Men Die for Other Men, Not for God
By Bashir Goth
Hard as it may seem, I can understand people rejecting change and determined to continue to live as the Prophet lived in the 14th century. But what I cannot understand is how they are able to twist the words and actions of the Prophet, in whom they so vehemently believe, and commit such inhuman crimes in his name.
There are in fact a number of Prophet Mohammad’s sayings and Quranic verses that glorify martyrdom. But as the commander-in-chief of the Muslim army, the Prophet may have encouraged martyrdom in the battlefield to raise the morale of his soldiers. With the absence of military rank, medals and all modern methods of honoring soldiers, and with his role as spiritual leader of his followers, Mohammad could only promise mystical rewards. Martyrdom was, therefore, limited to the battleground; the Prophet promised heavenly paradise to those who fell during battle. The holy Quran, meanwhile, admonishes Muslims not to count those killed fighting for Allah: “And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision,” says a verse 169 of Aal-Imraan chapter.
Despite this, it is indeed neither Prophet Mohammad nor the holy Quran that is to blame for today’s mayhem, simply because any rational human being would place these canonical texts in their historical perspective and realize that they applied to a different time, different world and different circumstances.
I am unaware of any occasion or record in which the Prophet or even the holy Quran sanctioned people to kill innocent children, women, elderly and non-combatant civilians in their homes, work places, mosques and schools. It is unfortunate that Islam -- which opened the minds of people to science and research, liberated man from the worship of rocks and sculptures, challenged human beings to think and reflect, which started its message with a veneration of the written word -- has been ossified into a dogma of death and ignorance. Read More in Washington Post.