By Naim Dangoor
The religion of Islam is at once the
youngest and the oldest of the three monotheistic
faiths. Its tradition goes back to Abraham who obeyed
god’s command to sacrifice his son and surrendered
(aslama) himself to the will of Allah- hence “Islam”.
Abraham is said to be the first Muslim.
But Islam does not mean slavish and
blind surrender. In its form Islam really means,
“to be in tune” to the will of Allah,
and in this way to derive the wonderful benefits
that our God wishes to bestow on his creation.
Islam derives from the root “Salam”
meaning peace. It is a method for achieving peaceful
co- existence with in the cosmic plan, True Islam
cannot practice or approve acts of violence and
terrorism. It is not meant to be a formula for achieving
our wishes but the wishes of our Creator.
Judaism is full of references to the
helping hand of to those who follow Him. One example
is psalm23, “the Lord is my shepherd, and
therefore I shall not lack anything”. I personally
experienced many times the wonderful guidance of
the Almighty when a threatening situation suddenly
turned to my advantage.. The Koran says you may
hate something that is good for you and you may
like something that is bad for you. God in fact
wants to help us if we know how to make the right
decisions, for He gave us free- will and wants us
to use it.
A man was stranded on a small island
surrounded by rising floods. A rowing boat came
and asked him to get on but he refused saying, “God
will help me”. An hour later a motorboat passed
and asked him to get on. Again he refused saying
“God will help me”. An hour later a
helicopter came to winch him to safety but again
he refused saying “God will help me”.
The water kept rising and he drowned. However once
in heaven he complained that he had put his trust
in God but God did not save him. He was told “Three
times we sent you means of escape but you refused
because you did not appreciate it”
I am reminded of that anecdote when
I think of the Arab- Israel conflict. The holocaust
was a watershed in the history of Christendom. Europe
forfeited its right to remain a world leader. But
where would the challenge come from? The answer
is Islam. In God’s overall plan for a future
for Islam he realised that they would need certain
help they lacked. He planted the Zionists in their
midst for that purpose. But the Arabs did not appreciate
that. They rose up against the Zionists and against
the Jews who cannot pose any threat to them, but
who would provide the right help at the right time.
Will the Arabs persist in their folly
until they drown and realise that violence is not
the way of “Jihad”, which means to be
in tune with the will of Allah by peaceful means.