A famous Egyptian cleric Mahmood Al Masri said something on TV that even though lying is a crime in Islam, yet in certain circumstances a Muslim can tell a lie. To give weight to his argument, he alluded to a story. As per the said story, there was a Jew living in neighborhood of a Muslim. That Jew was very honest and talented. The Muslim guy thought of inviting him to convert into Islam. One day he asked his Jew neighbor about his views on Islam and exhorted him to become a Muslim. On this, the Jew replied that Islam was definitely a good religion and he liked it very much. But his problem was that he was an alcoholic. He couldn’t stay away from liquor. Hence, he couldn’t follow Islam, since Islam strictly prohibits the use of liquor.
On listening to this, the Muslim cunningly assured the Jew that he could continue to drink even after converting to Islam. The Jew couldn’t believe this. He asked the Muslim again if it is possible to continue drinking even after following Islam. The Muslim again replied in affirmative. The Jew got excited. He recited the Kalma in front of the Muslim and after due process, got converted to a Muslim. Just after accepting Islam, the converted Jew expressed his temptation to have alcohol, the Muslim said, “Now that you are a Muslim, you can’t indulge in any anti-Islamic activity like drinking. If you dare to drink, then that would be treated as a sin and you will be punished according to the Islamic law. The converted Jew got scared and finally stopped drinking.
Through this story, Maulvi Masri tried to explain in which situations a Muslim can lie. But after this was broadcast, Masri had to face a lot of criticism. People mocked at him. Besides, a debate was sparked whether propagation of religion by the use of lies, deceit and terror is justified? Similarly, many such controversies involving various Islamic “scholars” show that wrong interpretations regarding Islam by these little-knowing clerics since the last 1450 years has brought a bad name to the religion.
Now let’s look at another interpretation of Islam by a famous Indian cleric Kalb-e-Sadiq. On the importance of human life in Islam, Maulvi Sadiq gives a hypothetical example whereby a Roza(fast) observing Muslim, after taking bath and Vazu for Namaaz, is on way to perform Haj with the Haj travel passport in his pocket.
On the way, he finds a Hindu/non-Muslim drowning in a river and screaming for help. In this situation, Sadiq says, it is the duty of that Muslim to jump into the water and save the life of that non-Muslim. Although doing this will break his fast and wet his passport, after which he won’t be able to perform Haj. But in the eyes of Islam, saving the life of a human being is more important than Namaaz, Roza and Haj. After giving this example, Maulvi Sadiq asks the charlatan clerics and extremists that how can a religion, which attaches the maximum importance to human life, permit the killing of innocents?
Statements and fatwas by different clerics help initiate a global discourse on the teachings of Islam. Unfortunately, the statements given by the liberal maulvis, showing the humanitarian side of Islam, are less highlighted; whereas the statements and fatwas delivered by the radical Mullahs in which they present Islam in bad light, spread like fire across the globe. Undoubtedly, such illogical, misguiding and baseless examples, stories and interpretations, as told by Masri, play a major role in bringing a bad name to the holy religion of Islam.
(About the Author: Tanveer Jafri is a columnist based in India. Jafri is a social activist for world peace, unity, integrity and global brotherhood. His views have been published around the world, and he is also a receipent of numerous awards in the field of communal harmony and other social activities. Email: email@example.com).
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