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Interfaith Harmony Week


This headline leads at the web page of A Common Word: H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad delivers King’s World Interfaith Harmony Week proposal at UN.

The first week of February is now set aside as World Interfaith Harmony Week.  You know, peace, love and all that good stuff. The Prince explained why he spoke of harmony in the Chinese sense, not tolerance or acceptance. The crucial quote appears below; click the link above to read the whole address.

In the very title of the resolution and in the second operative paragraph and elsewhere, the word ‘harmony’ is used in the Chinese sense of the term. We add it to the term ‘tolerance’ (which we have also used) because ‘tolerance’ can suggest that the other is so negative they have to be ‘tolerated’; we cannot use ‘acceptance’ because it implies that religions accept each other’s doctrines rather than their right to those doctrines and this is not the case; we cannot use the term ‘peace’ alone because it suggests merely the absence of war, and not necessarily the absence of hatred. Only the Confucian concept of ‘harmony’ can rescue us here because it suggests not merely ‘peace’, but also ‘beautiful and dynamic interaction between different elements within a whole’.

Does anyone else perceive the irony?  The King’s Ambassador of peace, speaking at the palace of peace, bears the name Ghazi.  A Ghazi is one who fought alongside Muhammad in the early ghazwat which established and spread Islam in the Hijaz.

Prince Ghazi quotes a hadith which I can not find, this variant conveys the same message.

Sahih Muslim  Book 001, Number 0073:

It is narrated on the authority of Anas that the Prophet (may peace blessings be upon him) observed: By Him in whose Hand is my life, no, bondsman (truly) believes till he likes for his neighbour, or he (the Holy Prophet) said: for his brother, whatever he likes for himself.

The next hadith conveys a slightly different message which merits careful attention.

Sahih Muslim Book 001, Number 0074:

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessing be upon him) observed: He will not enter Paradise whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct.

So, a Muslim must love his brother [neighbor] and avoid harming him in order to obtain admission to Paradise.   Is that the equivalent of Christian brotherly love for one’s neighbor?  Or is it only applicable if they are Muslims?

9:23. O you who believe! Take not for Auliyâ’ (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers, etc.).

9:24. Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight … are dearer to you than Allâh and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause , then wait until Allâh brings about His Decision (torment). And Allâh guides not the people who are Al-Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).

What does that really mean? Turning to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir, we discover that a similar verse, 58:22, was revealed in connection with a particular incident.

Al-Hafiz Al-Bayhaqi recorded that `Abdullah bin Shawdhab said, “The father of Abu `Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah was repeatedly praising the idols to his son on the day of Badr, and Abu `Ubaydah kept avoiding him. When Al-Jarrah persisted, his son Abu `Ubaydah headed towards him and killed him. Allah revealed this Ayah in his case

In the same topic, Ibn Kathir relates a hadith which should give us pause whenever we hear Muslims talk of peace.

(If you transact in `Iynah (a type of Riba), follow the tails of cows (tilling the land), become content with agriculture and abandoned Jihad, Allah will send on you disgrace that He will not remove until, you return to your religion.)” Sunan Abu Dawud 23.3455

That saying makes commerce & agriculture disfavored alternatives to jihad which will bring disgrace to Muslims. Abandoning jihad is equated with abandoning Islam. If you don’t know what jihad is, or you think that it is jihad an-nafs, refer to the definition in the footnote to 2:190 or Reliance of the Traveler o9.0.

How shall we harmonize with a cult which reminds Allah 17 times each day why he wants to burn us?

1:7. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).

How shall we harmonize with a cult which curses us and declares war against us?

2:159. Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allâh and cursed by the cursers.

2:160. Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.

2:161. Verily, those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers, it is they on whom is the Curse of Allâh and of the angels and of mankind, combined.

9:29. Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allâh, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allâh and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islâm) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

9:30. And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allâh, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allâh. That is a saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the disbelievers of old. Allâh’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!

How shall we harmonize with a cult which denies the paternity, deity, crucifixion, death & resurrection of Jesus Christ and depicts him as a genocidal warlord who will “kill the Jews?

A Common Word Between Us And You” is a missive from the learned scholars of Islam to Pope Benedict XIV and other leaders of Christianity. Due to its length & target density, I created a new blog to dissect it.

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October 24, 2010 - Posted by | Islam, Political Correctness | ,

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