Adverts

Open Access Articles- Top Results for Islam and other religions

Islam and other religions

<tr><td class="plainlist" style="padding:0 0.1em 0.4em;padding-top:0;"> </td>

</tr><tr><td class="plainlist" style="padding:0 0.1em 0.4em;padding-top:0;">

</td>

</tr><tr><td class="plainlist" style="padding:0 0.1em 0.4em;padding-top:0;">

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, most Islamic states fell under the sway of European colonialists. The colonialists enforced tolerance, especially of European Christian missionaries. After World War II, there was a general retreat from colonialism, and predominantly Muslim countries were again able to set their own policies regarding non-Muslims. This period also saw the beginning of increased migration from Muslim countries into the First World countries of Europe, the UK, Canada, the US, etc. This has completely reshaped relations between Islam and other religions.

In predominantly Muslim countries

Some predominantly Muslim countries allow the practice of all religions. Of these, some limit this freedom with bans on proselytizing or conversion, or restrictions on the building of places of worship; others (such as Mali) have no such restrictions. In practice, the situation of non-Muslim minorities depends not only on the law, but on local practices, which may vary.[citation needed]

Some countries are predominantly Muslim and allow freedom of religion adhering to democratic principles. Of particular note are the following countries:[18]

  • Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia have a significant population from the Hindu, Christian and Buddhist religions. They are allowed to practice their religions[citation needed], build places of worship and even have missionary schools and organizations but with limitation of such practice.
  • In Syria, there are about 2.2 million Christians (10-12% of the population) from about 15 different religious and ethnic sects (Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Church of the East, Protestants, Armenians Apostolic and various Catholics, Greek, Syrian, Aremenian, Chaldean, Maronite, Latin), as well as a few dozen Jews, and they have many hundreds of independent privately owned churches and some 15 synagogues. The freedom of religion is well observed by the state law as well as the historical long record of tolerance since the Ummayde caliph days. Christmas and Easter days are official holidays for both the Catholic or Orthodox calendar.

Some predominantly Muslim countries are less tolerant of non-Muslims:

  • Pakistan has different electorates for Muslims and non-Muslims, and also two chief justices of Supreme Court of Pakistan were Hindu and Christian.
  • Saudi Arabia limits religious freedom to a high degree, prohibiting public worship by other religions.
  • The now-overthrown Taliban regime in Afghanistan was considered intolerant by many observers. Some ancient Buddhist monuments, like the Buddhas of Bamyan, were destroyed as idolatrous.
  • The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as People of the Book and official religions, and they are granted the right to exercise religious freedom in Iran.[19][20] Five of the 270 seats in parliament are reserved for these three religions. However, the situation of Bahá'ís, the largest religious minority in the country, is far worse. Bahá'ís are often attacked and dehumanized on political, religious, and social grounds to separate Bahá'ís from the rest of society.[21] According to Eliz Sanasarian "Of all non-Muslim religious minorities the persecution of the Bahais has been the most widespread, systematic, and uninterrupted."[20] See Religion in Iran and Persecution of Bahá'ís. Also, senior government posts are reserved for Muslims. All minority religious groups, including Sunni Muslims, are barred from being elected president. Jewish, Christian and Zoroastrian schools must be run by Muslim principals.[22] Compensation for death paid to the family of a non-Muslim was (by law) less than if the victim was a Muslim. Conversion to Islam is encouraged by entitling converts to inherit the entire share of their parents (or even uncle's) estate if their siblings (or cousins) remain non-Muslim.[23] Iran's non-Muslim population has fallen dramatically. For example, the Jewish population in Iran dropped from 80,000 to 30,000 in the first two decades of the revolution.[24]
  • In Sudan, there was extensive use of the rhetoric of religious war by both parties in the decades-long battle between the Muslim North and the largely non-Muslim South (see Second Sudanese Civil War.)
  • In Egypt, a 16 December 2006 judgement of the Supreme Administrative Council created a clear demarcation between "recognized religions"—Islam, Christianity and Judaism—and all other religious beliefs; the ruling effectively delegitimatizes and forbids the practice of all but these aforementioned religions.[25][26] The ruling leaves members of other religious communities, including Bahá'ís, without the ability to obtain the necessary government documents to have rights in their country, essentially denying them of all rights of citizenship.[27] They cannot obtain ID cards, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, and passports; they also cannot be employed, educated, treated in public hospitals or vote among other things.[27] See Egyptian identification card controversy.

According to Islamic law, jizya (poll tax) is to be paid by all non-Muslims,[2] excluding the weak and the poor, living in a Muslim state, to the general welfare of the state. Also, in his book "Al-Kharaj," Abu Yusuf says, "No Jizya is due on females or young infants." In exchange for the tax, the non-Muslims are required to be given security, provided compensation from the Muslim Exchequer when they are in need, treated on equality with Muslims, and enjoy rights as nationals of the state. Al-Balathiri comments on this saying, "Khaled Ibn Al-Walid, on entering Damascus as a conqueror, offered a guarantee of security to its people and their properties and churches, and promised that the wall of the city would not be pulled down, and none of their houses be demolished. It was a guarantee of God, he said, and of the Caliph and all believers to keep them safe and secure on condition they paid the dues of the Jizya."[28] This poll tax is different from the alms tax (Zakah) paid by the Muslim subjects of a Muslim state. Whereas jizya is compulsory and paid by the tolerated community per head count, zakat was paid only if one can afford it. Muslims and non-Muslims who hold property, especially land, were required however to pay Kharaj.[citation needed]

Territorial disputes

Further information: Divisions of the world in Islam and Islamism

One of the open issues in the relation between Islamic states and non-Islamic states is the claim from hardline Muslims that once a certain land, state or territory has been under "Muslim" rule, it can never be relinquished anymore, and that such rule, somewhere in history would give the Muslims a kind of an eternal right on the claimed territory. This claim is particularly controversial with regard to Israel and to a lesser degree Spain and parts of the Balkan and it applies to parts of Kashmir as well.[citation needed]

Islamic views on religious pluralism

Reference to Islamic views on religious pluralism is found in the Quran. The following verses are generally interpreted as an evidence of religious pluralism:

Surah Al-Ma'idah verse 48 states:

If Allah so willed, He would have made you a single People, but His plan is to test each of you separately, in what He has given to each of you: so strive in all virtues as in you are in a race. The goal of all of you is to Allah. It is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. (Quran 5:48)

Surah Al-Ankabut verse 46 states:

And dispute not with the People of the Book, except with means better than mere disputation, unless I be with those of them who inflict wrong and injury, but say to them: "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is one; and it is to Him that we bow." (Quran 29:46)

The Quran criticizes Christians and Jews who believed that their own religions are the only source of truth.

They say, if you want to be guided to salvation, you should either become a Jew or Christian. Say: What about the religion of Abraham, he also worshiped no one but Allah. We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, to Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes of Israel, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah. So, if they believe, they are indeed on the right path, but if they turn back, Allah will suffice them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. This is the Baptism of Allah. And who can baptize better than Allah. And it is He Whom we worship. Say: Will you dispute with us about Allah, He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and you for yours; and that We are sincere in Him? Or do ye say that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know better than Allah? Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah. But Allah is not unmindful of what ye do! That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case. (Quran 2:135-141)

Surah Al-Baqara verse 113 states:

The Jews say: "The Christians have nothing to stand upon"; and the Christians say: "The Jews have nothing to stand upon." Yet they both have something to stand upon, they both recite the Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment. (Quran 2:113)

Many Muslims agree that cooperation with the Christian and Jewish community is important but some Muslims believe that theological debate is often unnecessary:

Say: "O People of the Book! Come to what is common between us and you: That we worship none but God, that we associate no partners with Him, that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords other than Allah. If then they turn back, say: 'Bear witness that we are bowing to Allah’s will.'" (Quran 3:64)

Islam's fundamental theological concept is the belief in one God. Muslims are not expected to visualize God but to worship and adore him as a protector. Any kind of idolatry is condemned in Islam. (Quran 112:2) As a result, Muslims hold that for someone to worship any other gods or deities other than Allah (Shirk (polytheism)) is a sin that will lead to separation from Allah.

Muslims believe that Allah sent the Qur'an to bring peace and harmony to humanity through Islam (submission to Allah).[29] Muhammad's worldwide mission was to establish universal peace under the Khilafat. The Khilafat ensured security of the lives and property of non-Muslims under the dhimmi system. This status was originally only made available to non-Muslims who were "People of the Book" (Christians, Jews, and Sabians), but was later extended to include Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Hindus, Mandeans (Sabians), and Buddhists. Dhimmi had more rights than other non-Muslim religious subjects, but often fewer legal and social rights than Muslims. Some Muslims, however, disagree, and hold that adherents of these faiths cannot be dhimmi. Dhimmi enjoyed some freedoms under the state founded by Muhammad and could practice their religious rituals according to their faith and beliefs. It should be noted that non-Muslims who were not classified as "people of the book," for example practitioners of the pre-Muslim indigenous Arabian religions, had few or no rights in Muslim society.

Muslims and Muslim theologians attend at many interfaith dialogues, for example at the Parliament of the World's Religions with whom in 1993 also Muslim theologians signed the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.[30]

Religious persecution is also prohibited,[Quran 10:99–100 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)] although religious persecution in Muslim majority states have occurred, especially during periods of cruel rulers and general economic hardships. Pre-Islamic religious minorities continue to exist in some of their native countries, although only as marginal percentages of the overall population.

Over the centuries, several known religious debates, and polemical works did exist in various Muslim countries between various Muslim sects, as well as between Muslims and non-Muslims. Many of these works survive today, and make for some very interesting reading in the apologetics genre. Only when such debates spilled over to the unlearned masses, and thus causing scandals and civil strife, did rulers intervene to restore order and pacify the public outcry on the perceived attack on their beliefs.

As for sects within Islam, history shows a variable pattern. Various sects became intolerant when gaining favour with the rulers, and often work to oppress or eliminate rival sects, for example, the contemporary persecution of Muslim minorities in Saudi Arabia.[31] Sectarian strife between Shia and Sunni inhabitants of Baghdad is well known through history.

Forced conversion

Many Muslim scholars believe that Quranic verses such as "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error" (Quran 2:256) and (Quran 18:29) show that Islam prohibits forced conversion towards people of any religion.

The meaning of verse 9:5 has however been a subject of discussion amongst other scholars of Islam as well (see At-Tawba 5). This Surah was revealed in the historical context of a broken treaty between Muslims and a group of idolaters during the time of Muhammed. Regarding this verse, Quranic translator M. A. S. Abdel Haleem writes: "In this context, this definitely refers to the ones who broke the treaty,"[32] rather than polytheists generally. In addition, according to Sahih Al-Bukhari although clear orders were given to kill everyone who broke the treaty, Muhammed made a second treaty before entering Mecca and spared even Amar who was responsible for his daughter Rukayya's death and the person who killed his Uncle Hamza.

According to historian Bernard Lewis, forced conversions played a role especially in the 12th century under the Almohad dynasty of North Africa and Andalusia.[33] He is however also of the opinion that other incidents of forced conversions have been rare in Islamic history. He adds that "In the early centuries of Islamic rule there was little or no attempt at forcible conversion, the spread of the faith being effected rather by persuasion and inducement."[34][35][36] A few well-known examples of forced conversion are:[35]

  • Sabbatai Zevi—convert from Judaism, 17th century mystic, pseudo-Messiah and the self-proclaimed "King of Jews." Converted ostensibly of his own free will, while in prison. Although, some speculate that he may have been executed for treason had he not converted.[40] Muslim authorities were opposed to his death.[41]

See also

Unilateral

Notes

  1. ^ Jihad and the Islamic Law of War. 2009.[1].  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b Friedmann (2003), p. 35
  3. ^ Friedmann (2003), p. 18
  4. ^ "Murtadd", Encyclopedia of Islam Quote: "A woman who apostasizes [sic?] is to be executed according to some jurists, or imprisoned according to others."
  5. ^ W. Heffening, in Encyclopedia of Islam
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of the Quran, Apostasy
  7. ^ a b Esposito, John. 1998. Islam: the Straight Path, extended edition. Oxford university press, p.17
  8. ^ The Cambridge History of Islam, pp. 43-44
  9. ^ Jacob Neusner, God's Rule: The Politics of World Religions, p. 153, Georgetown University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-87840-910-6
  10. ^ Esposito, Islam: the straight path, extended edition, Oxford University Press, pp. 10-11
  11. ^ Yakov Rabkin "Perspectives on the Muslim Other in Jewish Tradition" PDF (126 KB)
  12. ^ Sidney H. Griffith: Disputing with Islam in Syriac
  13. ^ Zoroaster and Zoroastrians in Iran, by Massoume Price, Iran Chamber Society, retrieved March 24, 2006
  14. ^ J. T. Walbridge (1998). "Explaining Away the Greek Gods in Islam", Journal of the History of Ideas 59 (3): 389-403
  15. ^ a b c d e William Montgomery Watt (2004-04-14). "BĪRŪNĪ and the study of non-Islamic Religions". Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  16. ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr (1993), An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines, p. 166, State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-1516-3
  17. ^ Mohamed, Mohaini (2000). Great Muslim Mathematicians. Penerbit UTM. pp. 71–2. ISBN 983-52-0157-9. OCLC 48759017. 
  18. ^ Bangladesh Official Government Holidays 2001, bicn, 2002, retrieved March 25, 2006
  19. ^ Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de L'Homme (August 2003). "Discrimination against religious minorities in IRAN" (PDF). fidh.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  20. ^ a b Sanasarian, Eliz (2000). Religious Minorities in Iran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 73–84. ISBN 0-521-77073-4. 
  21. ^ The Sentinel Project (2009-05-19). "Preliminary Assessment: The Threat of Genocide to the Bahá'ís of Iran" (PDF). The Sentinel Project. Retrieved 2009-07-06. [dead link]
  22. ^ Wright, The Last Great Revolution, (2000), p.210
  23. ^ Wright, The Last Great Revolution, (2000), p.216
  24. ^ Wright, The Last Great Revolution, (2000), p.207
  25. ^ Mayton, Joseph (2006-12-19). "Egypt's Bahais denied citizenship rights". Middle East Times. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  26. ^ Otterman, Sharon (2006-12-17). "Court denies Bahai couple document IDs". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  27. ^ a b Nkrumah, Gamal (2006-12-21). "Rendered faithless and stateless". Al-Ahram weekly. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  28. ^ The Poll Tax (jizya), Islam.tc, retrieved March 23, 2006
  29. ^ Islam and Universal Peace Sayyid Qutb 1977
  30. ^ "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic and their undersigner" (PDF IN ARABIC, MALAYSIAN, BULGARIAN, CHINESE, GERMAN, ENGLISH, FRENCH, ITALIAN, CATALAN, CROATIAN, DUTCH, PORTUGUESE, RUSSIAN, SLOVENE, SPANISH, TURKISH). Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  31. ^ http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/09/22/ismailis-najran
  32. ^ The Qur'an: A new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, 2005, Oxford University Press
  33. ^ Lewis (1984), p. 17, 18, 94, 95.
  34. ^ Lewis (1984) p. 151
  35. ^ a b Waines (2003) p. 53
  36. ^ Esposito (2002) p. 71
  37. ^ Patai, Raphael (1997). Jadid al-Islam: The Jewish "New Muslims" of Meshhed. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-2652-8. 
  38. ^ Beale, Lewis. "Precious Freedom. USA Weekend Magazine. November 9, 2003.
  39. ^ "Kidnapped Fox journalists released". CNN. Retrieved August 27, 2006. 
  40. ^ Sabbatai Zevi - Encyclopedia.com
  41. ^ Geoffrey L Lewis; Cecil Roth. New Light on the Apostasy of Sabbatai Zevi. The Jewish Quarterly Review

References