Better, Try to See the Light

By Khalid Baig

Modern day Christianity and Judaism have been through a series of "reformation" processes. Over the centuries tens of thousands of "reformed churches" and "reformed synagogues" have been established throughout Europe and America. Many see this revision and update as a continuous process.

So, why not Islam?

This question is a perplexing one for those looking at Islam from the outside. Unfortunately for many, it brings rage rather than reflection. Some are driven to do whatever it takes to make it happen. It is a measure of the intensity of such desire that, today, any ignoramus with a Muslim sounding name can become instant celebrity by declaring that Qur'an needs to be updated or Shariah needs to be rethought. In fact during the Satanic Verses affairs, when the entire Muslim world had been outraged by the support for pure filth shown by all sorts of pundits, many of these "experts" were secretly thrilled that the moment had arrived. A professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Southern California informed the Los Angeles Times readers at that time that the big question the Muslim world was debating was: "Who had really authored the Qur'an."

Such psychotic scholarship has also been enlisted in all kinds of research projects as well as in secret plans by the U.N. and big powers to find ways of bringing "reform" to Islam. Some come disguised as friends. They appear to applaud Islam's teachings on tolerance and compassion. Islam does preach tolerance for those outside its boundaries. At the same time it is also very sensitive about its own boundaries and would not allow them to be blurred in a haze of tolerance. Some point to the principles of Ijtihad in Islam. But they fail to realize that Ijtihad does not mean second-guessing the Qur'an, Sunnah or consensus of the companions. Then there are those who resort to ridiculing Muslims for lagging behind the times. When all else fails, they may simply try to order an abrogation of Shariah, as the U.N. is trying to do now under the banner of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Wasted efforts, all!

Their fight is with the Qur'an and they only need to turn to the Qur'an to get a response. Here it is, loud and clear:

"But when Our clear revelations are recited unto them, they who look not for the meeting with Us, say: 'Bring us a Qur'an other than this, or change it.' Say (O Muhammad): It is not for me to change it of my own accord. I can only follow that which is revealed unto me. Lo! If I disobey my Lord I fear the retribution of an awful Day." [Yunus 10:15]

If Qur'an could have been changed by worldly powers, it would have been changed long time ago. If it could be made controversial by secretly publishing and distributing corrupt versions, that would have been already done. But not an iota has changed in the Book that was revealed 1400 years ago. It is the only revealed book in the world that exists in the original language of its revelation. And if all the printed copies of it were to be destroyed today, the Book would remain for it is the only Book in the world that is memorized from cover to cover by millions upon millions of people.

And it is the only revealed book that begins with this claim:

"This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off evil."[Albaqarah 2:2]

There is no doubt that it is the Word of Allah. No doubt that it contains the ultimate truth. No doubt that it was sent through the last Messenger (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam) of Allah who also explained what it means. No doubt that all success and happiness and bliss lies in faithfully following its commands and all failure and sorrow and misery lies in rejecting it.

You either believe in this statement or you do not. There is no third option.

A Muslim, by definition, is the person who attests to the truth of this statement. He has received Allah's Word through Allah's messenger, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and he, by force of conviction, submits to this revealed truth. In fact, he stands as a witness to the mankind to the truth of this message.

This witnessing is not meant to convert others, but only to deliver the Message, as a trust from Allah. The Message has been preserved precisely because no one is allowed to change it to make it attractive to the would be believers. Muslims do not do in Rome as the Romans do, because then they will have Islam no more. They rise above their surroundings by submitting to the Word of Allah and invite the whole world to the same. Those who accept it do it for their own good; those who reject it do so at their own peril.

So, why is there no "reform" movement in Islam ala Christianity or Judaism? Because the latter lost their scriptures, Islam did not. Words of man replaced the words of God in their scriptures making the whole thing fallible. One can find hundreds of statements in the Bible that can be tested and found untrue. Or statements that contradict each other. There is not a single such instance in the Qur'an, and there will never be. Islam was never deformed that it should need reform. It is not dated that it should need to be updated. Its message is as true today as it was yesterday. All of its commands are as life giving today as they were yesterday and they will be tomorrow. It remains as the eternal beacon of light as humanity jumps from one extreme to the other in its ignorance.

Right and wrong are eternal. Definitions of good and evil have to be constant. Otherwise, they will lose all meaning. In a world of shifting standards of good, there is no good. It is a great blessing for humanity that Islam provides that constant.

If the entire world agrees that homosexuality is ok, Islam will still call it a great abomination. If the entire world agrees to destroy the institution of family, Islam will still be there to uphold it. If the entire world agrees that sickness is health and health is sickness, Islam will still be there to remove the confusion and safeguard health. You cannot ban light and legislate darkness. Better, try to see the light yourself.