The Criteria of the Islamic Fatwa
Pure Islam was applied only in the time of the Prophet Mohammed, but was mostly distorted because of the Arab Muslim empires and their bloody medieval culture.
The Wahabis have restored that culture in our time, giving Islam a notorious name. The fanatic fatwa reflects this Wahabi bloody culture. To recognize pure Islam, you have to read the Arabic Quran according to its terminology, and then you will understand Islam as the religion of peace, tolerance, justice, the unlimited freedom of speech and belief and pluralism.
According to the Quran, Islam means “Submission to God alone and Peace in the world.” This is why Allah, has sent the final prophet Mohammed with the Quran to be a mercy for all the mankind. [21/107]
Hundreds of verses in the Quran confirm that God wants all people to believe in Him alone, the only God, and to submit themselves to Him only, but He gives them the total freedom of choice to believe or to disbelieve. They will be questioned by God only on the Day of Judgment concerning their belief and deeds. No one in this world has the authority to judge anyone else on his belief.
God has created mankind in many different ethnicities and cultures but they belong to one father and one mother. God says: “O mankind, we have created you from male and female and we made you into nations and tribes in order to recognize each other. Surly, the best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is omniscient, cognizant.”[49/13]
This Quranic verse clarifies that:
1- All of us belong to the same father and mother, so we are brothers and sisters and equals as human beings regardless of the color, race, money, power and gender.
2- Coming from different nations and being different peoples and tribes give us the opportunity to recognize each other, not to fight each other. To recognize each other we need peaceful coexistence.
3- This Quranic verse clarifies the difference between two important values: equality and justice. Sometimes extreme equality establishes injustice. Suppose all of us are equal in this life and equal also in the paradise of the Day of Judgment regardless of our different deeds in this life? Then it will be wrong to make equality between the criminal and his victim.
God says: “Shall we treat those who believe and do righteous works like those who corrupt the earth? Shall we treat the righteous like the wicked?” [38/28] In the Quran, equality is supported by justice. Here in this verse, we are equal in this world as human beings regardless of the differences of color, race, culture, family, money, gender or any thing else. But we are not equal in terms of our good or bad deeds and behavior. The delinquent is not equal to the diligent in the same work, and the criminal is not equal to his victim in the court. This is in our life. The real justice will be in Day of Judgment where the Almighty God will judge among the human beings according to their deeds and belief, not according to their race, culture and wealth. So God says in this verse: “The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous.”
4- God only is the One who will identify the righteous people, because He is only the One who knows the innermost thoughts and secrets of every human being, so the verse says: “the best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is omniscient, cognizant.”
5- So, the believer in this world is prevented from claiming this character to him, or to make it business and religious trade. God says: “Do not exalt yourselves; He is aware of the righteous.” [53 /32].
God said to the Prophet Mohammed and all Muslims and the Jews and Christians: “We have decreed statutes and methods for each of you. Had God willed, He could have made you one nation. But He thus puts you in test, according to what He has given you. So, you should compete towards the good deeds. To God is your ultimate return, then He will inform you of every thing you disputed” [5/48]
Here there is pluralism inside the real holy messages, but this pluralism is to make Muslims and Christians and Jew competing each other in the way of righteousness, not in the way of fanaticism and bigotry. For example in establishing peace and advocating the high values and saving the needy and the poor.
Generally, competition in Islam is controlled by cooperation in doing the good deeds only as God says: “And you shall cooperate with one another in righteousness and pity, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” [5/2]
God says “Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians and the converts, any of them who believe in God and the last day, and lead a righteous life, shall have their reward with their Lord, and they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” [2/62] Read also [5/69].
The real religion of God is to believe in Him alone and in the Day of Judgment and to maintain a righteous life. Anyone who does this will go to paradise regardless of his affinity.
Those different sects have different houses in which they worship God. According to the Quran, all these religious houses should have respect and immunity. God Says: “If it were not for God’s setting up of some people against others, synagogues, churches, houses of prayers and mosques; where God’s names is commemorated frequently; would have been destroyed” [22/40]. This verse talks about Jihad in Islam indicating one of its purposes, not only to defend your country but also to defend all the houses of prayers for all the believers regardless of their different names.
The Islamic fatwa must reflect these Islamic values.
Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour is a distinguished scholar of Islam with expertise in Islamic history, culture, theology and politics. An Egyptian national now living in the U.S., he was an advocate for democracy and human rights in Egypt for many years, during which time he himself was isolated and persecuted by religious extremists and by the regime.