and associating Islam with uplifting people of all colors, immigrant Muslims sought the patronage of foreign powers and their petrodollars. African Americans, who represent 50% of American Muslims, were largely left in the lurch except for a token few leaders who cast their lot with Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis, and Iranians.

Rather than build masjids where there were already African American Muslims, transnational Muslims made a conscious decision to construct them in white, middle-class suburbs, making them essentially inaccessible, not only to blacks, but to poor Muslim immigrants and refugees. They sought the good graces of various governments, humbly professing that they were moderate Muslims. They invested in brick and mortar, which is important, however, they stopped there. They failed to engage publicly in society. They did not build alliances. They did not buy radio and television stations. They did not invest in newspapers. They overlooked the importance of volunteerism and giving back to the community. They created charitable foundations, but only to help people in their countries of origin: not Americans irrespective of race, gender, or class. Until recently, they demonstrated little concern for issues such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness, child neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Transnational Muslims rarely, if ever, expressed solidarity with the struggles of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans, among others. And to this day, immigrant Muslims virtually never foster or adopt children, even when they are Muslims. What is more, many transnational Muslims hold fast to cultural traditions that are incompatible with Islamic values and principles.

Transnational Muslims acted as if Islam in the Americas commenced with immigrants. They failed to acknowledge that many of the rights and freedoms that they enjoyed were earned through the blood, sweat, and tears of African American Muslims. They usurped the authority and leadership that rightfully belonged to western Muslims and then treated them like their mawali or servants. Regardless of how many generations they had been practicing Islam, and regardless of how much Islamic knowledge they had acquired, westerners were viewed as second-class Muslims since they belonged to the wrong races and spoke the wrong languages. Rather than join the western Muslim community, immigrant Muslims created communities that were replicas of their homelands, bringing all sorts of negative baggage in the process: racism, tribalism, classism, patriarchy, misogyny, sectarianism, elitism, corruption, and despotism. They imported and imposed a version of Islam, typically Salafism and Wahhabism, that views the West and westerners with hostility, scorn, and contempt. Immigrant Muslims also tend to view themselves morally and intellectually superior to westerners due to their education and cultural origins. While they bring much that is good from their rich cultures of origin, transnational Muslims also import conflicts that have no place in the Western world. And, rather than assert their independence as western Muslims, immigrants pledged religious and political allegiance to foreign-nation-states.

Although Muslims of foreign origin have prospered in the West, they have little to no power or influence in society unlike their Jewish brothers and sisters in humanity who, at 1% like Muslims, exert considerable influence. Jewish conspiracy? Far from it. Call it brains and long-term strategic thinking. It was all accomplished openly in the light of day. Jews have made fortunes and have put their money to good use. They give back to the community. They build hospitals. They build community centers. Jews are active in politics. Jews fund think tanks. Jews operate public relations firms. They run strategic information centers. Jews have well-funded political action committees. Jews are represented in both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Regardless of who is elected, Jewish interests are protected. Muslims can learn a lesson or two from the Children of Abraham. Call me a “Jewish agent” if you wish; however, the Jews of Spain survived the re-Conquest while the Muslims of Spain did not. The Jewish people know a thing or two about surviving persecution and succeeding in the most trying of times.

So, yes, we have celebrity “shaykhs” who court the kings of the kuffar and who dance with devils. However, they are only a small part of the broader problem that faces the worldwide community of Muslims. Western powers are working with Eastern powers to undermine the socio-political, economic, spiritual, and religious principles espoused by the prophets of God. Who are the enemies of Islam among Muslims? Just ask the enemies of Islam among the infidels. They identify them quite clearly. As the RAND Corporation stated in Building Moderate Muslims Networks (2007), “The potential partners of the West in the struggle against radical Islamism are moderate, liberal, and secular Muslims with political values congruent to the universal values underlying all modern liberal societies.” Who are the allies of the soul-sucking savages and imperialists? “In general,” writes the RAND Corporation, “there appears to be three broad sectors within the spectrum of ideological tendencies in the Muslim world where the United States and the West can find partners in the effort to combat Islamist extremism: secularists; liberal Muslims; and moderate traditionalists, including Sufis.”

These are the “Muslims” who are currently supported by the establishment. They are “moderates,” they are “liberals,” and they are “secular.” They are the ones who get millions in funds. It is their message that the powers-that-be promote. They are given positions as professors and chairs at universities. Promote Islamic “reformation” or deformation, you are hired! Promote Islamic “feminism” or de-feminization, you are hired! Legitimize “gay” Islam, you are hired! Promote Sufism or “spiritual” Islam to emasculate Islam’s political potential and legitimate claim to power, you are hired! And, surprise, surprise, all these efforts to spread “moderate” Islam are being closely monitored by the Mossad. In a top-secret document titled The Struggle of Islamic Regimes, dated May 29, 2014, that was leaked to al-Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, we learn that the Israeli secret service actively assesses attempts to promote what it calls a “moderate” interpretation of Islam.

As Muslims, we should be alarmed at any Islam that pleases occupiers, imperialists, tyrants, and illegitimate authorities, as well as the pillagers of people and this sacred planet. We must stand with the Islam of the oppressed as opposed to the Islam of the oppressors. As Muslims, we should be outraged at celebrity shaykhs who support sexual immorality. Allah (swt) commands us to promote the good and forbid the wrong. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was adamant that the lawful and the prohibited was applicable until the end of times. As Muslims, we cannot endorse, authorize, approve, legalize or bless major sins and moral abominations.

Who are these proponents of Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Tasawwuf who profess “non-interference in political affairs” and whose interests do they serve? Do they serve the interests of Islam and Muslims or the Gulf monarchies that fund and support them? And whose interests do the Gulf monarchies serve? Certainly not those of Islam and Muslims. Rather, they serve the interests of the Evil Empire. They legitimize the status quo. Being apolitical is profoundly political. It pleases the Deep State and the New World Order. Clearly, the counter-extremism strategy of Western powers, in collusion with Eastern powers, is really a counter-Islam strategy. I bear witness to Almighty Allah: I will denounce despots, oppose oppression, and fight injustice like the Prophet Elijah, Prophet John, the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, and the Prophet Muhammad (a).

The Covenants of Compassion from the Messenger of Mercy

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

AMUST (March 27, 2018)

meettheauthor2

 

 

Prophet Muhammad (s) authored hundreds of letters. They are found in books of prophetic biography, traditions, jurisprudence, history, and Qur’anic commentary. Dozens of letters are cited in Jewish, Samaritan, Christian, and Zoroastrian sources. More than half a dozen originals survive in mosques, monasteries, museums, and private collections.

These documents were dictated by the Prophet himself. Although he used many different scribes, the major covenants with the People of the Book were written down by ‘Ali (r) and Mu‘awiyyah (r) and witnessed by dozens of prominent Companions of the Prophet, including Abu Bakr (r), ‘Umar (r), and Uthman (r), among many others.

The Messenger of Allah signed some of his correspondence with his palm-print and, later, when his ring was made, he marked them with his famous seal.

Most of the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet can be found in al-Watha’iq, by Dr Muhammad Hamidullah, Makatib al-Rasul by Ayatullah Ahmadi Miyanji, and Kalimah Rasul al-A‘zam by Ayatullah Hasan Shirazi.

The most important studies on the subject include Power Manifestation of the Sirah by Zafar Bangash, the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World by Dr John Andrew Morrow, and Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet, edited by the former, which features contributions by dozens of leading scholars.

The letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (s) form a central part of his Sunnah. They permit us to properly interpret the Holy Book based on the Prophet’s instructions.

As a prophet, messenger, statesman, political leader, and military strategist, Muhammad (s) engaged in extensive diplomatic efforts to spread Islam, invite people, tribes, and nations to the Muslim faith, or offer them to enter into an alliance with the Confederation of Believers that he created.

By means of the Covenant of Madinah, the Prophet produced the first constitution in the history of humanity.

By means of the Covenants with the People of the Book, he produced declarations of human rights and charters of civil rights and freedoms, the likes of which would not be seen until the rise of modern Western democracies.

Prophet Muhammad (s) granted rights and privileges the People of the Book who formed part of the Muslim Ummah or who were its allies.

These include:

  • The Covenant of Madinah.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Syriac Orthodox Christians.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Coptic Christians of Egypt.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Jews of Maqna.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Yemenite Jews.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians.

¿QUIÉN LE TEME A LOS PACTOS DEL PROFETA MUHAMMAD CON LOS CRISTIANOS DEL MUNDO?

Por Roberto Verttuti

Por cierto, el título también sería correcto si se dijese “¿Quién le teme a la verdad?”. Porque de eso se trata. Se teme tanto a la verdad como a quien la propala.  Se teme a Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo, porque estos y la verdad van junto con pegado. Pero el título de la nota entendemos que es mejor porque “verdad” es un sustantivo abstracto que adquiere “vida” al aplicárselo: la verdad va ligada al objetivo del conocimiento y se manifiesta cuando se obtienen resultados que no se pueden cuestionar porque resultan evidentes con seguridad y certeza. Independientemente del peso que tenga. Y Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo, objeto de conocimiento, no tienen nada de abstractos sino que son una realidad como el universo, como el río que corre, como el texto que usted lee. E incluso se teme más aún la difusión y/o aplicación de Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo. Nos explicamos. Luego del redescubrimiento de estos Pactos por parte del Dr. John Andrew Morrow, hubo intentos de volver a ocultarlos y desvirtuarlos, de distintas maneras, como decir que correspondieron a un período histórico que ya no tiene vigencia. También se ha usado aquello de “cambiar algo para no cambiar nada”, bajo la forma de “decir algo para no decir nada, para que todo quede igual”. A ese tratamiento de los Pactos, prácticamente perverso, se opone ―lo que hace a la diferencia― el estudio histórico, racional, en contexto, profundo, cimentado en pruebas. Esta es la consideración que les dio y da el Dr. John Andrew Morrow, lo cual creó un verdadero maremoto en las mentes anquilosadas y/o malintencionadas tanto de Oriente como de Occidente. Son esas mentes  decrépitas las que, asustadas, balbucean algo para no decir nada de peso ―como presentar el texto o supuesto texto de un pacto sin ningún tipo de explicación o clarificación―, excepto, de hecho, la negación y rechazo de los mismos. De ahí lo majestuosamente brillante del redescubrimiento de Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo  por parte del Dr. John Andrew Morrow, quien los analiza de manera muy profunda y meticulosa, expone sus investigaciones en distintos idiomas, polemiza de manera cierta y documentada con quienes los niegan-rechazan-desconocen y demuestra cómo fueron aplicados exitosamente ―aunque con muchas lagunas― a lo largo de los siglos. Y una actitud así, destaca sobremanera y ejemplarmente hasta al más humilde transeúnte de ese camino. Vale la pena destacar que quien lo transita, en este caso el Dr. John Andrew Morrow, se juega permanentemente en todos los planos de la vida en esa tarea pues quienes objetan dichos Pactos saben que de aplicárselos hoy día se terminaría con la mayor parte de la sangría asesina en pos del enriquecimiento sin límites que persiguen, precisamente, bastantes de quienes los denigran. Efectivamente, los grandes enemigos de la vida, que son los grandes enemigos de la verdad, y también los grandes enemigos de la humanidad, ven cómo el trabajo con esos documentos va creando los anticuerpos que anularán sus maniobras canallescas basadas en la mentira, el engaño y el robo criminal genocida.
El Dr. John Andrew Morrow devuelve a la luz del día un trabajo magnífico por su contenido y su meta: contiene estipulaciones dadas por Dios al género humano y persigue la tan ansiada paz, concordia y fraternidad entre todos los seres humanos de buena voluntad que buscan transformar los armamentos en instrumentos de progreso y bien público; los conciliábulos del mal y de la codicia en asambleas populares de la alegría y la felicidad; la miseria y egoísmo vejatorio de la dignidad en solidaridad, hermandad y convivencia pacífica. Y esto es odiado por los poderosos, por quienes quieren poner a toda la humanidad a su servicio a través de un esclavismo sanguinario y por medio de una mentira gigantesca que pasa por la demonización del Islam y la repulsa absoluta de Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo, a los que tratan, entre otras cosas, de “inventos de los cristianos”. Peor aún, esos poderosos que odian todas las religiones aunque se disfracen con algunas de ellas, quieren hacer desaparecer, para beneficio propio, a una sexto o más de la humanidad, como está documentado en distintas partes. Allí tenemos las Piedras Guía de Georgia (EEUU) erigidas en 1980, que proponen mantener la población mundial en 500 millones de personas gobernadas por un solo ejecutivo global, cifra parecida a la propuesta, con el mismo fin, por Mijail Gorbachov. También tenemos la propuesta del creador de CNN, Ted Turner, quien dice que como máximo deberían habitar el planeta solo 300 millones de individuos. O peor aún, contamos asimismo con la propuesta de Dave Foreman ―cofundador de “Earth First” ― que habla de que esa cantidad no debe pasar los 100 millones… Pero lo que sostiene el Dr. John Andrew Morrow, en base a Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo, es que el planeta está en condiciones de cobijar una población mucho mayor a la actual y que la condición a ese efecto es aplicar las estipulaciones enunciadas por el Profeta Muhammad en sus Pactos: que la Tierra sea una Confederación de Pueblos Libres regida por las pautas del Creador. Es por eso que hoy día lo más temido por los manipuladores del genocida Nuevo Orden Mundial es la posibilidad de que se vuelvan a aplicar Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo.
Quienes temen a ese redescubrimiento del Dr. John Andrew Morrow, es decir a Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo ―que no son pocos―, se sobrecogen ante la verdad. Porque Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo y la verdad son uno, como dijimos, en esencia y en espíritu.
¿Quiénes temen a la verdad? La verdad aterroriza al transgresor, al perverso, al terrorista, al egoísta, al usurpador, al timador, al criminal, al ególatra, al mezquino, al ruin, al materialmente poderoso, al salvaje militarista a ultranza, al mentiroso, al explotador y esclavista, al racista, al elitista, al farsante, al canalla, al inmoral, al hipócrita, al gobernante corrupto, es decir, a quienes adoran el escarnio…
Todos los que atentan contra la verdad, porque no les conviene o porque el odio cegador y absurdo los devora, se valen de cuanta maniobra política o acto repudiable les venga a mano para seguir manteniendo sus privilegios o conductas abominables. Por eso alguien dijo que la verdad y la política nunca se llevaron demasiado bien y que la verdad nunca fue considerada una virtud política. La política solo enaltece y se vuelve una virtud cuando es guiada y fundamentada en la normativa sagrada de los textos revelados y/o grandes expresiones espirituales o tradiciones genuinas. Resulta clarísimo. Los que temen a la verdad, es decir, los amantes de sus intereses políticos normalmente mezquinos, son los amantes del escarnio. Y cuando ante ellos se presenta un sol de justicia, amor, fraternidad, honestidad, entrega, esfuerzo, solidaridad y sacrificio por los demás ―las cosas que exhiben los textos revelados por Dios a la humanidad y Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo―, la cólera demente y arrasadora de quienes se sienten marcados por el oprobio trata de anular, por los medios que sean, esa manifestación. Por eso se teme a quien ilumina con ese sol.
La gran arma, la primera en usarse para anular algo, es la tergiversación, la mentira, el engaño. Enterémonos de quiénes abierta o encubiertamente se oponen al trabajo del Dr. John Andrew Morrow con Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo y conoceremos a las almas en las sombras que odian esos documentos. Desgraciadamente, no pocas veces se trata de individuos iluminados permanentemente por las lámparas de los escenarios pomposos o por la apariencia, en sus vidas de “grandes personajes”, “intelectuales probos”, “religiosos eméritos”, etc. Esas almas de la penumbra y la sombra podrán ser todo lo malvadas que se quiera pero por lo general no dejan de ser astutas. Usan todos los medios del caso para presentar la verdad como mentira y viceversa. Usan todo tipo de instrumentación intelectual-filosófica-ideológica-psicológica-política para hacer creer que algo no tiene existencia real o es inapropiado. Ponen en duda prácticamente todo, al punto de hacerlo increíble: lo existente no existe; lo que se dice nunca sucedió; las fechas que se dan como documentadas carecen de comprobación; se desconoce quienes redactaron tal y cual cosa aunque haya una lista de 10, 20 o 30 personas; las circunstancias históricas dadas son incomprobables y así de seguido. Crean una confusión muy enmarañada con el objetivo de que la gente se aburra, se sienta impotente para develar lo real, impotente para discernir. De lograrlo, “convencen” de que nunca aconteció tal cosa y hasta atacan con vehemencia y con las acusaciones más absurdas a quienes demuestran palmariamente la realidad de los hechos.
Por el contrario, quien se mueve con la verdad, quien presenta los hechos con fundamentos comprobables y sólidos, no necesita nada de eso. El de la verdad por lo general es Abel y el del engaño o tergiversación por lo general es Caín. La verdad, indiscutiblemente, siempre está en inferioridad de condiciones materiales frente a la mentira. Porque quien usa esta recurre a cualquier artilugio, por más falso e incierto que sea, para imponerse. Pero quien opera con la verdad jamás hace tal cosa. Por eso la mentira, engaño u ocultamiento resultan más “prácticos” en lo simplemente mundanal. Además y por lo general, la verdad molesta a muchos pues les impide, de atenerse a ella, la obtención de placeres y situaciones de regocijo ordinarios así como de poder material mediante la explotación y violación de los más elementales derechos humanos. Por eso son bastantes los que se alejan de los que no transigen con la mentira y la distorsión de la verdad. Muchas veces esta produce dolor y casi nadie está dispuesto a sufrir. Por eso muchos aceptan solo formalmente Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo. Dicen que están bien, que son auténticos, pero no obran en consecuencia. Ni los terroristas encubiertos en la mentira más enloquecida, ni los sátrapas genocidas disfrazados de buenas personas islámicas, ni otros con un gran morbo hacia el Islam ―que tampoco son pocos― están dispuestos a reconocer Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo ―más allá de lo formal― y actuar en consecuencia: proceden así porque de otro modo dañarían o irían en contra de sus intereses mezquinos, egoístas o antirreligiosos. Los hijos de la sombra, de la oscuridad que alberga a los bellacos, solo deambulan, se reproducen y son fuertes en las tinieblas. Por eso niegan la verdad, en este caso Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo.
En cambio, la verdad busca la luz, es amiga de la luz, evita ocultarse, se manifiesta con una gran transparencia.
Pero en el mundo, especialmente el actual, el engaño, la tergiversación, la mentira son las formas “normales” de operar. La mentira se ha metido en el conjunto de la sociedad humana como un hábito o costumbre y desprecia con pavor lo opuesto: la verdad. En esta sociedad, para mal de la inmensa mayoría de la población mundial y resultados calamitosos, se invierte todo. Los déspotas y mancilladores de la verdad se presentan como demócratas y paladines de la honestidad y la moral; los terroristas y violadores se presentan como liberadores; el corrupto se presenta como puritano virtuoso y persona de bien; el agresor como agredido; los que más promueven la violencia injusta y ruin como promotores y receptores de premios por la paz; los más injustos o incapaces intelectualmente como dignos “académicos de renombre”; etc.
Para las almas de la sombra todo vale, incluidas las mentiras y el invento de situaciones inexistentes. A eso los lleva el temor a Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo. Ya dijimos quienes son los que temen Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo. Y el porqué de ese pavor es evidente. Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo reducen a polvo toda la mentira ideológica y supuestamente religiosa que nutre al terrorismo antiislámico disfrazado de islámico y marca a fuego, de hecho, a quienes fueron y son los creadores del mismo: los imperios genocidas de Occidente (IGO) y sus viles servidores de la península arábiga y aledaños. La presentación de Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo a los reyezuelos antiislámicos de la península arábiga, a los terroristas y a los países integrantes de una de las alianzas más asesina como es la OTAN, tienen el mismo efecto que la presentación de La Biblia a Drácula: se caen todas su mentiras, quedan expuestas, de hecho, sus malditas tramas y complots urdidos a costa de sucesivas matanzas de inocentes en Occidente y en Oriente.
Para todos los artífices del mal, Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo son temibles porque no se trata de una teoría sino de algo aplicado con éxito. Intentar revivir esa práctica genera odio y temor a los habitantes de las sombras quienes, por ahora, la desconocen, la niegan, la rechazan.
Por último, no debemos dejar de tener en cuenta que, en grandísima medida, el mundo está manejado por los injustos, por las almas de la sombra. Pero están quienes, como Kant, sostienen que “los hombres no pueden tolerar la vida en un mundo privado de justicia” y que ese “derecho humano se considera sagrado sin tomar en cuenta los sacrificios que exija”. Todo indica que en ese camino está el Dr. John Andrew Morrow con su redescubrimiento y estudio de Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo, por lo que corresponde apoyarlo.-

Dr. John Andrew Morrow: Scholar and Author

Crescent International

In this first part of or our interview, we talk to Dr. John Andrew Morrow, author and scholar, about his life’s journey and thoughts. He is best known for his Covenants’ Initiative that aims to create better understanding between Muslims and Christians in the world today.

CI: Let us begin with your journey to Islam; tell us something about it.

Like most Métis and French Canadians, I was raised Roman Catholic and I am profoundly grateful that my parents, the Church, and the Bible cultivated my faith, morals, ethics, and values. Raising children without a divinely-revealed religion and without a sense of Natural and Divine Law is detrimental to both self and society. Like all human beings, I was born with a divinely-instilled inclination to believe. Consequently, I am who I was: a believer in the One. I am not a “New Muslim” nor am I a “revert” or a “convert.” I was raised as a follower of Jesus (a) as well as the prophets and messengers who preceded him. Due to historical, cultural, and geographical reasons, the message of Muhammad (pbuh), the final messenger of God, had not reached my people. My transition into Islam was natural. I did not move from disbelief to belief or from immorality to morality. I simply perfected my religion. I graduated from Christianity to Islam. At the time of the Prophet, there were unbelievers — pagans, heathens, idolaters, polytheists, and atheists — and there were believers: Jews, Messianic Jews or Judeo-Christians, and Christians. There were also the Hanifs, the Arabs who followed the ancient religion of Isma‘il and his father Ibrahim (a). Most members of these faith communities made a smooth transition into Islam. They recognized it as a continuation and completion of their faith traditions. So it was for me. Regardless of where I was born, I would have been a believer in one God: a Brahman in ancient India, a believer in the Great Spirit in pre-Columbian North America, a follower of Nezahualcoyotl in Mesoamerica, a Jew in the time of Moses, a Christian in the time of Jesus, and now, a Muslim in the age of Muhammad (a). I started to study Islam at the age of 13 and took shahadah at the age of 16. I have been a practising Muslim for 30 years and have never ceased to study. What was so appealing about Islam? Divine unity and divine justice; spirituality and social commitment; ethics and morality as well as the importance of family.

CI: Your book, Covenants of the Prophet with the Christians of the World, has received wide recognition among Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Let’s start with addressing some key issues in your book. You claim to have found evidence that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spent a great deal of time with the Christian monks in Sinai during his twenties. Some detractors would argue that this claim feeds the orientalist narrative that the Prophet learned his teachings from Christians and Jews and then self-invented Islam. What is your response?

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was well-traveled. This is a fact. It is well-established in classical Muslim sources. Abundant references to these can be found in The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World along with Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet. Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, who was both a Western academic and a traditionally trained Muslim scholar, held this to be true. Consequently, one cannot exclude the possibility that he traveled to Mt. Sinai as it was located along the main trading routes that the Arabs, including Abu ˇalib, routinely employed.

As Muslims, we do not believe that Islam is a new religion. Islam, namely, the belief in One God, divine revelation, and the hereafter, along with major moral laws, was the religion of Adam, Idris (Enoch), Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Yahyå (John), Jesus, and Muhammad (a). The Prophet did not draw upon Jewish and Christian doctrines to create a new religion: he was the heir of the Judeo-Christian tradition and its culmination. Although some orientalists have argued that the Prophet learned his teachings from Jews and Christians and invented Islam — and they base this belief on the Cycle of Bahira Legends that circulated among some Christians who were unfriendly toward Islam, Muslims, and the Prophet — this is not the tradition that was passed down by the monks who were acquainted with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The tradition of the Prophet’s travel to the Sinai — which could have taken place when he was a youth, during the early days of his mission in Madinah, or even toward the end of his prophetic mission, namely, when he went to Maqna — has been transmitted by large numbers of sources over the past 14 centuries. I have cited them in “The Covenants of the Prophet: Questions and Concerns” and “The Provenance of the Prophet’s Covenants,” both of which are found in Islam and the People of the Book.

Curiously, none of these original traditions claim that the Prophet studied with Christian monks. On the contrary, they assert that a Christian abbot from St. Catherine’s Monastery witnessed a sign of God clearly showing him that Muhammad (pbuh) was destined to greatness and that he would become a powerful leader; hence, the abbot asked him to protect the monastery after he proclaimed his prophecy. This tradition does not reinforce the orientalist narrative any more than the tradition that both Bahira the Monk and Nastura the Monk recognized young Muhammad as a future prophet. These are not the only instances in which seers, monks, priests, and rabbis prophesized that Muhammad was the long-awaited prophet who would come from Arabia. They are found in both ancient Christian and Muslim sources. They confirm, rather than deny, his divinely-ordained prophetic mission and the truth of his teachings.

CI: You reside in the US. There is currently a great deal of polarization between the so-called left and the right spectrum of the political trend. Many Muslim organizations have accepted the mainstream liberal narrative that leftists are friends of Muslims and rightists are outright racist and enemies of Islam. Neither the left nor right is monolithic. Are there any healthy right/conservative groups and organizations in the US with whom Muslims could build a mutually beneficial alliance?

Most Muslims in the West have cast their lot with the liberals. They have naively bought into the lie that liberals are tolerant people who care about Muslims. Tell a liberal that you oppose abortion on demand, that you oppose fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, gay marriage, and transgenderism, that you are convinced that the traditional family structure is in danger, that you believe that there are only two genders, that you oppose the use of alcohol and drugs, that you believe that both men and women should dress modestly, and that you are against illegal immigration since you believe in the rule of law, and see how tolerant they really are. You will be called by every profanity excluded from the dictionary. At the very least, you will be accused of being a racist, a sexist, and a fascist.

While I disagree with half of what Michael Savage has to say, I do agree with the other half, particularly his assertion that liberalism is a mental disorder. At the same time, however, I am equally convinced that conservatism is a mental disorder. Both are extremes. Both are symptomatic of spiritual, psychological, and social imbalance. While the political spectrum varies from country to country and from age to age, I stand at the center that was marked by Muhammad (pbuh), the Messenger of Allah, and the other Prophets of God who preceded him. Liberalism, both classical and social, had a platform in the past: opposition to slavery, racism, segregation, and discrimination, the right to vote for women, equal pay for equal work, along with a call for civil rights and human rights. Now, they spend their time cavorting with transsexuals, anti-white racists, and takfiri terrorists. The liberals sure have strange bed fellows.

What does liberalism stand for today? The right of children to choose their own gender? The right for illegal immigrants to invade Western nations with impunity? The right to blame white Westerners for crimes that they never committed and that most of their ancestors never committed? What does liberalism stand for today? Sexual anarchy? The destruction of the traditional family? The supplanting of religion by secularism? The right to change the ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious background of a country overnight as it ensures liberal votes, spreads secularization, and promotes globalization? The right to create a single people, speaking a single global language, sharing a single global culture, and sharing faiths “that are all the same” since they are all under the umbrella of the One World Religion? What does liberalism mean today? The right to destroy the sovereignty of nation-states to subject them to a New World Order controlled by the one-percenters, a bunch of billionaire elites who wish to exterminate most human beings who are overcrowding a planet they view as their personal country club and resort? As Muslims we categorically reject racism. We do, however, value diversity. Hence, we must oppose efforts to homogenize humanity, to weaken resistance, and to facilitate subservience. For the globalists, races, religions, languages, cultures, and ideologies are sources of division and conflict. If they are suppressed, there will only be submission, not to God, but to the real rulers of the world.

Although most Muslims feel that they share more affinities with liberals, who pretend to profess an unflinching belief in pluralism and an appreciation for diversity, they share just as much in common with certain conservatives, including, in some sectors, a clear sense of right and wrong derived from the prophets of the Old and New Testaments. As a Muslim, if I must choose between a person who believes in God and a person who is an atheist or an agnostic, I will side with the person of faith. As a Muslim, if I must choose between a person who believes in chastity and a person who advocates sexual immorality, I will side with the person who has a sense of human decency. Despite the slanderous propaganda of liberals, leftists, socialists, communists, anarchists, secularists, atheists and Satanists, most religious conservatives are not racist nor are they sexist. Simply because one believes in the teachings of the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qur’an, the traditional family and the existence of two genders, does not mean that one is a racist, a bigot, a misogynist, an extremist, a fascist, or a terrorist. Tolerating the intolerable is not tolerance: it is complicity and advocacy. Jews, Christians, and Muslims have the right to stand their moral ground, stand for what is sacred, and advocate for what they believe is best for society based on revelation and reason.

While liberals and conservatives take different positions on social issues such as abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, the role of the public sector, education vouchers, embryonic stem cell research, energy, euthanasia, climate change, gun control, healthcare, homeland security, immigration, private property, religion, same-sex marriage, social security, taxes, the role of the United Nations, and welfare, they are, in reality, but two sides of the same coin and the difference between liberal and conservative governments in the West is generally superficial since the world revolves around economic as opposed to social interests. Both liberals and conservatives are secular and believe in the separation of church and state. Both believe, not in the Great Prophet Moses, the Great Prophet Jesus or the Great Prophet Muhammad (a) but in the Great Profit Margin. Both serve the interests of the global economic elites as opposed to the interests of God, the Prophets, and the people. They place their trust, not in God, but in the Market, some type of Supreme Force that “regulates itself.” We just need to submit to it. We, believers in God and followers of His Prophets, however, hold that human beings were not created to serve the economy but rather the economy was created to serve people.

Although conservatism, like liberalism, has been co-opted by the economic elites, the neocons, and the alt-right, who are just as diabolical as the liberal degenerates they denounce, having turned conservatism into savage capitalism, racism, sexism, and imperialism, there are some conservatives with whom traditional Muslims can make common cause. This would include cultural conservatives, moral conservatives, religious conservatives, fiscal conservatives, paleo-conservatives, and traditionalist conservatives — but certainly not neoconservatives.

Despite their shortcomings, shortsightedness, and ignorance in certain areas, practicing Catholics have been firm when it comes to defending the fundamentals of their faith and its relevance in the world today. Orthodox Christians, in general, who tend to be even more conservative in theology and practice, also share universal, time-honored values. Although I am partial to the Catholic Church, both East and West, I admit that bridges can also be built with Protestants, particularly with conservative groups like the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Hutterites, as well as more liberal denominations like the Anglicans and Methodists.

I had long written off Southern Baptists, assuming erroneously that these predominantly white anglophones were all intolerant racists and white supremacists. My views changed when I met an old white preacher who was a Southern Baptist. He listened to a lecture I delivered in Jackson, Mississippi, in which I lambasted ISIS and shared the true teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Not only did I change the way he viewed Islam and Muslims, the man made me change the way I viewed Southern Baptists. Although Muslims tend to gravitate toward liberal Jews who share the same values, or lack thereof, of liberal Christians, there are plenty of conservative, orthodox, and even ultra-orthodox Jews who are very close to traditional Muslims in their worldview. Just like it is unfair to claim that all Muslims are anti-Jewish, it is also unfair to claim that all Jews are anti-Muslim. The message is clear: we, human beings, of different races, ethnicities, cultures, languages, religions, and political beliefs, must get to know one another. Then, and only then, will we see how much we share.

CI: What could Muslims in the US and Canada do to reach out to the conservative segment in society in these two countries?

Reaching out to conservatives is the same as reaching out to liberals. Make some calls. Send some emails. Knock on doors. Meet some people. Agree to agree. Focus on similarity. Learn from one another in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. Work together toward common causes. Personally, I would focus more on religious conservatives, including some of the denominations I previously mentioned, than political conservatives. I would not advise Muslims to reach out to extreme Trumpians, the violent side of the alt-right, racist neocons, radical Zionists, and other overtly anti-Islamic parties. I know some brothers, both African American and Caucasian American, who dialogue with people on the fringe. It takes proper training and preparation — not to mention, courage. As normative Muslims, we should be willing to talk to anyone who wishes to talk to us in a constructive fashion. We should respond to those who reach out to us and, at times, we should also reach out to others. Some may or may not respond, but the offer of dialogue, peace, collaboration, and reconciliation should always be on the table.

Different but not Separate: A Muslim Reconciliation with Christianity

mosque
Pic: The Christ Church and the Jibril Mosque located in Stone Town, Zanzibar. (Picture by me, 2013.)

“The essential problem that the study of religion poses is how to preserve religious truth, traditional orthodoxy, the dogmatic theological structures of one’s own religion and yet gain knowledge of other traditions and accept them as spiritually valid ways and roads to God.” – Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Islam and the Encounter of Religions” (1999)

Christian-Muslim relations have been in the spotlight in recent years. Much have been due to the rise of religious extremism and conflicts involving and affecting the Christian and Muslim communities. In a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, Christians were the subject of harassment in 108 out of the 159 countries, while Muslims were harassed in 100 countries. These harassments include physical assaults, arrests and detentions, desecration of holy sites, discrimination and verbal assaults. In several of these cases, the tensions and conflicts involve direct Christian-Muslim clashes. Alas, despite the professed ‘Abrahamic roots’ of the two religions, Christian-Muslim relations remain fragile in the face of contemporary challenges. Given that both communities constitute more than half of world’s population (54% combined in 2010; Christianity 31%, Islam 23%) and projected to grow, Christian-Muslim relations have been the focus of several interfaith initiatives in the last few years; and rightly so.

Factors causing and driving these conflicts vary, but two historical determinants cannot be ignored. First, is the residue of the past memory of the imperial rivalry culminating in the era of the Crusades that continues to shape contemporary extremist narratives weaved along with an a-historical and de-contextualised theological response towards the Other. Second, is the mess of postcolonial conditions shaped by the baggage of a colonial era that pits the ‘Christian West’ against the ‘Muslim ummah’ read into unresolved contemporary geopolitical and economic conditions of the Muslim world. Hence, mending Christian-Muslim relations in the contemporary context must not ignore a critical evaluation of history and how the past had shaped the present.

These past determinants that has seeped through the contemporary reality may have amplified, inadvertently, the extremist narrative that Islam and Christianity are bound for a clash, defined by a cosmic narrative that the two religions are eternally locked in rivalry till the end of time where one’s legitimacy and presence can only be substantiated by the denial and obliteration of the other. It was as though co-existence and embrace between the two religious communities was anathema and contrary to the very essence of what it means to hold the truth or to be a faithful believer. For Muslim extremists in particular, this antipathy towards Christianity may range from a refusal to greet Christians on festivities such as Christmas, to an avowal to launch armed jihad against them. On the other side, for Christian extremists, the antipathy towards Islam may range from discriminatory treatment of Muslims to support for the bombing and invasion of Muslim countries.

Inter-connected and complex history

The extremist narrative, however, has mistaken the true nature of the Christian-Muslim relationship, which has never been of a single track. It ranges from mutual cooperation to rivalry, diatribe to dialogue, and conciliation to confrontation. (Bennett, 2008; Goddard, 2000) This is true, even of the medieval period, where Fletcher (2003) remarked: “Wherever and whenever we direct our gaze we find a diversity in the type or the temperature of encounter.” While acknowledging the centuries old conflict and rivalry that has shaped perceptions and relations between two of the world’s biggest religions (Jamieson, 2016), one must also be cognisant of the much-ignored strand of authentic embrace between the two religions, particularly in the formation of a civilisation that forms the basis of the modern world. Richard Bulliet’s The Case for an Islamo-Christian Civilization (2004) made excellent overtures to this. Bulliet dismisses the idealised notion of a separate (and antithetical) “Western” and “Islamic” civilisations, and argues that there are more similarities and peaceful interactions between the Christian and Muslim world than we would care to admit. A case in point is the much studied la convivencia (‘the coexistence) of the Muslim Iberian Peninsula of the medieval period that Menocal (2002) describes eloquently in her book, Ornament of the World.  A specially commissioned study compiled as Borders of Islam (2009) further strengthens the case that Huntington’s once popular idea of an inevitable ‘clash of civilisation’ is a myth that ignores the complexity of conflicts involving Muslim and non-Muslim societies that cannot be reduced to a simplistic dualism or fault-line between Islam and other religions.

It is important, therefore, to firstly, highlight these nuanced situations as a counter to the supremacist view of religion that denies the value (not just the fact) of religious diversity and is bent upon dominating or obliterating the Other. Secondly, there is a need to promote a different narrative: one that is not simply utilitarian in the face of our contemporary reality of religious pluralism, but derives its legitimacy from the rich and diverse religious tradition and informed by the complex nature of Christian-Muslim relations from the formative period of Islamic history. Below, I shall highlight three aspects deserving of attention in the narrative. It is a narrative that can form a basis for the reformulation of a contemporary Muslim ‘theology of religions’ that departs from the notion of an irreconcilable division and opposition between Christianity and Islam that extremists peddle towards fulfilling the self-professed inevitable confrontation between the communities of both faiths. However, I am cognisant that I am discussing this from the Muslim angle and will leave further elaborations on the Christian perspective to my Christian friends and theologians.

An alternate theology and reading of early relations

Historical amnesia, historians often caution, is a danger that makes every society vulnerable to ideological manipulations. This is certainly germane to today’s situation, with the rise of demagoguery and extremism via global technology and mass communication. In highlighting an alternate reading of Christian-Muslim relations from the earliest period of Islamic history, I hope that new and creative engagements with the tradition can occur that can lead to better prospects to mend the relationship amidst the increasingly divisive rhetoric of extremists from both sides. This, inevitably, will involve an exploration into three components: the sacred foundational text of Islam (i.e. the Qur’an), the early interactions between both communities prior to the age of dynasties, and the continuous strand linking the formative period to later evolution at the theological and practical level.

In looking at these three components, I would affirm that the general validity of the Christian faith was never doubted during the formative years, even though Islam did try to correct ‘errors’ that could be understood as minor and not significant enough to set them apart from the monotheistic path emphasised by Islam. In fact, the idea of Islam nullifying the Christian faith through supersession is one interpretation that cannot be confused with the default theology of all Muslims. In his erudite analysis of pluralism, Sachedina (2001) wrote: “There is no doubt that the Koran [sic.] is silent on the question of supersession of the previous Abrahamic revelations through the emergence of Muhammad. There is no statement in the Koran, direct or indirect, to suggest that the Koran saw itself as the abrogator of previous Scriptures… It is important to bear in mind that the Koran introduces the idea of abrogation in connection with specific legal injunctions revealed in particular verses but apparently repealed, that is, abrogated or superseded by other verses. Accordingly, applying abrogation to Islam’s attitude toward preceding Abrahamic traditions was, to say the least, debatable.”

Throughout Islamic history, there have been voices that were amenable to an inclusive theology of religions. Within this alternate theology, Christians and Muslims are linked through a divine thread that unites them beyond the literal and outward forms of religion. Sufism, the spiritual branch of Islam, offers the most promising resource to understand this aspect further. (Nasr, 1999) A case in point is the writing of the celebrated mystic-philosopher, Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240), whose interpretation of Q. 5:17 (“They have disbelieved/kafara who said: Truly God is the Messiah son of Mary…”) to mean a literal “covering up” (kufr) and not disbelief. For Ibn ‘Arabi, the Christians concealed God in the form of Jesus and not in “saying ‘He is God’ nor ‘the son of Mary’” (Fusūs al-Hikam, in Shah-Kazemi, 2006). Other Muslim scholars with an inclusive approach to Christianity includes Jalaluddin Rumi (d. 1273) and al-Kashani (d. 1329), both hailing from the mystical and esoteric tradition in Islam. The Syrian 18th century Mufti of Damascus, al-Nabulusi (d. 1731), represents another interesting alternate theology that departs from the dominant exclusivist strand by saying that Christians with faith in God in their hearts are indeed believers, even if they remain as non-Muslim in their legal status. (Khalil, 2012) This is similar to how Indonesian scholar, Nurcholish Madjid (2003) interprets the distinction between islām (submission to God) and Islam (a legal category of being a follower of Muhammad) – as the Qur’an 3:67 declares Abraham, who preceded Muhammad, as ‘one who submits’ (muslīm). This distinction allows for a more inclusive truth-claim while being expansive in defining the path to the divine beyond the human construction of religion; or, as the Qur’an puts it: “To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way (shirʿatān wa minhāj). If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people…” (Q. 5:48)

Textual resource

Firstly, the close affinity that Muslims had with the Christians can be substantiated through the foundational text of the Qur’an. Q.5:82 declares that “nearest among them in love to the believers will you find those who say, ‘We are Christians’…” The context of the verse was not entirely clear nor can be substantiated, but what is certain is that it acknowledges “a certain spiritual affinity between the Christians and the Muslims.” (Nasr, 2015) This affinity was also grounded in notable extension found in the Prophetic tradition. In one report (ahadith) found in both Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the Prophet said: “I am the closest of the people to Jesus the son of Mary in this life and in the Hereafter.” When asked how is that, he further replied: “The prophets are brothers from one father with different mothers. They have one religion and there was no other prophet between us.”

Notably, Q.5:82 was not an isolated verse. In fact, twice in the Qur’an was the salvific possibility of the Christians mentioned in unequivocal terms – “wa lā khawfun ‘alaihim wa la hum yahzanūn / on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” (Q.2:62; cf. 5:69). Fazlur Rahman, in his Major Themes of the Qur’an (1989), mentions that the Prophet was aware of the unity of the Abrahamic faiths, but gradually acknowledged the mutually exclusive “communities” only when in Medina. In fact, the Qur’an’s frequent witness to the authenticity of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews included) is remarkable that Cyril Glassé (2001) once remarked, “The fact that one Revelation [i.e. the Qur’an] should name others [i.e. the Ahl al-Kitāb/People of the Book] as authentic is an extraordinary event in the history of religions.”

Examples abound in the Qur’anic text. In Q.10:94 and 16:43, Prophet Muhammad was asked to enquire from the People of the Book with regards to the truth of God’s revelation to him in the face of the Meccan detractors, while Q.74:31 mentions that the Prophet sought consolation from the People of Book who were certain of the truth that God revealed to him. In fact, the recognition of the People of the Book as bearers of divine truth in the Prophetic age was confirmed by a late Medinan verse that attempts to remove two important social barriers – dietary and marriage restrictions: “The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time…” (Q.5:5). Mahmoud Ayoub (2007), a foremost scholar on Christian-Muslim relations observes that these verses “demonstrate clearly the unity of faith and purpose which, according to the Qur’an, should exist among the three communities of faith [i.e. the Jews, Christians and Muslims].”

In one interpretation of early Islam, Donner (2010) notes that the Prophet and his early followers were less enamoured by the exclusive distinctiveness of their faith – a marked difference during the age of Muslim dynasties that understandably, would have carved out an exclusive faith to consolidate its position of power amidst the presence of the Christian Roman-Byzantine and Zoroastrian Persian-Sassanid empires to the west and the east of Arabia, contemporaneously. Hence, the early “believers” (mu ͗minūn, as a confessional identification, instead of the later and more exclusive identification of muslimūn) sense themselves as “constituting a movement open to all who believed in God’s oneness and in righteous living”, which forms the ecumenical character of early Islam.

Early interactions

Secondly, the Qur’an’s acknowledgement of the Christians in largely positive terms (except in a few verses, e.g. Q.5:72-3, Q.9:30 and Q.5:116, which describe Christian beliefs in ways that even the majority of the Christians would not identify with and hence, can be seen as Christian ‘heterodoxies’ or possibly, ‘heresies’), is best understood in the significant presence of Christianity in the Arabic context during the Prophetic age, particularly in north-west, north-east of Arabia, as well as the east coast of the south. This presence has been amply discussed in Trimingham’s Christianity among the Arabs in Pre-Islamic Times (1979). “The fact remains,” wrote the El Hassan bin Talal (1998), “that the Christian Arabs are in no way aliens to Muslim Arab society: a society whose history and culture they have shared for over fourteen centuries to date, without interruption, and to whose material and moral civilization they have continually contributed, and eminently so, on their own initiative or by trustful request.”

Based on one of the earliest biographical sources on Prophet Muhammad, Sirāt Rasul Allah (‘The Life of the Prophet of God’) by Ibn Ishaq (d.767), there were at least five direct encounters between the Prophet/early Muslims and the Christians, and in all of these, they were largely non-hostile and affirming of the closeness in faith: (1) a monk in the desert by the name of Bahira who saw the mark of prophethood in Muhammad when the latter was 12 years old and followed his uncle, Abu Talib for trade to Syria; (2) a Christian scholar by the name of Waraqa ibn Naufal, who assured Khadijah, the Prophet’s wife, that Muhammad will be a prophet to the Arabs, when she sought his advice concerning the traumatic experience of Muhammad after receiving his first revelation, (3) the early converts’ migration to Abyssinia circa 615 CE to seek protection from Negus, a Christian ruler of the kingdom of Axum, following the Meccan persecution – and upon hearing the Muslim delegation’s recital of a verse on Jesus from a chapter on Mary from the Qur’an, was reported to have picked up a stick and said that the difference between the Muslim and Christian belief on Jesus is no greater than the length of the stick; (4) the Prophet’s hosting of a delegation of Christians from Najran for a discussion, which ended with peaceful disagreements but of significance was the invitation of the Prophet to the Christians, led by a bishop, to perform their prayers within the Prophet’s mosque compound; and (5) the Prophet, towards the end of his life, sending letters to the neighbouring Christian rulers such as Heraclius, the emperor of Byzantine and the Negus of Axum, to accept Islam – an encounter that reflected the expanding power of the early Muslim community more than an exclusive theological assertion.

Later attitude

Thirdly, the positive attitude of the early Muslims may have informed the largely tolerant nature of later Muslims with regards to the Christians. Reza Shah-Kazemi in his book, The Spirit of Tolerance in Islam (2012) demonstrates how “tolerance of the Other is in fact integral to the practice of Islam; it is not some optional extra, some philosophical or cultural indulgence, or still less, something that one needs to import from some other tradition.” Examples abound in various periods of Islamic history. So much so that even Voltaire who was extremely critical of religion, pointed to the “sociable and tolerant religion” of Islam, in contrast to rabid intolerance of the Christian West where no mosque was allowed, but “the Ottoman state was filled with churches”.

One interesting document that may be representative of the tolerant characteristic of early Islam that shapes later Muslim attitude is the “Covenant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World” (known in Arabic as al-‘Ahd wa al-shurut allati sharataha Muhammad rasul Allah li ahl al-millah al-nasraniyyah) that was extensively discussed – along with other similar covenants to the monks of Mount Sinai, Christians of Persia, Najran, Assyria and the Armenian Christians of Jerusalem – in John Andrew Morrow’s book, The Covenants of Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World (2013). In the covenant, the Prophet gave the promise “to guard and protect” the “all those who profess the Christian religion, in the Eastern lands and its West, near and far, be they Arabs or non-Arabs, known or unknown” which includes not “to remove a bishop from his bishopric, a monk from his monastic life, a Christian from his Christianity, an ascetic from his tower, or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches or their businesses or to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of the believing Muslims.” The document further outlined various other protections, including freedom of religion: “No one who practices the Christian religion will be forced to enter into Islam… They must be covered by the wing of mercy and all harm that could reach them, wherever they may find themselves and wherever they may be, must be repelled.” Remarkably, the covenant covers the specific protection of Christian women, where “the girls of the Christians must not be subject to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent” and “If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

Although the authenticity of the covenant was disputed – a copy of which was dated to 1538 and widely circulated in the Ottoman Empire and Europe in the 17th century – it nonetheless corroborates with other similar covenants, and with Qur’anic ethos discussed earlier, and may be representative of the historic largely tolerant treatment of Christians during the Ottoman period and before. It was recorded that when the Muslims took Jerusalem in 638 CE, the second caliph, ‘Umar b. al-Kattab (d. 644) had a written message to the city’s inhabitants: “In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is a written document from ‘Umar b. al-Khattab to the inhabitants of the Sacred House (bayt al-maqdīs). You are guaranteed (āminūn) your life, your goods, and your churches, which will be neither occupied nor destroyed, as long as you do not initiate anything [to endanger] the general security (hadathan ‘āmman).” (Sachedina, 2001) Throughout Muslim history, co-existence between Muslims and Christians was a cultural norm and mutual learning – testament to early Islam’s acceptance of the universality of the good, regardless of its religious origin – was not uncommon. For example, it was known that a luminary thinker, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111) had no qualms in using Christian and Jewish sources as nass (text, used in argumentation as dalil/proof) in his writings, such as his Kitāb al-‘Ilm (Book of Knowledge). In fact, well-known 10th/11th century philosophers such as al-Sijistani (d. 1001) and Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi (d. 1023) were students of a leading Jacobite Christian, Yahya ibn ‘Adi (d. 974) who lived in Baghdad. In the Sufi tradition, it was reported that the ascetic, Ibrahim bin Adham (d. 782) turned to a Christian monk named Father Simeon, who was “my first teacher in ma ͗rifāh (mystical knowledge).”

Embracing the Other as ‘Us’

What can be observed from the brief discussion above is that early Muslims had significant contact and engagements with the Christians that were largely peaceful and respectful. This was driven by the very message of Islam that, as seen in various parts of the Qur’an, accepted the inherent diversity of religions as God’s Will. In the context of family tradition, i.e. the People of the Book, Christianity was seen as a valid religion that has elements of truth which was affirmed in the Qur’an. Much of the disagreement that the Qur’an has with regards to Christian theology are not significant enough that prohibits social integration at the most intimate level, such as the permissibility of inter-marriage and sharing of food. It was this belief that informed later cordial and friendly interactions and protection of the other. Unfortunately, as the Muslim community expanded and established an empire of its own, a need for a constituted separate and unique political identity emerged along with a more exclusivist theology that accentuate differences more than the earlier affinity and closeness. This was further compounded by a hostile period where both communities clashed during the Crusades and locked in imperial rivalry that impacted further the theology of one against the other. This carried on to the colonial period and Muslims emerging from the colonised situation still carry the burden and baggage of the period of ‘Christian West’ dominating and plundering Muslim lands and humiliating them by the racist notion of a ‘superior Judeo-Christian-Western civilisation’ and suppressing any memory of the contributions of Islam to the rise of Europe in the Middle Ages.

Knowing the burden of history requires us to confront the narrative that has and continues to shape the present perceptions. This involves a reworking of the theology of religions based on knowledge of the historicity and contingency of views located in a certain period in time, while offering a new reading derived from the same authoritative early sources but contextualised to the present. This will also require laying the foundations for conciliatory approaches as opposed to the confrontational. Diatribe that has characterised Christian-Muslim relations for the last few decades, must be replaced with greater dialogue and mutual learning. Humility to acknowledge what has gone wrong in history and our sense of inadequacy in grasping the entire majestic truth of the divine, are prerequisites.

At the popular level, theological disputes must be replaced with narrative-building. This can start with common stories and wisdoms shared across the two communities. Just as early Islam benefited and grew out of positive inter-cultural contact and interactions, we must allow for new encounters that can lead to creative reworking of theology and how we make sense of our own present religious conditions, inter-religiously. This need not be an amalgamation of the two religions, which is neither possible nor desirable. But it can be a mutual partaking of wisdom and shared commitment in the pursuit of the divine and of truth that transcends the boundaries of each religious community. Differences may exist, but just like in the earliest period of Islam, they do not define the relationship or rebuke the divine basis and legitimacy of the other. It is how Mona Siddiqui (2013) eloquently remarked: “However differently Christians and Muslims define God and their relationship to God, God remains the deepest presence in our lives… whenever and wherever I turn to God, I share this humbling but joyful relationship with all who turn to him in faith.” It is to God that we turn to ultimately, not the worship of our own religion, much less, the Ego Self.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ayoub, Mahmoud. 2007. A Muslim View of Christianity: Essays on Dialogue by Mahmoud Ayoub. Edited by Irfan Omar. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

Bennett, Clinton. 2008. Understanding Christian-Muslim Relations: Past and Present. London: Continuum.

Bulliet, Richard W. 2004. The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization. Columbia University Press.

Donner, Fred M. 2010. Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam. Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Fletcher, Richard. 2003. The Cross and the Crescent: The Dramatic Story of the Earliest Encounters between Christians and Muslims. London: Penguin Books.

Glassé, Cyril. “Ahl al-Kitāb” in The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, Revised Edition. London: Stacey International.

Goddard, Hugh. 2000. A History of Christian-Muslim Relations. Chicago: New Amsterdam Books.

Guillaume, A., tr. 1967. The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Isḥāq’s Sīrat Rasūl Allāh. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hansen, Stig Jarle, Mesoy, A. and Kardas, T. 2009. The Borders of Islam: Exploring Samuel Huntington’s Faultlines from Al-Andalus to the Virtual Ummah. New York: Columbia University Press.

Jamieson, Alan G. 2016. Faith and Sword: A Short History of Christian-Muslim Conflict, Second Expanded Edition. London: Reaktion Books.

Evidence of Protecting Christians’ Rights, Churches in Islam

By: Jehad ElSayed

Egypt Today
Sat, Jan. 27, 2018
The Holy Quran - CC via Pixabay/ Tariq786
CAIRO – 27 January 201: Following allegations made by the U.S. Congress regarding violations committed against Coptic Christians in Egypt, Egypt Today provides evidence of Islam’s preservation of Christians’ rights.

Recently, Egypt’s Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said that the protection of churches is as legitimate as defending mosques, stressing that those who died in the defense of a church are martyrs.

Religious freedom is a well-known Islamic principle. {There is no compulsion in religion; the right direction is clearly distinguished from the wrong} (Quran 22:56) . So it’s clear that each person should be allowed to find their own path in life. People of other religions are free to practice their own faith, as Islam does not force any one to embrace it.

Not only does Islam demand their freedom to practice religion, but also that they be treated justly and kindly as any other fellow human. {Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah love those who are just} (Quran 60:8) .

Regarding the protection of churches, Allah says, {Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause)} (Quran 22:40) .

Islamic scholar Ibn Khuwaiz stated that this verse included the prohibition of demolishing the churches of non-Muslim citizens, their temples, and their houses of worship.

One of the best examples of strictly safeguarding the rights of non-Muslims and their freedom to practice their religions in early Islamic history was the practice of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam. Umar was particularly sensitive to the demands of justice concerning non-Muslims living under his authority. In a famous story, Umar was invited by the patriarch of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to pray inside the church. Umar refused, however, not out of reluctance to pray inside a church, but rather because he feared some ignorant Muslims might seize the church after him and turn it into a sort of shrine.

“If I prayed inside the church, the Muslims after me would take it and they would say: ‘Umar prayed here’,” Ibn Al-Khattab said.

This church still exists today in Jerusalem as the headquarters of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, even though it was under the authority of Muslims for centuries.

In one of the most eye-catching scenes in Egypt during the January 25 Revolution, some Egyptian Muslims were seen guarding Coptic churches while Christians pray, and, on Friday, Christians were guarding the mosques while Muslims prayed.

The recently published book “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World”, written by Canadian religious authority, academic, and activist John Andrew Morrow, begins with a reference to these mostly neglected “literary monuments in the history of Islam.” The author comments:

“Considering that the continued conflict between Christians and Muslims across the world has been artificially ignited by the forces of imperialism, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the content of these priceless historical documents can shed light on the early history of Islam. Via this information we are witness to the primordial relationship between Muslims and People of the Book. Thus, these covenants can serve as a source of inspiration for the establishment of insuperable harmony between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

Extremists of both the Muslim and Islamophobic non-Muslim varieties try to ignore, or even deny, the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but all accept the authenticity of the Constitution of Medina. There is no doubt that in this there was a clear paragraph:

“The Jews of Banu ‘Awf are one community with the believers; the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs; their freedmen and their persons except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but themselves and their families.”

The second paragraph of the covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians states, “To the followers of Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land.”

The significance of these words is that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recognized the Nazarenes (Christians) as a people and a nation existing among of the people.

Thus, it’s obvious that Islam guarantees the protection of Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims who reside in Muslim lands. Their houses of worship should be defended from attack and their right to worship according to their choice respected.

ELEVENTH COVENANTS INITIATIVE REPORT

Dear Signatories and Observers:

The last full COVENANTS INITIATIVE REPORT was issued in June of last year. Since then our publication efforts, in terms of both books and articles, have expanded exponentially. In addition, Dr. Morrow has been giving numerous lectures, generally on a weekly basis.

1} As I mentioned in the last INTERIM report, Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet is now available from Amazon. It can be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Islam-People-Book-Volumes-1-3/dp/1527503194/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514477219&sr=1-1&keywords=critical+studies+on+the+covenants+morrow

2} The Italian version of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World—I Patti del Profeta Muhammad con I Cristiani del mondohas been published and is being distributed to hundreds of Catholic and Muslim leaders in Italy by Imam Yahya Pallavicini. It can be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Patti-Profeta-Muhammad-Cristiani-Italian/dp/1621382966

3} The Arabic version of the book, Uhud al-Nabi li-Masihiyyi al-‘alam should soon be published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah in Beirut, Lebanon, one of the largest publishers in the Arab world. It features a preface from Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari, the Egyptian-born, British scholar of Islam, and founder of the Ihsan Institute.

4} A second encyclopedic work on the Covenants containing material by Dr. Morrow and entitled The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad: Past, Present, and Future, is currently being prepared under the direction of Dr. Emad Shahin and Dr. Ibrahim Zein from Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar.

5) Arabia Jewel has published a book titled A Hijazi Gift of Love that includes an article by Dr. Morrow on the Sinai Covenant, along with poetry about the Ahdname. It can be found at:

http://ahijazigiftoflove.com/

Arabia Jewel is committed to spreading the Covenants of the Prophet throughout the Arabian Peninsula and plan to share the Covenants with diplomats and ambassadors based in the region. The Covenants Initiative will be training their members to speak about the Covenants of the Prophet and will provide them with lectures and Power Point presentations.

8} Here is the list of Covenants Initiative articles and speeches since June 21, 2017; links to these can be found at https://johnandrewmorrow.com/newsreviewsevents/ :

Rahyafteha. “Escritor y activista nuevo musulmán.” Rahyafteha (12 de enero de 2018).

Perra, Daniele. “Heidegger el islam y la cuarta teoría (política).” Revista Cultural Biblioteca Islamica (5 de enero de 2018).

Castleton, Barbara. “Tesoros Islámicos: Los Tratados del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos de su Época.” Shafaqna (28 de diciembre de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Concluding Part.” New Age Islam (December 25, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Muslim Documents Everyone Should Know.” Khutbah Bank (December 24, 2017).

Castleton, Barbara. “Hallelujah! Recently Unearthed Islamic Texts Unlock the Prophet Muhammad’s Intentions.” Medium (December 23, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Part 1.” New Age Islam (Dec. 21, 2017).

Castleton, Barbara. “Islamic Treasures: The Treaties of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time.” Islamicity (December 22, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “No Fear Shall be Upon Them, Nor Shall They Grieve: The Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians.” Shafaqna (December 18, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “El Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos: Nada tendrán que temer ni se afligirán.” Shafaqna (December 13, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Muslims Documents Everyone Must Know.” Islamicity (December 6, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Hamza Yusuf: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Shafaqna (December 6, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Part 2.” The Muslim Vibe (December 6, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Coalition Building as a Major Strategy of Prophetic Success.” The Muslim Post (December 5, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Hamza Yusuf: Lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo.” Shafaqna (5 de diciembre de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Slayer of Dragons.” Shafaqna (December 3, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Americans Honored for Massacre.” Crescent International (December 1, 2017).

Daniels, Justin. “International lawyer Karim Khan argues peace at core of Islam.” The Stanford Daily (December 1, 2017).

Shafaqna. “Hujjat El-islam Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai speaks on Arbaeen.” Shafaqna (November 16, 2017).

Demoslimkrrant. “De Islam en de Mensen van het Boek.” Demoslimkrant (November 15, 2017).

اختصاصی مشرق/ نویسنده و محقق آمریکایی در اجتماع جهانی اربعین +عکس

Considine, Craig. “Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet.” Craig Considine (November 1, 2017).

“The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.” Religions for Peace Australia (October 29, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Prophetic Wisdom and Advice on Vinegar.” The Muslim Village (Oct. 29, 2017).

Upton, Charles. “An An Open Letter To Steve Bannon from an American Muslim and Follower of René Guénon.” Sophia Imaginalis: Journal of Visionary Art, Sacred art, Traditionalism and Esoteric Studies (Oct. 26, 2017).

Tabatabai, Taraneh. “Reconocimiento al Dr John Morrow por parte del Congreso Americano.” Shafaqna (23 de octubre de 2017).

“Muhammad (s): Mtume aliyelingania uhuru wa itikadi na ibada.” Risala (October 21, 2017).

Considine, Craig. “Modern Day Lessons from Prophet Muhammad’s Religious Pluralism.” Muftah (October 20, 2017).

Tabatabai, Taraneh. “Dr. John Morrow Recognised by US Congress.” The Australasian Muslim Times (October 19, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Los Kurdos Frente a los Pactos del Profeta.” Shafaqna (15 de octubre de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Calling Iran to the Covenants of the Prophet: Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s Address to President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations.” The Muslim Post (October 12, 2017).

Harbi, Hanan al-. “The Covenants of the Prophet in California.” The Muslim Post (October 12, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Part 1.” The Muslim Vibe (October 8, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Covenants of the Prophet Confirmed: The Official Response of the Caliphs, Sultans, and Shahs of Islam.” Shafaqna (October 8, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Los pactos del Profeta son reales.” Shafaqna (7 de octubre de 2017).

Tabatabai, Taraneh. “President Rouhani and American Muslim Leaders.” Crescent International (Muharram 1439).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Terroristët masakrojnë një fshat të tërë.” Gazeta Impakt (September 26, 2017).

Upton, Charles. “An Open Letter to Steve Bannon.” Geopolitika (September 13, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Muslim Menace Next Door.” Crescent International (September 1, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Terrorists Massacre Entire Village.” Crescent International (September 1, 2017).

Helminsky, Kabir. “Why Muslims Must Help Counter Totalitarian Islamism.” Tikkun 32.3 (Summer 2017).

A.H.M. Azwer, Former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. “Passage to Bliss.” Daily News (August 30, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Muslim Scholar and the US Marine.” Islamicity (August 29, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Being and Becoming Métis and Muslim. ” The Muslim Vibe (August 24, 2017).

The Quran Love. “Surah al-Saff: the Ranks.” The Qur’anic Compassion (August 23, 2017).

MARTÍN RUBIO, MARÍA DEL CARMEN. “El islam de Mahoma y el de hoy.” ABC (22 de agosto de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Iraqi American Receives Humanitarian Award.” The Islamic Monthly (August 22, 2017).

Harbi, Hanan al-. “Muslim Leader Maligned for Moderation.” The Muslim Post (August 11, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s address at the 69th Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.” The Muslim Times (August 10, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Being and Becoming Métis and Muslim.” The Muslim Vibe (August 9, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Justice, Kindness and Kinship: An Islamic and American Imperative.” Muslim Writers Guild (August 3, 2017).

Seraaj, Intisar. “Power of Muslim Museum Extends Far Beyond Jackson.” Mississippi Today (August 1st, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Horror in the Hot Desert Sand.” Crescent International (August 2017).

Manzolillo, Hector. “Who is ‘We’? Humera Khan’s Dismissal of Divine Decrees.” Crescent International (August 2017).

Upton, Charles, and John Andrew Morrow. “An Offering of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World in the Twenty-First Century.” Veterans Today (July 30, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Justice, Kindness and Kinship: An Islamic and American Imperative.” Islam Ahmadiyya (July 25, 2017).

Harbi, Hanan al-. “Muslim Leader Was Harassed by a US Marine and Here is Why it’s Problematic.” Mvslim (July 23, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “83 Years Old and Graduates from Grade One: Why Women’s Education Matters in Morocco.” Morocco World News (July 22, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Leveraging the Medina Charter.” Islamicity (July 15, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Role of Faith in a Culture of Fear in America.” The Muslim Post (July 14, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Who Hates Whom?” Crescent International (July 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Takfirism and Islamophobia: Two Sides of the Same Coin.” Crescent International (July 2017).

Azwer, Alhaj A.H.M. “Islam’s Tolerance and Justice Equal to All.” Ceylon Today (June 29, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “US Military Actively Training White Supremacist Terrorists.” Shafaqna (July 1, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “US Military Actively Training White Supremacist Terrorists.” Veterans Today (June 28, 2017).

Upton, Charles, and John Andrew Morrow. “Templar Resonances: Part 2.” Knight Templar (July 2017).

7} Last but not least, 7th century Covenant of the Prophet was reportedly rediscovered in Mar Bahman in northern Iraq. Miraculously, it survived the attacks of both ISIS and the US.

Hallelujah! Recently Unearthed Islamic Texts Unlock the Prophet Muhammad’s Intentions

Medium (December 23, 2017)

By Barbara Castleton

Even with so much information bombarding every one of us all day every day, it is still a rare moment when we can legitimately stop and say, “Wow! I didn’t know that!” Such was my reaction when a co-author and friend, Dr. John A Morrow asked me to review his book “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time” pre-publication. A rigorously researched book, The Covenants .. details documents composed by the Prophet Muhammad in the early days of his caliphate which granted unheard of rights to non-Muslims, including Christians and Jews.

Wait! Aren’t we told almost daily that Muslims despise these two groups? Certainly, some may think so, either out of true belief or politically driven agendas, but just as our plantation-owning southern forefathers thought slavery was a condition approved by God and promoted in the Bible, the modern reigning view of Islam has a not a few fallacious quirks as well.

As much as Muhammad was the prophet of God and the receiver of divine instruction, he was also the soul and architect of the Islamic state, or Ummah, a body of influence, culture, religious strength, and expansion that had more to do with acculturation than subjugation. His connections with the ultimate wisdom enabled him to see both the societies of the Middle East and beyond with clarity and pragmatism, but also to construct a vision of what steps would produce a society in which all were safe and received in brotherhood. Says Morrow, “ A visionary long-term planner, the Prophet understood that the spread of Islam could take centuries. What he sought to create were the conditions under which the seeds of Islam could be planted and watered, thus enabling Muslim seeds to sprout, grow, and spread. If a population preferred to remain heathen, Christian or Jewish, they were entitled to do so as long as they entered into a covenant with the Islamic State as protected people.”

It began with the Constitution of Medina, one of the first governmental texts of its kind. Muhammad and around 75 disciples and family members were invited to Medina to be a catalyst for peace and civility within a conflicted population. Composed within months of his arrival in Yathrib (Medina), in 622 CE, the Constitution detailed an explicit administrative and governmental structure and specific rights and benefits of all citizens, including, “To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided.”

Al-Waqidi, a historian writing 200 years after the fact, explains that “ …when the Messenger of God arrived in Medina, the Jews, all of them, were reconciled with him, and he wrote an agreement between him and them. The Prophet attached every tribe with its confederates and established a protection between himself and them. He stipulated conditions to them, among which it was stipulated that they would not help any enemy against him.” In addition to this, the Constitution of Medina drew up laws that took the Ummah, the Islamic nation state, from a mere theocracy, or even a strictly political entity, into a social construction that had never before been attempted, a hybrid state in which a benign umbrella was spread over all, regardless of whether they were Muslim, Christian, Sabean, or Jew, all monotheists in the Abrahamic tradition.

As Islam spread among the people of Yathrib and the Arabian Peninsula, the Prophet went further, reaching out to multiple communities with an eye to achieving a mutually beneficial relationship. Two of the first recipients were the Christian community in Najran, in what is now the southern part of Saudi Arabia, and strangely, the monks who occupied the Monastery of St. Catherine, located far away at the base of Mount Sinai.

Abbey of St. Catherine — Mount Sinai

Tradition as well as ancient religious writings place Muhammad on the Sinai in his early years, accompanying his uncle on caravans that took them far and wide. It is said that the abbot of the monastery spotted an eagle circling young Muhammad’s head as the cleric looked down from the abbey’s heights. He prophesied that the young man would become a great leader, and when, in fact, that is what happened, the leadership of the monastery asked the Prophet Muhammad to honor their long-term relationship. The resulting covenant, signed with Muhammad’s palm print, served to to protect the abbey, the monks, the service workers, and all the physical structures as long as the “sea wets the shells.”

The covenants laid out a system of behavior, rights, privileges, and expectations for both parties, the Islamic state and its Muslim adherents, and other members of the community. Prime among these was the ongoing respect and protection of the religious institutions of the non-Muslim citizens. In document after document, the same phrases appear, anchoring these concepts. In the Covenant with the Monks from the Monastery of Saint Catherine, written in 2 AH, or 624 CE, the dictated treaty stipulates, “ No bishop is to be driven out of his bishopric. No monk is to be expelled from his monastery. No changes will be made with regards to their rights and sovereignty or anything in their possession provided that they remain friendly [towards Islam and Muslims]. They will reform the rights incumbent on them. They will not be oppressed nor will they oppress.” The Covenant with the Christians of Najran echoes these ideas, “To the Christians of Najran and its neighboring territories, God’s protection and the pledge of His Prophet extend to their lives, their religion, and their property. It applies to those who are present as well as those who are absent. There shall be no interference with the practice of their faith or their religious observances. There will be no change to their rights and privileges. No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric; no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his parish. They shall all continue to enjoy everything they previously enjoyed great or small. No image or cross shall be destroyed. They will not oppress or be oppressed.

Finally, in the The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, we can read, “Never should any Christian be subjected to tyranny or oppression in this matter. It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric, a monk from his monastic life, or anchorite from his vocation as a hermit. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims. Whoever does such a thing will have violated the pact of Allah, disobeyed his Messenger, and become estranged from the Divine Alliance.”

In treaty after treaty, these core promises were transcribed onto parchment and upheld, with rare exceptions, for centuries as each successive caliph honored the Prophet’s intentions by rewriting verbatim the original texts as they aged flaked, cracked, and gradually disintegrated.

Dr. Morrow has authenticated over a dozen covenants, documents written for communities that criss-crossed what was then the Islamic world, and in every one, the terms resonated with acceptance, community, and tolerance. Just a portion of the covenants researched and verified include:

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Jews of Maqna
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Yemenite Jews
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Coptic Christians of Egypt
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Syriac Orthodox Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians

John Morrow believes in and has launched a campaign to promote the idea that it is incumbent upon Muslims to adhere to the divinely composed wishes laid down by the Prophet Muhammad. This Covenant Initiative asks that members of all sects of Islam sign off on a declaration which says, “We the undersigned hold ourselves bound by the spirit and the letter of the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad…with the Christians of the world, in the understanding that these covenants, if accepted as genuine, have the force of law in the shariah today and that nothing in the shariah, as traditionally and correctly interpreted, has ever contradicted them.” The declaration, mirroring the intention of the covenants themselves, continues, specifically seeking to rebuild the bridge first outlined by the Prophet Muhammad between all the major monotheistic religions.

Tesoros Islámicos: Los Tratados del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos de su Época

Por Barbara Castleton
Shafaqna
 

Según la tradición judía y cristiana, mil años después de Abraham el pueblo judío fue esclavizado y pasó a estar en perpetua servidumbre en Egipto antes de ser conducido a la libertad por Moisés. En su épico viaje a Palestina, Moisés se detuvo en los alrededores del Monte Sinaí. Fue en su cumbre que Moisés recibió de Dios una serie de convenios o leyes, grabados en tablillas de arcilla. Esos 10 mandamientos se convirtieron en el fundamento de una existencia moral.

Más de 1000 años después, en el 2 H. o 624 C., el Profeta Muhammad escribió y otorgó un pacto de otro tipo a los monjes en el Monasterio de Santa Catalina, una abadía cristiana con 60 años de antigüedad en la base del Monte Sinaí. El mismo no ordenaba a los destinatarios honrar a su madre y padre o desistir en la creación de ídolos sino que, algo sin precedentes en los anales de la historia, prometía proteger a los monjes cristianos y residentes de la región de incursiones y ataques o de asaltos al sitio de peregrinación cristiana. El Profeta Muhammad juró proteger a cada uno y todos los monjes en donde sea. Además, se comprometió a permitir que los habitantes tuviesen la religión de su elección. Las palabras manuscritas sobre pergamino, firmado con la impresión de la mano del Profeta, comprometía a la nación islámica honrar esas promesas de manera permanente y “hasta el día del juicio y el fin del mundo”.

Presentación del Dr. John A. Morrow en Seattle (Estado de Washington) – Diciembre de 2017

El Dr. John A. Morrow, académico, investigador, erudito, profesor, miembro y activista de la comunidad canadiense Métis, se convirtió al Islam a los 16 años mientras estudiaba en la escuela secundaria en su país natal. Aún adolescente, persistió en la abundante investigación bibliográfica del Islam y se encontró con un texto del siglo XVIII escrito por Richard Pococke que describe y traduce partes del Tratado que el Profeta Muhammad redactó con los monjes del Monte Sinaí.

En un apartado del documento se lee: ” Cada vez que los monjes en sus viajes se instalen sobre cualquier montaña, colina, pueblo u otro lugar habitable, (se encuentren) en el mar, o en los desiertos o en cualquier convento, iglesia o casa de oración, yo estaré en medio de ellos, como protector y cuidador de ellos, de sus bienes y efectos, con mi alma, ayuda y amparo……”. Estos sentimientos y otros parecidos daban basamento firme a las enseñanzas del Islam y a la compasión de la que está imbuido.

Luego de treinta años de investigaciones, varios grados académicos y docenas de publicaciones, el Dr. Morrow da a conocer “Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo”. Esta obra revoluciona el mundo islámico y cristiano. Intencionalmente o no, el tratado con los monjes del Monte Sinaí y más de una docena de documentos similares pasaron al olvido durante siglos y quedaron archivados entre miles de otros documentos en distintas bibliotecas, dispersos por Europa y Medio Oriente. Con su extravío virtual, se perdía un mensaje de paz, inclusión y tolerancia.

“Nada tendrán que temer ni se afligirán”. Este versículo del Sagrado Corán (2:62) se refiere a todos los monoteístas del tiempo del Profeta, es decir, los judíos, cristianos y sabeos. Y promete que si estos grupos actúan con justicia y creen en un Dios como los musulmanes, estarán protegidos. La revelación divina citada ―(Corán, 2:62)― transmitida por Dios al Profeta Muhammad, garantiza un futuro de unidad y de seguridad. Sin embargo, como una característica esencial de sus esfuerzos en la construcción de la nación, el Profeta Muhammad fue incluso más allá por medio de generar documentos a favor de grandes poblaciones. Estas quedaban protegidas bajo las normas islámicas en tanto “el mar mojase las conchas en la playa”.

Gracias a estos pactos, recientemente analizados por el Dr. Morrow, los musulmanes cuentan ahora con un recurso religioso adicional rigurosamente autenticado —un preciso Ashtiname—, es decir, cartas de paz o acuerdos literales del Profeta. A través del dictado y la diplomacia, Muhammad dio lugar a tratados con la mayor parte de las comunidades religiosas en la península arábiga y otros lugares. Algunos de los pactos más importantes son:

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Monjes de Monte Sinai.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos de Najran.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo (I).

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo (II).

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos Asirios.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos de Persia.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos Armenios.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Judíos de Maqna.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Judíos Yemenitas.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Zoroastrianos.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos Coptos de Egipto.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos Siriacos Ortodoxos.

Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Samaritanos. 

En pocos años, la Ummah o nación islámica se expandió ampliamente y gradualmente incluyó territorios y pueblos de distintos grupos. El Dr. Morrow sugiere en su libro que «el Profeta era un visionario planificador a largo plazo que entendía que la propagación del Islam podía tomar siglos. Entonces intentó crear las condiciones en las que se podrían plantar y regar las semillas del Islam, de modo que los musulmanes las hiciesen germinar, crecer y reproducirse. Si una población prefería seguir siendo pagana, cristiana o judía, tenía derecho a ello en tanto acordaran con el estado islámico ser personas protegidas». Así, en lugar de iniciar un conflicto con las poblaciones con las que, en gran medida, se había vivido en armonía durante generaciones, Muhammad decidió asegurarse que se siguieran sintiendo parte de la comunidad mediante un apoyo mutuo determinado. De ese modo tendrían su protección y luego el de la Nación Islámica y su sucesores o califas designados.

Además de dar protección, estos pactos vedan ciertas acciones,  prohibiéndose a los musulmanes llevarlas a cabo. Los derechos y privilegios concedidos a los cristianos de Najran ― esta localidad se ubicaba en lo que hoy es el sur de Arabia Saudita, donde el cristianismo echó raíces en el siglo IV― se reflejan en la mayoría de los demás tratados:

“La promesa de protección del Profeta de Dios a los cristianos de Najaran y territorios aledaños, abarca sus vidas, su religión y sus bienes. Se aplica a los presentes y a los ausentes. Nadie interferirá en las prácticas de su fe o celebraciones religiosas. Nada modificará sus derechos y privilegios. Ningún obispo será expulsado de su obispado, ningún monje de su monasterio y ningún sacerdote de su parroquia. Todos seguirán gozando de las cosas que gozaban antes, grandes o pequeñas. Ninguna imagen o cruz será destruida. No oprimirán ni serán oprimidos” (Nota del traductor: esta es una de las versiones existente de dicho tratado).

En un lugar y tiempo donde la religión y creencias paganas eran factor importante de conflictos y guerras casi perpetua, los pactos del Profeta Muhammad proporcionaron un paraguas de seguridad y libertad para cientos de comunidades. En los pactos escritos para comunidades heterogéneas ―a diferencia del celebrado con los monjes del Monasterio del Monte Sinaí, donde solo había hombres― Muhammad añadido derechos previamente desconocidos para las mujeres:

“Los cristianos no deben ser sometidos a abusos que les hagan sufrir por medio de matrimonios que no desean. Los musulmanes no deben tomar a niñas cristianas en matrimonio contra la voluntad de sus padres ni deben oprimir a sus familias en caso de que rechazaran sus ofertas de compromiso y matrimonio. Los matrimonios no deben tener lugar sin su deseo y acuerdo y sin su consentimiento y aprobación. Si un musulmán toma a una mujer cristiana como esposa, debe respetar sus creencias cristianas. Ella tendrá libertad de escuchar a sus superiores [a sus clérigos] y seguir el camino de su religión en tanto lo desee”.

El Dr. Morrow, al sacar nuevamente a la luz los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad en una época que necesita desesperadamente modelos de tolerancia, compasión y unión comunitaria, espera llegar a los musulmanes que desconocerían el trabajo en perspectiva del Profeta así como a los cristianos que posiblemente estén muy influenciados por la parcialidad de los medios de comunicación. Invitado a hablar en conferencias, iglesias, mezquitas e instituciones, desde Dubai a California, el Dr. Morrow busca restaurar la trayectoria del liderazgo benevolente instituido por el profeta Muhammad hace más de 1400 años. 

Barbara Castleton, con el grado de Master of Arts o Maestría en Humanidades, es profesora de inglés en el Colegio South de Seattle. Es coautora de “Arabic, Islam, and the Allah Lexicon: How Language Shapes Our Conception of God” y ha publicado diversos artículos sobre sociolingüística árabe en revistas especializadas.

Islamic Treasures: The Treaties of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time

By: Barbara Castleton

Source: IslamiCity

Dec 23, 2017

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Highlights Topics: Christianity And Judaism, Covenants Of The Prophet, Interfaith Values: Tolerance

According to Jewish and Christian tradition, a thousand years after Abraham, the Jewish people were slaves, locked in perpetual servitude in Egypt before being led to freedom by Moses. On their epic trek to Palestine, Moses broke the journey in the area around Mount Sinai. It was at its peak that Moses received from God a set of covenants, or laws, etched into clay tablets. These 10 Commandments became the foundation for a moral existence.

Over 1000 years later, in 2 AH or 624 CE, the Prophet Muhammad wrote and granted a different covenant to the monks at the Monastery of St. Catherine, a 60-year-old Christian abbey at the base of Mount Sinai. Though not commanding the recipients to honor their mother and father or desist in the creation of idols, the covenant from the Prophet Muhammad did something unheard of in the annals of history — it promised to protect the Christian monks and residents of the region from any incursions, attacks, or efforts to take over the Christian pilgrimage site. It swore to protect the monks singularly and as a group wherever they were. Further, the contract vowed to allow all inhabitants to keep the religion of their choice. The handwritten words on parchment, signed with the Prophet’s hand-print bound the Islamic nation to honor these promises “for all time, even unto the Day of Judgment and the end of the world.”

Dr. John A. Morrow, academic, researcher, scholar, teacher, a member of the Canadian Métis community, and an activist, converted to Islam at the age of 16, while a high school student in his native Canada. Still a teen, Morrow continued to research Islam through dozens of texts, and he came across an 18th-century text written by Richard Pococke which described and translated parts of the treaty the Prophet Muhammad had initiated with the Monks of Mount Sinai.

In one section of the document, the text reads, “That whenever any of the monks in his travels shall happen to settle upon any mountain, hill, village, or other habitable place, on the sea, or in deserts, or in any convent, church, or house of prayer, I shall be in the midst of them, as the preserver and protector of them, their goods and effects, with my soul, aid, and protection…” These sentiments and others like them anchored Morrow’s attachment to the demonstrated compassion and teachings of Islam.

Thirty years, several academic degrees, and dozens of publications later, Dr. Morrow’s most recent work, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time, is shaking up both the Islamic and Christian worlds. Whether intentionally or circumstantially, the treaty with the monks of Mt. Sinai and over a dozen other, similar documents, had receded from religious consciousness over the centuries and were squirreled away amid thousands of other papers in libraries scattered around Europe and the Middle East. With their virtual burial, a message of peace, inclusiveness, and tolerance was lost.
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“No fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve.” This verse from the Holy Qur’an (2:62) refers to all the monotheists of the Prophet’s time, Jews, Christians, and Sabeans, and promises that these groups, being righteous in action, and aligned with Muslims in their belief in one God, would be protected. The above divine revelation, an edict transmitted to the Prophet Muhammad from God, guaranteed a future of unity and safety. Nevertheless, as an essential feature of his nation-building efforts, the Prophet Muhammad went even further, creating documents meant to serve vast populations living under Islamic rule as long as “the sea wets the shells on the shore.”
Due to those covenants, newly explored by Dr. Morrow, Muslims now have an additional rigorously authenticated religious resource — the detailed Ashtiname — peace letters or covenants spoken by the Prophet and written down verbatim. Through dictation and diplomacy, the Muhammad formulated treaties with most of the religious communities on the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. Some of the major covenants include:

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World I
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World II
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Jews of Maqna
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Yemenite Jews
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Coptic Christians of Egypt
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Syriac Orthodox Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians

Over just a few years, the Islamic Ummah, or nation, expanded widely, until it gradually encompassed territory that included peoples of various sects. As Dr. Morrow suggests in his book, “A visionary long-term planner, the Prophet understood that the spread of Islam could take centuries. What he sought to create were the conditions under which the seeds of Islam could be planted and watered, thus enabling Muslim seeds to sprout, grow, and spread. If a population preferred to remain heathen, Christian or Jewish, they were entitled to do so as long as they entered into a covenant with the Islamic State as protected people.” Thus, rather than initiate any conflict with those populations, groups who had largely lived in harmony for generations, Muhammad resolved to ensure that they continued to feel connected and protected by detailing the mutuality of the support each provided, first from the Prophet, the Islamic Nation, and his designated successors or caliphs, and then from the group specified in the treaty.

Beyond protection, these covenants outlined forbidden actions, that is acts which the Muslims in these areas were prohibited from initiating. The rights and privileges granted to the Christians of Najran, a place in what is now southern Saudi Arabia where Christianity took root in the 4th century, are mirrored in most of the other treaties as well:

“To the Christians of Najran and its neighboring territories, God’s protection and the pledge of His Prophet extend to their lives, their religion, and their property. It applies to those who are present as well as those who are absent. There shall be no interference with the practice of their faith or their religious observances. There will be no change to their rights and privileges. No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric; no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his parish. They shall all continue to enjoy everything they previously enjoyed great or small. No image or cross shall be destroyed. They will not oppress or be oppressed.”

In a place and time where religion and pagan beliefs were a major driver of conflict and almost perpetual warfare, the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad provided an umbrella of safety and freedom for hundreds of communities. In covenants written for general societies, unlike the abbey on Mount Sinai which was an exclusively male population, Muhammad added previously unheard-of rights for women:

“Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent. If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

By bringing the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad to light in an age that sorely needs models of tolerance, compassion, and community, Dr. Morrow hopes to reach and influence Muslims who may not be aware of the more global and far-reaching intentions of the Prophet and Christians who may have relied too heavily on the one-faceted view of Islam promulgated by the media. Invited to speak at conferences, churches, mosques, and institutions from Dubai to California, Dr. Morrow seeks to restore the trajectory of benevolent statecraft instituted by the Prophet Muhammed over 1400 years ago.

Barbara Castleton, MA, is a professor of English at South Seattle College. She is the co-author of Arabic, Islam, and the Allah Lexicon: How Language Shapes Our Conception of God and has published several articles on Arabic sociolinguistics in peer-reviewed journals.

No Fear Shall Be Upon Them, Nor Shall They Grieve: The Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

SHAFAQNA – (Presented at the St. Luke Church in Renton, Washington, USA, on Saturday, December 9, 2017)

In the Name of God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, the Lord of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace be upon all the prophets, messengers, and friends of God.

I would like to welcome you to this gathering focused on “Achieving a Better Understanding of the Other.” I come in peace seeking peace in the hope of building bridges of understanding between Muslims and the People of the Book for the sake of this planet and humanity.

I would like to thank Sister Zahra Abidi, the Executive Director of Roots of Conflict, for organizing this important event. Islam, true Islam, has a long tradition of powerful women: women with spiritual might and women with political clout: Asiyyah, the wife of Pharoah; Mary, the Mother of Jesus; Khadijah, the pillar of Muhammad; Fatimah, the wife of ‘Ali, and Mother of the Imams; Zaynab, the sister of Husayn, the Lord of the Martyrs; Hamidah, the wife of Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, and Narjis, the Mother of Imam al-Mahdi, the Savior of Humanity who, along with Jesus, will ride the world from corruption and exploitation and establish a global government of peace and justice.So, I commend Sister Zahra for her initiative and call upon the Muslim community, as a whole, and the Shiite community, in particular, to support her efforts. It is not true that only scholars can lead: leaders are those who should lead. Some scholars should just focus on leading prayers.

I would also like to thank our friends and allies from St. Luke’s Church and St. Mark’s Cathedral for hosting this event. I would also like to thank Sheikh Noor-uddin, a respected scholar, for sharing the podium with me this evening. God-willing, he will be providing you with some important insights on the origin and early development of Islam. By the grace of God, I begin:

“No fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve” (2:62). Such are the words of the Qur’an. Such are the words that were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel, peace and blessings be upon them both. Such is the attitude of Islam, true Islam, towards the People of the Book. Allow me to place this line of verse in its broader context. As Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur’an:

Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord. No fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve. (2:62)

The verse in question is clear. It establishes that all monotheists who do good deeds will ultimately attain salvation: they have nothing to fear. As Almighty Allah elucidates in the Glorious Qur’an:

For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (5:48)

We, believers in One God, whether we are Jews, Samaritans, Christians, Muslims, Sabeans, Zoroastrians, Brahmans, or monotheistic members of the First Nations, have theological differences. Big deal. Get over it. Almighty Allah Himself (or Herself if you prefer) explicitly expresses opposition to uniformity. The Creator espouses unity within diversity. Rather than fight over petty religious differences, God challenges us to “compete with each other in righteousness” (5:48). As Almighty Allah explains once again:

O mankind [my apologies for the gender-centric translation]… O humankind, We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing, and All-Aware. (49:13)

Differences enrich us. Homogeneity is boring. Rather than focus on areas of disagreement, Almighty Allah asks us to concentrate on areas of agreement:

Say: We believe in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants. We believe in what given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and to Him do we submit” (3:84)

In other words, Allah asks us to seek common ground with the People of the Book:

O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah. (3:64)

Although there is little common ground between monotheists, polytheists, and atheists in theological matters, there are areas of agreement in ethical and moral areas. Consequently, Allah encourages Muslims to adopt a tolerant attitude towards those who do not share their beliefs. As Almighty Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an: “To you your religion and to me mine” (109:6).

As far as Islam is concerned, nobody has a monopoly on truth. We should all respect the elements of true found in different religious traditions. Did not the Prophet ask Muslims to “Travel, for even if you don’t gain wealth, you will certainly gain wisdom” (Makarim al-Akhlaq). In other words, we must be open-minded and learn from others.

Whether people believe or disbelieve, they are all human beings. As Imam ‘Ali, the successor of the Prophet, peace be upon them both, said: “People are of two kinds, either your brothers in faith or your equals in humanity.” Our religions may or may not unite us; however, our humanity can and should bring us together. Islam’s mercy and tolerance extends even to agnostics and atheists. As Imam Husayn, the grand-son of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon them both, said on the Day of ‘Ashurah: “If you do not have a religion, then at least be free and open-minded in your present life.”

Yes, I know, this sounds too lovie-dovie to some of you. It sure stands in stark contrast to the teachings of ISIS. Yes, indeed, it’s day and night, white and black, God versus Satan. It’s like comparing Christ to Slavery, Christ to Segregation, Christ to the Klan, and Christ to colonialism, imperialism, and globalism. Just like there are demonic entities that have exploited Judaism and Christianity to political purposes, perverting their teachings to turn them into tools of oppression and exploitation, so have some diabolic forces corrupted the teachings of Islam for the most sordid of reasons.  Please allow me to give you a short history of Islam: the enemies of the Prophet Muhammad, those who fought and opposed him savagely during his lifetime, usurped the spiritual and political authority of his successors, and turned Islam into an imperial dynasty.

The Umayyads and the ‘Abbasids ruthlessly hunted down the descendants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and slaughtered them like the innocent lambs that they were. The enemies of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, did not simply kill the Progeny of the Prophet, they killed Islam in the process. They destroyed it from within. Truth became mingled with falsehood but, as Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur’an: “Truth stands clear from falsehood” (2:256). So, let us talk a bit about the Covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and see what true Muhammadan Islam teaches.

In accordance with the Qur’an, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, consulted with the community in Madinah. He met with tribal and faith leaders. He deliberated with them. Then, under his leadership, but in collaboration with non-Muslims, he created and promulgated the Covenant of Madinah, the first constitution in the history of humanity which provided equality for all, regardless of religion, tribe, race, gender or social class. “They are one community [or ummah],” proclaims the Covenant of Madinah: “conditions must be fair and equitable to all.” Jews, Muslims, polytheists all had to contribute equally to the defense of the Ummah.

The religious rights of the People of the Book were protected: “The Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs.” “To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality,” it proclaims, “he shall not be wronged, nor his enemies aided.” Muslims were even obliged to protect and defend the allies of the Jews: “The close friends of the Jews are as themselves.”

The enemies of the Ummah, namely, the pagans from Quraysh, who persecuted the Muslims and non-Muslims who followed the Prophet, the Muslims and non-Muslims who followed the Prophet, were to be given no protection. All members of the Ummah were bond “to make peace and maintain it.” However, in the event they were attacked by their common enemies, they were all required to rally in defense of it.

The Covenant of Madinah established the rule of law among a lawless people: “Whenever you differ about a matter it must be referred to Allah and to Muhammad.” The teachings of the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qur’an, became the law of the land, governing their respective communities. The Prophet was to oversee their implementation impartially. He was the final arbiter.

Word of the Prophet Muhammad’s rise continued to spread to the four corners of the world. In the second year of the hijrah, a delegation of monks from St. Catherine’s Monastery visited him in Madinah where they reminded him of his promise of protection. There, in his mosque in Madinah, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, dictated to ‘Ali the ‘ahd al-nabi, the ‘ahd nabawi, the ashtinameh, the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai, which guaranteed freedom of religion, protected religious establishments, granted tax-free status to priests, monks, and nuns, and prohibited forced conversions.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, provided the same protections to the People of the Book throughout the Greater Middle East. He protected the Christians of Najran, Aylah, Egypt, Syria, Persia, Armenia, and the world. He protected the Samaritans in Palestine. He protected the Jews from the Yemen and Maqnah. He also protected the Zoroastrians.

The authenticity of Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the People of the Book is documents is indisputable. They have been transmitted consecutively from the 7th century to the present. Hundreds upon hundreds of scholarly authorities have concluded that they are genuine. What is more, they were treated as authentic and established as law by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, by the Fatimids, the Ayyubids, the Ottomans, and the Safavids, among others. So, what do these documents say? They are quite lengthy, and time is of the essence. Allow me then to provide you with some key quotes for the sake of clarity and concision.

The Treaty of Najran, which appears in the Tafsir of Muqatil ibn Sulayman al-Balkhi (d. 767 CE), the Kitab al-kharaj of Abu Yusuf (738-798 CE), the Kitab al-Siyar of Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (d. 805 CE), the Tabaqat of Ibn Sa‘d (845 CE), and the Kitab al-Amwal of Ibn Zanjawayh (d. 865 CE), reads: “No bishop is to be driven from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his priestly vocation.”

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran, the original of which was found in the House of Wisdom in 878/879 CE, and entered the Chronicle of Seert in the 9th century, reads: It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric, a monk from his monastic life or an anchorite from his vocation as a hermit. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims.

The Treaty of Najran, cited in Baladhuri’s (d.  892 CE) Kitab Futuh al-Buldan, reads: “No bishop is to be driven from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no hermit from his hermitage.” The Treaty of Najran, which was recorded by Ibn Qayyim, prior to 1350 CE, is very similar to the version published by Ibn Sa‘d in the 9th century. It reads: “No bishop is to be driven from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his priestly vocation. No changes will be made with regards to their rights.”

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai which was placed in the Ottoman Treasury in 1517 CE, reads:

A bishop shall not be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a hermit from his tower, nor shall a pilgrim be hindered from his pilgrimage. Moreover, no building from among their churches shall be destroyed, nor shall the money from their churches be used for the building of mosques or houses for the Muslims.

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, which was recorded in 1538 CE, reads:

It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric or a Christian from his Christianity, a monk from his monastic life or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage or a hermit from his tower. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims.

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, which was printed in 1630 CE, reads:

It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric or a Christian from his Christianity, a monk from his monastic life or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage or a hermit from his tower. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims.

Although no Arabic version of the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia is currently known to exist, it also contains a very similar clause:

Their building enterprises shall not be interfered with; their priests shall not be molested in the performance of their task… neither shall their churches be dismantled or destroyed, or their homes and mansions confiscated by Muslims, for mosques or residences…

And while a Persian version of the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians survives, the Arabic is apparently no longer extant. Nonetheless, it conveys the same key components:

Leave their possessions alone, be it houses or other property, do no destroy anything of their belongings… their church buildings shall be left as they are, they shall not be altered, their priests shall be permitted to teach and worship in their down way… None of their churches are to be torn down, or altered into a mosque…

Enough with the repetition, you may think. However, its purpose is didactic. There are those who claim that the Covenants of the Prophet are 16thcentury forgeries. When that was proven to be false, they claimed that they were 10th century forgeries. However, even that has been proven to be false.

I am sorry to disappoint Islamophobic trolls, who refuse to believe that any good could come from the Prophet or Islam; however, the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad were circulating in the 9th century, the 8th century, and yes, even the 7th century. They are what we call in Hadith Studies:mutawatir, transmitted by so many people, for so long, from the 7th century to the 21st century, that it is impossible to accept that they all agreed upon a falsehood.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, never said: “Follow the Qur’an and only the Qur’an.” No, he told us to hold fast to the Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt (Muslim). He told us to follow his Sunnah but only as transmitted and interpreted by his authorized representatives, the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt and their faithful followers.

A text has no life of its own. It is inert. It comes alive when it is read and interpreted. The Qur’an, on its own, in the hands of evil-ones, can become an instrument of evil. Just look at the way ISIS interprets the Qur’an. They turn the Qur’an into a Satanic Scripture just like white supremacists turn the Bible into the work of Beelzebub.

As al-Sharif Ahmad ibn Muhammad Sa‘d al-Hasani al-Idrisi al-Azhari, the Founder of the Ihsan Institute and a distinguished graduate from al-Azhar University, has stated, the Covenants of the Prophet “serve to clarify the true meanings of the verses of the Qur’an.” La yakfi al-Qur’an. The Qur’an does not suffice. We must follow the Qur’an and the Prophet. We must follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

We must follow the true Sunnah as transmitted by the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them. And who transmitted the Covenants of the Prophet? None other than Imam ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. If we, as Muslims, hold on to the Qur’an and the Covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon his and his purified progeny, we will never go astray.

Islam, true Islam, traditional, civilizational Islam, balances justice with mercy. It creates a tolerant, pluralistic, society, governed by the rule of law, which provides equality and equity for all its citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, tribal affiliation, gender, social class or economic status.

The Qur’an, the Sunnah, the Shari‘ah, the Constitution of Madinah, and the Covenants of the Prophet, the Imams, the Caliphs, the Sultans, and the Shahs of Islam all provide fundamental and universal civil and human rights. The Islam of the Prophet and the Islam of the Imams, peace and blessings be upon them all, provides safety and security for both Muslims and non-Muslims. As Almighty Allah commands in the Glorious Qur’an: “No fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve” (2:62).

Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) is a proud member of the Métis Nation, one of the three aboriginal peoples recognized by the Canadian government. He embraced Islam at the age of 16 after several years of serious study. He has been a student of the Islamic Sciences for over thirty years and has acquired knowledge around the world. His teachers have included traditional scholars of Islam from various schools of jurisprudence and spiritual paths as well as Western academics. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto at the age of 29 and reached the rank of Full Professor by the age of 43. He retired from academia in 2016 to devote his time entirely to research, scholarship, and service. Dr. Morrow has authored hundreds of academic articles and over thirty scholarly books, the most influential of which is The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World (2013). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Islam and the People of the Book, a three-volume encyclopedia on the Muhammadan Covenants which features critical studies by over twenty leading Muslim scholars along with translations of the treaties of the Prophet in over a dozen languages. Dr. Morrow received an interfaith leadership award from the Islamic Society of North America in 2016 and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the US House of Representatives in 2017. An award winning academic, author, and activist, he lectures around the world and acts as an advisor to world leaders.

The Muslim Documents Everyone Must Know

By: John Andrew Morrow   Source: IslamiCity Dec 6, 2017

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace be upon the Prophets and the Messengers of God, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, and peace be upon you all and God’s mercy and blessings. I welcome you wholeheartedly to “The Muslim Documents Everyone Must Know.”

So, what are these documents that every Muslim must know? Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler? The Protocols by the Learned Elders of Zion?  The International Jew by Henry Ford? Join the Caravan by Abdullah Azzam? How about the Al-Qaedah Handbook?  No, not quite. This is completely and totally false: just like the claim that Muslims are devoid of a sense of dark humor. What do you expect? We Muslims are the bomb!

What is the most important book in Islam? The Arabian Nights? The Perfumed Garden by Shaykh Muhammad al-Nafzawi? The Sources of Pleasure by Harun al-Makhzumi? No. It is the Qur’an:  the Glorious Qur’an. And what goes hand and hand with the Qur’an? Terrorism? No. I must be watching too much Fox News. I must be reading too many tweets from President Trump. Astaghfirullah. May God forgive me. No, the second most important source in Islam is the Sunnah:  the teachings, traditions, sayings, and actions of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah. And within the Sunnah, we find some sparkling jewels: the Constitution of Madinah and the Covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

Let us commence, then, with the Qur’an, which, as Muslims, we believe to be the Word of God. The Qur’an is a book. Texts are inert. You can pray all day and wait your whole life, but the Qur’an is not going to speak to you. A text only comes alive when we engage with it through reading, thought, analysis, contemplation, and interpretation. It only comes to life when we put its teachings into practice. Although it is important to read the Qur’an, it is even more important to understand how to read the Qur’an.

Read the Qur’an with an open-mind, an open-heart, and an open-spirit. Absorb what you can from the surface of the text. Ensure that you understand all the vocabulary and all the terminology. Unless you read the Qur’an in Arabic, consider reading and comparing many translations of the Qur’an for every translation represents an interpretation. They convey different shades of meaning. In the past, this required comparing half a dozen physical translations of the Qur’an. Now, fortunately, one can easily compare over a dozen translations in English, not to mention numerous other languages, using Quran.Com, SearchQuran.Com, Islamicity’s Qur’an Search, and other sites.

To understand a text, one must also understand its context: the time and place in which it was produced. This is where the sirah, the biography, and the sunnah, comes into play. You also need a broader understanding of Middle Eastern history, culture, and religion. Unless you are familiar with the broader Judeo-Christian tradition, you will have a challenging time comprehending all the allusions and references found in the Qur’an. You get what you put in to it. In other words, what you derive from the text is what you bring to the text. The greater your knowledge, your culture, and your points of reference, the broader and deeper your understanding of the text will be.

After you have read the Qur’an, dozens and dozens of times, at the very least, it is valuable to consult works of commentary. Know that works of exegesis are of various kinds. There are Qur’anic commentaries that focus on language and linguistics. Some are theological in nature. Some are legal in nature. Some are political in nature. And others are spiritual in nature.

Commence with classical commentaries of the Qur’an. On the Sunni side, that would include commentaries of Tabari, Suyuti and Mahalli, Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Ajibah, Ibn Juzayy, Wahidi, Baydawi, Nasafi, Razi, Tustari, Kashani, Qushayri, and Sabuni, among others. On the Shiite side, that would include Tusi, Qummi, Tabarsi, Ayashi, Kufi, Bahrani, Tabatabai, Amuli, and Makarem Shirazi, among others.

Understand that the Qur’an has seven, seventy, or seven hundred layers of meaning: both inner and outer. Understand that the Qur’an is both literal and allegorical. Understand that Qur’anic commentaries convey opinions and should never be accepted blindly, uncritically, and unconditionally. They represent an independent intellectual effort to understand the sacred text. They are not binding upon believers. One is not required to accept an interpretation as if it were divine revelation. According to Sunni and Shiite Islam, it is the Prophet Muhammad who is mas‘um or infallible: not Qur’anic commentators and scholars.

Recognize that Islam represents a spectrum at the center of which is found Sunni Islam, and its major schools of law, alongside Twelver Islam, and its major school of law. Stick to the center as much as possible. Maintain moderation. Avoid extremes. Stay far away from fringe groups. This applies in matters of theology, jurisprudence, and spirituality. Stick, as much as possible, to the straight path while recognizing elements of truth found on the periphery of Islam and even on the outside of it. One can study, analyze, and appreciate marginal aspects; however, one should stand firmly at the center of the spectrum.

Keep away from anyone who claims to have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Run from any literalist or fundamentalist who claims that there is only one interpretation of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and Islam. Flee from pompous pretenders who believe that they know the Qur’an better than anyone. Hide from arrogant extremists who believe that they, and only they, are right and that anyone who disagrees with them are unbelievers. As Obi-Wan Kenobi has said, “Only a Sith speaks in absolutes.”

Now that we have a general idea of how to approach the Qur’an, let us examine some of its most important teachings regarding the Muslim attitude towards the Other. As Almighty God revealed in the Glorious Qur’an:

Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord. No fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve. (2:62)

The verse in question is clear. It establishes that all monotheists who do virtuous deeds will ultimately attain salvation. This is confirmed by several traditions of the Prophet. In fact, it is a fundamental Sunni belief. As Ghazali stated: “The believer must give credit to the final leaving of Hell of all the monotheists; for no one who believes in God’s Unity will abide eternally in the Fire.” As Almighty God elucidates in the Glorious Qur’an:

For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So, vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (5:48)

We, believers in One God, whether we are Jews, Samaritans, Christians, Muslims, Sabeans, Zoroastrians, Brahmans, or monotheistic members of the First Nations, have theological differences. Big deal. Get over it. Almighty God explicitly opposes uniformity. The Creator espouses unity within diversity. Rather than fight over religious differences, God challenges us to “compete with each other in righteousness” (5:48). As Almighty God explains once again:

O humankind, We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing, and All-Aware. (49:13)

Differences enrich us. Homogeneity is boring. Rather than focus on areas of disagreement, Almighty Allah asks us to concentrate on areas of agreement:

Say: We believe in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants. We believe in what given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and to Him do we submit. (3:84)

In other words, Allah asks us to seek common ground with the People of the Book:

O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah. (3:64)

Although there is little common ground between monotheists, polytheists, and atheists in theological matters, there are areas of agreement in ethical and moral areas. Consequently, Allah encourages Muslims to adopt a tolerant attitude towards those who do not share their beliefs. As Almighty Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an: “To you your religion and to me mine” (109:6). As far as Islam is concerned, nobody has a monopoly on truth. We should all respect the elements of truth found in different religious traditions and socio-political and economic philosophies.

There are, no doubt, verses of the Qur’an that are harsher when they speak of the People of the Book. However, these need to be properly interpreted and placed into context. There is also a tendency, among extremists, to take verses of the Qur’an that were revealed regarding belligerent unbelievers, polytheists, that is, and apply them, erroneously and unfairly, to Christians and even to Muslims. The term mushkrikin or polytheists, as used in the Qur’an, applies to pagan Arab polytheists and idol-worshippers. It does not, and cannot, apply to Christians, who are monotheists. It does not, and cannot, apply to Sunni Muslims, Sufi Muslims or Shiite Muslims as a pretext to persecute and kill them.

Second only in importance to the Qur’an is the Sunnah, the teachings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. In accordance with the Qur’an, the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, consulted with the community in Madinah. He met with tribal and faith leaders. He deliberated with them. Then, under his leadership, but in collaboration with non-Muslims, he created and promulgated the Covenant of Madinah, the first constitution in the history of humanity which provided equality for all, regardless of religion, tribe, race, gender or social class. “They are one community [or ummah],” proclaims the Covenant of Madinah: “conditions must be fair and equitable to all.” Jews, Muslims, polytheists all had to contribute equally to the defense of the Ummah.

The religious rights of the People of the Book were protected: “The Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs.” “To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality,” it proclaims, “he shall not be wronged, nor his enemies aided.” Muslims were even obliged to protect and defend the allies of the Jews: “The close friends of the Jews are as themselves.”

The enemies of the Ummah, namely, the pagans from Quraysh, who persecuted the Muslims and non-Muslims who followed the Prophet, were to be given no protection. All members of the Ummah were bond “to make peace and maintain it.” However, in the event they were attacked by their common enemies, they were all required to rally in defense of it.

The Covenant of Madinah established the rule of law among a lawless people: “Whenever you differ about a matter it must be referred to Allah and to Muhammad.” The teachings of the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qur’an, became the law of the land, governing their respective communities. The Prophet was to oversee their implementation impartially. He was the final arbiter.

Word of the Prophet Muhammad’s rise continued to spread to the four corners of the world. In the second year of the hijrah, a delegation of monks from St. Catherine’s Monastery visited him in Madinah where they reminded him of his promise of protection.

There, in his mosque in Madinah, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, dictated to ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, the ‘ahd al-nabi, the ‘ahd nabawi, the ashtinameh, the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai, which guaranteed freedom of religion, protected religious establishments, granted tax-free status to priests, monks, and nuns, and prohibited forced conversions.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, provided the same protections to the People of the Book throughout the Greater Middle East. He protected the Christians of Najran, Aylah, Egypt, Syria, Persia, Armenia, and the world. He protected the Samaritans in Palestine. He protected the Jews from the Yemen and Maqnah. He also protected the Zoroastrians.

The authenticity of Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the People of the Book is indisputable. They have been transmitted consecutively from the 7th century to the present. Hundreds upon hundreds of scholarly authorities have concluded that they are genuine. What is more, they were treated as authentic and established as law by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, by the Fatimids, the Ayyubids, the Ottomans, and the Safavids, among others. So, what do these documents say? They are quite lengthy, and time is of the essence. Allow me, then, to provide you with some key quotes for the sake of clarity and concision.

The Treaty of Najran, which appears in the Tafsir of Muqatil ibn Sulayman al-Balkhi (d. 767 CE), the Kitab al-kharaj of Abu Yusuf (738-798 CE), the Kitab al-Siyar of Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (d. 805 CE), the Tabaqat of Ibn Sa‘d (845 CE), and the Kitab al-Amwal of Ibn Zanjawayh (d. 865 CE), reads:  “No bishop is to be driven from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his priestly vocation.”

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran, the original of which was found in the House of Wisdom in 878/879 CE, and entered the Chronicle of Seert in the 9th century, reads:

It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric, a monk from his monastic life or an anchorite from his vocation as a hermit. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims.

The Treaty of Najran, cited in Baladhuri’s (d.  892 CE) Kitab Futuh al-Buldan, reads: “No bishop is to be driven from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no hermit from his hermitage” (online edition). The Treaty of Najran, which was recorded by Ibn Qayyim, prior to 1350 CE, is very similar to the version published by Ibn Sa‘d in the 9th century. It reads: “No bishop is to be driven from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his priestly vocation. No changes will be made with regards to their rights.”

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai which was placed in the Ottoman Treasury in 1517 CE, reads:

A bishop shall not be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a hermit from his tower, nor shall a pilgrim be hindered from his pilgrimage. Moreover, no building from among their churches shall be destroyed, nor shall the money from their churches be used for the building of mosques or houses for the Muslims.

We find the very same protections in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, which was recorded in 1538 CE and in the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, which was printed in 1630 CE.

Although no Arabic version of the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia is currently known to exist, it also contains a very similar clause:

Their building enterprises shall not be interfered with; their priests shall not be molested in the performance of their task… neither shall their churches be dismantled or destroyed, or their homes and mansions confiscated by Muslims, for mosques or residences…

And while a Persian version of the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians survives, the Arabic is apparently no longer extant. Nonetheless, it conveys the same key components:

Leave their possessions alone, be it houses or other property, do no destroy anything of their belongings… their church buildings shall be left as they are, they shall not be altered, their priests shall be permitted to teach and worship in their down way… None of their churches are to be torn down, or altered into a mosque…

Enough with the repetition, you may think. However, its purpose is didactic. There are those who claim that the Covenants of the Prophet are 16th century forgeries. When that was proven to be false, they claimed that they were 10th century forgeries. However, even that has been proven to be false.

I am sorry to disappoint Islamophobic trolls who refuse to believe that any good could come from the Prophet or Islam; however, the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad were circulating in the 9th century, the 8th century, and yes, even the 7th century. They are what we call in Hadith Studies: mutawatir, transmitted by so many people, for so long, from the 7th century to the 21st century, that it is impossible to accept that they all agreed upon a falsehood.

There are those who claim that I am full of it. I cannot say what “it” is. I can only say that it is not chocolate ice cream. There are those who accuse me of lying about the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Hundreds upon hundreds of scholars, writers, political and religious authorities have authenticated the Covenants of the Prophet from the 7th century to the 21st century. Are all these sources, half of whom are Muslim authorities, including myself, full of “it” as well? Yes; yes, we are: we are full of chocolate ice cream! Not only do we make Islam palatable: we make it down right delicious. Provecho! L’chaim! Salud! A votre santé! To your health!

Islam, true Islam, traditional, civilizational Islam, balances justice with mercy. It creates a tolerant, pluralistic, society, governed by the rule of law, which provides equality and equity for all its citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, tribal affiliation, gender, social class or economic status.

“I have left two things,” said the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, “the Qur’an and my Sunnah” (Malik and Muslim). The Qur’an and the Sunnah, which includes the Constitution of Madinah and the Covenants of the Prophet, provide fundamental and universal civil and human rights. Islam, and by Islam, I mean traditional Islam, I mean classical Islam, provides safety and security for both Muslims and non-Muslims.

As al-Sharif Ahmad ibn Muhammad Sa‘d al-Hasani al-Idrisi al-Azhari, the Founder of the Ihsan Institute and a distinguished graduate from al-Azhar University, has stated, the Covenants of the Prophet “serve to clarify the true meanings of the verses of the Qur’an.”

So, let us hold fast to the Qur’an, in its true, traditional, balanced, orthodox, mainstream, normative, and moderate interpretation, and avoid excesses and extremes. Let us hold fast to the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, particularly the Constitution of Madinah and the Covenants of the Prophet with the People of the Book.

I close with greetings of peace: peace be upon you, que la paix soit sur vous, que la paz sea con ustedes, salaamu ‘alaykum, and shalom aleichum. And Allah Akbar, God is the Greatest. We need to reclaim the takbir.

*****

Presented at Sound Vision’s Annual Seerah Conference in Chicago, Illinois, on December 3, 2017

Hamza Yusuf: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 

After being bombarded by Salafi-Wahhabi-Takfiri propaganda for so long, the appearance of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on the Muslim scene was refreshing. Over the past few decades, the Californian-based scholar has played a primordial role in spreading the traditional, mainstream, Islam of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Tasawwuf in the Western world and drawing scores of believers into a normative form of the Muslim faith. For this, he must be commended.

Although many people were pleased to see an American scholar assume a position of leadership in the Western world, hoping that it would start to turn the tide of religious colonialism and outside interference in our domestic religious affairs, the fact that Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has received financial, political, and logistical support from Britain, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey calls his independence into question. A formidable form of soft power, funds from global and regional players typically come with conditions which are either explicit or implicit. For this, he must be cautioned.

Even though Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was one of the first Muslim scholars to receive a copy of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, he has steadfastly refused to sign the Covenants Initiative, a statement that has been endorsed by hundreds of Muslim scholars, intellectuals, and activists. What he found objectionable is a source of wonder for it simply says:

We the undersigned hold ourselves bound by the spirit and the letter of the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) with the Christians of the world, in the understanding that these covenants, if accepted as genuine, have the force of law in the shari‘ah today and that nothing in the shari‘ah, as traditionally and correctly interpreted, has ever contradicted them. 

As fellow victims of the terror and godlessness, the spirit of militant secularism and false religiosity now abroad in the world, we understand your suffering as Christians through our suffering as Muslims, and gain greater insight into our own suffering through the contemplation of your suffering. 

May the Most Merciful of the Merciful regard the suffering of the righteous and innocent; may He strengthen us, in full submission to His will, to follow the spirit and the letter of the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the world in all our dealings with them. 

In short, the Covenants Initiative merely reiterates our commitment, as Muslims, to abide by the treaties and promises that the Prophet Muhammad made with the People of the Book. Evidently, nobody is compelled to sign petitions or statements and the Shaykh is entirely within his rights to decline such an invitation. The Covenants of the Prophet have been widely embraced by the Muslim Community. The list of signatories only represents a small segment of supporters.

Like other scholars, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is entitled to his opinions. He is free to keep these private or make them public. He could have expressed support for the Covenants of the Prophet. If he had reservations regarding the authenticity of the Covenants of the Prophet, he could have shared his sentiments in a scholarly study. Shaykh Hamza could also have adopted a position of neutrality. For this, he would be within his rights.

The fact of the matter, however, is that Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has actively opposed the Covenants of the Prophet. In fact, several attempts were made by faculty members at the first accredited Muslim undergraduate college in the United States to organize lectures on the Covenants of the Prophet. Numerous other attempts were made by outside parties who wished to organize lectures on the Muhammadan Covenants at Zaytuna. All such efforts were reportedly scuttled by Shaykh Hamza. If this is indeed the case, then he should be called to account.

I call Shaykh Hamza Yusuf to the Covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. I call Shaykh Hamza Yusuf to reconciliation, brotherhood, and friendship, failing which I challenge Shaykh Hamza Yusuf to a televised public debate, held on neutral ground, before a neutral audience, and moderated by an impartial personality, on the authenticity of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the People of the Book.

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) –  Muslim scholar, author, and activist. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet (2017), a three-volume encyclopedic work on the letters, treaties, and covenants of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah. 

The Message of Love (Part 2)

The Muslim Vibe (December 6, 2017).

This is the second of a two-part series and was originally a speech delivered by Dr John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) at the 13th Annual National Muslim Congress Conference in Dallas, Texas, in the United States of America. You can read part 1 here.


In order to cultivate a relationship with the Creator, we must be lovingly obedient and we must walk the path of love. We must slowly and gradually attempt to acquire the attributes of Allah (swt). If Allah is al-Sabbur, the Most Patient, we train ourselves to be patient. If Allah is al-‘Alim, the Most Wise, we strain ourselves to become ‘alims or scholars. We must remember Almighty Allāh at all times, knowing, full-well, that “Wherever you turn, there is the face of God.” [2:115] “We are nearer to the human being than the jugular vein,” [50:16] and “He is with you wherever you are.” [57:4] And most importantly, we must love Almighty Allah with all our hearts and all our souls since “He loves them, and they love Him.” [5:54] As Allah, the Loving, states in his Book of Love: “Those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah.” [2:165]

It goes without saying that the lovers of the Most Loving express their love by respecting the ‘usul al-din and by performing the furu’ al-din, namely, by accepting the Roots of Faith and by practising the Branches of Faith. You must walk before you can run. This is how you distinguish a real ‘arif, a real su, and a real walī from a spiritual charlatan. One cannot be a spiritual authority unless one obey the shari‘ah. Nobody is above the law. At the same time, the simple fact that one follows the shari‘ah, and specializes in the shari‘ah, does not make one a spiritual authority. If the simple fact of obeying the law or knowing the law makes one a holy person than any law-abiding citizen and any attorney is a holy person. No. Obeying the shari‘ah does not suffice to make someone a holy man. It does not even guarantee that someone is a good Muslim. In fact, there are plenty of people who obey the law who are horrible human beings. As Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq warned, “If you want to know the religion of a person, do not look at how much he prays and fast but rather look at how he treats people.”

If love has a spiritual and religious dimension, it also has social, political, and economic dimensions. People were not made to serve religion. Religion was made to serve people. The purpose of religion is knowledge of God and knowledge of self. Its purpose is to teach morals, values, and ethics. Its purpose is spiritual edification, self-improvement, and moral reformation. Faith does not suffice for salvation. Deeds without religious devotion are like seeds without water and soil. As Muslims, we are called to put our faith into practice and to place religion at the service of society and humanity. As Almighty Allah (swt) instructs us in the Glorious Quran:

“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allāh and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.” [2:177]

They are so-called Sufis who believe that politics are below them. They are apolitical: the very manifestation of privilege. They suffer from spiritual arrogance. There are those who wish to reduce Islām to politics. They are the so-called Islamists. There are those who are so stupid and narrow-minded that they wish to reduce Islam to violence. They are the so-called Jihadists. Beware of extremes. Beware of extremists: liberals and conservatives; fundamentalists and reformists; the Gnostics and the literalists; the apolitical and the political. We must stand our religious and spiritual ground by sticking to the straight path. The straight path is the path of the law and the path of love. To walk the path of love, we must love Allah, Allah First, and Allah Last, Allah forever and ever and ever. Love Allah and feel Allah with every breath you take and with every move you make. If you love Allah, then you love the Prophets, Messengers, and Imams that were sent by Allah. Why? Because the Most Loving send them to us in love.

As Almighty Allah explains in the Glorious Quran: “We have notsentd you but as a rahmah [an an act of mercy and love] to all the worlds.” [21:107] He further says: “The Prophet is preferable for the believers even to their own selves.” [33:6] So, if we are true believers, we love the Prophet more than ourselves; however, that love is not unilateral: it is reciprocated. As Almighty Allah says in the Glorious Quran, “For the believers,” the Prophet “is full of kindness, mercy, and love.” [9:128] If we love Allah, we love the Prophet, and if we love the Prophet, we love the Progeny of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon them all. “Train your children in three things,” said the Messenger of Allah, “the love of your Prophet, the love of his Progeny, and recitation of the Quran.” [Suyuti] He also stated: “Love Allah for the favours He has granted you, love me out of love of Allah, and love my family out of love for me.” [Tirmidhi]

As the Messenger of Allah said: “I have left among you two precious obligations as a testament: if you love them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allāh, which is like a rope extending from heaven to the Earth, and my children, my Ahl al-Bayt” (Tirmidhī, Sadūq, Mufīd, Kulaynī). “The love for my Ahl al-Bayt is an obligation,” said the Prophet (Ṭabarānī, Nabahānī, Ibn Ḥajar). I could go on for hours stressing the importance of loving the Prophet and His Purified Progeny, ‘alayhim ṣalawātu wa salām.

Loving God, the Prophet, and his Family, is not enough. We must love our wives as well. As we read in the Glorious Qur’ān: “It is He who created you from a single soul, and made his mate of like nature, in order that ye may dwell with her [in love]” (7:189). Men and women were created from a single soul. They long to be united as one in the same fashion that all souls yearn to be united with Allāh in total tawḥīd. Of the Prophet’s three loves, the other two being perfume and prayer, the foremost was women. As the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings be upon him, stated: “It is the tradition of the Prophets to love women.”

The union of husband and wife is an expression of divine union. Men are the embodiment of the masculine attributes of God whereas women are the embodiment of the feminine attributes of God. The love of women takes many forms. The exegesis of these traditions is profound. As the Messenger of Allāh,ṣalawāt Allāh ‘alayh, stated: “The words of a husband to his wife, ‘I truly love you,’ should never leave her heart” (‘Amilī).

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that “Women are the likes of men.”Women complete men. Women represent the feminine attributes of the Divinity. Loving women, purely and spiritually, that is, is a form of worship. As Imām Ja‘far al-Ṣādiq stated:  “Whoever’s love for us increases, his love for women must also increase” (‘Amilī). To love, respect, and revere women is synonymous with being a follower of Ahl al-Bayt. It suffices to say that one cannot be a pious Muslim while simultaneously being a misogynist. At the same time, the Messenger of Allāh stresses that “The best of you among women are those who are loving and affectionate” (Majlisī).

We love Allāh. We love the Prophet. We love the Imāms. We love our wives. We also love our children and our families. As the Messenger of Allāh, ‘alayhi ṣalawātu wa salām, said: “The creatures are Allāh’s family so the most loved one of Allāh is he who shows kindness to his family” (Bayhaqī). The sixth Imām, Ja‘far al-Ṣādiq, peace be upon him, said: “Verily, Allāh, the Mighty and High, is merciful to the man who loves his child intensely” (Kulaynī).

As you will note, the love that I describe is emanating outward, from the Center, from Allāh, to the Prophet, to the Imāms, and to our families. For most people, love does not extend beyond this small circle. However, since Allāh is One, and we, as Creation, are one, our love should truly be all-encompassing.

The Prophet and the Imāms, peace be upon them, did not only speak about loving our women: they spoke of loving all women. They did not say that we should only love our children: they said that we should love all children. As the Messenger of Allāh, ṣallalahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, taught: “Love children and be compassionate with them, and when you promise them something, always fulfill it, because they certainly consider you their benefactors” (Kulaynī). And while he instructed us to tell our wives that we loved them, he also spoke in general terms, stating: “When you love someone, let the person know” (Majlisī).

As the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “None will move from his place of reckoning on the Day of Judgment until he has stated four things: how he lived his life, how he spend his wealth, how he earned his living, and whether he loved the Ahl al-Bayt” (Ṭabarānī, Suyūṭī, Nabahānī). So, we need to love Ahl al-Bayt, but we need to live a moral life, earn a moral income, and share our income with the poor and needy. As Almighty Allāh, ‘azza wa jalla, Mighty and Majestic, says in a ḥadīth qudsī: “O Son of Adam! Behave with the people with good manners until I love you” (Shīrāzī). And yet again: “Purify your deeds… until I dress you with the clothes of My love” (Shīrāzī).

“Islām started as a social justice movement. The Prophet Muḥammad taught his followers to reject sexism, racism, and most of all, classism” stated a silly girl who should seriously study Islām. Islām is a religion, a worldview, a complete and total way of life, with spiritual, religious, social, political, and economic dimensions. It is a culture. It is a civilization. For God’s sake, Islām is much more than a “social justice movement.” It is a faith. It is rooted in monotheism. It is a belief system which, if followed properly, will ensure social justice and eradicate sexism, racism, and classism. Allāh is very clear about this in the Qur’ān: “Serve Allāh, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess.” (4:36)

Faith in one God, first and foremost. Pure monotheism followed by good deeds to family, relatives, neighbours, orphans, the poor, the needy, the indigent, the homeless, refugees, the sick, the elderly…

Love is central in Islām. It is at the heart of the Golden Rule. As the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings be upon him, stated: “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself” (Muslim); “Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and to enter Paradise… should treat the people as he wishes to be treated” (Muslim); “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself” (Nawawī);  “None of you is a believer if he eats his full while his neighbor hasn’t anything” (Aḥmad); “Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves” (Abū Dāwūd); “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you” (Farewell Sermon); and “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” (Ibn Mājah). In fact, the Qur’ān goes beyond the Golden rule by encouraging Muslims to “Return evil with kindness” (13:22, 23:96, 41:34, 28:54, 42:40).

Why must be love others? Because as Rūzbihān Baqlī of Shīrāz explains in is‘Abhār al-‘āshiqīn, “The soul is nurtured through human love until love becomes firmly rooted in the inmost mystery.” How can you love a God you cannot see when you cannot even love a human being that you can see? Start seeing God in others and you will see wonders. As Almighty Allāh, subḥānahu wa ta‘alā, states in a sacred saying:

“Allāh will say on the Day of Judgment, ‘Son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me.’ ‘My Lord, How could I visit You when You are the Lord of the Worlds?’ ‘Did you not know that one of My servants was sick and you didn’t visit him? If you had visited him you would have found Me there.’ Then Allāh will say, ‘Son of Adam, I needed food but you did not feed Me.’ ‘My Lord, How could I feed You when You are the Lord of the Worlds?’ ‘Did you not know that one of My servants was hungry but you did not feed him? If you had fed him you would have found its reward with Me.’ ‘Son of Adam, I was thirsty, but you did not give Me something to drink.’ ‘My Lord, How could I give a drink when You are the Lord of the Worlds?’ ‘Did you not know that one of My servants was thirsty but you did not give him a drink? If you had given him a drink, you would have found Me with him.” [Muslim]

And yet again,

“My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved than the religious duties that I have imposed upon him, and My Servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks.” (Bukhārī)

This is what is meant when we speak of being at one with the One. This is the true meaning of tawḥīd or unity between the Creator and the created. This is what happens when a human being acquires the attributes of Allāh. The is the station of al-insān al-kāmil: the perfected human being. This is what the Imāms, peace be upon them, meant, when they said: “We are the Most Beautiful Names of God.” This is the destination of the path of love.  This is what Imām Ja‘far al-Ṣādiq meant when he asked: Is the religion anything but love?

Coalition Building as a Major Strategy of Prophetic Success

The Muslim Post (December 5, 2017)

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Shaykh Ilyas Islam)

(Presented at the Sound Vision Benefit in Houston, Texas, on December 2, 2017, and at the Annual Seerah Conference in Chicago, Illinois, on December 3, 2017)

I take refuge in Allah from Satan the Rejected. In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Loving and the Just, and peace be upon the best of the prophets and messengers, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah, along with his family and faithful companions.

I am delighted to participate in Sound Vision’s Annual Seerah Conference. I would like to thank everyone involved in making this event a reality, including, but not limited to, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid and Imam Musa Azam. I would also like to thank all the speakers for sharing their time and knowledge with the community, including, but not limited to, the Right Honorable Lord Nazir Ahmed. And I would like to thank you all, the audience, that is, for taking time out of your busy schedules, to expand your intellects and cultivate your spirituality. Now then…

I have been invited to address a topic of timely concern and universal importance: “Coalition Building as a Major Strategy of Prophetic Success.” All I can say is masha’ Allah, in the good sense, not in the “O my God!” sense. It is evident that a great deal of strategic thought was placed in the selection of themes to be explored at this conference. Although I deliver many highly-academic, graduate-level, lectures, today, I will opt for clarity and simplicity. The scholarly approach and the popular approach are both valid. They each have a time and place.

Muslims need to know Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Non-Muslims need to know Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Unfortunately, some of the biographies of our beloved Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, do us a relative disservice. They provide us with a chronology of events and place an overemphasis on wars and battles. They read, very much, like the life of a CEO, a chief-executive officer, or a military commander. Some are filled with boring, tedious, and mind-numbing detail. Others are full of action, no doubt, however, they speak very little about the Prophet as a person, the Prophet as a husband, the Prophet as a father, the Prophet as a friend, the Prophet as a spiritual and ethical being, the Prophet as a community leader, and the Prophet as a coalition builder.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah shower him with blessings and grant him peace, was a complete and total human being. He had many dimensions. He was a warrior, no doubt. He was a legislator, a judge, and a jurist. He was a political leader. He was a religious leader. He was a philosopher. He was an orator. He was an economist. He was an abolitionist. He was a suffragist. He was a civil rights activist. He was a human rights activist. He was a racial, economic, and social justice activist. He was a democrat, an advocate of democracy (not a member of the Democratic Party, thank you very much). He was a proponent of pluralism who created a Confederation of Believers based on the Constitution of Madinah and the Covenants of the Prophet.

With all of this information in mind, it is no wonder that Michael H. Hart ranked Muhammad as the most influential figure in human history. As he explained, “he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.”

How is it, then, that a poor, uneducated, orphan, from some back-water in Arabia became one of the most powerful leaders in the world with billions of believers? “Violence, bloodshed, terrorism, and mass-murder” respond the intentionally ignorant Islamophobes and hard-hearted hate-mongers. Baraka bi al-kudhubKafa min al-kidhb. Enough with the lies already. He did not receive revelation, proclaim his prophethood, and impose his authority by force. If Muhammad, the son of ‘Abd Allah, was successful, it was because he was a master communicator and coalition builder.

While it may come as a surprise to some, Muhammad’s bridge-building predates the appearance of the Angel Gabriel on the Mountain of Light. Although it has become a dogma that Muhammad only left Arabia on two occasions, once when he was a boy, in the company of his uncle Abu Talib, and yet again, when he was a young man in the service of Khadijah, such a belief is not evidence-based. Early Muslim and Christian sources clearly confirm that Muhammad was well-traveled, that he participated in caravans throughout Arabia, Yemen, the Sinai, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Persia, Armenia, Abyssinia, and parts of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, including, perhaps, North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. I am not making such claims. I am simply sharing what early sources state.

The monks from monasteries throughout the Greater Middle East claim to have been in personal contact with Muhammad when he was a child and a young man. Many of these monks, from Egypt, the Sinai, Syria, and beyond, recognized Muhammad as the Prophet that was foretold in the prophecies they had in their possessions. The monks from St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai asked Muhammad to protect them when he would proclaim his prophethood. He is said to have provided them with a print of his palm as a promise.  By the will of God, and according to His Master Plan, Muhammad appears to have been laying the groundwork for his future mission.

At home, in Arabia, Muhammad also earned the respect, trust, and reverence of the Arab people. When the Ka‘bah needed to be rebuilt, and the question of who should return the Black Stone to its place arose, the Arabs turned to Muhammad al-Amin, the Trustworthy, to resolve the dilemma. He placed the stone on a sheet and had the leaders of each tribe hold on to it, lift it, and return it to its place.

Due to unethical business dealings, conflict arose between the Arabs. Who did they call upon to resolve the conflict? To Muhammad. He spear-headed an alliance to establish fair commercial dealings. It was known as Hilf al-Fudul, the League of the Virtuous, in which tribal leaders agreed to respect the principles of justice and collectively intervene in conflicts to establish justice.

Although this event took place before Muhammad received revelation, and even though the parties were non-Muslims, it is considered an important precedent in Islamic law and ethics. Years later, when Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah became Muhammad Rasul Allah, he insisted that the pact remained valid and binding.

After Muhammad, Allah shower him with countless blessings, received the revelation on the Mountain of Light, he commenced the Islamic tradition of coalition-building. Who did he appeal to? The rich? The powerful? No. He reached out to his family first and foremost. He then appealed to his friends. He focused on building a small, spiritually-strong, community.

When he had the support of those who were close to him, Allah asked him to andhira ‘ashiraka al-aqrabin or “warn your closest kindred.” (26:214). Consequently, he sought permission from the tribal chiefs to preach on Mount al-Safa. They agreed to listen to him because they had never heard him tell lies.

Unfortunately, the Arabs of Quraysh responded with hostility to the peaceful, non-violent, message of the Prophet which focused on faith and justice. Eventually, the persecution took such a toll that the Prophet proposed to send his supporters to Abyssinia, the land of a just Christian king where no one was wronged.

If one peruses the correspondence between Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and al-Najashi, one is struck by their familiar, as opposed to formal, tone. The Prophet spoke to the Abyssinian leader, who appears to have been Judeo-Christian in faith and practice, as if they were friends.

For all intents and purposes, it appears that both men knew and respected one another. If so, this is, once again, evidence that Muhammad had long engaged in alliance-building. Thanks to these efforts, many Companions of the Prophet found refuge in Abyssinia in the year 615 CE.

In the year 619 CE, early Muslim and Christian sources state that the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and grant him peace, received a delegation of Christians in Makkah. This was several years after the first hijrah to Abyssinia and several years before the second hijrah to Madinah. The delegation appears to have consisted of Armenian Christians from Jerusalem. They had long been expecting the rise of an Arabian prophet. They knew that his faith would conquer the world. They knew that he would free them from the oppression of Byzantium. Hence, they asked him to protect their Christian faith and to grant them possession of the holy sites in Jerusalem. This document survives to this day and was ratified by ‘Umar, ‘Ali, and Salah al-Din, among many others.

As a result of extensive epistolary outreach and the diplomatic efforts of his envoys, the Messenger of Allah was able to conclude the Pledge of ‘Aqabah and was able to migrate to Madinah, along with most of his persecuted followers. And who guided the Prophet to Madinah? Who did he select to bring him to safety? Was it a Muslim? No. Was it a Christian? No. Was it a Jew? No. It was an Arab polytheist whom the Prophet trusted with his life. Why did the guide risk the wrath of his own polytheistic people? Because he knew the Prophet as a person. Humanity trumps religion.

The Prophet Muhammad did not impose himself on the people of Madinah: he was invited by the people of Madinah. He was a popularly-acclaimed leader who was asked to act as a mediator between the Jews and polytheists of the prosperous city-oasis. Muslims, at the time, numbered in the hundreds. Non-Muslims numbers in the tens of thousands. The people of Madinah were not converted by force, turned into dhimmis or slaughtered. They gradually entered Islam in the years and decades to come. Some, however, remained Jewish: loyal Jewish allies of the Muslims. So, don’t generalize.

How, then, did the Prophet consolidate power in Madinah? It was certainly not by force for as Almighty Allah confirms in the Qur’an: “There shall be no compulsion in religion” (2:256). It was by means of shura’ or consultation: wa shawirhum or “Consult with them in the matter” (3:159). As Almighty Allah confirms in the Qur’an, the correct method of community-building consists of consultation. The believers are those “whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves” (42:38) or amruhum shura.

In accordance with the Qur’an, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, consulted with the community in Madinah. He met with tribal and faith leaders. He deliberated with them. Then, under his leadership, but in collaboration with non-Muslims, he created and promulgated the Covenant of Madinah, the first constitution in the history of humanity which provided equality for all, regardless of religion, tribe, race, gender or social class. “They are one community [or ummah],” proclaims the Covenant of Madinah: “conditions must be fair and equitable to all.” Jews, Muslims, and polytheists all had to contribute equally to the defense of the Ummah.

The religious rights of the People of the Book were protected: “The Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs.” “To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality,” it proclaims, “he shall not be wronged, nor his enemies aided.” Muslims were even obliged to protect and defend the allies of the Jews: “The close friends of the Jews are as themselves.”

The enemies of the Ummah, namely, the pagans from Quraysh, who persecuted the Muslims and non-Muslims who followed the Prophet, were to be given no protection. All members of the Ummah were bond “to make peace and maintain it.” However, in the event they were attacked by their common enemies, they were all required to rally in defense of it.

The Covenant of Madinah established the rule of law among a lawless people: “Whenever you differ about a matter it must be referred to Allah and to Muhammad.” The teachings of the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qur’an, became the law of the land, governing their respective communities. The Prophet was to oversee their implementation impartially. He was the final arbiter.

Word of the Prophet Muhammad’s rise continued to spread to the four corners of the world. In the second year of the hijrah, a delegation of monks from St. Catherine’s Monasteryvisited him in Madinah where they reminded him of his promise of protection. There, in his mosque in Madinah, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, dictated to ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, the ‘ahd al-nabi, the ‘ahd nabawi, the ashtinameh, the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai, which guaranteed freedom of religion, protected religious establishments, granted tax-free status to priests, monks, and nuns, and prohibited forced conversions.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, provided the same protections to the People of the Book throughout the Greater Middle East. He protected the Christians of Najran, Aylah, Egypt, Syria, Persia, Armenia, and the world. He protected the Samaritans in Palestine. He protected the Jews from the Yemen and Maqnah. He also protected the Zoroastrians. None of this is new. None of this is comes from me or some revisionist reading of Islam.

All of this is authentic and confirmed in early Jewish, Samaritan, Christian, and Muslim sources, both Sunni, and Shii. Don’t take it from me. Read it for yourself. Read the Constitution of Madinah.

If you are proficient in Arabic, read Majmu‘ah al-Watha’iq al-siyasiyyah li al-‘ahd al-nabawiwa al khilafah al-rashidah by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, the famous Sunni scholar and Western academic. It is nearly 1,000 pages long. It contains hundreds upon hundreds of letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet. It clearly shows the massive diplomatic endeavors of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon them.

Read Makatib al-Rasul, a commentary of Hamidullah’s compilation, by Ayatullah Ahmadi Minyanji, the respected Twelver Shiite scholar. It consists of four volumes. So, it’s about 4,000 pages long. You can also read the Arabic translation of my work: Uhud al-Nabi li Masihiyyi al-‘alam which is published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah.

If you are only familiar with English, read Power Manifestations of the Sirah by Zafar Bangash, a Sunni intellectual from Canada. It provides an excellent analysis of the Prophet’s coalition-building efforts.

If you wish to understand how the Prophet engaged with Christians, I recommend my work, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.

If you wish to broaden your understanding of how the Messenger of Allah built bridges with the People of the Book, Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and Zoroastrians, read Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet, a three-volume encyclopedia which features three dozen studies on the subject by leading Muslim scholars along with translations of the Covenants of the Prophet in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Tamil, Indonesian, Urdu, Persian, Azeri, Turkish, and Arabic.

Allah is Just. The Prophet was just. And we Muslims must strive to be just. Coalition-building is the key to success.  I send you greetings of peace and prayers for success and prosperity in this life in the next. Al-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

Hamza Yusuf: Lo Bueno, lo Malo y lo Feo

Por John Andrew Morrow

SHAFAQNA – Después de ser bombardeados por la propaganda salafita-wahhabita-takfirita durante tanto tiempo, la aparición en el escenario musulmán del sheij Hamza Yusuf fue refrescante. En las últimas décadas, este erudito con base en California,  ha desempeñado un papel primordial en la difusión del Islam tradicional ―el Islam de Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Tasawwuf― en el mundo occidental, con lo que acercó a decenas de creyentes a las regulaciones de la fe musulmana. Debe ser elogiado por esto.

Muchos se pusieron contentos al ver que un erudito norteamericano asumía una posición de liderazgo en el mundo occidental, esperanzados en que comenzaría a cambiar el rumbo del colonialismo religioso y de la interferencia en nuestros asuntos internos en la materia. Pero debido a que el sheij Hamza Yusuf recibía apoyo financiero, político y logístico de Gran Bretaña, Emiratos Árabes Unidos y Turquía, se puso en entredicho si actuaba o no con independencia. Ese tipo de ayuda es una forma temible de influencia atractiva, porque por lo general los fondos de los actores mundiales y regionales cuentan con condiciones implícitas o explícitas. Por esta cuestión merece una advertencia.

A pesar de que el sheij Hamza Yusuf fue uno de los primeros estudiosos musulmanes en recibir una copia de “Los pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo”, se negó categóricamente a firmar la Iniciativa de los Pactos, declaración que ha sido avalada por cientos de eruditos, intelectuales y activistas musulmanes. Es sorprendente que su objeción se centrase en lo siguiente:

Los abajo firmantes nos comprometemos a la protección de los cristianos del mundo en función del espíritu y la letra de los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad (la paz y bendiciones sean con él), a los que consideramos auténticos y parte de la ley (Shariah). Aclaramos que nunca nada en esta los contradijo, según la interpretación correcta y tradicional.

Como ciudadanos víctimas del terror, la impiedad, la atmósfera del secularismo militante y la falsa religiosidad extendida por todo el mundo, entendemos su sufrimiento como cristianos a través de nuestro sufrimiento como musulmanes y profundizamos en el grado de nuestro sufrimiento a través de la contemplación del que sufren ellos.

Quiera el Más Misericordioso de los Misericordiosos tener en cuenta el sufrimiento de los justos y los inocentes. Quiera Él fortalecernos en total sumisión a Su voluntad, para seguir el espíritu y la letra de los pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los cristianos del mundo en todas nuestras relaciones con ellos.

En resumen, la Iniciativa de los Pactos, reitera, simplemente, nuestro compromiso como musulmanes de respetar los tratados y promesas que el Profeta Muhammad cumplimentó con la Gente del Libro. Por cierto, nadie está obligado a firmar peticiones o declaraciones y el sheij está totalmente en su derecho de rechazar tal invitación. Dejamos constancia de que los Pactos del Profeta han sido ampliamente adoptados por la comunidad musulmana. La lista de firmantes solo representa un pequeño segmento de seguidores.

Al igual que otros eruditos, el Sheik Hamza Yusuf tiene derecho a mantener sus puntos de vista. Es libre de hacerlos público o no. Podría haber expresado su apoyo a los Pactos del Profeta. Si tenía reservas sobre la autenticidad de ellos, podría haberlas manifestado a través de un análisis sustancioso. También podría haber adoptado una posición de neutralidad, cosa que le cabe perfectamente.

Sin embargo, la realidad es que el sheij Hamza Yusuf se opuso activamente a los Pactos del Profeta. Miembros de la facultad de la primera universidad musulmana acreditada en los Estados Unidos hicieron varios intentos por organizar conferencias sobre los Pactos del Profeta. Otras numerosas tentativas fueron hechas por terceros que deseaban organizar conferencias sobre los pactos muhammadianos en la universidad Zaytuna. Todos esos esfuerzos fueron presuntamente frustrados por el sheij Hamza. Si esto fue así, entonces debería rendir cuentas.

Convoco al sheij Hamza Yusuf a hacer suyos los Pactos del Profeta ―la paz y las bendiciones sean con él―. Lo convoco a la reconciliación, la fraternidad y a la amistad. Y si nada de eso fuese posible, lo desafío a un debate público televisado en terreno neutral, ante un público neutral, moderado por una personalidad imparcial, sobre la autenticidad de los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con la Gente del Libro.

Por Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) – un erudito musulmán, autor y activista en distintos campos. Es el director de edición deIslam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet (“El Islam y la Gente del Libro: Estudios Críticos sobre los Pactos del Profeta” ―2017―), obra enciclopédica en tres volúmenes de cartas, tratados y pactos de Muhammad, el Mensajero de Allah.

Hujjat El-islam Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai speaks on Arbaeen

SHAFAQNA – On November 7, just a few days before the Day of Arbaeen Hujjat El-islam Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai met with a foreign delegation hosted by Hussain, the International Love to discuss Imam Hussain’s legacy, and the impact his stand in Karbala had in shaping Shia Islam traditions and inspiring millions upon millions of pilgrims to commit to his banner during the pilgrimage of Arbaeen.

During the meeting Hujjat El-islam Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai welcomed personalities such as Dr John Andrew Morrow, prominent scholar and author of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, US Congresswoman Cynthia McKeeney, film-maker Nader Talebzadeh and many others.

Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai stressed on the importance of compassion and tolerance when addressing world issues, highlighting the universality of Imam Hussain’s message and legacy.

“Once must ponder over the secret behind Imam Hussain’s message when millions upon millions continue to brave hardship and dangers to reunite with their Imam. What is that secret.”

An Open Letter To Steve Bannon from an American Muslim and Follower of René Guénon

Oct. 26, 2017

Sophia Imaginalis: Journal of Visionary Art, Sacred Art, Traditionalism and Esoteric Studies

By Charles Upton

[This open letter has five themes: the present cultural and socio-political situation in the United State; the Covenants Initiative; the need to prevent metaphysics from devolving into ideology; the application of the doctrines of René Guénon to social analysis; and the plans of the globalist elites to weaken, control or virtually eliminate the world’s major religions.]

Dear Mr.Bannon:

Greetings. I believe that we may have certain things of serious import to discuss, so I have written you this open letter.I am a writer in a genre I call“metaphysics and social criticism”. I am associated with the Traditionalist or Perennialist School of comparative religion and traditional metaphysics, a school considered to have been founded by René Guénon, who I understand has also been a great influence on you.

My publisher, James Wetmore of Sophia Perennis is editor of the collective works of René Guénon and is almost single-handedly responsible for keeping them in print in English.Since 2013 I have been associated with an organization I conceived of called the Covenants Initiative, which has now become an international movement within Islam to counter radical Islamic extremism and defend persecuted Christians. Our movement is based on a truly ground-breaking book by Dr. John Andrew Morrow entitled The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World[Angelico/Sophia Perennis, 2013].

The covenants of the Prophet with various Christian communities, which Dr. Morrow re‐discovered in obscure monasteries and collections and sometimes newly translated, also providing powerful arguments for their validity, uniformly command Muslims not to attack or kill peaceful Christians, rob them, damage their buildings, stop their churches from being repaired, tear down their churches to build mosques, or even prevent their Christian wives from going to church and taking spiritual direction from Christian priests and elders. On the contrary, the Prophet commands all Muslims to actively defend these communities “until the coming of the Hour”—the end of the world.Thus the Prophet Muhammad himself, whose commands are law to every Muslim on earth, declared that groups like the mad dogs of ISIS lay under the curse of Allah before they ever drew breath.

When ISIS burned St. Mary’s Cathedral in Mindanao, the Philippines, in May of this year, the Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao immediately invoked the Covenants of the Prophet to prove that this action was “un-Islamic”. I can confidently state that this was due almost entirely to our efforts. Speaking for myself, I see the Covenants Initiative as—among other things—one of the possible exoteric expressions of the esoteric principle that René Guénon, and his followers in the Traditionalist or Perennialist School, call “the transcendent unity of religions.” And one of the great values of this principle, when applied to society, history, and politics, is that it prevents those who follow it from making an idol out of this or that political ideology, since it teaches them to base their thoughts and actions on eternal metaphysical principles, not ad hoc ideological strategies.

For this reason I have been able, though not without a few wrong steps in my earlier years, to largely steer clear of identifying myself as either a Liberal or a Conservative. Speaking as a Muslim who also accepts the validity of the Christian revelation, I can define American Liberalism as the secularization of Christian Mercy, and American Conservatism as the secularization of Christian Justice and Morality. And the problem with both Liberalism and Conservatism is, precisely, secularization, which is nothing less than an implicit or outright atheism thatacts to drive an unholy and unnatural wedge between Mercy and Justice.

In Christianity—that is, in God—Mercy and Justice are never and can never be separated. The Rulers of the Darkness of This World, however, have done their best to alienate Mercy and Justice from each other and set them at war. They have contrived false and counterfeit forms of them, perverting them both and thereby making both of them hateful to us. Extreme and authoritarian Liberalism, in an act of unparalleled viciousness, has transformed Mercy into what Dr. Morrow calls “compulsory immorality”, into the insidious vice of permissiveness—a cruel permissiveness that loves corruption and targets anyone who struggles to live a life of purity and decency, doing all it can to drive such conscientious people to despair—not simply by giving them no help in their struggles but by portraying their very love of virtue as a kind of self-loathing, and their desire to proclaim that love, and see it take root and grow and spread its loveliness throughout human society, as bigotry and hate.

It has imposed a loathsome regime of “political correctness”, a system which has resulted in an ideologically enslaved population who believe that anyone who does not agree with their own brand of Liberal extremism must be a Nazi or a Klansman or a Russian agent, as well as making them mortally afraid, not only of even the most moderate conservatives, but finally even of their own thoughts, thereby going a long way toward destroying freedom of speech in this country by defining certain opinions, in the terminology of George Orwell’s 1984, as thought crime.

Likewise its distrust of traditional moral values has expressed itself as an attack on Christianity, leading to a serious erosion of freedom of religion as well. It has exploited crucial and necessary efforts like environmental protection, the social advancement of women, and the struggles for survival of often-disadvantaged groups such as Blacks or Gays or Muslim and/or Latino immigrants, into unholy Liberal causes, causes which they then cynically employ to weaken the constitutional rule of law and attack and undermine their political opponents, as well as to impose extreme and destructive social experiments upon an initially unwilling, but often finally beaten and compliant, American public.

In so doing they have built up a backlog of racial and sexual hatred that the extreme Conservatives have no qualms about exploiting openly. And while pretending to still be in some sense “Leftists”, they have suppressed nearly all viable economic and class analysis, replacing it by “ethnic studies”, “gender studies” and a socially engineered racial conflict and hatred between the sexes that has poisoned this society from sea to shining sea. By this they have made Mercy itself hateful to many—and there is no greater crime than this.

Extreme and reactionary Conservatism, drawing partly on its own inherent tendencies and partly on a growing and widespread reaction against the excesses of Liberalism, has transformed the majestic virtue of Justice, Justice which is nothing less than militant Mercy, into a justification for tyranny and oppression, a code-word whose actual meaning and effect is to throw all support to the economic “1 percent” who have looted this country root and branch, destroyed the middle class, further impoverished the poor, made widespread unemployment and underemployment—cleverly concealed behind twisted and lying statistics—into the new normal, hypocritically praised family values while economically attacking and destroying actual families.

In the name of Justice and Morality they have turned the love of virtue into a license to hate and oppress anyone who does not live up to their own often ill-conceived and blindly imposed “moral” standards, recommending thrift and diligence to those who have spent years looking for a job and failed, recommending a stiff upper lip and decreased reliance on opiates to those who are in chronic pain and lack the resources to access more sophisticated treatments—standards they are zealous in imposing on others but often lax in applying to themselves, doing battle with the speck of dust in their neighbor’s eye while ignoring the two-by-four in their own.

They have made war on the poor, denying them health care, denying food stamps to the chronically mal-nourished, while doing all they can to give free rein the predatory economic forces that have brought us the savings-and-loan scandal, the Enron scandal, the sub-prime mortgage scandal, the Great Recession that has made this once rich and hopeful country into a nation of paupers, of old people who can never retire and young people who see no future but to drown themselves in the abyss of cyberspace while being a burden to their parents, who can never make marriages or families, who can never become adults! And their hatred of the poor is only equaled by their hatred of the environment, of the very Earth that sustains us all—even them. In so doing they have transformed the divine virtue of Justice which gives to everyone his or her rightful portion into an armed guard standing watch at the iron gate of the City of Robbery and Usury, making sure that the meek never will inherit the earth, that only the money-changers, those with the blood of the poor and defenseless still hot on their hands, will be granted admittance.

The terminal corruption of both Liberalism and Conservatism is clearly revealed by two sterling examples: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—Clinton, who openly despises the white working class and whose impending though finally derailed election, according to the Defcon website, brought the estimated danger of nuclear war with Russia to its highest level since the Cuban Missile Crisis—and Trump, who—though I applaud his powerful blows against ISIS, his apparently sincere desire to wipe them off the face of the earth—wants to cut Medicaid, deny food stamps to the poorest of the poor, axe environmental protection laws and privatize the national parks, and who—though his stated aim of rationalizing immigration policy to protect the U.S. from foreign terrorists makes a degree of sense, as long as it targets terrorists and not just Muslims—continues to offer inflammatory statements, without retracting them, that many have translated as “open season on immigrants and Muslims”, leading to a massive increase in hate crimes.

And behind both Liberalism and Conservatism lies the Deep State, the cadres of the Global Elites, who believe in nothing whatsoever, only in themselves and in the Satanic principle they worship, and who, from their position of inverted, Luciferian transcendence, can use either Liberal or Conservative ideology as they so choose, cynically, indifferently, with equal force, equal cruelty and equal and conspicuous success, according to which of these two hopeless alternatives the American people happen to have placed their feeble hopes in during a particular decade, a particular presidential administration, a particular year, in order to advance their transformation of this planet into a living hell .That’s why I thank the living God every day that He has led me to the noble science of metaphysics—and, in so doing, freed me from ideology.

Remember, Mr. Bannon—and I call on myself also to remember—that there is no Mercy without Justice and Morality; whoever believes in the contradiction of an unjust Mercy will be sorely punished by being transformed into a Liberal. Likewise there is no Justice without Mercy; whoever believes in the impossibility of a merciless Justice as will be severely chastised by being turned into a Conservative. What has Almighty God to do with flimsy human categories like Liberalism or Conservatism, the Left or the Right?

God is of neither the East nor the West: He is the Inner, the Outer, the End, the Beginning, the Highest of all, the Deepest of all, the Center of all, the Total Field—Light upon Light. To whom or what else should we turn to learn what Mercy is, and what Justice is, and how to enact them, and where to find the power to enact them? There is much good in liberality, in generosity, in compassion, in catholicity of taste, in breadth of sympathy—but Liberalism is a travesty.

Likewise there is much good in tradition, in holding to the right, in militantly protecting and defending the good, the true and the beautiful—but Conservatism is a curse. God is far above such weak and shameful human attempts to do His work for Him. And what is God? God—Mr. Bannon, and my dear friends—God is Love: Love Who is the sweetest of Mercies and the most relentless hand of Justice in a single, incandescent, thunderous, face of Truth.

By whatever Name He may be known, His is the standard I bear. So if you really want to do Justice to the profound truths that René Guénon has revealed to us, and find Mercy in them, and thereby grasp the essence of the great God-given religions, of Judaism and Hinduism, of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, of Christianity and Islam, then take care that you never espouse a principle or give support to a policy that violates either the Justice, or the Mercy, of Love—because if you do, you will have joined the army of the Enemies of Love, and thereby made Love Himself your enemy, that being a fate more terrible than human words can express.

So what is my purpose in sending you this message? To begin with, I simply wanted to alert you to the fact that a movement like the Covenants Initiative, which has already had great influence in the Muslim world and has gained a degree of notice in the Christian world as well, could have come out of the work of two American Muslims, Dr. John Andrew Morrow and myself, over the past four years. I hope that this piece of information will provide you with a new point of reference and challenge you to entertain the possibility that American Muslims might have a greater and more active role to play in the struggle against radical Islamic extremism than simply protesting their innocence and issuing disclaimers—a role based on the commands of the Prophet Muhammad himself.

Secondly, I felt that it might be useful for you to realize that a person such as myself with an early Catholic background like yours, someone who considers himself a follower of René Guénon just as you do, could have unexpectedly risen from obscurity to play a real though modest part in world affairs in the 21st Century. What is going on here? Most of my colleagues in the Traditionalist School in the English-speaking world have long resigned themselves to social marginalization, willingly accepted their apparent duty to keep the lamp of traditional metaphysics burning, even though we might have to hide it under a bushel basket to prevent it from being snuffed out by the Darkness of This World.

That some version of Traditionalist doctrine, which we had considered to be essentially a-political, could suddenly rise to prominence in the United States, Russia and elsewhere in terms of various political ideologies, has come as a real shock to many of us. Our surprise can partly be explained by the de-emphasis of Julius Evola in our branch of Traditionalism, since Evola has been the main road for many toward a political application ofGuénon’s ideas. Yet when the covenants of the Prophet suddenly appeared in my life, due to the ground-breaking research of Dr. John Andrew Morrow, I immediately saw that they represented a legitimate and entirely Traditional way of applying the Traditionalist doctrine of the transcendent unity of religions to social action.

This development has all the marks of a prophetic sign—but a sign of what? Is Traditionalism finally “coming into its own”? Or has the Darkness of This World at last found a way to co-opt and neutralize it? These are matters that merit serious discussion. Third and last, if there ever was a time when the world’s religions need to stand together against their common enemies, it is now. The forces of militant secularism, false magical/psychic religion and fundamentalist extremism are attacking all the God-given religions.

The time is therefore ripe for a “united front ecumenism” that recognizes this threat and begins the serious work of developing strategies to counter it. Unexpectedly, Guénon’s categories from The Reign of Quantity have proved highly useful for analyzing the emerging globalist hegemony; this is partly due to the fact that, at least since the Iranian Revolution, religion has begun to have a greater influence on social change and social conflict than (perhaps) at any time since the Reformation. One face of this hegemony is the direct atheist/secularist attack on religious faith; this would correspond to Guénon’s “Anti-Tradition.” The false magical or psychic religion of the New Age, its predecessors and successors, fits Guénon’s definition of “Pseudo-Tradition”. And the Luciferianism of the global elites expresses the very essence of his categories of “Counter-Tradition” and “Counter-Initiation”.

The globalist master plan to wipe the traditional religions off the face of the earth is based on two main strategies. The first is to weaken the faiths by infiltrating them with Pseudo-Traditional doctrines and practices, many of which are based on the idea that all the religions are naturally “evolving” toward one universalist meta-religion which will incorporate the “best” of each in the process of supplanting all of them—a meta-religion of which the globalist elites themselves would constitute the priesthood.

The long-term Freemasonic attack against Roman Catholicism is perhaps the clearest and most successful example of this strategy. (Parenthetically, the greatest contradiction—and irony—in Guénon’s doctrines is his hope that Masonry could be used to re-introduce a true esoteric spirituality into the Western world; he never seems to have realized that the Freemasonic lodges almost perfectly satisfy his own definition of Counter-Initiatic organizations.)

And even if the goal of a One-World Religion, or a federation of all the world’s religions under a single secular authority, is never in fact attained, nonetheless the push for it will have so weakened the traditional religions that they will no longer be able to stand in any effective way against the globalist hegemony. One of the tools employed by the global elites in their attack on the traditional religions is the established Interfaith Movement, which is heavily subsidized and directed by national governments, including the U.S. State Department, as well as various globalist foundations and think-tanks. (This criticism certainly does not apply to all Interfaith organizations, nonetheless the globalist influence remains a dangerous factor which is not often recognized for what it is.)

The globalist-influenced Interfaith Movement influences the religions to soft-pedal various “divisive” doctrines in the name of “tolerance” and “unity”, thus weakening their basic structure and making them more vulnerable to Pseudo-Traditional incursions. The Traditionalist doctrine of the transcendent unity of religions is strictly opposed to this sort of promiscuous Liberal ecumenism since it takes the differences between the faiths as providential and sees their unity not as a desirable worldly possibility but as a transcendent reality; the paths of the various faith finally come together only in God.

Likewise the Covenants Initiative does not require any degree of doctrinal unanimity between Islam and Christianity outside the belief in One God, necessarily supplemented by the understanding that any traditional religion that affirms this belief will find itself a target of the globalist elites. The second strategy, conceived and directed by these same elites, is to subsidize the various radical fundamentalist movements within the traditional religions—movements which, ironically, have often grown up as blind, narrow-minded and ill-conceived reactions against globalism: a perfect example of the venerable technique of the “controlled opposition”.

The radical fundamentalists—who are actually another form of Anti-Tradition—are useful to the elites because they tend to oppose and attack both the religious tradition out of which they have developed, seeing it as degenerate and heretical, and all the other religions as well, seeing them as false, Satanic counterfeits of the True Faith. This allows the elites to turn various hired religious or pseudo-religious terrorist organizations—ISIS is a prime example—against both the religion they profess to follow and every other traditional faith they can get their hands on.

This is why I believe that the meta-strategy of the globalists in supporting Islamic terrorism is to neutralize ALL the religions. After all, why should an elite cadre of oligarchs backed by global finance who aspire to world domination sit back and do nothing when the beliefs and aspirations and moral standards of billions of people are determined by “out-moded” religious institutions that they do not control? And if anyone still doubts that both “religious tolerance” and mutually-destructive inter-religious war could be subsidized by the same people at the same time for the same purpose, I can report from personal experience that, during the Obama administration, the Christian/Muslim Dialogue in my home town Lexington, Kentucky was hosting speakers from Homeland Security, the Federal Attorney’s Office, the State Department and the FBI, at the very same time that this same administration, via the CIA and other entities, was subsidizing and directing the Arab Spring and the growth of ISIS.

I refer those who still remain incredulous when faced with this claim to an article by Seumas Milne that appeared in the Guardianin June of 2015, entitled “Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq”. It maybe viewed at:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq?CMP=share_btn_fb

In conclusion, I only wish to point out that the emerging globalist hegemony, whether or not it finally takes the form of a One-World Religion or incorporates such a religion as one of its “ministries”, perfectly fits the prophesy of René Guénon, in The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, that the Counter-Tradition will ultimately express itself in terms of a visible organization that would be “the counterpart, but by the same token the counterfeit, of a traditional conception such as that of the ‘Holy Empire’”—a regime controlled by an “inverted hierarchy” which would be nothing less than the kingdom of Antichrist, the one that we Muslims call al-Dajjal, “the Deceiver”.

But still the question remains: what does it mean that the doctrines of an abstruse and reclusive French metaphysician who died in 1951 have been one of the factors that have brought both of us to our respective commitments to social action in this darkest of times in human history, the final days of the Kali-yuga? It’s a question worth discussing.


Explore the groundbreaking work and thought of Charles Upton here: www.charles-upton.com

Reconocimiento al Dr. John Morrow Por Parte del Congreso Norteamericano

Por Taraneh Tabatabai
 

SHAFAQNA – El Dr. John Andrew Morrow, autor, activista y ganador de premios académicos, recibió un Certificado de Reconocimiento Especial por parte del Congreso de EEUU en el Centro Cultural IMAN en Los Ángeles (California) el 24 de septiembre de 2017.

El extraordinario reconocimiento al Dr. Morrow fue dado por su conferencia sobre “Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo”, publicado ahora como un libro.

El reconocimiento, firmado por Karen Bass ―miembro del Congreso de California por el distrito 37―, fue dado por la señora Parvaneh Kadivar, quien describió al profesor Morrow como “un escritor prolífico, un erudito  acreditado y un buen ser humano que ha dedicado su vida a la construcción de puentes entre las comunidades de fe diversa, invirtiendo su vida en la búsqueda de la verdad documentada”.

Dijo el Dr. Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) durante su conferencia sobre Los Pactos: “Teniendo en cuenta que la continuación del conflicto entre cristianos y musulmanes en todo el mundo ha sido artificialmente impulsado por las fuerzas del imperialismo ―especialmente en África, Oriente Medio y Asia―, el contenido de estos documentos históricos que son de un valor inestimable, puede arrojar luz sobre la historia temprana del Islam. Por medio de la información que provee esta documentación, somos testigos de la relación primordial entre los musulmanes y el Pueblo del Libro. Por lo tanto, estos Pactos pueden servir como fuente de inspiración para el establecimiento de una armonía sin igual entre las tres religiones abrahámicas: judaísmo, cristianismo e Islam”.

Modern-Day Lessons from Prophet Muhammad’s Religious Pluralism

Relations between Muslims and Christians have been described as a centuries-old “clash of civilizations,” a binary worldview in which “Western Christendom” is “civilized” and the “Muslim world” is backward. This clash of civilizations proclaims that Western values and Islamic values are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist alongside one another in the same society or nation.

Current relations between Muslim and Christian communities are negatively shaped, even further, by the persecution of Muslims in Western countries and the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries, especially across the Middle East. Considering these all-too-avoidable realities, it is essential to distinguish the rise of Islamophobia among Christians and the mistreatment of Christians by Muslims from Prophet Muhammad’s revolutionary Covenants. Simply, these Covenants are a set of charters or writs ratified by Prophet Muhammad which grant protection and other human rights to Christian communities in his midst. They help to contextualize current affairs and provide us with the necessary tools to build a more just world in which Muslims and Christians can live alongside one another in peace.

Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christian Community

While long known to religious scholars, Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians of his time have largely been neglected or ignored by Muslim and non-Muslim leaders and policy m