In countering the allegation of extremism against Islam, the insistence of the Qur’an to the contrary is indeed, outstanding.

According to the Book, the foundation of a true Muslim is rooted in him/her being an active player in the “Middle-course Nation” (أمة وسطا)[1]. This is the subset of the ‘Best of Humanity’ standard (خيرأمة), to which the Qur’an has earmarked the original identity of global Muslims[2].

To live and perform up to this standard, the verse 03:110 of the Qur’an, has set out the following benchmarks:

(a)        Muslims exist for the good of humanity (أخرجت للناس),

(b)       They enjoin, establish and contribute to establish what is good and beneficial for humanity (تأمرون بالمعروف),

(c)        They stop, prohibit and contribute to prohibit what is bad and evil for humanity (تنهون عن المنكر),

(d)       They believe in One God (وتؤمنون بالله).

The take of the Qur’an thus, on building, contributing to build and promote a global humanity, is indeed, fascinating.

The allegation of extremism thus, flies on the face of such a universal and inclusive call.

On human front, the position of the Qur’an is that there can be no discrimination. For it thus, to grant ‘humanity in general, the respect and virtues over other creatures’, (ولقد كرًمنا بني آدم), is a great universal declaration[3].

To believe in God, is a person’s own choice. S/he is thus, free to believe in Him or not to. Besides this choice however, the Book dedicated itself to encourage to believe in One God and act accordingly.

As opposed to this, if the Muslims living in a particular land or era, have underperformed, the Qur’an is not to be blamed for this. It is a great proof of the Qur’an being inclusive and accommodating of humanity in general. For this inclusion however, to be a “special design of God” (وكذلك جعلناكم), is rather intriguing[4].

From this policy statement of the Book, springs also naturally, the freedom of choice and religions for all humans.

A Muslim will never be bothered for one’s choice of a religion or a choice to have none. By this direct statement of the Qur’an, to be balanced in faith and practice is the most significant attribute of a true Muslim.

No other scriptures or books of ideology on earth, spells out such a neutrality to be a policy based on faith and religion. For one to behave well, be constructive in thought and be influenced by good demeanour of a milieu or society, is indeed commendable.

A non-Muslim may practise it as a well-behaved citizen, without being bound by any jurisdiction, religious or otherwise. But according to the Qur’an, for a Muslim behaving so, is a sacred religious duty, which is driven by his belief in One God and practice accordingly.

For the nation of believers in the Qur’an, to be obliged to behave well with others, reflecting their faith and positive action, is an integral part of Islam itself and hence, remarkable.

The Qur’an therefore, is the lone star in guaranteeing the freedom of choice to those who opted to believe in no ideology at all, or to believe and uphold an ideology or religion other than Islam[5].

The echo of justice reverberating from the revealed mandate that “an existing enmity with a nation, must never incriminate your hearts, to veer away from the commitment to uphold justice” (ولا يجرمنًكم شنآن قوم علي أن لا تعدلوا), is indeed peerless![6]

To give a substance to the above, the allegation that ‘Islam is extreme’ in any and all of its takes, is indeed, baseless!

The literary meaning of ‘Islam’, is to surrender oneself both exclusively and peacefully, to the will and dictates of the One and the Only God.

Having established this bond deliberately, the possibility of the same person, surrendering to a ‘bully of the material world’ i.e. taghut, (الطاغوت), is a self-denial[7]. To expect from such an informed and deliberate believer, to yield to a compromise, thus, will be foolish!

 

[1]  The Qur’an 02:143 & 03:110

[2]  The Qur’an 03:110.

[3] The Qur’an 17:70

[4] The Qur’an 02:143

[5]  The Qur’an 02:256

[6]  The Qur’an 05:08 & 05:02.

[7]  The Qur’an 02:256-257, 04:60, 04:76, 16:36 & 39:17.