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Friday, 9 November 2007

Answering Christian (Question 3)

Question 3

Why Islam does always uses violence in dealing with things? For example, we can see in Islam that a man could beat his wife if she doesn't listen to him. We can also see how Islam made war obligatory to its followers, or what the Muslim calls 'Jihad'. Even more, those who kill others will be rewarded by God!

From this concept, we can see nowadays how many people that were killed under the name of Jihad. How many wars had broken into this world, how many innocent people had died and more importantly, how this act of violence can be justified by the name of Jihad!

This idea does not exist in Christianity. We always forgive whoever that had harmed us, and pray that God will have mercy on him, and that he will change. Jesus said, "If anyone hit you on your right cheek, turn to your left cheek". We can also see how Jesus, when he is being crucified, asked God to forgive the Jews, by saying that those men didn't know what they are doing. How merciful!

On the other hand, had this kind of mercy and forgiveness been showed by Muhammad? Islam was spread by the sword that means, preach Islam, and make sure that one converts into Islam, even by the means of the sword!

This is certainly an invalid view of Islam. In fact, Allah s.w.t. doesn't like those who spread bloodshed in this world. Allah s.w.t. said :

(( And when your Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy on the earth: They said wiil You place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood? ))

For every single little thing that uses physical contact in Islam, there are reasons behind it. The first example given, that is the case of husband and wife. This cannot be used as a proof that Islam permits violence in a family constitution. This should be understood correctly. They are steps to be taken before a man is permitted to beat his wife. First, there most be a good reason, such as the wife had done something wrong and terrible upon her husband. For example, she loves going out at night with her friends, and enjoy visiting and chatting at a certain night club. Her husband, then, should advice her, talk to her softly, so that she can thing properly and hopefully change her behavior. After advising her, and still she does not listen to the advice given, he should then separate her from their place or resting i.e. the bed for certain period of time. After all that, and she still does not change her attitude, then he is allowed to beat her.
Even so, they are rules when he is beating his wife. First, the beating should not be a harmful one. He can only beat her in the very same way that he beat his children in educating them. Secondly, he should not beat his wife at parts that will cause her great harm, such as the face. He also should not beat his wife at parts that will leave a mark, such as the face, that will gives her shame when she is going out, or when anybody sees her.

After this entire rule, does that counts as violence? What then, a husband should do, if his wife did something bad, he advised her and she did not listen, he separates her from his bed, still she would not listen? Just simply forgives and ignores her? Or simply divorce her? Isn't that is more pathetic?

Same goes to Jihad. It is not right to say that by the name of Jihad, Muslim could declare a war, and easily kill anyone who rejects Islam. The best proof is at the time of the Prophet. The first war, the Battle of Badr, was not started by Muslim; instead, it was started by the Quraish in Mecca, who ravaged Muslim's properties back in Mecca. The declaration of war by the Prophet is obviously an act of defense! Anyone can read the Sirah of the Prophet, and see how all of the wars and battles were started by the non-believers. It is not even too much to say that every battle was an act of defense, and every declaration of Jihad was defensive. Even when the Prophet cast away the Jews of Bani Nadhir from Medina, it was because the tribe violated the peace treaty with the Prophet (pbuh).

With this, we can say that from the deeds of the one who brought Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), that Jihad does not means that Muslims could kill anyone who rejects Islam. If there is any Muslim that acts like this, killing innocent people and break a war without a reason of defending the religion or life, then he is a criminal. He should be brought to justice, and if necessary, he should even be killed. Islam does not recognize act of terrorism. The Prophet (pbuh) prohibited Muslim from killing innocent people like old men and women, children, those who are in worshipping place, those who are farming in their farm, cattle, and those who do not fight against Muslim army. Muslims are only permitted to strike those who strike against them. From this point, we can also say that the idea that Islam was spread by sword is not valid. Even more, terrorist exist in all religion, so it is not fair to blame only Islam.

As the matter of fact, jihad can also be found in the Bible. We will quote some of the verses, when Jesus and his disciples were preparing to confront the army of Rome:-

1) From Luke chapter 22, verse 35-36.

35 "When I sent to you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?". And they said, "Nothing".
36 "Then said he unto them, "But now, he that hath no purse, let him take it, and likewise his bag; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."
2) From Luke chapter 22, verse 38.
38 "…..Lord, behold, here are two swords." And he said unto them, "It is enough."

A call for sword, to hold a sword in order to protect the Messenger of God, is what we Muslims call Jihad!

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