A man meditating alone in a cave near Mecca received a religious vision. The vision that laid the foundation for a new religion. The year was 610 AD and the man was Muhammad.
The belief in him of his followers gave birth to one of the most widely practiced religions: Islam
The vision sets religion on the foundations of love, peace, and progress.
This new faith had incorporated the aspects of Judaism and Christianity. It respected the great leaders of these religions and their messengers- Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others.
- There is only one universal God: Allah.
- Followers of Islam (Muslims) are expected to pray five times each day while facing Mecca.
- All Muslims are expected to pay a yearly tax that is mostly intended to help the poor and needy.
- For the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims must not eat, smoke, drink, or have sexual relations from sunrise to sunset.
- All able Muslims must make a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca at least once in their lifetimes.
These were his first revelations back then, he had a vision of people peacefully living and earning under the banner of Islam.
Today, that idea of a caliphate (kingdom) has lost its meaning in the hands of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. He hasn’t done anything in the last five years or more that would have pleased anyone following Islam.
He and his so-called ISIS followers have beheaded people, burnt prisoners alive, kidnapped and killed Yazidi men and women and enslaved young girls and women having them married forcefully to ISIS fighters.
His idea of “Caliphate” is to wage a war against all those who he thinks are invaders and that Islam should be protected from these invaders.
He calls himself a descendant of the Prophet as many believe that he is actually from the Prophet’s Quraysh tribe.
The Prophet’s Islam is of peace and purity which is accepted and worshiped by all Muslims, however, there are a minority of these people who have a different idea of Islam- things that are rejected out rightly by the Quran- the holy book, Islam and its Prophet.
What the Prophet taught us?
On a different front, the new debate that is taking shape questions Islam of being a pacifist religion. A pacifist religion is a religion that outrightly rejects the idea of a war of any kind.
As many believe, Islam is not a pacifist religion- it allowed wars to protect its land at that time in 600 AD.
Islam allowed war at the time to protect its land from the growing Byzantine Empire. It also allowed Jihad, the holy war.
The true breakdown of the word Jihad (Struggle) as given by the Prophet is the personal struggle against evil. The holy war has to be fought in the minds and souls of Muslims.
There could be times when this internal war can take shape of ‘holy war’ against non-believers, however, most Muslims believe that there is nothing holy about wars and that wars can only be fought against oppressors of mind and souls- the same concept of Jihad that the Prophet taught.
A minority of Muslims, however, place great importance on holy war jihads. This minority feels that Muslims must wage war against all nonbelievers. It is this conception of jihad that inspires Islamic extremist terrorism. Unfortunately, due to media coverage, this is the interpretation of jihad that most Westerners are familiar with.
It should be reiterated that mainstream Islam is peaceful and rejects the idea of unprovoked war. Although the concept of jihad is widespread, it has not been accepted by the general Islamic community as one of the Pillars of Islam.
If this is Islam- a religion of peace and prosperity, which provided many great scholars then for whom have Osama Bin-Laden, Al Zarkhawi or even Al-Baghdadi waged a war?
The answer lies in the world “Caliphate”- Islamic Caliphate or Kingdom expanded from modern day-Saudi Arabia in 610 AD till the culmination of the Ottoman Empire in modern-day Turkey in 1922.
To guide the caliphate, the followers had to adopt a caliph (guide/messenger) who would lead the religion in troubled times.
Basically, this idea of Caliph that Baghdadi has interpreted completely wrong has led to the creation of the so-called Islamic State.
Why is it not Islamic- State
Prophet’s idea of war was based on peace, the wars waged under him and his followers never killed women, children and the elderly. These sections of the fighting population were not even made part of wars.
ISIS’ idea of Jihad includes forceful beard-keeping for men, enslaving women and young girls to either rape them, sell them or marry them off ISIS fighters.
ISIS in one of its promotional videos to radicalize the youth showed three-five-year-old boys shooting ISIS prisoners in the back of their heads.
The other video published months after the first one featured Yazidi men- a minority group digging their own graves before being beheaded.
ISIS was not born out of a sudden desire to create a caliphate. This idea initially started with Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2006 under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Zarqawi who headed the Al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch used to kill Shia Muslims and what he thought were American invaders post the operation Iraqi Freedom.
ISIS grew out of a feeling of revenge and oppression, the same idea that the Prophet taught every Muslim has to fight within himself.
Islam has provided the world with Algebra, without algebra, algorithms wouldn’t have been possible and without algorithms computers wouldn’t have worked including the one on which this entire text was typed.
ISIS’ doesn’t want a caliphate in the name of Allah, it just wants to oppress and kill those innocents who for generations now have lived by and worshipped the holy Islam and its Prophet.
Every scholar in Islam has rejected the idea of Baghdadi’s “Caliphate” and their interpretation of Islam.
ISIS imposes Sharia Law, there is no mention of Sharia Law in the Holy Quran, there is no text available on Sharia and there are only people like Al-Baghdadi and Bin-Laden who have interpreted the Sharia law and whenever anyone debates on what Sharia law he/she is most probably agreeing to everything done by these two and many more.
The world is a peaceful place and all religions respect each other, none is greater and all are equal. There is just one god, Allah in Islam, Jesus in Christianity and Krishna in Hinduism- and all of them are the same. The idea of Caliphate is long gone and with this Baghdadi’s caliphate loses strength every day as the most righteous Islam takes over and everyone, no matter Shia or Sunni helps each other to rebuild homes, roads, and neighbourhoods in Iraq, in Syria and in Yemen. Together rejecting the violence and idea of Baghdadi’s caliphate as they pray to the most righteous Allah and his Prophet for peace, security, and prosperity.