Understanding Islam

What is the difference between moderation and extremism?

Moderation is the opposite of extremism and is closely interlinked with peace. When people possess the virtue of moderation, they necessarily think in terms of peace and will engage in their struggle in a peaceful manner. Where there is moderation there is peace, and vice versa.

According to a Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad observed: The moderate action is the best of all actions. Hazrat Ali advised the people: ‘Adopt the middle path.’ (Tafsir Qurtubi, 154/2)

The middle path means the path of moderation. One instance of it can be seen in the following verse of the Qur’an:

What do you mean by the middle path?

The middle path, to put it differently, is the non-emotional way. If a man loses his mental balance when confronted with any difficult situation in life, he goes to one extreme or the other. But if he keeps his feelings under control, he will be able to determine the proper course of action by giving it ample thought. A well-considered deed is always a moderate one. One who does not follow a moderate path will exceed all bounds both in friendship and in enmity.

What is Islam’s view of murder?

Describing the evil of murder, the Qur’an has this to say:

“Whoever killed one human being, should be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind; and whoever saved a human life should be regarded as though he had saved all mankind.” (5:32)

Does Islam permit the over-throwing of corrupt Islamic governments as attempts were made during the Arab Spring?

Certain Arab countries tried to over-throw corrupt Islamic governments during the Arab Spring. This is totally UnIslamic. This can be seen from the fact that despite the blatant perversion in the Muslim rulers after the pious caliphate, the Muslim ulama did not lead an insurrection against these corrupt individuals. For about a period of one thousand years they remained detached in this matter and continued to engage all their efforts in non-political fields. This was not a matter of accident but in obedience to the express injunctions of the Shariah.

What is Jihad in Islam?

Some people portray the picture of Islam as a religion of violence by using the word Jihad. They say that Jihad in Islam is a holy war. But there is not concept of holy war in Islam. Jihad has nothing to do with war or violence; it actually means a struggle, a peaceful struggle. ‘And make Jihad on them, with the help of the Quran’ (25:52), says the Quran. Nowhere does it say, ‘with the help of the sword’.

Clearly, Jihad is an act to be performed by the power of ideology rather than the power of the sword; it is only another name for peaceful activism along Islamic lines.

What is Islam’s view on freedom?

Religious freedom is the basic human right whose violation has caused conflicts, wars and bloodshed in both ancient and modern societies. The Quran, therefore, has declared for the first time in human history:

‘There shall be no coercion in matters of religion.’ (2:256).

The Quran also states clearly, “To you your religion and to me mine.” (109:6).

The principle that we obtain from the above verses of the Quran is generally referred to, in today’s context, as religious freedom.

What is Islam?

Islam means submission to the one God. The religion of Islam is so named because it is based on obedience to God. A true believer in Islam is one who subordinates his thinking to God, who follows God’s dictates in all aspects of his life.

Islam is the religion of the entire universe. For the entire universe and all its parts are functioning in accordance with the law laid down by God.

What is Faith?

The essence of faith is ma‘arifah, (realization or discovery of God). When a man consciously seeks out and finds God, and thereby has access to divine realities that is what constitutes faith.

This discovery is no simple matter. God is the Creator and Owner of all things. He will award or punish all, according to their deeds; none is free from His grip. The discovery of such a God shakes to the core of the whole life of man. His thinking is revolutionized, for God becomes the centre of all His emotions.

What is the literal meaning of Jihad?

Jihad literally means to strive or struggle one’s utmost. Any sincere effort for the cause of religion will be called Jihad. Man’s self leads him to evil. So waging war with the self is jihad. Sometimes friends or acquaintances pressurize you into engaging in activities, which are not right from the moral standpoint. At that time, refusing to yield such pressure and sticking firmly to an upright attitude are forms of jihad.