My comments are concerning another websites' rant about the building and formation of MIC (Memphis Islamic Center). This website ( www.rightsidenews.com ), and their post (here) are just another example of extremism in ignorance. I also experienced this, as a former Christian. Everything I was lead to believe was founded upon a twisted love for Israel and the Jews as a whole, even though they killed Jesus, based upon the modern day interpretation of verses from a book that has been translated from one language to another, then another, then another, and has more versions than I do underwear! (Not meant as hate speech towards the Christian faith, but said in good humor towards the author of the article in question.)
I want my readers to understand the level of ignorance that they are facing when reading such articles from such sites. We Muslims have a foundation that our faith is built upon, and in that foundation there are principles that are unshakable. One of those principles is protection of human life. The authors of such hate, as the one on the site I am discussing, would have you believe that we are here to kill, steal and destroy! They could not be further from the truth. And his discussion about how rude the Somalian people were, well that has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the Somalian culture. He blames the car for the crash and not the driver! lol (i.e. blaming Islam for the personalities, actions, etc. of a Muslim and not blaming the person.)
The following is a small explanation and understanding of that fundamental principle (protecting human life) with an evidence from the verses of the Qur'an, which all ideas and beliefs must have (an evidence from the religious text):
مِن أَجلِ ذٰلِكَ كَتَبنا عَلىٰ بَنى إِسرٰءيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفسًا بِغَيرِ نَفسٍ أَو فَسادٍ فِى الأَرضِ فَكَأَنَّما قَتَلَ النّاسَ جَميعًا وَمَن أَحياها فَكَأَنَّما أَحيَا النّاسَ جَميعًا ۚ وَلَقَد جاءَتهُم رُسُلُنا بِالبَيِّنٰتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثيرًا مِنهُم بَعدَ ذٰلِكَ فِى الأَرضِ لَمُسرِفونَ
"That is why We decreed for the children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being, except (as punishment) for murder or for spreading lifethreatening chaos on earth, it is as if killing the entire human race; and whosoever saves a life, saves the entire human race. Our apostles brought clear proofs to them; but even after that most of them committed excesses in the land."
-[Qur'an 5:32, referring to revelation that wasn't taken up in the written Torah but in the oral commentaries on the story of Cain and Abel, see "Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5", "Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a"]
The verses before 5:32 relate the story of Cain killing Abel (Qur'an 5:27-31, Bible Torah Genesis/Bereshit 4:1-17), which metaphorically refers to the first murder in the history of mankind, and represents the proto-Semitic remembrance of the transition from free-roaming egalitarian huntergatherers and semi-nomads ("Abel was a keeper of sheep", Genesis 4:2, his name comes from a Semitic root that refers to something transitory and unsatisfactory, probably hinting towards how later Mesopotamian society viewed the nomadic life of the past) to landclaiming hierarchical agriculture society ("Cain was a tiller of the ground", ibid. The name Cain comes from a root meaning 'to get' and literally means 'spear', which also hints towards how land and resources were taken) which created the first major conflicts over land and resources in the history of mankind.
With this as its background, verse 5:32 is presented as a divine decree with important humanistic implications:
1. Killing one human is equal to killing the entire human race: EVERY human, whatever its age, gender, nationality, race, social status, history, worldview or religion, isn't just equal to mankind (al-Nāss), but is equal to the ENTIRE human race together (al-Nāss jamiy'ān), from the first human that has lived untill the last. No single human death can be marginalized by comparing it to larger amounts of deaths or even the total amount of mankind. This is emphasized in 6:151 which says that justice must be upheld (bi-lHaqq), but every life is sacred and inviolable before God (al-Nafsa allati harama Allah). When a person is killed, also the potential good deeds and progeny is killed and thus within one life harbors the potential for many life. Interesting is that the Qur'an shortens the Biblical account by making Cain's only words, "I will kill you", because a killer can have no real justifications for his desire to slay another human.
2. Giving/saving one human is equal to saving the entire human race: It makes an exception for killing in the case of punishing murder and lifethreatening chaos on earth (fasādin fi-l'Ardh), to protect the innocent and weak, but this is only a last resort as even they can be forgiven if they reform and repay their crimes (5:33) or if the victims and authorities forgive them (2:178, 5:45). This is why there are NO exceptions in this verse in the equalizing of one saved life with the saving all of mankind; if a human life is saved or spared, even if he is a murderer, it is as if all of mankind is saved. The literal Arabic makes it very clear: "to give life (a'hyā) to one being is as if giving life to the entire human race together (a'hya al-Nāss jamiy'ān)". It isn't just sparing a life, it is reviving it. Qadi Ibn al-'Arabi says this concept is the primal standpoint on which the whole Islamic way of life should base itself. Shaykh Muhammad 'Abduh emphasizes that this verse embodies the human rights of the entire human race ("tandhaghim fīhi jamiy'a huqūq al-Nāss"), it's the universal knowledge on which human existence stands and making it inviolable.
Important detail is also that both the Qur'an and Mishnah don't use words as 'mortal' or 'person' but 'nafs/nafash' which comes from the Semitic root 'nafasha' meaning to breath, that which makes someone alive, which in the Semitic religions developed into the concept of a soul or conciousness with a sacred value. And as the opposite to Cain, Abel is represented as understanding his innocence and wishing to remain innocent, "I will not extend my hand toward you to kill you", as even though selfdefense is always allowed (2:190-191, 22:39-40), the story focuses on the remaining stain of guilt (literally 'ithm' means that which weakens) which any killing will leave behind, repeating Genesis 4:13 and Jesus in Matthew 23:33-36 in which he says about murder "and so you will draw down down on yourselves the blood of every holy man that has been shed on earth, from the blood of Abel the holy to the blood of Zechariah." Qadi Ibn al-'Arabi emphasizes that this means that every murderer bears the guilt of not only killing that one human, but the weight of the murder of all mankind ("An 'aylihi ithmi man qatala jamiy'a al-Nāss").
And as I have said before in previous postings, "the verse about killing infidels (non-believers) is concerning a certain group of people who persecuted the Muslims, killed them, tortured them, stole from them, and insisted on whipping them out. God sent down the revelation to Muhammad (peace be upon him): Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [opressing others, killing human beings, and rejecting God's message] is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)" ]
This is a very clear cut verse concerning that group of people (The Quraish), which were actually of the family of Muhammad (peace be upon him). For 13 hard years Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught what Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) taught, that God is ONE and that you should worship Him and Him alone, without associating any partners or helpers with Him. The Quraish and others were so upset that Muhammad, one of their own, was destroying the beliefs of idol worship, as Abraham had done himself (peace be upon him), that they ultimately plotted to assassinate him. He fled to Madina, and they followed. They killed and persecuted the Muslims that did not flee, emptied their houses of their belongings and sent the stuff to be sold in the markets elsewhere. Muhammad and his followers (peace be upon him) set out to retrieve their stuff. The enemies of Islam of today will tell you that they were bandits and raided caravans! And isn't it amazing, that these people never tell you and expand upon the fact that we muslims are not to pursue fighting until all avenues of peace have been exhausted! They will NOT tell you that the Quran commands us to seek peace, until there is no choice but to fight, and if the people we are fighting decide to stop, we are to stop! They conveniently skip all these facts and go strait to the meat of their hatred, "Kill all the infidels!"...
The facts are all twisted from these ignoramuses. I beg and plead all decent Americans to do the research yourselves.
I have found a way of life that is so perfect, but yet I am so imperfect. I have found a religion that has all the answers to all the questions, yet I am and always will be learning and never able to know it all. I have found the meaning to life and the answers to some of the most amazing scientific questions. I have found and embraced a way of life that ultimately gives me a peace of mind and heart, a peace that no drug, person, thing, etc. can provide! I have found Islam, and I am a Muslim! You should be too.....
I hope and pray that God guides you all to the correct understanding of this beautiful system of belief and action. We need to listen to peoples hate less, and study and research more! As Muslims, we are commanded to go out and learn, because learning increases ones knowledge and knowledge leads to understanding..... and understanding can lead to peace and harmony amongst humanity in many areas of life.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT!