• Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Why Islam Alone - Discovery of Islam



WHY ISLAM ALONE


We seldom hear the adherents of other religions

complaining about their faiths being

misunderstood. For instance Hindus, Buddhists

and Christians do not hold that their respective

religions are badly understood. One reason is

that they do not mix their religions with

communal politics, and do not generally try to

advance their own worldly interests in the name

of their religions — as present-day Muslims are

doing on a large scale.


One who studies Islam, directly from its sacred

scriptures, is astonished to find that the original

Islam is totally different from what it is now

generally held to be. Other religions are known to

people as they are; hence the need to rediscover

them does not arise. The problem of

misapprehension applies therefore exclusively to

Islam. There is a great need to study Islam from its

original scriptures in order to re-discover it in its

original form. In modern times many books have

been published with the aim of removing

misunderstandings about Islam. One title is as

follows:


‘Islam, the Most Misunderstood Religion’.


But titles such as these are not in accordance with

the actual state of affairs. These books start with the

premise that non-Muslims have mistakenly come to

regard Islam as a religion of intolerance and

violence and then they attempt to remove these

misapprehensions. But the actual question to be

addressed is why there should ever have been such

misunderstanding. It has to be conceded that it is

based not on some allegation but rather on the fact

that the Muslims of today, in almost every country,

repeatedly display violence and intolerance

towards others. They have adopted this course of

action in the name of Islamic movements or Islamic

Jihad. Were Muslims to do so in the name of their

own communal interest and people attributed that

to Islam, this would amount to misunderstanding

based on an allegation. But when Muslims

themselves attributed their activities to Islam, it

becomes a case of proper understanding and not that of

misunderstanding.


Furthermore, the educated class of modern times is

obsessed with the concept of anthropology, which

treats religion as a social phenomenon instead of as

a vehicle for revealed truth. Therefore, according to

their way of thinking, they naturally come to regard

the activities of Muslims to be Islam itself. And their

thinking is further confirmed when they find that

Muslims engage themselves in these activities in the

very name of Islam.


Given this state of affairs, the real task to be

performed is to differentiate between Islam as such

and Muslims. It should be made clear that Islam

and Muslims are not necessarily one and the same

thing, so that one must differentiate between Islam

and Muslims. Islam is an ideology. One who adopts

this ideology in full is a Muslim; otherwise he is not

a Muslim. It is essential that Muslims be judged in

the light of Islamic ideals: Islam should not be

judged in the light of what Muslims do in the name

of Islam.

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