I really appreciate the comments from readers on the last edition on ‘The brotherhood of Ansar’. Though more of the comments were complimentary while a few others were apparently directed by non-muslims to chastise this column, but there serve a great deal of encouragement and sharpen our resolve to continue to put Islam in the right perspective, teach those who don’t know and correct the misrepresentation especially by non-Muslims on Islam. I have decided to let our other readers enjoy some of these comments and contributions this week.
One says: “Of the 73 sects prophesied by the Noble Prophet, only those on the original path of Ahlil Sunnah Wal Jamaah are on the true and right path. To condemn Sunni brand of Islam is wrong unless one is of Shia heretical path. You rightly said Islam abhors violence of all sorts. Do not however limit such misguided actions to any one sect especially that adjudged to be only straight path. May Allah bless your rightful efforts.”
“I am not a Muslim but a Christian of a Catholic Faith. I have been a great and constant follower of your publication. Facing The Kaaba’. I found the article to be very educative and helpful to both Muslims and non-Muslim. Whoever reads your message will never do things contrary to the teaching of the Prophet. A christian will be bold and free to live in peace and unity a Muslim. May God give you more wisdom to teach the truth. God bless you. Henry Udemeh. Asaba, Delta State.”
On this, I can only say thank you and God bless you.
Another one states:”in your Friday message, you talked about a Mosque bombed without reference to so many churches bomed and thousands of christians killed. Your brotherhood is violated when a Muslim is killed….” Obviously this person did not read the piece before sending his comment.
“May Allah bless and continue to enrich your knowledge.Theres no place in Islam for those killing innocent souls.Its unislamic to kill anyone because they are not Muslim,there’s no compulsion in religion.Its against the prophet teaching”
Another comment of note though is one sent by one anonymous person which says: “Whoever changes his religion, kill him” quoting (Sahih Bukhari 4:52:260)
The hadith in question reads: Sahih Bukhari 4:52:260:
Narrated Ikrima: Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn ‘Abbas, who said, “Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, ‘Don’t punish (anybody) with Allah’s Punishment. ‘No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’
First of all go through it again to see what the prophet was reported to have said. That Do not punish anyone. The problem with the unbelievers is that thay do not know the circumstance and context to which some of these hadiths came and so, they are quick to give it their own meaning. You cannot understand Islam this way except you give out your time to learn.
Besides, Sahih Bukhari idea which is also prone to error as mortal is that by killing the person who has commited the sin for leaving Islam, you might save the person from hell because he has a “past islamic life with him”, which might earn him al-janah. So by killing him now, he will die with Islamic good deeds.
Some fanatics believe that the person who committed apostasy might not have the opportunity to return to Islam again. That is also faulty because only Allah knows what no one knows. It is possible for anyone who has committed apostasy to have a change of heart and revert back to Islam, live a better life and still gain paradise. That is one of the omniscience side of Allah.
Another point is that Bukhari is not the Prophet and we should know that as human being we are liable to errors. It is only the Allah that is infallible. Allah also did not give the kind of inspiration, wisdom and knowledge he gave to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) to any other person.
Allah has said in the Quran, an untainted book of life that “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” (Q2: 256). So, that belief is contrary to the commandment of Allah.
Allah says: Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth in their entirety would have acknowledged. Would you force the people to make them acknowledge? is it hard for you!
God has given us the freedom of choice. Those who decide to reject the truth, later in their lives are condemned to dogmatism and bigotry (13:11; 18:29; 42:13; 46:15; 57:22).
Besides, Sahih Bukhari is not the Quran or any extract from it but only some of the practices and sayings of the Prophet. If you compare this sentimentally influenced idea with the above verse of the Quran which emphasises ‘No compulsion in religion’, you will come to terms with the philosophies of the Islam.
Once again, I thank all those who keep sending their comments and contributions every week. May almighty Allah forgive us where we erred and grant us His mercies here on earth and hereafter. Amin.
Zakaat as means of eradicating poverty
By Harun Rasaq
Last week, we discussed the major factor responsible for poverty among Nigeria Muslims. Today, insha-Allah we shall examine the solution proffered by Islam to eradicate it. It must be noted that Islam has provided certain instruments against poverty. One of the instruments of Islam to free the poor from the grip of poverty is zakat.
Zakat is mandatory for every Muslim who possesses over a prescribed limit of wealth for at least one year to pay a certain amount to poor. This is called Zakat. The zakat proceeds are to be distributed among poor and needy. To protect the self respect of the poor, Allah S.W.T has declared that Zakat is the “right” of poor in wealth of rich. Prayers of Zakat do not oblige poor by giving Zakat rather, they just give them their due right’.
The dynamics of Zakat are completely defined in Islamic on accumulated assets i.e. Money, Crops, Inventory, Gold, Silver, Animals, Shares and so. Rates of zakat differ in certain cases. As this is on accumulated assets people who does not save do not have to pay zakat, its recipients are also defined in Quran and cannot be paid out of the defined categories.
The Zakat money can also be given in the form of small business loans. For example, poor farmers can be given loans or even grants form this Zakat money to enable them to purchase the equipment and materials they need to lift them out of poverty. The same can be done for all small business owners, or for the poor to set up small scale businesses and within a few years, poverty will be eliminated or at least greatly reduced.
Consider if all the wealthy Nigerian Muslims pay their Zakat due on money, (2.5% on money that has been in one’s possession for one year); agricultural products, various types of animals such as sheep, cows and camels; shares, gold and other zakatable properties; and these are distributed among the poor Muslims in the country, poverty will be greatly reduced.