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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 827

Letter from America: My Response to Geert Wilders – Concluding Part

By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Habib_Siddiqui_78.jpgMr. Wilders, you claim that you are an agnostic, and yet, you like an anthropomorphic God. As I hinted earlier, I won’t waste my time trying to dissuade you about your personal beliefs and preferences.

But since you are quite ignorant about Islam and your knowledge of the faith of nearly one quarter of our humanity is colored by anti-Islamic bigots and intellectual frauds that had/have tied their knots with the devil, it is imperative that you educate yourself from the proper sources. Let me share with you some basic concepts about Islam:

“All praise be to God who has no equal and no peer and Who is far sublime to bear any similarity to His creatures.

He (God) was before anything came into existence and will remain after everything has come to an end.

As His (God's) Being is Eternal, therefore, no time could be imagined to say that He existed since then, similarly no period could be assigned for duration of His Existence.

To assign a place to Him (God) by considering Him within or over a place means to subject Him to the limitations of space and to allot Him an importance secondary to space, it also means to believe that some place can exist outside the sphere of His Omnipresence.

He (God) was seeing even when there was no created thing to see. He is One and Alone, because He has no companion who could keep His company or whose absence He would miss.

He is One but not a numerical unity which can be mathematically and logically subdivided.

He (God) did not originate His creatures to strengthen His Kingdom or to arm Himself against the change of circumstances, or defend Himself against His rivals and enemies.

Bringing into existence of the Universes has neither tired Him (God), nor origination of the nature has exhausted Him, neither He felt helplessness and deficiency in having complete control over His creatures, nor He ever had any uncertainty about the program of creation; He never doubted about His decisions.

He (God) has not permitted human mind to grasp the Essence of His Being, yet He has not prevented them from realizing His presence.

He (God) knew the very details of everything before He brought everyone of them into existence.

He (God) has not incarnated Himself into His creatures, and it cannot be said that He is part of the Universe or things created by Him; neither He is far away from His creation nor is He aloof from it without having control over it.

God has never left any human being without guidance and education from His Prophets, without a Holy Book, without conclusive, effective and certain proof of His Godhood and without a clear and bright path to His Realm.

When God created mankind He was not in need of their obedience and prayers, neither was He nervous of their disobedience. Because disobedience or insubordination of men cannot harm Him, similarly obedience of obedient people cannot do Him any good. He is beyond the reach of harm and benefit.” [Nahjul Balagha]

As you can see from the above, Islam is a monotheistic religion in the purest sense of the term in which there is no place for a man or a woman to be God or goddess, and treated as such. Instead of making God manlike, Islam’s mission has always been to uplift humanity from the lowest of the low that worships multitude of Gods to One True God – who has no equal and no associate -- by becoming His vicegerent on earth.

“The first step of religion is to accept, understand and realize God as the Lord; the perfection of understanding lies in conviction and confirmation, and the true way of conviction is to sincerely believe that there is no God but He. The correct form of belief in His Unity is to realize that He is absolutely pure and above nature that nothing can be added to or subtracted from His Being. That is, one should realize that there is no difference between His Person and His attributes, and His attributes should not be differentiated or distinguished from His Person. Whoever accepts His attributes to be other than His Person has actually forsaken the idea of Unity of God and believes in duality. Such a person in fact believes Him to exist in parts.

“Islam means obedience to God. Obedience to God means having sincere faith in Him. Such a faith means to believe in His power. A belief in His power means recognizing and accepting His Majesty. Acceptance of His Majesty means fulfilling the obligations laid down by Him. And fulfillment of obligations means action.

“It is a religion whose followers compete with and try to surpass each other in goodness and virtue. Confirmation of truth and justice are its ways, enlightenment of humanity is its chief object, to expect and to face death boldly and nobly is one of the main items of its teachings. This world is the place where Islam wants to prepare you for high positions in Hereafter, therefore, the Day of Reckoning will be the day when its true followers will surpass others and heaven will be their reward.” [Nahjul Balagha]

Mr. Wilders, your comments about Muhammad (S) are untrue and show your deep-seated prejudice. Read the Bible, esp. the book of Numbers (Ch. 31), to understand the treatment of the conquered people by the Old Testament Prophets. [Or, read my article: Quod licet Iovi non licet bovi: Why a different yardstick for Muslims?]

As I’ve said earlier, Islam could not have survived without the sacrifice of and active resistance from its noble defenders against their foes. Have you heard about Bilal ibn Rabah, Sumayya, Khabbab bin al-Aratt, and Habib ibn Zayd al-Ansari? If you have not, read my book – The Book of Devotional Stories, published by A. S. Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Muhammad (S) and his followers were persecuted and forced to migrate. When attacked they fought back and won the battle of both might and mind. And yet, when he conquered his city of birth, he forgave his enemies. Why show such compassion against enemies that tortured and killed his family members and companions, if he wasn’t merciful? You won’t be able to show me a single example of such nobility from the past and the present. It is by no mistake that God Himself called Muhammad (S) the ‘Mercy to the entire universe’. In all those battles that Muhammad (S) led, the total death count was miniscule compared to those killed by religious followers of Moses (AS) amongst the children of Israel for their idolatry. And as any Christian evangelist would tell you there won’t be too many surviving after Jesus returns. It would be an era of mass slaughter, beginning with the Jews. If Muhammad (S) is a mass murderer, what epithets do you have in store for Moses (AS), let alone Jesus (AS) – the son of Mary?

Are you also aware of the fact that Mary, the mother of Jesus (AS), was only 12 to 14 years old when Joseph the carpenter who was 90 years old married her? In contrast, A’isha bint Abu Bakr (R) was 19 years old when Muhammad (S) consummated the marriage with her. If Muhammad (S) is a pedophile, what about St. Joseph, and how about the Biblical Prophets? Were they child molesters? Was Jesus a homosexual, too, as hinted by early fathers of Christianity (see also: Gospels according to Mark 14:49-52 and John 13:23)? [See the footnote below.]

You say that Islam is opposed to freedom. Freedom to do what – harm and insult others – something that you have mastered, or colonize, kill and plunder vast territories of Asia, Africa and Latin America – something that the Dutch and other western governments committed to enrich them? Islam says that God has given inborn disposition to human minds to shape themselves either towards good or towards evil. [Nahjul Balagha] Man is, therefore, not compelled by determinism (jabr). He is also not given absolute freedom (qadar) to defy the laws of nature. But the matter is a via media between the two.

You say that Muslims are a fatalistic people. It is a wrong reading of their attitude. As believers they know that nothing happens without God’s will. Thus, they use the phrase InshaAllah. Are you aware of the Epistle of James 4:15, where it says that people should remember that they never know what tomorrow will bring, and 'Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”'? Is this statement in the so-called NT any different than what is contained in the Surat Al Kahf (18:24): "And never say of anything, 'I shall do such and such thing tomorrow. Except (with the saying): 'If God wills!' And remember your Lord when you forget...'"? So, why this silly accusation against Muslims?

Your ignorance is simply pathetic. You may like to read my lecture on ‘Islam and Co-existence’ at the interfaith meeting at Vanderbilt University, Nashville. Also, read my article What I didn’t say and Missionary Myopia – in response to chauvinistic comments made by some fundamentalist Christian Islamophobes. [Both articles are available on a search in the Internet.]

You said that ‘most Muslims never raise their voice against the radicals.’ Not true. Islam is opposed to extremism. Muslims have been raising their voices against extremists of all kinds – Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Just visit The American Muslim website to view how wrong you are.

As I have said earlier, you, surely, suffer from extreme prejudice, dementia, paranoia and hallucination. You really should consult a good psychiatrist to treat your mental health. The sooner the better.

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For the first part of Dr. Siddiqui’s response to Geert Wilders, click here.

Footnote:

In a Gnostic Gospel, an early Christian Theodore asks Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE) - an early Church father – the veracity of the recorded message that Jesus was a homosexual. In reply, Clements writes, “To them, therefore, as I said above, one must never give way; nor, when they put forward their falsifications, should one concede that the secret Gospel is by Mark, but should even deny it on oath.” [For details, see: The Gnostic Society Library, Gnostic Scriptures and Fragments, The Secret Gospel of Mark; see also Acts of John, from “The Apocryphal New Testament,” M.R. James - translation and notes, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924]

"In the Gospel of John, the disciple John frequently refers to himself in the third person as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. " During the Last Supper before Jesus' execution, the author(s) of the Gospel of John describes how the "beloved" disciple laid himself on Jesus' inner tunic -- his undergarment. See John 13:25 and 21:20. Robert Goss, assistant professor of comparative religion at Webster University in St. Louis, LA, noted that Jesus and the beloved disciple: "... eat together, side by side. What's being portrayed here is a pederastic relationship between an older man and a younger man. A Greek reader would understand." The late Morton Smith, of Columbia University reported in 1958 that he had found a fragment of a manuscript which at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem. It contained the full text of Mark, chapter 10. It discusses how a young man, naked but for a linen covering, expressed his love for Jesus and stayed with him at his place all night. Mark 14:51-52 describes the incident when Jesus was arrested by the religious police. It describes how one of Jesus' followers was scantily dressed. The King James Version says he had a linen cloth cast on his naked body; the size and location of the cloth is not defined. The New International Version says that he was "wearing nothing but a linen garment." When the police tried to seize him, they were able to grab only his cloth; the man ran away naked. Reverend Peter Murphy wrote: "We don't know from the sources what really was going on, but we do know that something was very peculiar between Jesus and young men." (See, discussion in: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jegay.htm)

- Asian Tribune -

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