‘Judge Islam by Prophet’s life and teachings’: Swami Lakshmi Shankaracharya

By M Naushad Ansari for TwoCircles.net,

Patna: We are talking about Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and we should keep it in our mind that he is the greatest individual in history. If anyone wants to know about Islam, one should “Judge Islam by Prophet’s (SAW) life and his teachings,” said Swami Lakshmi Shankracharya, founder, Jan Ekta Manch.

Addressing a talk on ‘Seerat-un-Nabi’ at Anjuman Islamia Hall, Patna on January 26th, the Swami, in his enlightening speech, said that peace and humanity is the core teaching of Islam. But, unfortunately, most of the Muslims don’t follow Islamic teachings and they hardly learn from the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). “it is the duty of every Muslim according to their religion to save and protect the humanity, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) always forgave his enemies and showed patience when he was harmed by others, this was his moral teachings which made Islam an international religion”, he added. In particular he cited the stories of ‘Fatah-e-Makkah’ when enemies of Islam were given complete liberty despite being made prisoners of war by Muslims. On ‘Jihad’ he clarified that it has got nothing to do with innocent killings and terrorism. The first permission to take to arms was accorded in verse 22:39 of Holy Quran, which reads: “Permission (to take up arms) is hereby given to those who attacked, because they have been wronged.” The Quran further says : “Fight, for the sake of Allah with those that fight against you, but do not be aggressive.” He cited extensively from the Veda and Gita to substantiate that Islam’s endeavour to establish peace is not different from what Sanatan scriptures enjoin.

Indeed, Swamiji was initially very critical about Islam and its concept of Jihad. He considered Islam to be the root cause of global terrorism. This thinking had cropped up in his mind because of his study of negative materials on Islam and behavior of some Muslims. Then he wrote a book 'The History of Islamic Terrorism' published by Sudarshan Prakashan, Mumbai . However, on being urged to study Islam from it’s original sources Swamiji read Holy Qur’an from cover to cover besides the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Finally he realised that he misunderstood Islam. He accepted his mistake and decided to write a rejoinder of such negative materials in a book titled, 'Islam- Aatank ya Aadarsh' in Hindi or 'Islam- Terror or Ideal Path' in English. In this book he clarifies the real meaning of Jihad and how Islam is the religion of peace. He concludes that Muslims were enjoined to fight in self defence to establish peace, without resorting to terror.

Mr. Abuzafar Kamaluddin, Principal, Science College, Muzaffarpur, asserted that the actual sign of love to the Prophet (SAW) is to follow his teachings. Only praising the Prophet (SAW) and not passing our life as per his teachings is nothing but hypocrisy. The community must endeavour to bring about a much-needed religious and moral awakening. There has to be unity in their ranks. Educational backwardness is a key factor which is responsible for the social cultural economic and political backwardness of the Muslim community. He convincingly argued that the idea of a differentiation between secular and sacred knowledge was non-existent in the early years of Islam. Rather, to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions, knowledge of the religious (dini) and secular (duniavi) were of equal importance towards the achievement of success in the world and the hereafter. What is made incumbent in Islam is ‘Ilm-e-Nafaa’i.e. beneficial knowledge, he asserted.

Mr. Nayyaruzzaman, Ameer-e-Halqa, Jamaat-e-Islami, Bihar presided over the function. He emphasized on the acquisition of true knowledge of Islam and practicing it as was done by the Prophet’s companions (RA). The program was organized by Jama’at-e-Isami Hind, Bihar.