What but Perfection Can Come Down from the Most Perfect God?
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
The other day, I chanced upon a video on the Net. As a rule, I don’t watch these things, but that day I did – just a few quick snatches of it.
It was an avowed Atheist – the man is dead since – proclaiming to a packed audience in the UK that looked like a fairly estimable one, mostly White, both men and women, that he had a problem with Islam.
And he summarized that problem in two points:
One, a perfect book that Muslims cling to, by which he obviously meant the Qur’an.
Two, a perfect man, whom the Muslims swear by at every opportunity, by which he was quite obviously referring to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
The man argued that these two “perfections” in imperfect human hands was an unfailing formula for disaster. For, their configuration would inevitably lead to a totalitarian mindset and social structure, which in turn would precipitate all kinds of attempts at domination, conflict and war.
That, he argued, makes Islam anything but a so-called “Religion of Peace,” as the Muslims claim.
Several things must be pointed out here.
First, I am paraphrasing the man and not quoting him verbatim.
Second, I am on record as having serious issues with the terminology of “Religion of Peace.”
First of all, to me, Islam is not a “religion,” as the world commonly understands that expression.
Nor, to me, does the construction “Religion of Peace” make much sense.
“Peace” is one of those culprit terms that defy definition till their last breath. Much like “Beauty,” it too is often in the eye of the beholder.
And to assert Islam was a “Religion of Peace” was one of those hurried and mindless abominations that segments of a panicked and spineless American Muslim leadership perpetrated on an innocent and unsuspecting world and American Public – not to say American media – in a knee-jerk reaction to the all-out assault on Islam and Muslims following the terrible events of 9-11.
So, if you ask me, there is no such thing as a religion of peace per se in this world.
And by that I mean any religion, anywhere, even beyond the fact that the very expression religion of peace does not make much sense ab initio.
Even if it did, I would argue no religion on earth would seem to fit the bill.
And if by religion of peace is meant a system of belief and behavior that would ask its adherents to roll over and let every thug, tyrant, aggressor, crook, thief and criminal everywhere jump all over them with hobnailed boots on every pretext and occasion, then Islam certainly is not that system.
As for the canard of “Turning the Other Cheek,” as Christian propagandists and preachers have perpetuated forever, that is all it is: just a canard, without much basis in any observed reality.
In fact, much of the history of the self-proclaimed Christian nations of the world is a monument to the unreality and impracticality of the canard of “Turning the Other Cheek,” as, over the centuries, these nations let loose their successive bloodbaths in their dealings with the rest of the world and each other.
All you need to do to see this fact with your own naked eye is to read world history, whether it is with regard to the European “discovery,” conquest and colonization of the world, including the Americas and Africa.
Or with regard to the scourge of centuries of Transatlantic Slavery and Slave Trade, centered on the anti-Black racism of the predominantly White Christian nations.
Or in relation to World Wars I and II; or the nuclear incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at the end of World War II; or the inhuman and unparalleled devastation of the land and people of Vietnam barely three decades later.
So, there is no such thing as religion of peace in existence in this world in any form or shape. It is an absurd and foolish expression and it belongs in a bottomless landfill of human foolishness across the ages.
As for the question whether Islam promotes conflict or peaceful human existence on earth, the answer is: BOTH. For, that is the nature of human life on earth.
Human life on earth is part conflict and competition and part love and cooperation. And Islam offers the best set of rules in the market on how best to manage both.
Islam says: Opt for love, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness every time you get an opportunity.
But Islam also says: In situations when conflict is foisted upon you through injustice, corruption and aggression, then stand your ground and fight and don’t turn tail and run.
And Islam says: In all situations, let justice and truth be the lodestar of all your dealings in this world. And under no circumstance be the aggressor or deal with anyone unjustly.
The Qur’an puts it quite starkly:
“O Believers, be the champions of Justice, witnesses for God!”
Elsewhere, the Qur’an reverses that beautiful equation and still makes the same point:
“O Believers, be God’s champions, witnesses of Justice.”
And the Qur’an is crystal clear even in the most difficult of contingencies. It says:
“Should you find yourself subjected to aggression, then by all means repel the aggression, but do not turn aggressor yourself.”
There is no better articulation of these ideas and principles that undergird “peace” on this earth. In other words, this is as perfect a formulation of these excruciating ideals of human conduct as it is possible for us to have in this world.
The history of the world for the past 1400 years is more or less an attempt, often a shoddy and lackadaisical one, on the part of the rest of the world to catch up with the perfection of human conduct on earth that the Qur’an offers.
Anyway, I want to end this write-up quickly, even if it has to be done abruptly. But not before saying that if I had been present on that platform that day, I would have asked the Atheist gentleman – who is now dead – two fairly clear questions.
One, I would have asked him:
If God is perfection – as God must be, otherwise what is he doing as God? – what kind of a book do you expect to come from him, if not a perfect book?
Next, I would have asked him:
If a perfect God were ever to send down a man to help guide an errant humanity, what kind of a man would he send if not a perfect man?
And I would have ended by saying:
Don’t you see “Christ as Son of God” is nothing but the idea of a perfect man gone awry – a perfect human being representing a perfect creator?
To which, most likely, the Atheist gentleman would have replied:
“But I don’t think God is perfect. Nor do I for that matter believe there is a God at all.”
And that, I would have said, is perfectly fine.
“For, the Qur’an asks me to tell you,” I would have told the Atheist gentleman:
“Let us, then, each go our own separate ways. You hold on to your beliefs. And I will hold on to mine!”
Or, as the Qur’an puts it: “Lakum Deenukum wa Liya Deeni!”
“No, there is no more perfect formula for peace on earth than this.”
“No, such a perfect formula could not be the product of an imperfect human mind. It has to have the wisdom of a perfect God behind it.”