Generally speaking, we at www.IslamicSolutions.Com stay away from commenting on news reports. But sometimes it may not be such a bad idea to correct some minor -- and quite probably well-intentioned -- misunderstandings about Islam.
Below is one example of it. A news story on the Net today, a rather nice and quite fair article in fact, said the following, among many things that it did, about the growing and interesting phenomenon of the British -- White and non-White -- converting from non-Islam to Islam.
The story said:
"On one hand, Islam mandates its followers to behave dutifully towards close kin,"
(NO QUESTION. IT IS PART OF THE FAITH) ...
"... and this duty is not cancelled out when those kin are of a different religion."
(ABSOLUTELY NOT. ISLAM'S STAND ON THE ISSUE IS CRYSTAL CLEAR: RELATIVES AT ALL COST AND ABOVE EVERYTHING: TREAT THEM KINDLY AND BE GENEROUS TO THEM. BUT ALWAYS STAND FIRM WITH REGARD TO YOUR OWN ISLAMIC BELIEFS AND BEHAVIOR.)
EVEN YOUR OWN PARENTS, IF THEY PRESSURE YOU TO ABANDON ISLAM, DO NOT OBEY THEM. BUT EVEN THEN DO NOT TREAT THEM HARSHLY OR SPEAK RUDELY TO THEM!)
"But some duties become impossible for a family member who has turned to Islam; he cannot oversee the Hindu cremation, or the Christian burial, of a parent."
(NOT REALLY. WITHOUT LAPSING INTO HARD CORE DEVIATIONS FROM ISLAM'S UNCOMPROMISING TEACHINGS OF ONENESS OF GOD, NOTHING PREVENTS A SON FROM ATTENDING A CHRISTIAN BURIAL, OR PARTICIPATING IN THE CREMATION CEREMONIES OF HIS FATHER.)
(IN FACT, NOT TO DO SO WILL BE TERRIBLY RUDE AND DISRESPECTFUL.)
(VIEWS ON THIS ARE MOSTLY PERSONAL OPINIONS OF SCHOLARS. INDIRECT INFERENCES FROM TEXTS, EXAMPLES AND ANALOGIES. AND THE ROOM FOR DISAGREEMENT AMONG COMPETENT AND QUALIFIED ISLAMIC OPINION-MAKERS IS ENORMOUS.)
(SO, BY ALL MEANS, ATTEND THE FUNERALS OF YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS. DON'T LET THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE JUST EMBRACED ISLAM, AND THEY DIED AS CHRISTIANS OR HINDUS, STOP YOU.)
(IN GENERAL, ACCEPTING ISLAM, COMING FROM A NON-ISLAMIC BACKGROUND, SHOULD ENHANCE YOUR COMMON HUMANITY AND COMPASSION FOR OTHERS, NOT REDUCE OR CONSTRICT THEM IN ANY WAY.)
(WHERE DO YOU THINK SHAKESPEARE GOT IT FROM: SOMETHING ABOUT THE QUALITY OF MERCY NOT BEING STRAINED? IT IS ISLAM, FOLKS! ISLAM!)
(JUST READ WHAT I THINK IS THE FULL QUOTE FROM SHAKESPEARE --MERCHANT OF VENICE MAYBE, DO YOU THINK? -- AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT I MEAN:
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
(MY MEANING: YOU SIMPLY DO NOT RATION MERCY. LET IT FLOW FREELY ... AND REACH WHERE IT WILL AND ENCOMPASS WHOM IT WOULD.)
(ALLAH SAYS IN THE QUR'AN -- MY PARAPHRASE: ARE THEY GOING TO "STRAIN," "RESTRICT" AND "DIVVY UP" GOD ALMIGHTY'S UNBOUNDED AND EVER-FLOWING MERCY?)
(DON'T FORGET, ALLAH'S NAME IS AR-RAHMAN.)
(AND IN CASE YOU MISSED IT THE FIRST TIME, REMEMBER, HE IS ALSO AR-RAHEEM.)
(BOTH NAMES MEAN JUST ONE SIMPLE THING: MERCY, LOVE, COMPASSION, GIVING, KINDNESS.)
(AND IN A WORD THAT MEANS: ISLAM.)
(THE BRITS, ESPECIALLY BRITISH MUSLIMS, BOTH CONVERTS AND OTHERS, SHOULD FEEL GREAT THAT THE QUOTE ABOVE CAME FROM THEIR LAND AND FROM THEIR CULTURE. AND HOW CLOSELY THIS QUOTE REFLECTS THE SPIRIT OF ISLAM.)
(AND HOW LUCKY ARE THE BRITS THAT ONE OF THEIR GUYS TRANSLATED THE ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF MERCY OR RAHMAH SO BEAUTIFULLY IN ONE OF HIS PLAYS!)
So, the all-caps are our comments on the news item we cited above.