Dr. Waffie Mohammed
The first Trinidad national to have earned a doctorate in the study of Islam, Dr. Waffie graduated from the University of Karachi with a PhD in Islamic Studies, obtained in parallel with Al-Kamil certification from the Aleemiya Institute established by Dr. Fazlu R. Ansari.
On his return to Trinidad, Dr. Waffie contributed to the development of the Muslim communities located throughout the country and the region, while at the same time serving the wider national communities. This led to his appointment to the Senate in 1981, and his later appointment as Director of the Muslim World League regional office for the Caribbean and Latin America, a position in which he contributed to global Muslim development, until his retirement in 2003.
Dr. Waffie is currently serving as the Principal and Director at the Markaz al Ihsaan Institute of Islamic Theology. He also serves as a spiritual leader of the local chapters of the Qadri and Nakshbandi Orders within Islamic Spirituality Circles.
The author of numerous books, articles and publications dedicated to Islam and contemporary social issues, Dr. Waffie also has a growing number of pioneering works in contemporary Islamic studies. Dr. Waffie blogs often at http://drwaffie.blogspot.com
- By Dr. Waffie Mohammed
- Published 11/29/2009
The following is a response to a report which was published by Canadian Press in which an Imam was asked the question: Is it correct to say that "all followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith; so they can have a place in heaven? The Imam replied, "Yes".
word Jihad comes from the root word Jahada which means the following:
laboured, or toiled; exerted himself or his power or efforts or endeavours
or ability, employed himself vigorously, strenuously, laboriously, diligently,
studiously, sedulously, earnestly, or with energy; was diligent, or
studious; took pains, or extraordinary pains in such a thing. (Lane
Arabic/English Lexicon, vol. 2, p. 473)
of the root word, the word Jihad means the following:
or exerting, one's utmost power, efforts, endeavours, or ability, in
contending with an object of disapprobation;
and this is of three kinds: namely, a visible enemy, the devil, and
one's self; all or which are included in the term as used in the Qur'an
20:78 (ibid. "Jihad").
In the Holy
Qur'an Allah says:
in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and discipline):
He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion:
it is the way of life of your Father Abraham.
No where will
you find that the meaning of Jihad is to go out and kill a person just
because he has not accepted Islam. A Muslim is commanded to fight if
he is attacked, or in order to prevent oppression, etc. In this connection
the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits,
for Allah does not love the transgressors. (2:190)
Even when one
is attacked and has the power to retaliate aggressively, Allah enjoins
upon believers to use their discretion. For example He says:
And if you
have to retaliate, do not retaliate worse than what they did to you,
but if you show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those
who show patience. (16:126)
not uphold the principle of turning the other cheek; as a result a Muslim
has the right to defend himself when attacked, but that does not give
him the right to punish anyone for not accepting Islam, except if it
is in an enemy country (i.e. those who attacked Islam) and in the process
of repelling the attack the enemy is overpowered, then the Muslims can
use their discretion in prescribing punishment to the attackers.
When asked by his companions: Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him -pbuh) demonstrated the best meaning of Jihad when, after returning
from one of the battles, he is reported to have said: "Now we are
leaving the small Jihad and returning to the greater Jihad. What is the greater Jihad, O Messenger
of Allah? He replied; The Jihad against the Nafs; i.e. to control
oneself from doing evil. "
It is unfortunate
that people associate Jihad with killing. Even in bringing the Message
of Islam, the persons who are inviting others do not behave like the
people of some other faiths where incentives and conditions are attached
to the invitation to be converted. Allah directs Muslims to invite to
Islam, not by force, but in the following way. He says:
to the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue
with them in ways that are best, and most gracious; for thy Lord knows
best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (16:125)
Muhammad (pbuh) captured Makkah, and held all those who made every effort
to kill him before he migrated to Madinah; he asked them what shall
I do with you? They replied: forgive us:
He said: I forgive you as Joseph forgave his brothers.
It is the religious
duty of every Muslim (believer in the Oneness of Allah) to convey to
the non-believers the Message of Belief in One Creator of the universe
and submission to Him only. That is the believers' Jihad. It is left
to the person to accept or not to accept. The preacher cannot use any
kind of force or scheme to convert the listener. Allah says:
proclaim the (Message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord; if
thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His Mission.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not spread Islam with the sword, he was the most loving and compassionate person, even among all the Messengers of God who came on earth; and because he is the believer role-model, all believers are supposed to relate with every human on the basis of love, and nothing else.