December 2002: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2


Cont’d from page 1

“To act as both salt and light... reaching the world with the gospel, teaching and training believers, reviving the hearts of God's people and healing the wounds of immorality and godlessness in our nation.”

I then turn to the Quran for inspiration and read:

“Subsequent to them, we sent our messengers. We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and we gave him the Gospel, and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy…but they did not uphold the message as they should have.” (57:27)

This verse is not meant to denigrate Christians but rather to remind us that the message of Jesus can lead each one of us to God as long as we truly understand and practice it.

About 70 years earlier, a prominent Muslim leader made a similar remark as Falwell, claiming that Muhammad used a weapon against which no army could fight. I guess Falwell does have a point then. You be the judge as you read the words of this leader addressing his followers:

“I am going to give you such a weapon that the police and the army will not be able to stand against it. It is the weapon of the Prophet, but you are not aware of it. That weapon is patience and righteousness. No power on earth can stand against it…Endure all hardships. If you exercise patience, victory will be yours.” (Badshah Khan from the book Nonviolent Soldier of Islam by Eknath Easwaran)

Badshah Khan was known as the Frontier Gandhi and lived in the North West Frontier Province of India. At the same time Ghandi

was leading one of the most inspirational movements in modern history, Badshah Khan was raising the first and only non-violent army in history. Khan awakened 100,000 of the most violent and vengeful people – the Pathans of the Khyber Pass – to resist British rule through non-violence.

Astounded by this non-violent movement, Ghandi visited Khan in 1938. There, Ghandi was asked by a villager, “what does it mean to remove violence from one’s heart?” To which he replied, “It is not just the ability to control one’s anger…it is the complete eradication of anger from the heart. To realize non-violence means to feel within you its strength – soul force – to know God. A person who has known God will be incapable of harboring anger or fear within, no matter how overpowering the cause may be.”

Thousands of non-violent soldiers were killed by the British who were stunned that such strong and resolute warriors did not resist. Badshah Khan exposes the myth that nonviolence has no place in Islam, that only the gentle are capable of it, and that it is useless against powerful oppressors.

This weapon of Muhammad, Badshah Khan, and Ghandi is found in the Quran:

You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance…(7:199)

…if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. You shall resort to patience - and your patience is attainable only with GOD's help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes. GOD is with those who lead a righteous

life, and those who are charitable. (16:126-128)

They avoid wrongdoing and vice, and when angered they forgive. (42:37)

…those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust. (42:40)

Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character. (42:43)

Therefore, be patient like the messengers before you who possessed strength and resorted to patience…(46:35)

O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant. (49:13)

In 1947, Pakistan and India were granted independence by the British. In 1985, Bashah Khan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Proving to us today that, “if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. (16:126)

The word terrorist and terrorism is fresh on our minds. We are terrified as we remember ruthless aggression and remain in fear as we anticipate the unknown. In fact, the word terror means to fill with fear; a sense of uneasiness we feel from possible danger.

Danger from what? Clearly, we face external dangers over which we have no control. But, there is another danger that we often overlook. A danger to which “terrorists” like Muhammad, Jesus, Moses and all great prophets expose us.

Cont’d on page 4