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One of the most beautiful aspects of Islam is the freedom.  

Every one's opinion must be given a value. Our prophet left the book to us to interpret, he trusted in our intelligence, he trusted in our humanness to make mistakes and he trusted in our abilities to come up with Ijtihad (Consultative decisions) and get back on the track. He knew Qur’an was for all times, and as such, he did not particularly assign any Keeper or Protector for the holy book, because he did not want that Protector to usurp the individual freedom enjoined to us. Only God has the right to judge us to how we utilize our freedom. Even our prophet, peace be upon him, chose to keep out of the equation: He said something like - Here is the book, follow it, if you make mistakes, repent and get back on track, Choose the right path, it is liberation. He said the same thing to his dear daughter Fatima, it is your deeds that matters to God.

The roots of democracy were firmly planted in Islam at the time of the death of Prophet Muhammad. As the Prophet did not assign the Holy book to a protector to interpret and guard, he did not assign or designate a successor either. Had he done that, there would have been dynasties and successors. Democracy was born, a successor was discussed and elected, the one who was most capable to lead, it was the first Caliph – Leader Abu Bakr Siddique.

It reminds me of my capstone class, the final class in my MBA program at the University of Dallas which was not structured. There were 15 some clueless students turning leaders with the Professor sitting in the back with a 6 pack, the program evolved, leadership developed through consensus.

The prophet perhaps wanted people to consult and find the right leader to run their affairs on their own. Unfortunately nearly a third of Muslim population lives under such dynasties today.

I ask whether I should seek any god besides God--when he is the Lord of all things. All people will reap the harvest of their own deeds; no one will bear another’s burden. Ultimately, all of you will return to your Lord, and he will resolve your disputes. -Qur'an, Al-An'am, Surah 6:163-164

Islam is a deed based religion, salvation comes thru good deeds. Good deed, our prophet suggested was service to mankind, like planting a tree that benefits the future wayfarer with shade and fruits

The Biggest mistake you see when you open the Holy Qur'an:

We the Muslims are embarrassed about our silence and about lack of will to repair the wrongs. Silence no more. The fear you may have of Muslims has stemmed from reading the translations of Qur’an and your irresponsibility in clarifying the truth. One of my favorite verse comes from the Holy Bhagvad Gita “Finding the truth is your own responsibility” that corresponds with the quote above that it is your deeds that determine your Nirvana.

5:51, says, "Do not take the Jews and Christians as friends (auliya)." Beginning immediately with
Surah Fatiha 1:1 (the opening chapter of the Qur’an) we find a translation not to be found anywhere else:

1:1-7 Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who have earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians)." (HK translation 1:1-7)

And the words Kafir and Infidel.

If you have read the above translations, then you must have picked up the free copy of the Qur'an with translations done by Hilali and Khan. This translation is spread all over the world, especially in the Indian sub-continent.

It is a distortion to put in parenthesis the words “such as the Jews” and “such as the Christians” So if you have a Qur'an at home with this kind of translation – DO NOT READ, IT IS INCORRECT. I recommend translation by Muhammed Asad, “The Message of the Qur'an.”

I don’t blame your for how you feel when you read the above. It is certainly confusing to you and even Muslims. Thanks God, there are 14 available translations now, and more are popping. So which one is the right one? This has created a lot of misunderstanding among people who read the Qur'an, Muslims as well as people of other faiths.

God willing we will fix the problem. Our website will present all the translations, verse by verse including the one that frightens you.

Indeed, the people referred to in the above verse were specific individuals, i.e., the individuals who were in that conflict and not any one else. It does not apply to –all Jews and Christian of today or even that day when the verse was revealed. There are hundreds of verses that were addressed to a specific situation and individuals.

One more area where readers get mislead is 5:51, “Do not take the Jews and Christians as your friends.” The Arabic word “auliya” is incorrectly translated as “friends.” The correct word in the context of the full meaning of that particular line should be, “savior.”

Hence the translation should be read as, “ Do not take the Jews and Christians as your saviors with small ‘s’ not capital ‘s’. Explanation should be given to explain, savior is one who is not only your protector of the most vital interests but one who is also religiously and spiritually well grounded to meet the needs of the individual as well as the entire society. Some one who is also a guide to living a righteous life as well as physically who protects you.

This is to clarify to our Christian believers that, the word savior is not in any way related to Jesus. Using friends in place of auliya, in the past was done by some scholars incorrectly because the Quran which is interfaith friendly scripture allows inter-marriages among the People of the Book and admonishes readers to be good to people of the book.

Iftekhar Hai of United Muslims of America. Interfaith Alliance.

Sister Sheila Musa aptly pointed out the difference in interpretations and Waleed Kavalec about the availability of 14 translations, which would take away the servitude to one translation over the other. She will address most of the words and phrases that may have frightened or saddened you, from sheer mis-translation, rather dis-translation.

This can only give the impression to any non-Muslim or Muslim who either does not have fluency in Arabic or access to individuals with competency in Classical Qur'anic Arabic that the Qur’an denounces all Jews and Christians. This is a great untruth. There are a lot of verses like that.

Most Muslims do not pay attention to the translation, as most all can read the Arabic (may not understand) and go on with their lives. The ones who understand Arabic know the words such as Jews and Christian in the first chapter do not exist. Take your book to any one and have them read it. But that 1% of fanatic Muslims who read the translation and pay attention, developed the reckless mentality of arrogance. Finally, the silent Majority of Muslims have discovered where the problem is coming and we hope to remove all copies of Qur’an that are mistranslated.


In God's wisdom Qur’an is for all times, (as all other holy books are to the believer) it unequivocally applies to our times, as it did in their time. I would like to see more translations as it enhances our range of understanding of the values, it is an inclusive approach. It frees us from the bondage of singular interpretations, and it frees us from divining up Yousuf Ali, Pickthall and all the great translators. In Islam individuals are not divine, every one is on par. They and us would stand shoulder to shoulder in prayers. It builds self esteem within the community knowing that we can respect all the great scholars but not demean ourselves. Prophet Muhammad did not leave some one else to interpret the holy book for us, he left the book to us, he trusted in our collective wisdom, he trusted in our abilities and after all, individuals are responsible for their own deeds.

The word Kafir / Infidel would fade away into oblivion in the next two decades, instead of the current meaning to point non-Muslims. it would come to mean only those who do not believe in divine "intelligence" or some power behind creation. It would become truly inclusive, as it was meant to be everyone between an Atheist and Zoroastrian. As all of them believe in creation and a creator (call it intelligence or God) and not randomness.

Here is: Qur'an, At-Taghabun, Surah 64:2-4

It was God who created you; yet some of you refuse to believe, while others have faith. He is aware of all your actions. He created the heavens and the earth to manifest the truth. He fashioned each one of you--and each one of you is beautiful. To God you will all


return. He knows all that the heavens and the earth contain. He knows all that you hide and all that you reveal. He knows your deepest thoughts. -Qur'an, At-Taghabun, Surah 64:2-4

By the way, there are over 50 Islamic websites run by mischievous people. We hope to identify such websites and list them all on our website.

THERE IS HOPE: All religions are meant to bring a social order and make us better humans, in the pursuit of that goal all religions have done their best. It is not the religion; it is the individuals who are bad. Without religion there would have been more chaos. You will always find an individual behind all the mess, let’s blame them and nail them not their religion.

 

The World Muslim Congress is driven by the Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware." Our Mission is to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed towards justice and equity to attain peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in commonly held values. No one should have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace. We believe what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world, and vice versa, to sustain it. Indeed we aspire to promote goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, regardless of their faith, gender, race, nationality, culture or any other uniqueness blessed by the creator. www.WorldMuslimCongress.com

  

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