UI – Part 500 – ‘Striving’ Differs for Religions (2 of 4)
The Quran spells out in no uncertain terms the objective for the Muslims. I include all categories of Muslims from the ardent fundamentalist, the radical or most literal, the Islamist to those the media and many refer to as moderates. The moderates, as defined by non-Muslims, are less focused on the goal of Islam and it is hoped display a greater tolerance for things not Islamic, to include questions about Islam, doubts raised, and even proselytization by those of other faiths, even the secular.
Sura 23.102, 103 stresses ‘doing,’ actions to be taken or not taken, that enables a Muslim to be right with Allah. It is not by ‘faith’ that a Muslim achieves a right relationship with their god, but by earning credits for obedience and avoidance of wrong doings. Allah can forgive, but it is for those sins against Allah that are addressed specifically and forgiven, but if repeated must be addressed anew.
Sura 25.52 suggests fighting non-Muslims, or those that do not believe in Allah and the messenger, Muhammad. It states Muslims are to not obey the disbelievers (infidels) and “strive (fight) against them a mighty striving” (fight to the death) as needed. This is repeated many times, as in 66.9, and 9.41.
The striving is for Allah, Sura 22.78, whose objectives are made clear throughout the Quran, a world, the entire universe as territory to be conquered and occupied by just Muslims, believers in Islam. Sura 2.193 commands Muslims fight the infidels, non-believers and hypocrites, “until there is no persecution (of a Muslim) and religion is only for Allah.” “Persecution” is readily defined by the Islamists as any resistance towards Islam or a Muslim, in word or action.
In the Quran Muslims are told to be defensive, not on the offense, and react to aggression, fighting then as necessary. At the same time the term ‘persecution’ is twisted to become aggression against a Muslim or Islam, creating resistance or attempting to stop its natural (so they claim) progress in becoming the universal ideology (religion) and the Law of all the world (Sharia). Thus when an Islamist cites they are being persecuted, which includes asking questions, raising doubts, making a Muslim uncomfortable, causing what they refer to as “mischief” by creating concerns, offering resistance (Sura 5.33), even doubts in the minds of a Muslim, proselytization of another religion, characterizing Muhammad or Allah, discrediting the Quran, and so on, the Islamist then is justified in defending themselves (against the aggressor). All of the call for fighting, beheading, smiting, terrorizing, and so on is thus justified and permitted by Allah, and as demonstrated in the past by the example, Muhammad.
Given the task of the Muslim to strive to become the only religion in the whole world, what is in it for the Muslim, as a person, as an individual. A respected Islamic leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini made it clear that there is no joy in Islam. That refers to the nature of the striving. Sura 49.11 suggests being careful as to humor.
The coveted example for Muslims is Muhammad. Muhammad is so revered and protected you may ask whether he is an idol, treated as a god. He was a leader who took it upon himself to be a prophet with Allah his god, as well as the god he choose for his people. His actions, his words, his proclivities became examples of how a Muslim, a male in particular, conducts his life. Allah is his witness, as noted in Sura 17.96 in which Muhammad implies himself that Allah, unknown, unseen, and shared by Muhammad, with the angel Gabriel as an intermediary, as his own witness. The testimony of Allah is sufficient, Muhammad claims, the unknown Allah, unseen, supernatural, as a witness, that Muhammad is a prophet and the messenger of god to followers. That is all a Muslim needs.
As a Muslim ‘superiority’ is a claim. Sura 15.23 proclaims that Muslims are the inheritors of the earth. “It is We who give life and cause death, and We are the inheritors.” And for the infidels that do not recognize the Muslim as superior, Sura 11.27, they are thus liars.
Sura 10.99 allows force as necessary until humans are believers in Islam. The contrast here is towards Islam’s claim as a religion of peace from Sura 2.256 stating “There is no compulsion in religion…,” with an emphasis implied on disbelievers living in darkness. Sura 10.99 says, in contrast, “Wilt thou then force men till they are believers.”
Even though Allah has the final say, Muslims, the fundamentalists have derived from their Scripture they can act on Allah’s behalf, as demonstrated by the example Muhammad, and with ‘chastisement’ (punishment), “by our hands.” Sura 32.21 informs of punishment on earth (by human hands) as a precursor to what Allah can do.
There is no love of neighbor suggested in the Quran. To be a friend of an infidel is forbidden (Sura 2.120 & 9.23 & 5.57 & 4.139 & 4.144). Friendship can be exhibited by a Muslim as an act of takiyya (lying) to promote Islam (Sura 9.3).
When it comes to love, it is a one way street. Allah does not love unconditionally. Allah only loves those who love Allah, with no doubts. Allah and Love are not synonymous.
Islam says to have faith, believe, fight in the way of Allah, fight against the friends of the devil (infidels)(those who do not believe in Allah and the Messenger, Muhammad) (Sura 4.76). Muslims are to obey the Quran when it says, in this Sura, “So fight against the friends of the devil; surely the struggle of the devil is weak.” Force is their tool, the battlefield their arena, fighting a habit.
And can a Muslim even believe Allah when the Quran makes clear Allah is the best of deceivers (Sura 3.54). No one is better at fooling others, that would include infidels and Muslims. Can a Muslim ever be certain they are right with their Lord? If they have any doubts that the ideology is not to their liking, or they are being used (i.e. deceived), or have questions, they are in jeopardy of being punished, to include death, for apostasy.
For the Muslim there is uncertainty. There is no confidence in what they are commanded to believe. They only know the potential for the paradise that awaits but not with any assurance, except possibly as a martyr killing in the name and for the objective of a world all for Allah. But that too may be a deception, a means to encourage followers to go into battle for the Islamic warriors and using violence to acquire additional territories for Allah.
Sura 9 was written by Muhammad and is the only book of the Quran that begins without Allah’s blessing, the statement, “in the name of Allah,” referred to as the bismillah. Sura 9.5 commands followers to “slay the idolaters, wherever you find them, and take them captive, and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush….” Sura 9.14 tells Muslims, “Fight them (infidels); Allah will chastise them at your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them….” Allah allows humans to act on his behalf, or at least that is what Muhammad suggests in this passage of Islamic Scripture. Sura 9.29 calls upon all Muslims to “fight those who believe not in Allah….” If captives they are to acknowledge the superiority of the Muslim and that they are “in a state subjection.” In Sura 9.38 Muhammad informs followers that life on earth is nothing, it is the hereafter they should seek, “The provision of this worlds’s life in but little as compared to the Hereafter.” Muslims are to “go forth in Allah’s way” and if they do not there will be “painful chastisement.”
To strive in Islam is to do so with all your personal resources, noted in Sura 9.41, “Go forth, light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah’s way with your wealth and your lives. This is better for you, if you know.” Are Muslims to interpret that as a threat?
Striving in Islam is Jihad!
Not all Muslims want to be killers, but that is their required striving, who are they to obey, fighting the non-believers. Should they dishonor the command there is death for the Muslim apostate, the hypocrite, the heretic. The approach generally taken to obtain followers is by conquest, forced conversion, and birth in the culture of Islam, with no escape possible due to the requirement that apostates be condemned to death. Accompanying uncertainty is fear of death for doubting or leaving Islam. Where is the hope? Where is the joy?
The question that should be debated and asked is whether or not apostasy laws, which call for death to those Muslims who choose another path, religion, faith, atheistic or altruistic, but not Islam, if eliminated, would enable Islam to continue to even exist? How many Muslims, who exist in fear of the Islamic apostasy laws, would leave, feeling free and able to decide for themselves. If able to fully consider the alternatives as how to live their lives and which god or no-god to worship would a Muslim today be a Muslim tomorrow?
The objective a Muslim is to strive for is a world All for Allah. There is no joy in Islam; it is not about Love.
In 24 hours we take on Christian striving. Blog 3 of 4.
Grace and Peace