Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing

From Religion
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bibliographic Information
Journal Journal of Islamic and Religious Studies
Title Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing
Author(s) Muhaimin, Abdul
Volume 1
Issue 2
Year 2016
Pages 01-14
Full Text Crystal Clear mimetype pdf.png
Keywords Sῑrah Writing, Fiqh Sῑrah, Modern Islamic Scholars.
Chicago 16th Muhaimin, Abdul. "Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing." Journal of Islamic and Religious Studies 1, no. 2 (2016).
APA 6th Muhaimin, A. (2016). Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing. Journal of Islamic and Religious Studies, 1(2).
MHRA Muhaimin, Abdul. 2016. 'Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing', Journal of Islamic and Religious Studies, 1.
MLA Muhaimin, Abdul. "Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing." Journal of Islamic and Religious Studies 1.2 (2016). Print.
Harvard MUHAIMIN, A. 2016. Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing. Journal of Islamic and Religious Studies, 1.
کتاب التجرید میں امام قدوری کا منہج و اسلوب
پاکستان میں رائج جبری شادیوں کا تعارف اور شرعی جائزہ
بیسویں صدی کی معروف بائبلوں کے تصور جہنم کا تجزیاتی اور بیانی مطالعہ
نظریہ فوقیت یا نسلی برتری: مذاہب عالم اور اسلامی تعلیمات کی روشنی میں ایک جائزہ
بہاء اللہ کی تعلیمات میں علمی سرقات کا تنقیدی جائزہ
عِبَادَتْ اور اسْتِعانَتْ سورۃ الفاتحۃ کی روشنی میں
علّامہ ابن الجوزی کی تفسیر (زاد المسیر فی علم التفسیر) میں اشعار سے استشہاد کا علمی اور تحقیقی جائزہ
ذخیرہ اندوزی سے متعلق ہندومت، یہودیت اور اسلام کے احکام کا جائزہ
التماسك النصي وعلاقته بالنص القرآني دراسة نظرية في ضوء التراث النقدي والبلاغي
استدراكات الحافظ ابن حجر في فتح الباري على الإمام الكرماني في الكواكب الدراري في الحكم على المتون
المجتمع في أدب المنفلوطي الإبداعي
ملامح البديع و البيان في آيات سورة الرحمن
محاورة المرسلين مع أهل القرية دراسة بلاغية تحليلية فى آيات من سورة يس
العلامة محمد إقبال في عيون الأدباء العرب
الوحدة العضوية في القصيدة العربية قديما وحديثا
Conflict Between Religions a Study of Modern Approaches in Sῑrah Writing
Tradition and Modernity within Islamic Civilization

Abstract

The world has been changing ever since its creation, yet the pace of change in the last one hundred years or so has been the most rapid ever. The effects of these changes were beyond the limitations of time and region and therefore they directly affected the Muslim world as well. Muslim scholars did not ignore these changes and realized their responsibilities and wrote books of Sīrah which provided guidance in connection with these rapid changes and conditions. This research has highlight an important issue of the conflict between religions, its inception, history and primarily focused on the opinions of the authors of selected books of Sῑrah written in recent past. This research has also elaborated the modern approaches in Sῑrah writing. The study has mainly focused on significant Sῑrah books of three languages i.e. Arabic, English and Urdu. These books include Fiqh Al Sῑrah by Muḥammad Sa’īd Ramaḍān Al Būtī, Fiqh Al Sῑrah by Muḥammad Al Ghazālī, Madnī Mu‘āshrah by Akram Ḍīā Al ‘Umrī, The Life and the Work of the Prophet by Dr. Muḥammad Ḥamīdullāh, The Spirit of Islam by Sayīd Amīr ‘Alī, Muhammad A Biography of Prophet by Karen Armstrong, Sīrah Al Nabī by ‘Allāmah Shiblī Nu’mānī, Aṣaḥ Al Sῑyar by ‘Abdul Raūf Dānāpūrī, Ḍīā Al Nabī by Pīr Muḥammad Karam Shāh, Sīrati Sarwari ‘Alam by Abūl A‘lā Mūdūdī, Raḥmatullil'ālamīn by Qāḍī Muhammad Sulymān Manṣūrpūrī and Muḥammad Rasūlallāh by Sayīd Muḥammad Mīyān.

Preface

Islam is a global religion and it is the final message sent by the Allah Almighty for the guidance of all human beings. The status of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) who was sent to propagate this message for all people is also eternal and universal. Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) not only conveyed this message of Allah to all the people but made it easy to act upon it by practicing it himself. And whenever the world was confronted with new challenges, the Sīrah of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) provided guidance to face these challenges. Modern day world faces many new challenges and these challenges have shrunk the world and brought people with various religions and backgrounds closer to each other. The world has become a global village and everyone is affected by these challenges, no matter which part of the world you live in. One of these challenges is the conflict between religions. The followers of various religions never lived in accord in the past as they are living in today’s modern world. The human societies have become more multi-faceted and that has its effects not only on national but at international levels as well. An effort has been made in this research to analyze the thoughts of various Sīrah writers on the issue of the conflicts between religions. Though the Sīrah writers of the early days of Islam did discuss such issues in their writings, today’s world and the world of those days are different by many means. In the early days of Islam Muslims ruled the world and now they are ruled by others as well. Islam was in sovereignty in those days and now it is in the state of subjugation and suppression. In those early days of Islam Muslim world was unified and now it is divided into various parts. Taking these facts into consideration, modern approaches of Sīrah writing have encompassed and addressed all those issues which needed to be drawn attention to.

An Introduction to the Modern Approaches and Methodologies in Sīrah Writing

It is now more than fourteen hundred years that Sīrah of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is being written. Various ages and varying political conditions had its effects on various styles and trends of Sīrah writings. And the life of the Prophet was discussed in the perspective of the upcoming challenges. One of the most important of these trends and approaches in Sīrah writing is the modern approach or contemporary trend. Various innovative issues were discussed in modern trends of Sīrah writings such as administrative aspects of Sīrah, military aspects, works of orientalists, manuscripts and many more. After the inception of Sῑrah writing it went through various phases. The evaluation phase of Sīrah writings had to go through a very critical age in nineteenth and twentieth century when Muslim world had a political decline and their governments were coming to an end. The Muslims went through a phase where western sciences, arts, cultures and civilizations influenced them to great extant. This is when orientalists also wrote about the life of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

They came up with such objections and questions which needed to be answered and this created new trends and styles in Sīrah writings. The literal meaning of trend and style "نهج" is a clear way.[1] As a term it is a collection of those rules and regulations which lead to a core of a certain science and to a specific result.[2] It is a certain style of an intellectual in which he expresses his thoughts. It is a combination of his personal style and the literary practices of that particular subject.[3]

There are various approaches and methodologies of Sῑrah writing. It is not easy to affiliate a certain approach or methodology to a certain period of time such as ancient or modern. Hence, as examples the names of various trends and styles of Sῑrah writing are mentioned here, starting from the very ancient to the modern.

For instance the style of Muḥaddithīn, historical/traditional style, compiling style, juristical style, style of Mutakallimīn, style of Dirāyah, analytical style, comparative style, argumentative style, literal style, Ṣūfī style, subjective style, the style of approbation, Sῑrah writing for children, battles of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), wives of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), conduct of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Sῑrah studies and human rights. Some other trends are philosophical style, style of Da‘wah, style of application in Sῑrah, addressing style of Sīrah (خطبات، دروس و محاضراتِ سیرت), Sīrah conferences, sermons of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), encountering style etc. In comparison to its past the twentieth century is not a big difference in terms of general writing methodologies of Sῑrah. Sῑrah writers have discussed all the topics and aspects of the life of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as they were discussed in the past. Sῑrah books of various styles can easily be found in twentieth century i.e. the general books of Sῑrah which are known as Al Jawāmi‘ Al Sῑrah and the books of Maghāzī. Various style of Sῑrah writing were adopted namely historical, compiling, analytical etc.

Though the twentieth century was a continuation of its past in connection with Sῑrah writing, it does not mean that there was nothing new or unchanged in this century in terms of Sῑrah writing. Muslim world had to go through many ups and downs in twentieth century and it had to face many new challenges. The rapidly happened changes influenced the methodologies and approaches of writing as well.

In literature the methodologies and approaches have got great significance and it has great influence on the readers. The relation of the methodologies and approaches with the contemporary literature is always observed. All kinds of writings are judged in the light of contemporary literature. It is observed that whether these writings have considered the needs of their times or not. The evolution of a writer is judged in the light of his approach towards a certain subject. The Sῑrah writers of twentieth century did realize the requirements of their times and accordingly molded their scripts. Various new methodologies and approaches were introduced in Sῑrah studies. For instance, legalist study of Sīrah, political study of Sīrah, socialistic study of Sīrah, theological study of Sīrah, literary study of Sīrah, spiritual study of Sīrah, psychological study of Sīrah, geographical study of Sīrah, study of the evidences of Sīrah and many more.

Conflict between Religions

The history of religions is very rich in terms of conflicts which at times led to deadly wars as well. It is a clash between the followers of two or more religions. Minor difference between two individuals can lead to religious conflicts because every individual has got a different mindset and religious experiences. The lack of the understanding of the true spirits of religions leads to the conflicts and ultimately to wars and our history is full of such examples of religious conflicts. These wars were fought to defend faith which in every religion promotes peace and harmony and oppose and discourage warfare.

The conflict between Islam and its western enemies started since Allah gave victory to Muslims over Romans in Syria and in Morocco and when the victory reached to France and to the borders of china. The people of conquered territories learned a lot from Muslims in terms of knowledge and sociability and justice and equality. There were aggressions between the two enemies and the worst form of that was seen in crusade wars and what they did to Muslims are the black pages of their history.[4]

An Overview of Religious Conflict

This was the will of Allah Almighty that He has not made human one nation so that they can compete in good deeds. He says in His Holy book;

"وَلَوْ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَـٰكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِى مَآ آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ إِلَىٰ اللهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعاً فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ"[5]

If Allah had willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you; so compete in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to Allah; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.

And again;

"وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ ٱلنَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلاَ يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ"[6]

And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one ’Ummah, but they will not cease to disagree.

Not to make people one nation does not mean that Allah is unjust to people. He has made clear that whoever will do righteous deeds will have no worries;

"إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَٱلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَٱلصَّابِئُونَ وَٱلنَّصَارَىٰ مَنْ آمَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلآخِرِ وعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ"[7]

Surely those who believe; and those who are the Jews and the Sabians, and the Christians, whoever believed in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

If people are not willing to understand and are happy worshipping gods other than Allah, the Holy Qur’ān says that Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment.

"إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَٱلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَٱلصَّابِئِينَ وَٱلنَّصَارَىٰ وَٱلْمَجُوسَ وَٱلَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيامَةِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ"[8]

Verily, those who believe and those who are the Jews and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Majūs, and those who worship others besides Allah, truly, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Verily Allah is over all things a Witness.

Islam never propagated the conflict between religions or among individuals and the sayings of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are very apparent on this issue. He stressed by reminding the origin of all human beings that they all come from one origin and this unites them all.

"النَّاسُ بَنُو آدَمَ وَآدَمُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ"[9]

People are the children of Adam (عليه السلام) and Adam (عليه السلام) was from dust.

Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) discouraged the disputes about Prophets. And dispute about Prophets is in fact dispute about religions; which leads to conflicts. He said;

"إِنَّمَا هَلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بِسُؤَالِهِمْ وَاخْتِلَافِهِمْ عَلَى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ"[10]

The people before you were wiped away because of their (excessive) questioning and their disputes about their Prophets.

And again;

"لَا تَخْتَلِفُوا فَتَخْتَلِفَ قُلُوبُكُمْ"[11]

Do not differ among yourselves, or else your hearts will differ.

The sermon of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as the occasion of the Last Pilgrimage is the charted of human rights. He very emphatically uprooted all the causes of conflicts by saying;

"يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ، أَلاَ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ وَاحِدٌ ، وَإِنَّ أَبَاكُمْ وَاحِدٌ ، أَلاَ لاَ فَضْلَ لِعَرَبِيٍّ عَلَى عَجَمِيٍّ ، وَلاَ لِعَجَمِيٍّ عَلَى عَرَبِيٍّ ، وَلاَ أَحْمَرَ عَلَى أَسْوَدَ، وَلاَ أَسْوَدَ عَلَى أَحْمَرَ ، إِلاَّ بِالتَّقْوَى"[12]

O’ People, Verily your Lord is one, and your father is one, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black has any superiority over white except by piety.

And again;

"يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ، إِنَّ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ حَرَامٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ تَلْقَوْنَ رَبَّكُمْ كَحُرْمَةِ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا ، فِي شَهْرِكُمْ هَذَا ، فِي بَلَدِكُمْ هَذَا"[13]

O’ People, Verily your blood, your property and your honor are sacred and inviolable until you appear before your Lord, as the sacred inviolability of this day of yours, this moth of yours and this town of yours.

Major Conflicts in World Religions

It may be helpful to take a bird's-eye view of the major conflicts in world religions. Hinduism, one of the oldest of the world religions, has experienced many reform movements. Mahāvirah, the son of a Hindu Rājah, protested against the domineering Brahman priesthood and bloody animal sacrifices. His efforts resulted in little change in Hinduism, but started another religion, Jainism. Gautama Buddha, another Hindu prince, rejected the hereditary caste system and the excessive ceremonialism of Hinduism. The older religion did not change much, but Gautama's efforts founded another religion, Buddhism. Nanak, a second-caste Hindu, preached tolerance between Hindus and Muslims, declaring that both worshiped the same God. His efforts did not bring much tolerance between the two religions but did start a new religion, Sikhism. Dozens of other prophets have attempted to modernize Hinduism, which has resulted in significant evolutionary changes.

In China Confucianism was opposed by Taoism. In Japan Shintoism is divided by Sectarian Shinto, which is a religion, and State Shintoism, which is a patriotic cult.

Judaism is segregated into three groups: Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Reformed Judaism.

In Islam we have the orthodox, traditional Sunnī, the Shī‘ah, the Sufis, who are mystics, and the Baha'i which was founded by the Bahāullah, who claimed to be the twelfth descendent of Imām ‘Alī, and his disciple. Baha'i has become an independent religion and there are many more sects as well.

Christianity is divided into hundreds of divisions and sects. This brief and oversimplified survey of religious conflict and division in the world's religions illustrates the basic divisiveness of evolutionary religion.[14]

Wars fought out of Religious Conflict

Human history can quote some serious wars which were purely fought on the basis of religious conflicts. As an example a few of them are mentioned here.

The Crusades

For about 200 years, Western Europe under the sway of the Catholic Church, attempted to retake the Holy Land away from the Muslims.  The largest target was the holy city of Jerusalem; however, other areas were fought over, such as the city of Constantinople.  Jerusalem remains a religiously significant and contested site today with Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all having a vested interest.  The Christians were never able to effectively take, and then maintain control; however, many changes occurred as a result of the Crusades.

The Protestant Reformation

Following the Crusades, Europe entered into a period known as the Renaissance.  The rebirth of thinking included ideas concerning religion.  Power, territory, and riches obtained during feudalism had created an atmosphere of corruption within the Catholic Church.  Some members of the clergy began calling for change.

Islam and Hinduism

India and Pakistan have been involved in conflict since the creation of their respective nations.  This conflict is religious at its core and continues into today.  After the end of British rule and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the followers of Hinduism and Islam turned upon one another.  India, led by Jawaharlal Nehru, could not satisfy its Islamic citizens concerning representation in government.  Therefore, the Islamic people of India broke away and formed the nation of Pakistan.  Before 1971, Pakistan had an eastern and western portion divided by India.  However, the eastern half declared it own autonomy and was renamed Bangladesh.  The conflict and hatred continues today.  War is always on the horizon and has become an even greater concern now that both countries have successfully developed nuclear power and weaponry.

The Arab-Israel Wars

A series of wars were fought between the Jewish state of Israel and the various surrounding Islamic states.  Religion was the core issue, while political and economic contentions made the wars have a global significance.  The Jewish state of Israel was viewed by the Arab world as a foreign influence that threatened a traditional Islamic way of life.  Arab nationalism unified to a degree because the surrounding Islamic nations saw Israel as a common enemy.  Despite being unified by religion, each Arab nation had its own agenda concerning territory and power.  Therefore, the Arab nations would never be able to consolidate forces well enough to defeat the Israeli Army.  Areas of contention included the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights.[15]

Effects of Conflict between Religions of Modern Trend of Sīrah Writing

Other religions have always been a subject matter of Islamic sciences for instance with the name of comparative religions and same is the case with Sīrah writing. There is a tendency of discussing other religions in the modern trends of Sīrah writing as well. In order to conduct a study on the subject matter of conflicts between religions, a few of the Sῑrah books of recent past have been selected. The study has primarily focused on significant Sῑrah books of three languages i.e. Arabic, English and Urdu. These books include Fiqh Al Sīrah, Muḥammad Sa’īd Ramaḍān Al Būtī, Fiqh Al Sīrah, Muḥammad Al Ghazālī, Khātim Al Nabīyīn, Muḥammad Abū Zahrah, Al Sīrah Al Nabawīyah Durūs Wa ‘Ibar, Dr. Muṣtafā Al Sibā‘ī, The Life and the Work of the Prophet, Dr. Muḥammad Ḥamīdullāh, The Spirit of Islam, Sayīd Amīr ‘Alī, Sīrah Al Nabī, ‘Allāmah Shiblī Nu’mānī, Sīrati Sarwari ‘Alam, Abūl A‘lā Mūdūdī, Aṣaḥ Al Sīyar, ‘Abdul Raūf Dānāpūrī, and Ḍīā Al Nabī, Pīr Muḥammad Karam Shāh.

Muḥammad Sa’īd Ramaḍān Al Būtī

Muḥammad Sa’īd Ramaḍān Al Būtī explains the difference between Islam and other revolutionary and reforming movements. Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) never aimed for worldly goals such as wealth, kingship or any other materialistic benefit. Objections were raised by the west on Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that he wanted to satisfy his own desires.[16]

Muḥammad Al Ghazālī

Muḥammad Al Ghazālī makes an effort to eliminate the misconception about the stance of Islam towards other religions of the world. Conflicts can be avoided by erasing these misunderstandings. According to Al Ghazālī that whoever thinks that Islam does not tolerate any other religion of the world is mistaken about the basic teaching of Islam.[17]

Akram Ḍīā Al ’Umrī

There are major differences between Islam and other religions of the world. Every religion has its own characteristics and it inspires its followers. Most of the religions of the world have almost identical teachings and drifting from one religion to another does not make a big difference. But it is not true about Islam as it brings a revolution in the individual and collective life of the one who embraces it.[18]

Dr. Muḥammad Ḥamīdullāh

Dr. Muḥammad Ḥamīdullāh has written a full chapter on Christianity in his book; the life and the work of the Prophet; titled as Jesus Christ and Christianity according to the Qur’ān. In this chapter Dr. Muḥammad Ḥamīdullāh discusses the life and the miracles of Christ in the light of Qur’ānic teachings. He has also criticized Christianity by saying, ‘To tell the truth, there is no longer any unique Christianity since a very remote antiquity: there is nothing in common between the Socinians and the Catholics, for instance. Arianism on the one hand and the sects which go as for as worshiping Mary, like Collyridians, on the other hand, are a second example of the same proposition. In our days, there is such a large variety among the only followers of the sect called “Christian Science” that it is impossible to speak of common thought or beliefs. And all of them say that Christians, not to mention the accusations which each sect raises against all others (a thing which unfortunately has always existed in all the religious communities of the world).[19]

Sayīd Amīr ‘Alī

Sayīd Amīr ‘Alī gives a description of many religions and then specifically makes a mention of Judaism and Christianity. He writes about the end of Christian teachings, the trinity and about the delights in Christianity. While discussing the concept of life hereafter in Islam Sayīd Amīr ‘Alī writes the Christian concept of life hereafter as well. Other chapters like status of women in Islam, the slavery, the political spirit of Islam and Islamic sects have the Christian point of view as well. He criticized Christianity and crusades in these words, ‘The destructive inroads of the Christian marauders who called themselves crusades were disastrous to the cause of learning and science in Western Asia and Northern Africa. Barbarous savages, hounded to rapine slaughter by crazy priests, they knew neither mercy for the weakness of sex or age not the value of letters or arts. The destroyed the splendid library of Tripoli without compunction; they reduced to ashes, many of the glorious centers of Saracenic culture and arts. Christian Europe has held up to obloquy the apocryphal destruction of the Alexandrian library, which had already been burned in the time of Julius Caesar, but it has no word of blame for the crimes of her crusaders five centuries later. The calamities inflicted by the crusaders were lasting in their effect; and in spite of the endeavors of Saladin and his sons to restore the intellectual life of Syria, it has remained dead from that day to this.[20]

Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong writes that Europe considers Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as its enemy and she describes the historical aspects of the conflict between Islam and Christianity which according to her finds its roots in Qurṭabah the capital of Islamic state in 850 AD. The author gives a description with historical facts of crusade wars as well. According to her Europe did not understand the true teachings of Islam until now and some of them get surprised to know that like Christian and Jews Muslims also worship God. They think that Muslims respect and consider their prophet as Christians regard their prophet. The author says that the prejudice of European writers for Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is too much and Prophet of Islam is criticized without any solid reasons.[21]

‘Allāmah Shiblī Nu’mānī

In the description of the moral teachings of Islam ‘Allāmah Shiblī Nu’mānī, makes a mention of the moral teachings of bible and says that that there are no moral teaching in bible.[22] He then criticizes the weaknesses in Christian morality in comparison to the Islamic moral values.[23] ‘Allāmah Shiblī describes the difference between Islamic and Christian morals. He says that Christianity teaches to overcome your anger and desires and considered them vices while Islam teaches moderation in terms of your anger and desires.[24] The seventh volume of Sīrah al Nabī, discusses Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism under the title of other religions and dealings with other religions.

‘Abdul Raūf Dānāpūrī

‘Abdul Raūf Dānāpūrī in his book Aṣaḥ Al Sīyar makes a mention of the objections raised regarding the conflicts and wars in the name of religions. There was not much difference in what Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did and what Alexander[25] and Timur[26] did. Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) should not have waged wars in the name of religion. Dānāpūrī is of the opinion that Prophet fought only to spread the message of Islam.[27]

Pīr Muḥammad Karam Shāh

Pīr Muḥammad Karam Shāh has written a full chapter titled; the effects of crusade wars on Muslim-Christians relations. He writes that Christians considered these wars a will of Allah and Western Europe attacked Islamic east in order to capture the riches of Asian countries. Jerusalem was a mere excuse in fact Christians wanted to capture the land. They thought that disbelievers (Muslims) have got nothing to do with this land and Torah says that this land will have the rivers of milk and honey.[28]

Abūl A‘lā Mūdūdī

Abūl A‘lā Mūdūdī gives a detailed description of Christianity with the help of their Holy Scriptures. He defines the descent of Christ in the light of the sayings of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He describes the foretelling of bible about the arrival of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the sayings of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) about the descent of Christ. He discusses the histories of various religions, the real teachings of Christianity and the historical status of the testaments. The author gives six reasons of the inaccuracy of the bibles.[29]

Qāḍī Muhammad Sulymān

Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had a very good relation with Christians and he treated them gently. One or two Christian kings considered him as their enemy but it did not represent the majority. It was because of the teachings of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that the Caliphs treated the followers of other religion with mercy and sympathy.[30]

Sayīd Muḥammad Mīyān

Sayīd Muḥammad Mīyān writes a full chapter in his book, Muḥammad Rasūlullāh with the title; the difference between the narrations of Sīrah and the thoughts of modern day movements. Muḥammad Mīyān criticizes socialism and communism which are off course not Islamic movements. According to him this is not appropriate to make a comparison of the narrations of Sīrah and the thoughts of modern day movements. In the light of the teachings of Prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) the author has defined the basic ideologies of these movements and he says that an effort to link these movements to Islam is not possible. He says that these and other such movements are based on the idea of forgetting Allah and forgetting their own selves.[31]

Conclusion:

Difference of opinions in regard with religious issues creates conflicts which at times transform into armed conflicts. And these armed conflicts have given great losses to humanity in the past. Human history is full of great massacres which resulted in the loss of a big number of human beings. The future of today’s world is not safe by any means in terms of wars based on religious conflicts. It is not possible that every individual follows one same religion out of the existing religions of the world. This is also out of question that a new religion may be introduced which everyone will willingly and happily follow. It is also unlikely to stop or force anyone to embrace or quit a religion against his will.

The longing for one religion to dominate rest of the religions of the world without considering the on ground realities is also hoping against the hope. If the basic teachings of various religions are critically examined, it can be seen that there are many common grounds. Finding these common grounds is not against the spirit of Islam as Allah Almighty says, “Say: O people of the book! Come to common terms as between us and you.[32]

Every religion teaches compassion and respect for others and forbids killing, lying, stealing etc. All the religions promote peace and nonviolence and in every religion there is a concept of reward and punishment. Finding common grounds does not mean to compromise on our basic doctrines and on the teachings of Islam. It is, in the modern day perspective, means to address the issues of common interest from one forum and ultimately make an effort to leave this world as a place worth living for the generations to come. By promoting these commonalities the differences can be avoided and in due course wars may also be avoided.


References

  1. (References) Al Afrῑqῑ, Jamal Al Dῑn, Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān Al ‘Arab, (Beirut: Dār ’Iḥyā, Al Turāth Al ‘Arabī, 1996), Sec. 51, p. 4554.
  2. Badvῑ, ‘Abdul Raḥmān, Manāhij Al Baḥath Al ‘Almῑ, (Kuwait: Al Wakālah Al Maṭbāū‘āt, 1977), p. 5.
  3. Abū ‘Ajāj, Ḥafῑẓ Siddῑqῑ, Kashāf Tanqῑdῑ Iṣlāḥāt, (Islamabad: Muqtadarah Qūmῑ Zubān, 1985), p. 13.
  4. Dāwūd, ‘Abdul Qahhār, Al Istishrāq, (‘Ammān: Dār Al Furqān Li Nashr, 2001), p.13.
  5. Sūrah Al Mā’idah (5:48)
  6. Sūrah Al Hūd (11:118)
  7. Sūrah Al Mā’idah (5:69)
  8. Sūrah Al Ḥajj (22:17)
  9. Musnad Aḥmad, Section 2, p. 524.
  10. Saḥīḥ Bukhārī, Section 22, p. 255.
  11. Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Section 2, p. 307.
  12. Musnad Aḥmad, Section 5, p. 411.
  13. Musnad Aḥmad, Section 5, p. 68.
  14. “Overview of Historic Religious Conflict,” The Urantia Book Fellowship, accessed August 6, 2013, http://urantia-book.org/archive/conftalk/religious_conflict.htm
  15. “Religious Conflict,” Regents Prep, accessed August 6, 2013, http://regentsprep.org/regents/ global/themes/conflict/religious.cfm
  16. Al Būtī, Muḥammad Sa’īd Ramaḍān, Fiqh al Sīrah, (Lahore: Nashrīyāt, 2010), p. 155.
  17. Al Ghazālī, Muḥammad, Fiqh al Sīrah, (Riyadh, International Islamic Publishing House, 1999), p.164.
  18. Al ‘Umrī, Akram Ḍīā, trans, Madnī Mu‘āshrah, (Islamabad: Islamic Research Institute, 2005), p. 72.
  19. Muḥammad Ḥamīdullāh, Dr., trans., The life and work of the Prophet of Islam, (Islamabad: IRI, 1998), p. 479.
  20. Amīr ‘Alī, Sayīd, The Spirit of Islam, (Lahore: ‘Ilm-o-‘Irfān Publishers, 2005), p. 334.
  21. Armstrong, Karen, trans., Muḥammad A Biography of the Prophet, (Lahore: Abū Dhar Publications, 2009), p. 35-56.
  22. Shiblī Nu'mānī, 'Allāmah and Nadvī, Sayīd Sulymān, Sīrah Al Nabī, (Lahore: ’Idārah Islamīyāt, 2002), Sec. 6, 340.
  23. Ibid., p. 349.
  24. Ibid., p. 351.
  25. Alexander (d. 323 BC) was a king of ancient Greek kingdom who is considered one of history’s most successful military commonader.
  26. Timur (d. 1405 AD) was a Mongol Conqueror and founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia.
  27. Dānāpūrī, ‘Abdul Raūf, Aṣaḥ Al Sīyar, (Karachi: Edarah Islamīyāt, 2009), p. 55.
  28. Shāh, Pīr Muḥammad Karam, Ḍīā al Nabī, (Lahore: Ḍīā al Qur’ān Publications, 1999), Sec. 6, p. 63.
  29. Mūdūdī, Abul ‘A'lā, Sīrati Sarwari ‘Alam ,(Lahore: ’Idārah Tarjumān al Qur’ān, 2009), Sec. 2, p. 657.
  30. Manṣūrpūrī, Qāḍī Muhammad Sulymān, Raḥmatullil'ālamīn, (Lahore: Maktaba Islāmīyah, 2006), p. 138.
  31. Mīyān, Sayīd Muḥammad, Muḥammad Rasūlullāh, (Lahore: Jam‘īyah Publications, 2010), 493.
  32. Sūrah Al ‘Imrān (3:64).