Advertisement

Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord

“By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them…”

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful

After voraciously taking in Reza Aslan’s book, Zealot, about the life and times of Jesus Christ, I decided to read his bestselling book about Islam, No god but God. Towards the end of his excellent, I must say, book Aslan wrote:

Just as the Christian Reformation opened the door to multiple, often conflicting, and sometimes baffling interpretations of Christianity, so has the Islamic Reformation created a number of wildly divergent and competing ideologies of Islam. What musts be recognized, however, is that the peaceful, tolerant, and forward-leaning Islam of an Amr Khaled and the violent, intolerant, and backward-looking Islam of an Osama bin Laden are two competing and contradictory sides of the same reformation phenomenon, because both are founded upon the argument that the power to speak for Islam no longer belongs solely to the Ulama [religious scholars]. For better or worse, that power now belongs to every single Muslim in the world.

Advertisement

Further writing about the role of the Internet in this reformation of Islam, he wrote that the Internet

has become a bastion for violent interpretations of Islam, and for Jihadism in particular, allowing militant preachers and propagandists to bypass the authority of the Ulama and communicate their anti-institutional message directly to Muslims across the world. And thanks to the relative anonymity of the Internet, it is often difficult to differentiate between the Ulama and the Jihadist, between the respected scholar and the dangerous dilettante.

As an admirer of Dr. Aslan’s excellent work, I must yet disagree with him on this last statement.

Indeed, there are competing narratives about what the essence of Islam is: a violent, intolerant, and backwards militant cult (upon which both Jihadist and Islamophobe oddly agree) or a peaceful, tolerant, progressive faith that inspires personal and societal greatness. Of course, I – and the overwhelming majority of Muslims like me – believe the latter. Yet, who is correct? How do we know the charlatan from the one who is telling the truth?

Advertisement

Jesus Christ gave the answer thousands of years ago:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-21)

So did the Qur’an:

Art thou not aware how God sets forth the parable of a good word? [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky, yielding its fruit at all times by its Lord’s leave. And [thus it is that] God propounds parables unto humanity, so that they may bethink themselves [of the truth]. And the parable of a corrupt word is that of a corrupt tree, torn up [from its roots] onto the face of the earth, wholly unable to endure. (14:24-26)

Advertisement

I can tell right away the barbarian from the civilized: by the fruits of his actions and words. If the results of the “Islam” of an Osama bin Laden and those of his ilk is death, destruction, despair, murder, mayhem, and violence – as it is – then, I know that this is a “false prophet” bearing a “corrupt word” yielding a “corrupt tree.” If someone’s Islam calls for the horrific violence of the Boston Marathon bombings, then I know it is false. If a preacher on a pulpit says God commands the murder of innocent people, then I know that this preacher is a “ravening wolf” come in “sheep’s clothing.”

Yet, if I see doctors, lawyers, carpenters, shopkeepers – among so many others – who do so much good in this world because they claim Islam commands them thus, then I know that this is the truth about Islam. When I behold ordinary American Muslims, citing their Islamic devotion, cooperating  with law enforcement to foil dozens of terrorist plots, then I know that this Islam is true.

Advertisement

When I witness Muslims in Egypt standing to forming human chains and praying in front of Churches so they would not be attacked by hoodlums and barbarians, then I know that this Islam is the true one.

http://www.chicagonow.com/midwestern-muslim/files/2013/08/20130817-142916.jpg

http://www.chicagonow.com/midwestern-muslim/files/2013/08/20130817-142926.jpg

http://www.chicagonow.com/midwestern-muslim/files/2013/08/20130818-113024.jpg

Advertisement

In fact, some of those people attacking Churches claim that they do so because Islam says they must. But, I know they are liars because of the fruits of their actions:  taking life, destroying what is  sacred, and wreaking more mayhem and destruction. Whereas the former are protecting life, protecting their fellow citizens, being good neighbors, protecting the sacred, and seeking to calm a very violent situation.

So, yes, there is a battle of the narratives over what the true nature of Islam is. But it is easy to see who are the “false prophets” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” because the end result of their claim is more evil and destruction. Thus, they cannot be claiming the truth.

  • Hesham A. Hassaballa

    I agree Roger. I pray extremist jihadism fades into the dustbin of history (which I believe it will).

  • http://rightrelates.org Roger A. Sawtelle

    This comment is right on target in citing the Biblical truth “A tree is known by its fruits.”

    A sad fruit of extremist jihadism is the conflict between Sunni and Shia. This is the cause if sectarian violence in Iraq, Pakistan, and Lebanon.

    This also can be seen in the tragic civil war in Syria.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Susan

    For the second time I was going to unsubscribe…but reading your article convinced me to keep on. Thank you for writing such a well-thought out lesson!!!

    I wish you had mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood as the wolves in sheep clothing that they are…but some of them, maybe many of them, have been misled by bad leaders. I pray that God opens their eyes to see the truth.

Previous Posts

Being A Believing Doctor In The Intensive Care Unit
In the Name of God, The Extremely, Eternally, and Everlastingly Loving and Caring This past week, we commemorated "Critical Care Week" at our hospital, which celebrates the women and men who dedicate their lives to taking care of the sickest ...

posted 7:50:38pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

"Go And Cling To Her Feet, Because Paradise Is There."
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Everlastingly Loving and Caring The title of this post is the response of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to a man who expressed a desire to perform jihad in the path of God. It is likely that ...

posted 4:08:56pm May. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary Reminds Us That Evil Comes In All Forms
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Caring I scanned the major headlines on a news search engine today, and there was barely a mention of the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred on this day 20 years ago. ...

posted 12:31:15pm Apr. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial: Tsarnaev Should Not Be Sentenced To Death
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Merciful The trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to enter jury deliberations this week. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the jury ...

posted 9:45:19pm Apr. 06, 2015 | read full post »

A Doctor on Doctor's Day
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Infinitely Loving and MercifulToday is National Doctors' Day, and all around the country, hospitals and medical offices are celebrating by thanking the thousands of physicians that work hard ...

posted 5:32:39pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.