By Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Because the spectre of spiritual extremism has develop into a truth of existence this day, the temptation is superb to permit the evil activities and views of a minority to symbolize a whole culture. with regards to Islam, there was a lot fresh confusion within the Western global focused on distorted portrayals of its center values. Born of lack of understanding, such confusion feeds the very challenge handy. within the middle of Islam one of many nice highbrow figures in Islamic background bargains a well timed presentation of the center religious and social values of Islam: peace, compassion, social justice, and admire for the opposite. Seizing this specified second in background to mirror at the essence of his culture, Seyyed Hossein Nasr seeks to "open a non secular and highbrow house for mutual understanding." Exploring Islamic values in scripture, conventional assets, and heritage, he additionally indicates their transparent opposite numbers within the Jewish and Christian traditions, revealing the typical floor of the Abrahamic faiths. Nasr demanding situations individuals of the world's civilizations to prevent demonizing others whereas choosing themselves with natural goodness and to show as an alternative to a deeper knowing of these shared values that could resolve the extreme difficulties dealing with humanity at the present time. "Muslims needs to ask themselves what went incorrect inside of their very own societies," he writes, "but the West should also pose an identical query approximately itself...whether we're Muslims, Jews, Christians, or maybe secularists, no matter if we are living within the Islamic international or within the West, we're wanting that means in our lives, of moral norms to lead our activities, of a imaginative and prescient that will let us dwell at peace with one another and with the remainder of God's creation." Such aid, he believes, lies on the center of each faith and will lead the fans of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) in addition to different non secular and religious traditions to a brand new way forward for mutual appreciate and customary international function. the center of Islam is a landmark presentation of putting up with worth that gives wish to humanity, and a compelling portrait of the sweetness and charm of the religion of 1.2 billion humans.
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Extra resources for The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity
For Muslims, the Quran completes the message of previous sacred texts without in any way denigrating their significance. In fact, the Torah and the Gospels are mentioned by name as sacred scriptures along with the Quran in the text of the Quran. qxd 8/14/02 22 2:41 PM Page 22 THE HEART OF ISLAM of their spiritual significance. Rather, they appear in the Islamic firmament as stars, while the Prophet is like the moon in that Islamic sky. THE QURAN The sacred scripture of Islam, known in Arabic by many names, of which the most famous is al-Qur’a ¯n, “the Recitation,” is considered by all Muslims, no matter to which school they belong, as the verbatim revelation of God’s Word made to descend into the heart, soul, and mind of the Prophet of Islam through the agency of the archangel of revelation, Gabriel, or Jibra’ı¯l in Arabic.
On ¯n has to do with the levels of external religious forms, ¯ıma truth and kufr with falsehood. ¯ıd, or oneness beyond and ¯ıma all oppositions and dichotomies. On the formal and popular plane, traditional Muslims have often used the category of “believer” or “faithful” for Muslims as well as followers of other religions, especially Christians and Jews. But there have been also historical periods in which the term “faithful” was reserved for Muslims and ka ¯fir, or “infidel,” was used for non-Muslims, as in the Ottoman Empire, where Europeans were called kuffa ¯r, infidels.
In practice this law is somewhat like laws against adultery that are still “on the books” in England, but not applied. Sectarian fighting between Muslims and newly converted Christians still occurs in Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Sudan, and a few other places, but these have more to do with local political, economic, and social issues than with the traditional Sharı¯‘ite ruling about apostasy. qxd 8/14/02 2:41 PM Page 51 One God, Many Prophets 51 Christian West. One only has to think what would have happened to Christians in medieval France or seventeenthcentury Spain if they had converted to Islam.
The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity by Seyyed Hossein Nasr