The Problem of Misunderstanding

Going by this Quranic verse, an enemy is not an eternal enemy. And in keeping with the law of nature, your enemy is your potential friend. So, try to turn this potential into actuality. According to Quranic teaching, the concept of ‘we and they’ is wrong. The right concept is that which is based on a ‘we-we’ relationship. Friendship is a natural phenomenon, while enmity is unnatural. Enmity is always the outcome of misunderstandings. By unilaterally adhering to a high standard of ethics, you can remove the misunderstanding and then you will find that there is no enmity at all. The other aspect of prayer is positivity. Positive thinking is the basis of all kinds of high virtues. Moreover, it requires a positive mind to build a healthy and creative personality. Without positive thinking, intellectual development is impossible.

But there is the point in question of there being different kinds of unpleasant experiences in our practical lives. And these can occur at any time, often involving scenes of a provocative nature. All such happenings are bound to start a negative train of thinking in every man and woman. In such a situation, how can we maintain positivity? Man has no option but to live in a negative atmosphere, but he is nevertheless required to build a positive personality. What is the solution?

The solution is to learn the art of conversion. You have to convert negativity into positivity. You have to try to live with a positive mind even in negative situations. This seems to be a very difficult task. But this is not so. God Almighty has given us a mind and the mind has an unlimited capacity.

Video Transcript
Video Transcript


Since I start my talk with it, let me begin by clarifying any misunderstanding that may exist regarding usage of the phrase ‘Bismillah’. Saying Bismillah before the speech is not a ritual but a living practice. The word Bismillah has come 114 times in the Quran. It means, “I begin in the name of God, the Merciful and the Compassionate.” This is said to invoke the mercy of the Almighty Sustainer. Saying Bismillah with true spirit and not merely as lip service is equivalent to discovering God as your Sustainer. Oftentimes, people take Bismillah in a mysterious sense. They do not understand that when one consciously says Bismillah, it inculcates on one hand conviction and assures one on the other hand of the certainty of God’s help. There is nothing mysterious about it.

The following Arabic phrase effectively captures the essence of this problem of misunderstanding,

“People become enemy of things, they know not about.”

The world today

An article has been published today on the front page of the Times of India. Its caption is,

Pakistan to pull out troops from Indian border.”

This is not a simple issue. Since a long time, I have been saying so publicly that the only way Pakistan can prosper is if it finishes the enmity against India and that it is actually absurd on the part of Pakistan to position troops on the border it shares with India. However, nobody paid heed to him despite his continual reiteration. Then how has Pakistan agreed to pull out now? This is due to American pressure. America provides billions of dollars to Pakistan. The American President warned that USA would cease money supply to Pakistan if it does not crush the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. However, Pakistan till now was unable to crush the Taliban because it had diverted its troops on its Indian border. So now under American pressure it is forced to relocate its troops to crush the Taliban. In other words, Pakistan responded to the threat which it received from America.

Biggest problem with Muslims

Today, Muslims do not follow principle; however, they tread a certain path only under pressure. For example, Pakistan wasn’t ready to remove troops from the Indian border; however they did the same on being pressurised by America.

It is therefore important to understand that a community (quam) which understands matters at the level of principle is an alive community (zinda quam) for an alive person pays heed to logic. However, a dead community knows only the language of pressure.

An experience

Yesterday, at the India International Centre (IIC) I delivered a talk on God. Here I wish to recount the experience that I underwent. The audience at the talk was highly educated. By presenting proofs from philosophy and science, I laid the claim that the proponents of both the fields believe in God, though they refer to Him by different names, like, a superpower, an intelligent being, etc.  The talk was followed by a question & answer session, but contrary to my expectations no one in the audience reacted to my claim, no one denied my findings. I spoke on the existence of God and no one could deny the rationale I presented.

The questions asked by the audience were rather based on the human world. The questions centred on the idea that if there is a God, then why He doesn’t check evil which exists in the human world etc. Hence, after knowing the discoveries of science people no longer question God’s existence. But the evil which exists in the human world causes them to doubt God or question God’s existence.

It is important to understand here that there are two different worlds, one is the human world and the other is the physical world. The study of the physical world is called Science and the study of the human world is Humanities. The studies in Science give us a picture of complete harmony in the physical world. However, while studying humanities we find that there is discord amongst the humankind. Based on these fights, evil, and corruption among men, people start questioning God; they think that if there is a God, then why does He not check the evil in human world.

After the talk a lady came to me who told me that she had read the Quran. Her discovery was that the Quran speaks about the Truth while the Muslims do not represent this.

Our two-fold mission

These two experiences made me realise that our mission is twofold: firstly, to differentiate God from man and secondly, to differentiate Islam from Muslims. People start doubting God when they see corruption in humans and they start doubting Islam when they see degeneration in Muslims.

Differentiating Islam from Muslims

When the world sees Muslims not yielding to principle or logic but to pressure and compulsion, as is the case of Pakistan, they think this to be a result of the teachings of Islam, when in fact it is not. For example, flogging done by the Taliban is thought to be Islam. Whereas actually flogging done by the Taliban is not Islam; it is rather not even kufr, as kufr is based on some logic. Therefore, the need of the hour is to present Islam to people by differentiating it from Muslims; on doing so people readily acknowledge the beauty of Islam.

Differentiating God from man

Much in the same way as above, we have to explain about God by differentiating Him from what is happening in the human world. God’s existence has to be proved through science. There has been no scientist who denied the existence of God. It were the humanists who ‘hijacked’ science, and endeavoured by the means of it to support atheism. For example, Newton (d. 1727) is known as the father of modern science. Before Newton, people believed in superstitions and natural phenomena were explained mysteriously. Newton opened the door to scientific discoveries and discovered the principle of causation, that is, behind every cause there is an effect. The humanists hijacked this principle and derived from it another principle that ‘if events are due to natural causes they are not due to supernatural causes.’ The motto of humanists could be summed up as, ‘transfer of seat from God to man.’

The case of Charles Darwin (b. 1807) is another example in point. Darwin explained the origin of species through two processes: Natural Selection and the Survival of the Fittest. He thought that these two processes were adopted by God to create species. He, however, never held that these processes blindly gave rise to species. Darwin mentions God in his book, The Origin of Species as the Prime Mover. So, he did not deny the existence of God. It was, in fact, the humanists who used the theory of Darwinian evolution to disprove God.

Problem of evil

One of the chief reasons basis which doubt over the existence of God is perpetrated is the problem of evil in the human world. Upon analysis it can be easily realised that this problem of evil is a direct result of the misuse of the freedom given to man. This freedom was given to man as a requirement of his test in this world. It was the misuse of his freedom that cast man into problems. This may be understood by looking at the objects in the physical world that have no freedom and are directly under God’s control. And this is why there is harmony in the physical world unlike disharmony that mars the human world. It is hence a reasoned understanding of the creation plan of God that explains how it is actually the freedom given to man that forms the root cause of all evil.

Therefore, just like Muslims damaged the image of Islam,

Man damaged the image of God.


I once came across an article on Islam captioned, “A Religion that Sanctions Violence.” The biggest evil committed by today’s Muslims is that they have kept people away from Islam. An Egyptian scholar wrote, “The present-day Muslims have become a veil for Islam.” We have to explain Islam to people by removing the veil which has been put on it by Muslims. For it is so clear that referring to its clarity, the Quran says:

“We have made it easy to learn lessons from the Quran.” (54:17)

Much in the same way, man has become a cover or veil by which God has been covered.  When people see man going astray, they stop believing in God. The need of the hour therefore is to dispel these misconceptions that have clouded man’s judgement about Islam and about God.

It is a great blessing of God that we have a tool in the form dawah literature and we only need to spread it. Everyone doesn’t need to be a speaker or a writer. We should keep the literature with us so that whenever an opportunity shows itself, we are able to avail it. People spend their energy and time in charity, etc. But now nobody is poor. Today, people are astray, they have many unanswered questions, so we should spend all our energies in trying to address them.


It is extremely crucial to bear in mind that the greatest thing is our own perception or realization. Scientific argument or logic is of secondary importance. A person who is continuously given logic or reason to believe in God and spread God’s message will not do so unless he has attained realization (marefat). Just as one loves his mother without having any scientific argument, a person will believe in God or have faith in Him only if he has attained realization. In the same way unless a person has no spirit for the mission, he will not work for it even if all arguments are presented to him. So, time now is to pray, study and do dua so that we tread the right path because as is cited in the following hadith:

“Today, you find yourself in a world that has action but no reward, tomorrow,

you shall find yourself in a world of reward where there will be no opportunity for action.”

To conclude, I would like to state that those who know the truth have double responsibility. The failure to discharge this responsibility will incur wrath of God as is alluded to in the following verse of the Quran:

“In that case, We should have inflicted a double punishment in this life,

and a double punishment after death.” (17:75)

Therefore it is time now to re-set our priorities and re-plan our resources so that God may save us from torment of hell-fire.

May God guide us!


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