Friday, 18 September 2009

Islam at crossroads: Who's to blame?

It has become almost fashionable for a Muslim to say 'Islam is in danger'. The religion whose literal meaning is peace is today seen as the root cause of terror and violence. The Muslim world cannot merely dismiss this as a fallout of a grand conspiracy against Islam by people of other faiths. It has failed to present the real essence of Islam and remained a mute spectator to many atrocities against humanity committed in the name cleansing the world of infidels.

This diffidence to stand up for Islam is mainly due to lack of clarity among Muslims about what their religion truly stands for. The Muslim world is heavily weighed down by its own blinkered interpretation of what's permitted and forbidden in Islam. The most glaring misinterpretation that has led to a distortion of the very essence of Islam is its understanding of the expression 'La Ilaaha Illallaah', which is the first principle of Islam. 

This is the gist of an article I recenly wrote for a news agency. Read the full article here


  1. I am posting some of the responses to the article, just to shed some lights on which way the wind is blowing.

    The author goes on a wild ride to explain why some muslims are against YOGA. & then he goes into explaining that yoga simply means uniting with the self.

    The way he is writing this article as if he is some authority on ISLAM, trying to lead people astray from his own interpretation about things and taking many things out of the context to explain in his own words.

    I am glad you read it and forwarded to many and me.

    I don’t know what yoga is supposed to do to one's spirituality, but let me tell you something and that is muslim way of performing prayers, (salat, namaz), is when one comes in full submission in front of his/her creator and prays to HIM and praises HIM, bowing to HIM in humility and making a spiritual connection or bond and while in this form the person asks for forgiveness to be a better person in this life and hoping for a better reward in the hereafter. .....So 5 times a day prayers have a certain connection with the CREATOR.
    Rajaque writes "doing yoga asanas as a means of attaining a thoughtless state" ................. REALLY THOUGHTLESS which means its a waste of time ... I would rather sleep ( a thoughtless act) and rest my body in that way. (a rested body is a healthy body)

    in Quraan (muslims holy book) it says:
    17:110 >> Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.

    There are 99 names (attributes) given to Allaah (swt) and we as muslims should adhere to those.

    So i don’t know where did the author got the idea of that it’s OK to call Allaah (swt) by other names. The word GOD is for non muslims to understand who is being referred as. Just like I am explaining this to you in english so that we are on the same wavelength.

    Then the author writes “the expression 'La Ilaaha Illallaah', which is the first principle of Islam. Literally translated, it means 'there is no god but God'.

    Or it can be translated to “there is no god but Allaah” or “there is no Allaah but Allaah” which literally means that one should not associate any other god with THE only god or any other god with the only Allaah ..and that is it. Just ONE and no other. How hard it is to understand this phrase??

    I wonder what religion is the author from? His posted name is M. Rajaque Rahman. The last name is one of Allaah’s and I am assuming his middle name Rajaque (if Islamic), then it should be spelled as Razzaq (which is again another name of Allaah). NOW all said and done, does the author know that if one takes upon any of Allaah (swt)’s name then that person HAS to accompany that name with Abdul. So his name should have been Abdul Razzak Abdul Rahman. Which shows how much he knows of the religion of ISLAM.

    People who prey on their own, using religion out of the context and making them do things against humanity is nothing but self motivated agendas.


    The following is the quote from ur article

    Further, the Quran clearly states that God can be invoked in different names. 'Glory be to God, beyond any associations. He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.' [Al Hashr 59:22].

    Yes..Quran says Allah can be invoked with different names, I agree.
    But when any one calls its with other name say 'ram', 'eshwar', etc... He has another
    interpretation in his mind, as he interprets 'ram' is the one who carries bow and arrow,
    or any hindu names for u say acceptable, they imagine a personality for their so called gods. Which is completely againist the Quran.. Which says in Surah Al-Falaq,

    Say: He is Allah, the One.
    Allah-us-Samad ( The self-sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats not drinks).
    He begets not, nor was He begotten;
    And there is none co-equal or comparable unto him.
    Now, Do u think, If any one calling Allah with other name say 'ram' is acceptable, when they interpret ram is the one who has wife, and brother, who eats, drinks,....etc, etc,..
    Does it acceptable in Islam????
    Use a name which is pure and not corrupted when u call God...and we muslims says ALLAH is that name. And by the way, No muslim feels there are other gods for other religion...If anyone thinks like that, then he is not Muslim.
    I think u need to think again on what u said Mr. M. Rajaque Rahman


    Thank you for your brilliant article which was forwarded to me by a friend. I have always been holding the views you have expressed so explicitly. In particular, the literal translation of La-Ilah-Il-Allah. I totally agree that translating it as 'There is no god but Allah' is totally misleading. I may say that a better translation would be 'There is no god but THE GOD' which is more literal. Why translate ilah as god and let Allah remain untranslated in Arabic.After all, the English translation of Allah is God. It is not that Allah is the God of Muslims alone. Just as it would be wrong to say that Dios is the God of Portugese Christains and that Dieu is the God of French Christains.

    Another alternative rendering which I like (though not literal) is:

    "There is no divinity but THE DIVINE"

    God is Rab-ul-Alameen not just Rab-ul-Muslemeen

    PS: My usages of upper case and lower case letters are intentional.


    So refreshing to hear someone who actually understands the scripture speak about the difference between Islam and base ethnocentrism.

    I have recently read a quote attributed to Hadith where in fact it seems to be the prediction that the “crisis” and eventual downfall of Islam (if it ever comes to that) will come precisely from the kind of weakness in the leadership that this author points to—from within the faith:

    “The time is near in which nothing will remain of Islam but its name, and of the Qu’ran but its mere appearance, and the Mosques of Muslims will be destitute of knowledge and worship; and the learned men [Imams] will be the worst of people under the heavens; and contention and strife will issue from them, and it will return upon themselves”


    Firstly, I like what u have written. In particular certain “essences” and “strengths” of Islam that are not commonly known. Sad to know ignorance of the essence of yoga is also missed by so many. Thank you for connecting the two.
    I am a practitioner (and teacher of Transcendental Mediation) of TM- Siddhi program, and in my personal opinion, the prophet was very clear that the goal sh be achieving the “transcendental state.” (thoughtless (MOST SETTLED, UNBOUNDED PURE CONSCIOUSNESS)state will qualify as the highest form of ibadat (prayer).) Experience of this provides the light to take away the darkness, get the benefits and take away the mysteries. Towards this end he also wanted ( I believe) to make sure that he did not become to be a focus or idol by his followers. Therefore he preferred the humble status of messenger and insisted that there be no picture of himself.
    I like your quote 'He who knows his own Self knows his Lord.' Something like, “Be still and know that I am God” (Jesus)