There seems to be three or four central ideas owing to which Islam seems to be at loggerheads with other religions and if Islam can resolve these along the lines of what the Holy Prophet and God truly desired, culprits can be pinned down and the world can be a better place.
A basic presumption that has not been condemned outright is that ‘God of the Muslims is not the same as the God of the Jews and is not the same as the God of the Christians and is not the same as the God of the Hindus….’
Connecting the others first, there is absolutely no doubt that ‘The Father’ of Jesus Christ is the same as the ‘Yahweh’ of Moses and the prophets… incidentally Jesus Christ was a Jew till he was crucified. The equivalence is clearly established in the Bible. Next, Jesus Christ’s answer ‘I am who I am’ and his saying that ‘I will be in you and you in me just as The Father is in me and I in The Father’, proves the equivalence of his perspective to the Adwita perspective of the Hindus.
So if the Quran upholds the equivalence of the ‘God of the Muslims’ to any of the other three then it can be established, that the Holy Quran indeed mentions the very same Principle that has been brought forward by the sages of these various nations.
Check the verses from the Quran I.2:47-61 and no sane person will say that there is any difference between the true God of the Muslims and the true God of the Jews. So that must kill the issue… and having said that the verse I.2:62 clearly says:-
“Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, who ever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their lord, on them shall be no fear, nor will they grieve”
So the followers of other faiths, provided they are faithful to This One God, will have the promised rewards. Now the question arises as to why, despite this being so clearly said, some followers of Islam do not accept the fact that the faithful of other religions are also faithful. And the answer is that it is on account of an interpretation of a set of verses which could mean either of two things and people think it is their privilege to ‘interpret’ it as ‘they’ choose.
Check out these verses for instance, translated into English by Dr Muhammad TAqi-ud-din Al-Hilali and Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan:
I:2:81. Yes! Whosoever earns evil and his sin has surrounded him, they are dwellers of the Fire (i.e. Hell); they will dwell therein forever.
1:2:82 And those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah ___ - Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, they are dwellers of paradise, the will dwell therein forever
The corresponding verses are numbered differently in the translation by Maulawi Sher Ali:
I.2.82 Aye, whoso does evil and is encompassed by his sins—those are the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide
I.2:83 But they who believe and do good works—those are the dwellers of Heaven; therein shall they abide
Clearly there is a mismatch. In the second verse of the first translation it was kind of the translators to put their interpolations and interpretations in brackets. But what is there in the bracket clearly is an ‘addition’. In fact it also gives insight into the colored perspective with which the entire translation has been done. The original text does not apparently give any advantage to somebody who calls himself ‘Muslim’ or ‘practices’ the rituals of Islam. But in the interpretation the scholar conveniently adds things about Islamic Monotheism… thus excluding those practicing Christian Monotheism for instance—which is not the idea mentioned in the Original Book.
When it is said that the original must not be changed in as much as an addition or deletion of a dot, can translators take such liberties?
That is not all; there is mention of people who do not do the will of God and at such places if the translator adds ‘Jews’ in a bracket while translating, it reveals further that it is a ‘colored’ translation. Therefore, instead of judging people on the basis of the actions of good and evil, such translators are instead judging on the basis of the labels of ‘Jew’ and ‘Muslim’. This is mischief. It defies the dictum that even a single dot must not be changed both in letter and spirit.
This takes us to the second question. Who is the Kafir?
Clearly, if there is Oneness in the Supreme Being, meaning that the various perceptions of the Supreme Being are but different views of the Same Thing, then the correct test for whether a person is faithful or not is not the label (Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh), it is the good deeds – bad deeds part which distinguishes the faithful and the unfaithful within each group.
So it is about giving up one’s ego and bowing down in surrender to a Higher Power. If that ego remains (I am a ‘Good’ Muslim/Christian/Hindu said with pride also has elements of ego in it) then one is unfaithful, irrespective of what label he carries.
And here comes the next part; Jihad:
There is this person who is unfaithful—does not believe—and is therefore a kaafir. So then, must he be eliminated…? Absolutely not, the Quran clearly says that even with the unfaithful, if an agreement or pact has been made, then it must be honored by the faithful.
The only place one can take to arms against the unfaithful is when the faithful are under mortal attack by them. And this has been associated with the term ‘Jihad’.
‘Jihad’ is nothing other than doing what God wills of you, come what may. That is what Jesus Christ did when he laid down his life; it was The Father’s will which he held above his own. The equivalent term in Hinduism is Dharma. One must fulfill his Dharma—that is what the Highest Self desires—without pandering to his ‘individual’ ego. And if every act is guided by what God the Father expects, then a person is performing Jihad.
Instead of seeing this equivalence which God has revealed to the various nations of the world, if a person gets stuck in his ‘personal interpretation’ that it is about ‘labels’ and not about ‘deeds’ and ‘kindness’, he is truly unfaithful—a Kafir if you may—does not matter even if he is flawless in his rituals and/or is labeled by himself or his fellowmen as a ‘Muslim’…
The only thing that needs to be done is this: “Not a dot must be changed”, accept that in both letter and spirit. Produce a faithful translation of the Holy Book without coloring it with ‘perspective’; it will answer all questions and help better identify the wolf in sheep’s clothing—from all religions.