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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Muslim by Birth? Congratulations! NO, WAIT!

Many find consolation in, “We are born Muslims”, or “Thank God! He created us among Muslims.” But the Qur'an confers no value to Islam by inheritance. It reads:

4:136 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! (and call yourselves Muslims)! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the Book He has revealed to His Messenger, and (the fact that He revealed) the Scripture before. (Belief to the point of Conviction can only be attained through reason and not as a birth right 12:108).

12:108 Say (O Prophet), “This is my way. Resting my call upon reason, I am calling you all to Allah - I and they who follow me.” (We do not invite through blind faith, vague dogmas or by stunning your intellect with miracles). Glory to Allah! And I am not one of those who ascribe divinity in any form besides Him.”

The Qur'an is so particular on using our intellect and reason that it emphatically admonishes that one should not accept even its own verses deaf and blind [17:36, 25:73].

Muslims should stop here and think for a moment. Have I ever tried to search for reality? Did I really find the Truth? Or, am I simply imitating the ways of my forefathers? It is only after due contemplation that Islam can be adopted.

Unfortunately, today almost all the one billion plus Muslims in the world are Muslims by birth and by blind following, the kind of Islam which the Qur'an considers of no merit. It has to be a matter of choice based upon reason and understanding.

Reason and learning are like body and soul
Without reason soul is empty wind
Without learning body is a senseless frame.
(Kahlil Gibran, 1883-1931)

Dr. Shabbir Ahmed

The above writing is an excerpt from the online book:
Islam As I Understand
Dr. Shabbir Ahmed
http://www.galaxydastak.com/books/iaiu/

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