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Islam

monotheistic religion based on the teachings of the Quran and the hadiths
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Be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah: for Allah sees Well all that ye do.

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion originating with prophet Muhammad and centered on the religious text known as the Qur'an. It is the world's second-largest religion and the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with an estimated 1.8 billion adherents (as of 2017), known as Muslims. Linguistically, Islam means "submission to God", referring to the total surrender of one's self to God (Arabic: الله, Allāh), and a Muslim is "one who submits to God".

QuotesEdit

 
There are many interpretations of Islam within the wider Islamic community, but generally we are instructed to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it. ~ Aga Khan IV‎‎
Alphabetized by author or source
  • I have always held the religion of Islam in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age.
  • Islam is much more than a formal religion: it is an integral way of life. In many ways it is a more determining factor in the experience of its followers than any other world religion. The Muslim ("one who submits") lives face to face with God at all times and will introduce no separation between his life and his religion, his politics and his faith. With its strong emphasis on the brotherhood of men cooperating to fulfill the will of God, Islam has become one of the most influential religions in the world today.
    • John Alden Williams, Islam, George Braziller, 1962.
  • Islam, from among all religions, best suits the science discoveries and is the most ready to edify souls and force them to abide by justice, kindness and toleration.
    • Gustave Le Bon, The World of Islamic Civilization (La Civilisation des Arabes, 1884).
  • Islam stands in a long line of Semitic, prophetic religious traditions that share an uncompromising monotheism, and belief in God's revelation, His prophets, ethical responsibility and accountability, and the Day of Judgement. Indeed, Muslims, like Christians and Jews, are the Children of Abraham, since all trace their communities back to him. Islam's historic religious and political relationship to Christendom and Judaism has remained strong throughout history. This interaction has been the source of mutual benefit.
    • John L. Esposito, Islam, The Straight Path, Oxford University Press, 1988, pp. 3-4.
  • At the heart of Islam is its preservation of an integral view of the Universe. Islam - like Buddhism and Hinduism - refuses to separate man and nature, religion and science, mind and matter, and has preserved a metaphysical and unified view of ourselves and the world around us.
  • I am not a Muslim in the usual sense, though I hope I am a Muslim as "one surrendered to God", but I believe that embedded in the Quran and other expressions of the Islamic vision are vast stores of divine truth from which I and other occidentals have still much to learn, and Islam is certainly a strong contender for the supplying of the basic framework of the one religion of the future.
  • Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically. The definition of rationalism as a system that bases religious beliefs on principles furnished by the reason applies to it exactly . . . It cannot be denied that many doctrines and systems of theology and also many superstitions, from the worship of saints to the use of rosaries and amulets, have become grafted on the main trunk of Muslim creed. But in spite of the rich developments, in every sense of the term, of the teachings of the Prophet, the Quran has invariable kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur, a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam. This fidelity to the fundamental dogma of the religion, the elemental simplicity of the formula in which it is enunciated, the proof that it gains from the fervid conviction of the missionaries who propagate it, are so many causes to explain the success of Muhammadan missionary efforts. A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men.
    • Edward Montet, "La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans", 1890; quoted by T.W. Arnold in The Preaching of Islam, London, 1913, pp. 413-414.
  • Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe; it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies. It invented windmills, trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle-ages, the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500s did the net direction of flow begin to reverse."
    • Jared Diamond, a world-renowned UCLA sociologist, and physiologist, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Guns, Germs, and Steel.", p. 253.
  • It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: "God Alone is Great." I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother.
    • Sarojini Naidu, Ideals of Islam, Speeches and Writings, Madaras, 1918.
  • 'I believe in 'One God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God,' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honours of the Prophet of God have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion."
    • Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, History of the Saracen Empire, London, 1870, p. 54.
  • I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.
  • America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white—but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color. On this Hajj pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to re-arrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth. During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)--while praying to the same God--with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions in the deeds of the 'white' Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan, and Ghana. We were truly all the same (brothers)--because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behavior, and the white from their attitude. I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man--and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their 'differences' in color. With racism plaguing America like incurable cancer, the so-called 'Christian' white American heart should be more receptive to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it could be in time to save America from imminent disaster--the same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that eventually destroyed the Germans themselves.
  • Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Qur'an I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world.
    • Sarojini Naidu, The Ideals of Islam, 1918, p. 167.
  • The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.
    • A.J. Toynbee, Civilization on Trial, 1948, p.205
  • "The universal brotherhood of Islam, regardless of race, politics, color or country, has been brought home to me most keenly many times in my life -- and this is another feature which drew me towards the Faith." ¨
    • Col. Donald S. Rockwell, American poet, critic and author.
  • The rise of Islam is perhaps the most amazing event in human history. Springing from a land and a people like previously negligible, Islam spread within a century over half the earth, shattering great empires, overthrowing long established religions, remolding the souls of races, and building up a whole new world - world of Islam. The closer we examine this development the more extraordinary does it appear. The other great religions won their way slowly, by painful struggle and finally triumphed with the aid of powerful monarchs who converted to the new faith. Christianity had its Constantine, Buddhism its Asoka, and Zoroastrianism its Cyrus, each lending to his chosen cult the mighty force of secular authority. Not so Islam. Arising in a desert land sparsely inhabited by a nomad race previously undistinguished in human annals, Islam sallied forth on its great adventure with the slenderest human backing and against the heaviest material odds. Yet Islam triumphed with seemingly miraculous ease, and a couple of generations saw the Fiery Crescent borne victorious from the Pyrenees to the Himalayas and from the desert of Central Asia to the deserts of Central Africa.
    • A.M.L. Stoddard, quoted in Islam - The Religion of All Prophets, Begum Bawani Waqf, Karachi, Pakistan, p. 56.
  • Islam has a total organization of life that is completely different from ours; it embraces simply everything.
  • ...the religiosity of Muslims deserves respect. It is impossible not to admire, for example, their fidelity to prayer. The image of believers in Allah (God) who, without caring about time or place, fall to their knees and immerse themselves in prayer remains a model for all those who invoke the true God, in particular for those Christians who, having deserted their magnificent cathedrals, pray only a little or not at all.
    • Pope John Paul II, Vatican City, Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions.
  • Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles of the fiqh, to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer. ... [T]he study of Muhammadan law (dry and forbidding though it may appear to those who confine themselves to the indispensable study of the fiqh) is of great importance to the world today.
    • Georges-Henri Bousquet, "Islamic Law and Customary Law in French North Africa," Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law (1950): 65. Fiqh
  • There is in Islam a paradox which is perhaps a permanent menace. The great creed born in the desert creates a kind of ecstasy of the very emptiness of its own land, and even, one may say, out of the emptiness of its own theology... A void is made in the heart of Islam which has to be filled up again and again by a mere repetition of the revolution that founded it. There are no sacraments; the only thing that can happen is a sort of apocalypse, as unique as the end of the world; so the apocalypse can only be repeated and the world end again and again. There are no priests; and yet this equality can only breed a multitude if lawless prophets almost as numerous as priests. The very dogma that there is only one Mahomet produces an endless procession of Mahomets.
  • Even before accepting the religion of the Arabs, the Turks were a great nation. After accepting the religion of the Arabs, this religion, didn't effect to combine the Arabs, the Persians and Egyptians with the Turks to constitute a nation. (This religion) rather, loosened the national nexus of Turkish nation, got national excitement numb. This was very natural. Because the purpose of the religion founded by Muhammad, over all nations, was to drag to an including Arab national politics.
    • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as quoted in Medenî Bilgiler ve M. Kemal Atatürk'ün El Yazıları [Civics and M. Kemal Atatürk's Manuscripts] (1998) by Afet İnan, p. 364
  • How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
  • Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty, he was already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five, his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived, remained a devoted husband. "Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God's word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel commanded 'Read.' So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: 'There is one God.' "In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumours of God's personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, 'An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being. "At Muhammad's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: 'If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever."
    • James A. Michener, Islam: The Misunderstood Religion in Readers' Digest (American edition), 1955, pp. 68-70.
  • Purer than the system of Zoroaster, more liberal than the law of Moses, the religion of Muhammad might seem less inconsistent with reason than the creed of mystery and superstition which, in the seventh century, disgraced the simplicity of the gospels.
    • Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 5. p. 487]
  • It (Islam) replaced monkishness by manliness. It gives hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition of the fundamental facts of human nature." Canon Taylor, Paper read before the Church Congress at Walverhamton, Oct. 7, 1887.
  • The Islamic teachings have left great traditions for equitable and gentle dealings and behavior, and inspire people with nobility and tolerance. These are human teachings of the highest order and at the same time practicable. These teachings brought into existence a society in which hard-heartedness and collective oppression and injustice were the least as compared with all other societies preceding it….Islam is replete with gentleness, courtesy, and fraternity.”
  • From a new angle and with a fresh vigour, Islam took up that systematic development of positive knowledge which the Greeks had begun and relinquished. If the Greek was the father, then the Arab was the foster-father of the scientific method of dealing with reality, that is to say, by absolute frankness, the utmost simplicity of statement and explanation, exact record and exhaustive criticism. Through the Arabs it was, and not by the Latin route, that the modem world received that gift of light and power.
  • Islam is a religion of success. Unlike Christianity, which has as its main image, in the West at least, a man dying in a devastating, disgraceful, helpless death… Muhammed was not an apparent failure. He was a dazzling success, politically as well as spiritually, and Islam went from strength to strength to strength.
  • There are many interpretations of Islam within the wider Islamic community, but generally we are instructed to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it.
    • Aga Khan IV‎‎, in an interview with Robert Ivy (FAIA), in Architectural Record (31 August 2001).
  • The loss of revenue from conversions was so serious that, in spite of protests, tribute was levied even from those who had embraced Islam. In fact, within ten years from the Prophet's death, by the conquest of great and wealthy provinces, Islam was faced with conditions which had never been contemplated and the attempt to reconstruct it so as to preserve the original purpose under these new conditions, was too artificial to last. History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races, is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.
  • But Islam has yet a further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of interracial understanding and co-operation. No other society has such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavour so many and so various races of mankind. ... Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition If ever the opposition of the great societies of the East and the West is to be replaced by co-operation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relations with the East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced — but if Europe, by rejecting the co operation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both.
  • No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam . . . The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts that idea, and the Qur'an is explicit in support of the freedom of conscience."
    • James A. Michener, Islam - The Misunderstood Religion, Readers' Digest (American Edition) May 1955.
  • I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.
    • Yann Martel, Life of Pi Martel.
  • Islam appears to me like a perfect work of architecture. All its parts are harmoniously conceived to complement and support each other; nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking, with the result of an absolute balance and solid composure. Probably this feeling that everything in the teachings and postulates of Islam is "in its proper place" has created the strongest impression on me.
  • In the hours of its political degradation, Islam has achieved some of its most brilliant spiritual conquests: on two great historical occasions, infidel barbarians have set their feet on the necks of the followers of the Prophet, - the Saljūq Turks in the eleventh and the Mongols in the thirteenth century,- and in each case the conquerors have accepted the religion of the conquered. Unaided also by the temporal power, Muslim missionaries have carried their faith into Central Africa, China and the East India Islands.
  • The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam. The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all. It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language. It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved and unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been changed. The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgment. Allah has challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses like it.
  • Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadhan.
  • Neither the sword nor the work of an ecclesiastical order can account for Islam's continuous gains in new following. The phenomenon of growth, therefore, must be attributed in the last analysis to its powers of appeal and ability to meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples adhering to cultures totally alien to the founders, the desert Arabians, but at a level of religious and sociopolitical development familiar to them at the time of their conversion. Continued growth can be explained also in terms of Islam's willingness to tolerate views and practices stemming from alien cultural norms brought into Islam by the converts which a more rigid system of religion would not countenance. Flexibility at this, the crucial stage, of conversion is an important factor contributing to Islam's success. What would ordinarily be deemed heretical at the instance of conversion inevitably drifts or is lured towards orthodoxy. The spread of Islam into Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa presents a vivid example of its dynamism while its ability to survive in areas once dominated by communism is a testimony to its remarkable resilience.
    • Caesar E. Farah, Islam : beliefs and observances, 7th ed - Barron’s Ed. Series, Inc - Woodbury - New York. 1968 - pp. 268-269.
  • [Islam] is essentially an obstructive, intolerant system, supplying just sufficient good to stand in the way of greater good. It has consecrated despotism; it has consecrated polygamy; it has consecrated slavery. It has declared war against every other creed; it has claimed to be at least dominant in every land… When it ceases to have an enemy to contend against, it sinks into sluggish stupidity… It must have an enemy; if cut off, like Persia, from conflict with the infidel, it finds its substitute in sectarian hatred of brother Moslems… By [only] slightly reforming, it has perpetuated and sanctified all the evils of the eastern world. It has, by its aggressive tenets, brought them into more direct antagonism with the creed and civilization of the west.
  • I like Islam, it is consistent [or consequential] idea of religion and open-minded.
  • In Mohammedanism the limited principle of the Jews is expanded into universality and thereby overcome. Here, God is no longer, as with the Asiatics, contemplated as existent in immediately sensuous mode but is apprehended as the one infinite sublime Power beyond all the multiplicity of the world. Mohammedanism is, therefore, in the strictest sense of the world, the religion of sublimity.
  • I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.
  • You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?
    • Adolf Hitler, as quoted Inside the Third Reich : Memoirs by Albert Speer, p. 115.
  • The canon of the shariah and the Church, closely linked with the laws of the bourgeosie, treated women as a commodity, a thing to be bought and sold by the male... Just as the bourgeosie had made the worker into its proletarian, so had the savage ancient canons of the shariah, the Church, feudalism and the bourgeosie, reduced woman to the proletariat of the man.
  • That his (Muhammad's) reforms enhanced the status of women in general is universally admitted.
    • Hamilton Alexander Roskeen Gibb, Mohammedanism, London, 1953, p. 33.
  • I often think that woman is more free in Islam than in Christianity. Woman is more protected by Islam than by the faith which preaches Monogamy. In Al-Quran the law about woman is more just and liberal. It is only in the last twenty years that Christian England, has recognized the right of woman to property, while Islam has allowed this right from all times.
    • Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, pp. 25, 26]
  • ...it is the duty of those who have accepted them [Allah's word and message] to strive unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.
  • Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam. … Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of the world.
    • Bertrand Russell, "The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism", (London, 1920), pp. 5, 114-115
  • The beliefs appropriate to the impulse of aggression may be seen in Bernhardi, or in the early Mohammedan conquerors, or, in full perfection, in the Book of Joshua. There is first of all a conviction of the superior excellence of one's own group, a certainty that they are in some sense the chosen people. This justifies the feeling that only the good and evil of one's own group is of real importance, and that the rest of the world is to be regarded merely as material for the triumph or salvation of the higher race. In modern politics this attitude is embodied in imperialism.
  • It was the duty of the faithful to conquer as much of the world as possible for Islam. ... The Arabs, although they conquered a great part of the world in the name of a new religion were not a very religious race; the motive of their conquests was plunder and wealth rather than religion.
    • Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy, Book Two, Part 2, Chapter X: Mohammedan Culture
  • From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to Christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary… To us it seems that West-European civilization is civilization; but this is a narrow view."
  • The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.
  • Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints; and the Turks their Mahomet; as if the way to God was not open to every man alike.
    Each of those churches shows certain books, which they call revelation, or the Word of God. The Jews say that their Word of God was given by God to Moses face to face; the Christians say, that their Word of God came by divine inspiration; and the Turks say, that their Word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from heaven. Each of those churches accuses the other of unbelief; and, for my own part, I disbelieve them all.
  • It is not the intention of Islam to force its beliefs on people, but Islam is not merely ‘belief’. As we have pointed out, Islam is a declaration of the freedom of man from servitude to other men. Thus it strives from the beginning to abolish all those systems and governments which are based on the rule of man over men and the servitude of one human being to another. When Islam releases people from this political pressure and presents to them its spiritual message, appealing to their reason, it gives them complete freedom to accept or not to accept its beliefs.
    • Sayyid Qutb. Ma'alim fi'l-Tariq (Milestones). Maktabah Booksellers and Publishers. p. 70. 
  • Were the books of Islam all to be lost, excepting only the Ihya' (a book written by al-Ghazali), it would suffice to replace them all.
    • Al-Nawawi, Joseph E. B. Lumbard, Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition: Essays by Western Muslim Scholars, p. 291. ISBN 0941532607.
  • Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was — and it remains — incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society.
    • Islam is Christianity adapted to Arab mentality, or, more exactly, it is all that the unimaginative brain of a Bedouin, obstinately faithful to ancestral practices, has been able to assimilate of the Christian doctrines. Lacking the gift of imagination, the Bedouin copies, and in copying he distorts the original. Thus Musulman law is only the Roman Code revised and corrected by Arabs; in the same way Musulman science is nothing but Greek science interpreted by the Arab brain; and again, Musulman architecture is merely a distorted imitation of the Byzantine style.
    • Andre Servier, L’islam et la psychologie du musulman (1923).
  • Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported: I was with the Prophet and we woke up one day and I said, “O Messenger of God, tell me about a deed that will enter me into Paradise and keep me away from the Fire.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: You have asked about an enormous matter, yet it is easy for one whom God makes it easy. Worship God and do not associate anything with Him, establish the prayer, give the charity, fast the month of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the House.
    • Hadith Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2616 from [1]
  • Islam is very different, being ferociously intolerant. What I may call Manifold Monotheism becomes in the minds of very simple folk an absurdly polytheistic idolatry, just as European peasants not only worship Saints and the Virgin as Gods, but will fight fanatically for their faith in the ugly little black doll who is the Virgin of their own Church against the black doll of the next village. When the Arabs had run this sort of idolatry to such extremes [that] they did this without black dolls and worshipped any stone that looked funny, Mahomet rose up at the risk of his life and insulted the stones shockingly, declaring that there is only one God, Allah, the glorious, the great… And there was to be no nonsense about toleration. You accepted Allah or you had your throat cut by someone who did accept him, and who went to Paradise for having sent you to Hell.
  • For a vast number of "believing" Muslim men, "Islam" stands, in a jumbled, half-examined way, not only for the fear of God -- the fear more than the love, one suspects -- but also for a cluster of customs, opinions and prejudices that include their dietary practices; the sequestration or near-sequestration of "their" women; the sermons delivered by their mullahs of choice; a loathing of modern society in general, riddled as it is with music, godlessness and sex; and a more particularized loathing (and fear) of the prospect that their own immediate surroundings could be taken over -- "Westoxicated" -- by the liberal Western-style way of life.
  • I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age.
  • I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.
  • Your religion, although it has some good points, such as worship of the great Being, and the necessity of being just and charitable, is otherwise nothing but a rehash of Judaism and a tedious collection of fairy tales.
  • If the people of this religion [Islam] are asked about the proof for the soundness of their religion, they flare up, get angry and spill the blood of whoever confronts them with this question. They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and concealed. ... You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: "Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one." Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. ... By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: "Produce something like it"?!
    • Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Razi, in: Jennifer Michael Hecht - Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson (pg. 227-230) - HarperOne, September 7, 2004, ISBN 9780060097950
  • Some, indeed, dream of an Islam in the future, rationalised and regenerate. All this has been tried already, and has miserably failed. The Koran has so encrusted the religion in a hard unyielding casement of ordinances and social laws, that if the shell be broken the life is gone. A rationalistic Islam would be Islam no longer. The contrast between our own faith and Islam is most remarkable. There are in our Scriptures living germs of truth, which accord with civil and religious liberty, and will expand with advancing civilisation. In Islam it is just the reverse. The Koran has no such teaching as with us has abolished polygamy, slavery, and arbitrary divorce, and has elevated woman to her proper place. As a Reformer, Mahomet did advance his people to a certain point, but as a Prophet he left them fixed immovably at that point for all time to come. The tree is of artificial planting. Instead of containing within itself the germ of growth and adaptation to the various requirements of time and clime and circumstance, expanding with the genial sunshine and rain from heaven, it remains the same forced and stunted thing as when first planted some twelve centuries ago.
    • William Muir, Taken from the Rede Lecture he delivered at Cambridge in 1881) Asia. 2d ed., rev. and corrected. Published 1909 by E. Stanford in London. Page 458
  • All religions basically exhort mankind to be righteous and eschew evil. But Islam goes beyond that. It guides us towards practical ways of achieving righteousness and eliminating evil from our individual and collective lives. Islam takes into account human nature and the complexities of human society. Islam is guidance from the Creator Himself. Therefore, Islam is also called the Deenul-Fitrah (the natural religion of Man).


MisattributedEdit

  • For nearly five hundred years, these rules and theories of an Arab Shaikh and the interpretations of generations of lazy and good-for-nothing priests have decided the civil and criminal law of Turkey. They have decided the form of the Constitution, the details of the lives of each Turk, his food, his hours of rising and sleeping the shape of his clothes, the routine of the midwife who produced his children, what he learned in his schools, his customs, his thoughts-even his most intimate habits. Islam – this theology of an immoral Arab – is a dead thing. Possibly it might have suited tribes in the desert. It is no good for modern, progressive state. God’s revelation! There is no God! These are only the chains by which the priests and bad rulers bound the people down. A ruler who needs religion is a weakling. No weaklings should rule.
    • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as quoted in Grey Wolf: Mustafa Kemal – An intimate study of a dictator (1932) by Harold Courtenay Armstrong, pp. 199-200

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