07.25.08

Understanding Islam: An Introduction

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:17 pm by Haider

As some of you might already know, I am currently writing a book (series?) entitled: Understanding Islam. This book is intended for both Muslims and non-Muslims trying to make sense of Islam. The book, therefore, has the twin aims of:

  • Explaining the differences that have arisen amongst Muslims in their understanding of Islam, and why the Muslim world is what it’s like today. Many non-Muslims aren’t interested in understanding Islam, as a religion, as much as they are trying to understand Islam as the ideology behind the crimes being perpetrated in its name. They do not want to hear about Islam being a peaceful religion, but more about the Muslim world and the ideas it is living by
  • Presenting an objective criteria and a valid approach to the interpretation of Islamic scripture that avoids the common mistakes people have fallen into. This will help Muslims to make better sense of their religion, without feeling that understanding their religion is beyond their reach, or is reserved for a small class of Muslims, or is too risky a field to venture into

It is my hope that by making Islam more accessible to people, they can discover how they can enrich their lives with Islam’s teachings, and come to understand the difference between what the Muslims believe and what Islam actually teaches.

07.24.08

Intolerance Towards Tolerance

Posted in Dialogue at 5:28 pm by Haider

There are many religious individuals, or even scholars, who condemn religious tolerance – i.e. the acceptance of other religions and cooperation with their adherents – because it is considered to be the acceptance of falsehoods, and those who are propagating false beliefs.

This is especially critical when the beliefs promoted by other religions conflict with one’s own beliefs. That is, how can one assert the belief in a single deity, yet accept to interact with those who believe in multiple deities? How can one build ties with those who deny the prophethood of the one whose religion they follow?

Some of the points to note about religious tolerance are:

  • To accept the existence of other religions does not mean that you accept their beliefs to be true, or equally valid to yours
  • To interact with others from different faiths does not mean that you approve of all their actions
  • Religious tolerance is to respect people’s freedom to think for themselves and choose their beliefs as they see fit, without the use of intimidation or compulsion
  • Where people have disagreements about their beliefs or their customs or moral codes, they should be willing to discuss these matters, and to exchange their opinions
  • To refuse to interact with others does not help you promote your religion. It is only through dialogue that people can form a better understanding of one another

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