We are living in a dark time where we see blood flowing everywhere on the land in the name of religion, race, language, culture and colour. The most widespread extremism is religious extremism, when someone stands up and chants the name of God, “God is Great” and takes an innocent life.
God commanded us to respect other religions, whether you believe in them or not, whether you accept their ideology or not and whether you agree with its principles or not, you must show your tolerance and honor towards other’s belief. This is the teaching of God of Abraham.
In the holy book of Torah, God says:
“Shall the Judge of all the earth not do Justice?” (Gen 18:25)
According to the definition of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: “He sought to be true to his faith and a blessing to others regardless of their faith.
We call ourselves the generation of the 21st century and claim to live in the first world yet behave like monsters, showing no respect or dignity. We claim to be the most advanced race in the world, yet we enjoy killing people in the name of race and religion. Those who lived back in the time of the dark ages, knew nothing about the social and moral values but had faith in God and had tolerance for other religions. They were far better than the 21st century’s advanced generation who believe in nothing but race and color.
When the world turned into a global village, we became so close to each other via social media, for example, but we rapidly lost our credibility of acceptances and Highjacked the ownership of religion from the hands of God. We formulated our own creeds and principles in religion and one of them is to enforce the religion of God on others because we wrongly believe that “My religion is better than Yours”.
God says in the holy Quran:
“There is no compulsion in religion” (Al-Baqarrah: 256)
We Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) have very much in common such as we believe in God, eternal life and accountability hereafter, hence we differ each other in many ways but we still have a common agenda that is to please God in our own ways. But, when we take religious authority in our hands, problems occur.
It was a time back in the day, when Judaism and Christianity became politicalised. The leaders of those religions started corruption and mischief in the name of God. The followers of those religions were sick of the religious corruption and finally decided to abandon the religion. Their religious leaders took God’s authority in their hands and issued the decree of salvation to those whom they were pleased. It was hell for ordinary people in the world and hereafter by their religious clerics. They lost hope in God and became disbelievers. The belief of hopelessness dragged them to be agnostics and atheists.
The same story repeats in the era of Islam. Since Islam became politicalised, the violence and mischief spread all around the world in the name of God. People became hateful by following the ideology of political Islam. The peaceful image of Islam became the shadow of terror by the Islamists. We started slaughtering those who did not follow the doctrine of the political Islam. We corrupted our religion by issuing the religious decrees of paradise for those who kill non-Muslims. We started calling martyrs to those who committed suicide terrorism in the name of Allah. We granted 72 virgins in paradise to those who kill as many unbelievers as he/she can. It was a miscarriage of the core principles of Islam and turned them into the ethics of violence. We forgot the very important principle of Islam, which the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) described:
“Whoever says there is no god but God, will enter paradise.” (Al-Hadith)
We made our religion the source of extremism by blindly following ignorant clerics. There is no room of extremism in Islam, yet we justified our extremism from the religious texts.
The Prophet of Islam said:
“… Beware of extremism in religion….” (Al-Hadith al Nas’ai)
The definition of this hadith is described by Ibn Taymiyyah (RA):
“His statement ‘Beware of extremism in religion’ is comprehensive, including all types of extremism, whether in belief or in actions” (Iqtida al-Sirat al-Mustaqim – 1/328)
There is no justification of Extremism whether in Islam, Christianity or Judaism. All humans belong to the God of Abraham (PBUH). We do not have the right given by God to judge someone’s belief which is his personal matter.
We (people of books) must not be defensive when we are being exposed through our extreme actions in terms of violence and mischief. We must accept our wrongdoings instead blaming other religions that their extremists are worse than ours or our extremists are less violent than theirs.
This is not a number game but a matter of a life, a life which is given by the God of Abraham, the life that has the full divine right to live in peace and practice his/her belief without any fear and persecution.
Why don’t we look inside us and find out who is using our name, our identity and our religion to achieve his personal goals? The followers of the three divine religions are stuck within their wrongdoings and hardly accept it. We have no courage to stand up against extremists within us whether they are less in quantity or high. There should not be a numbers game about who killed more or less. Killing is killing, no matter what.
The God of Moses says in the Talmud:
“Therefore, the man was created singly, to teach that he who destroys one soul of a human being, the scripture considers him as if he should destroy a whole world.” (Babylonian Talmud)
Now let’s read how God of Muhammad confirms the verse of Talmud in the holy Quran:
“Because of that, we decreed upon the children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely.” (Quran 5:32)
God mentioned in the above quoted verses, that “Human” life is more important than the life of a Muslim, Christian or a Jewish, individual.
The people of the three religions face the worst kind of extremism in our societies and we do not smell the danger of the crash of cultures. We need to reform our way of religious life and start to believe that our God is the same God and we all are His followers whether he is the God of Abraham, the God of Jesus or the God of Muhammad. We are actually doing a great blasphemy of God in regards to creating a mischief on Earth in His sacred name.
At the end, I stop my pen by believing in what Rabbi Jonathan Sack believes, that:
“To invoke God to justify violence against the innocent is not an act of sanctity but of sacrilege. It is a kind of blasphemy. It is to take God’s name in vain.”