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Letter: Questions for religious affairs minister
Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said the Jamaah Ahmadiyah faith — who claim to be Muslim — had to be broken up, as these followers violated regulations and were not Muslim (the Post, Aug. 31).
Suryadharma Ali and his group apparently see themselves to be “true” Muslims and Ahmadis not.
Now, my questions are:
• Can any definition of a Muslim be found in the Holy Koran, or was any such definition applied by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) without exception during his lifetime? If there does exist such a definition then what is it?
• Can it be considered legitimate for anyone to propose any definition, in any era, which is in disregard of such a definition found in the Holy Koran, or by the Holy Prophet, a definition that can be shown to have been applied in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet?
• Is it to be considered legitimate to declare someone to be outside the pale of Islam, notwithstanding one’s belie8f in the Five Pillars of Islam, just because one’s interpretation of a few verses of the Holy Koran is unacceptable to some Muslim divines of certain sects?
The Ahmadis believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, Six Pillars of Faith including the Holy Koran as their Holy Book. Their “problem” is that their interpretation of the verse khataman nabiyyin is unacceptable to some Muslims.
The Holy Koran says “[Allah] named you Muslims both before and in this Book,” (Chapter 22: 78)
The words “He named you Muslims before” mean that this name was prophesized a long time ago before Prophet Muhammad. Muslim and Islam as proper names were given from God to the Holy Prophet Muhammad so this name belongs to Allah and He has the patent.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad said “One who observes the same prayer as we do, faces the same direction [in prayer] as we do, and partakes from the animal slaughtered by us, then such a one is a Muslim concerning whom there is a covenant of Allah and His Messenger; so you must not seek to hoodwink Allah in the matter of this Covenant.” from Bukhari, Kitabus-Salat, Baab Fazl Istiqbal il-Qibla.
Can Mr. Suryadharma surpass the authority of defining what is “Islam” and “Muslim” that are defined by God in the Holy Koran and Prophet Muhammad? Do you think the Prophet Muhammad’s definition of Muslim has expired?
The history of religious persecution, as told by the Koran, clearly shows that followers of true religion or true faith did not begin to persecute religious minority groups but they were victims of violence as minority groups.
The Koran gives the example of Noah, Hud, Abraham, Saleh, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and others, who called the people to God by using love, sympathy and humility.