I wish to share with you today a page from History which shows how Islam is so condescending towards other faiths but other faiths aren’t so reciprocal when dealing with us?
When the Caliph Umar Al-Khattab entered Jerusalem to receive the keys to the city, he was invited to pray inside the church, but he declined.
He refused to do so, though he was in a position of strength and could do as he pleased.
He refused, though he did not in any way disdain from praying in the church.
He said, showing great foresight and sensitivity: “I fear that if I pray inside, the Muslims of future times will wish to pray in the same spot and will cause discomfort for the church’s congregation.”
Umar, instead, prayed outside the church and spoke a guarantee to the Christians for their lives and security.
Too many people see the idea of coexistence as merely a strategy to resort to in times of weakness. This is not true at all.
What we see if we observe the world is that coexistence really comes into full flower and sets its roots deep when there is strength.
The societies, which have the power to promote coexistence and peace, are the same ones who have the power to instigate and successfully conduct a war.
By contrast, those who are weak can neither conduct war nor bring about peace. It is, indeed, at times of weakness and instability that we find the noble idea of coexistence to be most imperiled.
Though Richard the Lionheart had once killed 2,700 Muslim prisoners of war on a single occasion and hung their bodies around the walls of the city of Acre, breaking the agreement he had made with the Muslims, we see that Saladin, when he retook Jerusalem, guaranteed the lives of everyone, Jews and Christians alike, though he was more than capable of exacting revenge.
He instead entered into the Treaty of Ramla with Richard on the 2nd of September, 1192, whereby the city would stay in Muslim hands but would remain open to Christian pilgrimages.
This is one of the hallmarks of coexistence in medieval history.
Muslim history, which is full of periods of strength and victory, is at the same time a testament to coexistence in action.
It is a history of peace treaties, agreements, and covenants with others.
The success of coexistence depends upon the airing of rational voices willing to engage in fruitful dialogue, through which desired results can be achieved with ease.
By contrast, the failure of coexistence is ensured when irrational and foolish voices take over, of people who care nothing but for the gratification of their own interests.
Such people rely upon the discourse of strength and coercion in their understanding of the world and in their decision-making.
Such are people who see conflict as the key to dealing with others.
They cannot look at things from the vantage point of our shared humanity, our universal values, and the common needs and interests that all people have.
Kind treatment, genuine concern and friendship, treating others well in words and in deeds – these are the ways to bring an end to hatred and reconcile people as in the verses here.
Coexistence preserves human life. It opens the doors to dialogue.
It is the atmosphere in which the Message of Islam prospers, where it can present itself with the reason, evidence, and logic that so enriches the Quran.
Source : Islamic Outreach ABIM’s Newsletter Vol.1, Issue 1, 3rd Quarter 2007.
It is this willingness to live and let live that has made Islam to be so widely accepted and embraced worldwide even though there were no Muslim armies having even set their foot upon our soil and so many other nations here on Earth.
The problem today is that there aren’t that many amongst the Muslims who have the foresight of Saiyidina Umar Al-Khattab and the magnanimous benevolent spirit and genius of Saladin al Ayubi , the brilliant and courageous Muslim leader being mentioned here.
Co-existence is what we Malaysians are putting to practice here in our nation.
It will be a tragedy if we let those amongst us who are sick and devious to rend it all asunder by succumbing to unnecessary racial and religious hatred spurred on by those who have a hidden agenda and vested interests to see this country implode from within.
Malaysian Muslims are already divided between two major camps – UMNO and PAS.
We do not need this innovative misrepresentation ultimate bida’ah of Islam Hadhari being pushed down the throats of the Muslims here and the rest of the world by our airhead rhetoric spewing misleader.
Being in the holy month of Ramadan warrants me to ease off from expressing in full what I think of this added divisive wedge being hammered into our midst but God willing, I’d share more after the holy month is over as to why I am so bloody worked up against it?
In the meantime, dear Malaysians especially those of you Non Muslims, please learn to study about the true Islamic teachings before making assumptions against it based on reading distorted reports or articles about Islam, God Almighty’s Way of Life prescribed to each and every one of us to live by.
I know that deep in your hearts, you do know that what I am sharing here with you makes sense . Listen to your soul and open yourselves up to the Love and Mercy of the Almighty.
May God bless us all . Ameen.