"Your G-d and our G-d is One and the Same" - Part 3
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(These are Excerpts from Imam, W. Deen Mohammed's Public Address in
Racine, Wisc, on 6, 2001.)
Muhammed (PBUH) also came to promote the freedom of religion. He held his followers responsible for protecting the holy places of other religions. There were the Christians and another group in the Qur'an called Sabiens. There are still some of those people practicing their religion and also believe in One G-d. And the Jews' places of worship were protected also. All of them were protected by Muslims, if their holy places were in the land that was under Islamic authority.
This tradition is documented showing that the Prophet mandated that the Jews should be allowed to practice then- religion, and it clearly says "as they had been practicing it." No changes were imposed upon them. It was also the same for the Christians. They too were allowed to practice their religion just as they had practiced it before.
In the Holy Book, this saying is not understood correctly by many Muslims and by many sincere and wise leaders in Islam. In the Qur'an, it says, "and fight them....." It means those who persecute religion. It refers to idolaters mostly who persecuted the religion. Prophet Muhammed had two uncles who were bitter enemies right in his own family who tried to stop what he was doing.
The Qur'an says to "fight them, until there is no more persecution." Here is Prophet Muhammed told by G-d to fight those who try to deny you the freedom of your religion, but don’t fight them forever. It says "until there is no more persecution and religion is free for G-d."
It means that I, a man, can pray to my G-d and have my privacy in my religion with my G-d, and live in your land among you and disagree with you. But as long as I represent respect for decency and peace, I should be allowed to have my personal and private relationship with my G-d and go to my place of worship with others who have this relationship with G-d that I have and not be hindered or have my peace disturbed.
This is the Qur'an. This is what Prophet Muhammed was given from G-d. And some of the people will say, "Oh no." They say, "Also in the Qur'an it says that Islam shall become the dominant religion." So they take these two verses or two references and put them together: Fight them until there is no more persecution, but you can't stop fighting them until Islam is the dominant religion.
Most of the scholars, teachers, leaders and Imams in Islam - the ulema - have a lot of respect and are highly regarded in the Islamic world. It is because Prophet Muhammed said, "The ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of the martyr." The learned in the Islamic world do not agree with this kind of interpretation, that we are to fight other people until Islam is a dominant religion on this earth.
The word given in the Qur'an means that it will become the "most apparent" or most popular of the religions. Then the prophecy is coming true, for it is said that Islam is the fastest growing religion now. And maybe it will become the most prevalent and the most seen religion.
Not many people in religion will stop on the road and pray. I have seen hundreds stop on the road away from the Holy Precincts, although they are on the way there, and make their prayers right on the ground. And that is what we are supposed to do, for Allah says the earth is His place of worship, is His mosque, Muslims will pray anywhere. So in time, I am sure we will become the most seen, and perhaps our religion will become the most popular in the world.
But that could also mean trouble, especially if you don't have the quality with the quantity. And we need to bring the quality up for the Muslims. We don't want the wrong image to grow so fast that we are not able to correct it. Muhammed the Prophet was sent into the world to give support to the great Messengers and Prophets who came before him and to protect the way of G-d.
We as Muslims are obligated to be the friend to all good people. G-d says He has not sent you to be any other but a Mercy to all the worlds. So we are suppose to have kindness and mercy and charity - just as the Christians - for all.