Could Not Answer

Answers To A Priest’s Denigrations

A Protestant priest published a booklet, in which he reasons on the foundations of Islam and Christianity. We have considered it would be a propos to quote statements from that booklet and answer them. The quotations are italicized, within quotation marks, and the answers follow.

The booklet says, for instance, “According to the teachings of Jesus Christ, Christianity, a volitional religion suitable for and adaptable to every nation and every community, to their forms of government and policies, to the regulations, systems and states of their social structures, and to the countries they live in, can be established in any country without detriment to the order and policy of that country.”

ANSWER: As a matter of fact, because the existing Gospels contain very few rules pertaining to mu’âmalât, [that is, laws and regulations of buying and selling, family matters, conditions, forms, rights of tenure, employment and payment, political laws, etc.], it will certainly not damage or impair a nation’s order or policy, as the priest professes. [For they have no rules to make substitutions with. They have nothing in their repertoire to offer to others.] However, the world has seen no country as yet where Christians entered and yet did not make havoc of all its valid systems and states, homes, orders, lands and governmental organizations. Countless political law books existent in the libraries of Great Roman Empires, and books telling about Roman customs and traditions were all destroyed by Christians. [Christians exercised the same cruelty not only on non-Christian people, but also on their Christian co-religionists. Please see what Christian historians write about the cruelties and destructions the crusaders inflicted on the Byzantines when they entered Istanbul in the name of Christian religion. When they invaded Spain, they ruined and burned hundreds of libraries, destroyed thousands of works of art, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Muslims and

Jews; all these performances are tangible evidences exposing the innocent face of Christianity, which the priest alleges to be “a religion that does not interfere with other peoples’ policies and customs and which is presently accepted by everybody.”] It has never been easy for Christianity to settle in a country. Nor could it be expected to do so. [Even today, they are spending billions of pounds to Christianize people of poor and starving countries. They are helping them in various ways. They are doling out monthly payments to those poor people. Yet they have not been able to Christianize them so far. Is this priest so oblivious of this fact?]

He alleges in the same booklet, “The kingdom of Christianity is unlike worldly kingdoms or sovereignties. It is a spiritual and genuine dominion. Owing to its religious essence, which is spiritual, real, and peculiar to itself, it is applicable to all sorts of situations and places natural for people. It neither stoops to Christianize the eminent and ruling people of a country, nor categorically rejects their inclinations or habits.”

ANSWER: When a religion is applicable to all situations and places natural for people, it will no longer be necessary to call people to that religion. For that religion will spontaneously promulgate itself. Therefore, since it is in the open how assiduously Protestants are endeavouring to spread Christianity, this claim of theirs lapses automatically. On the other hand, even if we were to accede to its being a merit not to stoop to Christianize the eminent and ruling people of a country, what good could be anticipated from not rejecting their inclinations and [atrocious] habits? Or, are all sorts of atrocity, in the view of this priest, innate in the natural spirituality of the Christian religion?

The priest proffers in the same booklet, “The essential mission of Christianity in this world is not to widen the Christian nations’ periphery of power, but to deposit the grandeur and sovereignty of Allâhu ta’âlâ into every individual’s heart, and thus to spread it and make it acceptable among all communities in all countries.”

ANSWER: Unfortunately, the same priest, who counts on the decrepit position of Islamic countries versus the wealth and prosperity of Europe as an evidence to prove that Christianity is superior to and more virtuous than Islam, an argumentation which he deals with from the eighty-seventh through hundred and seventh page of the same booklet, now says here that it is not the purpose of Christianity to widen the periphery of power of a nation. Could it be the case that the religion he commends in those pages is Christianity, and the one he advertises here is some other religion?

The same priest asserts, “Those who admit the effectiveness and ascendancy of Christianity and value it will attain a lasting, sacred tie of brotherbood in addition to wisdom and policy. Being mature born slaves, on the other hand, they will attain divine blessings and delights in the hereafter.”

ANSWER: In accordance with this argument of his, it must be doubtful whether peoples of England, Austria and America are Christians. For these people have never been seen attached to one another with ties of brotherhood. They try to do utmost harm to one another for the sake of political advantages. The hostility between Lutherans and Calvinists or between any two other Protestant sects is no less vehement than the enmity between Catholics and Protestants. [Throughout history, Catholics and Protestants have looked on each other as enemies and disbelievers and ruthlessly destroyed each other. We have related a few examples earlier in the text. Those who read history know this fact very well. It is obvious that these statements of the priest are adoptions from goodnesses such as brotherhood, amity, generosity, etc., which exist in the Islamic religion and which are written in Muslims’ books. He appropriates the good qualities that belong to Muslims and which he has read about in Islamic books, and affixes them on Christianity.]

The priest goes on, “If it were true that Islam were superior to and more virtuous than Christianity, it would necessarily demonstrate Allah’s dominion in a manner better, higher and more spiritual than the explanation given above. It would be more adaptable to the positions and countries of the nations on the earth. It would guide people to happiness, perfection and justice in the world and infuse into them better hopes of honour and eternal felicity after departure from his world.”

ANSWER: In the Islamic religion, the dominion of Allâhu ta’âlâ is the Sharî’at of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’. Those who act upon its rules shall attain infinite blessings in this world and in the hereafter. And those who do not adapt themselves to it shall be bitterly disappointed and tormented in Hell. This fact is demonstrated in the most beautiful manner in Qur’ân al-kerîm and in hadîth-i-sherîfs. If the blessings and felicities promised to be given to Believers in the hereafter were demonstrated exactly as they were, the human mind could not comprehend them.

Because this priest is not aware of what has been going on in the world but for the four Gospels and the epistles of Peter and Paul, this queer allegation of his signifies nothing but his nescience. We would like to remind him that realizing how powerful Islam is in guiding to happiness, peace and justice requires meticulous study of Islam and the history of Islamic states. Those who know the facts and events about these two religions are quite aware that the Christian religion, which is far from spirituality, have been altered quite a number of times, [e.g. by Paul, by Councils, and by other priests]. If a person reads literature on the historical facts about Islam and Christianity, he will see that the truth is quite contrary to the priest’s allegation.

The priest goes on, “Every Christian accepts Jesus Christ’s resurrection and ascension after being killed as an atonement for his (or her) salvation. Christians’ feeling of security against the fear of death has reached the belief that ‘dying is similar to sleeping in a mosque.’ Christians accept death not as harmful, but as useful. On the other hand, most Muslims fear death. According to their creed, many promised rewards are awaiting them in the hereafter, and therefore, especially those lunatics who rush themselves into battlefields with the zealous aspiration for martyrdom in a holy war expect that as they die houris will meet them and entertain them in Gardens of Paradise. All these things are not contrary to our belief. Nevertheless, the relief and delight seen on Muslims at the lime of death are based on sensuous desires and pleasures such as delicious dishes of food and houris, which will be served to them in the hereafter. But Christians’ delight at that moment originates from their full belief in that they will attain to the presence of Allâhu ta’âlâ in new bodies clarified from sins. This proves the fact that Islam is not so heavenly or so spiritual as Christianity.”

ANSWER: According to the Islamic creed [belief], after death people shall assemble at the place of Mahsher, where everybody shall be called to account, judged, and taken to Paradise or Hell, whichever they deserve. There shall be various degrees of thawâb [rewards] and torment [retributions], depending on people’s deeds. The highest blessing in the hereafter is for us Muslims to attain to Allâhu ta’âlâ, not only to attain dishes of Paradise food or houris. [Indeed, whatever Believers do in the world, they do it for Allah’s sake. The most virtuous deed is the one which is done with ikhlâs (for Allah’s sake). Muslims never dislike death. They say, “We owe this life to Allâhu ta’âlâ, and we are ready to return it anywhere.” For they have definite belief in the hadîth-i-sherîfs which purport, “If a person does not wish to attain to Allâhu ta’âlâ, Allâhu ta’âlâ will not wish to attain to him, either. If a person wishes to attain to Allâhu ta’âlâ, Allâhu ta’âlâ, in turn, will wish to attain to him,” and “Death is a bridge that will lead the lover to the beloved one.” Most great men of Islam and many Awliyâ yearned after death, whereafter they would attain to Allâhu ta’âlâ, to Rasûlullah, to their teachers, who were among the Awliyâ, and to other Awliyâ. As their disciples sadly waited on them during their throes of death, they would advise, “Do not be sorry! There is no weeping for a person who is going to attain to Rasûlullah and to Allâhu ta’âlâ or who is going from one room to another in a house.” All these religious superiors left this world with a sweet, pleasant smile.] This aspect of the matter being unpropitious to the priest’s wicked purpose, he mentions only the aspect pertaining to the physical blessings of Paradise, thus, so to speak, buttressing up his opposition. Yet, with all his adversity and bigotry, he somehow acknowledges that at the time of death Muslims and martyrs feel more relieved and happier than do Christians. The omnipotence of Allâhu ta’âlâ is so infinite.

The priest goes on, “In the Bible, Jesus Christ does not threaten an unbelieving person or king, nor does he command to behave towards him in a manner as to be an example for others. He commands to obey a king even if he is an unbeliever.”

ANSWER: Yes, Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ commanded to obey even a pagan king. For it was impossible to make jihâd or to resist against the Roman Empire and the whole race of Jewry with seventy to eighty followers. Islam, too, prohibits to oppose the state or laws.

The priest goes on, “The Bible commands to obey all rulers. In fact, let alone non-Christian rulers, it preaches and advises to everybody to obey the worldly regulations and laws put by those emperors who are spiteful and hostile against Christianity.”

ANSWER: It is so astounding that Luther, the founder of Protestantism, was not aware of the existence of such a principle, which is known even by this priest. Or, perhaps, he completely disignored it because he followed no one. For Luther uses an utterly abusive language in his writings castigating the King of England, Henry VIII. For instance, a passage from the two hundred and seventy-seventh page of 1808 edition of his book can be paraphrased as follows: “I am speaking to the cuckold for the salvation of the people. Why should I not cram that cuckold’s lies down his throat while he, a king as he is, disregards the rights of his own honour and post. O you ignorant block-head! Why are you a mendacious liar, an extortioner, a thief, and an idiot, though you are the owner of the state. The administration of England, with all its superiority and abundance, has now fallen into your hands. ...” As it is seen, Luther, the leader and founder of Protestantism, let alone obeying or submitting himself to the authority of King Henry, did not hesitate to write the abovementioned foul words about him because he disregarded Luther’s innovations although he was not hostile to Christianity. [After all these, whereabouts is the Biblical commandment, “Obey rulers even if they are unbelievers”? Why did Luther, the founder of Protestantism, ignore this Biblical commandment instead of obeying it?]

It is written in the same blooklet, “By means of war, Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ established a political state, not a religious one. Islam permitted holy war only in Medîna-i-munawwara. Like Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ was charged with jihâd (holy war). He held religion and state in unity, and assumed both the task of Prophethood and the office of head of the state.”

ANSWER: Whereas the former half of this passage is completely wrong, the latter half is correct. The Islamic religion concedes domination or ownership to no one except Allâhu ta’âlâ. According to the Sharî’at of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, all Believers are free. For the principles of mu’âmalât (matters pertaining to buying, selling, etc.) in this Sharî’at are so immaculate that better ones could never be ideated. These principles are based on such steadfast and exquisite essentials that for thousands of centuries from now they would retain their validity and applicability to thousands of new colours that civilization might assume, and every possible new matter could be assimilated to one or more Islamic principles, no matter what the century, its improvements and requirements might be. Contrary to this priest’s supposition, Islam does not permit an overpowering, irresistable sovereignty. No statement could be so ignorantly expressed as the one which purports, “Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’ allocated both Prophethood and sovereignty to himself.” For our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’ was head of state throughout his lifetime.[He did not stock property like supreme rulers. What he had he always distributed to others, poor and rich alike. All through his lifetime, he was never heard to say ‘No’ for something asked from him. If he had what was asked for, he would give it; if he did not have it, he would be quiet. He lived in poverty. Yet his ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’ poverty was his personal choice. When he took possession of a rather large amount of money, he would never even keep it overnight. He would always dispense it. Following his example, his As-hâb would do the same.] He led a life of contentment, so much so that it was discovered at his death that he had pawned his armour as a security for his debt. Before deciding about an important matter such as jihâd, if there was not wahy-i-ilâhî, he would not act upon his personal opinion, but would ask the opinions of his As-hâb and then act upon the best opinion, following the âyat-i-kerîma which purports, “Consult (with others) about your matters.” Up until the times of Luther and Calvin, Popes were the only dominant authorities in Europe. In the tribunals called the Inquisition, they excommunicated even kings, brought whomever they liked to the throne, and dethroned and ruined those kings they disliked. With the interference of priests’ personal interests and caprices, state administration was atrophied. Thus, they brought Europe into such a miserable state that all politicians and statesmen began to clamour that the state would not attain safety without laicization, that is, unless state administration was separated from Christianity. Later on, Protestants considered it would be necessary to sever state affairs from religious matters, and this they did despite the Papal government. So, freeing state administration from Christianity, they rendered a service to humanity. If Papal authority had held sway over those states, they would have perished by now.

On the other hand, history teems with the examples of the states which gained strength, power and grandeur by adapting themselves to Islam. The remnants of those celebrated civilizations, e.g. the works of art remaining from the Andalusian Umayyads in Spain, [whatever survived of the many which were burned, destroyed, and annihilated by the savage Spaniards], and the Ottoman[74] masterpieces of architecture, law and literature, still exist in the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The booklet writes, “Islam commands Muslims to be strong and powerful. Therefore, instead of spreading among righteous people who wish to approach to Allâhu ta’âlâ, it has lured and captivated people who are fond of power and wealth. As a result, Islam’s adherents are not impressive of the adherents of a spiritual religion. Islam has maintained its complicated state from the very beginning. Christianity, on the other hand, owing to its incorporeal sacredness, has cautioned its believers against pompous and temporal grandeur. Since the beginning of Christianity, Christians have encountered various difficulties and suffered subduing enemy aggressions. This has deterred the pursuers of worldly advantages and interests from joining Christianity.”

ANSWER: The truth is quite the opposite of what the priest writes. Among the As-hâb-i-kirâm who became Muslims in Mekka-i-mukarrama before Hijrat (Hegira), there was not a single person fond of worldly pomp or wealth. Most of them were indigent, poor people. On the other hand, notables of Qoureish, who were Islam’s enemies, were wealthy, powerful, and fond of the world. As is written in the twenty-sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, according to Christian creed, during the Jewish Passover Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, after having his last dinner with his Apostles on the evening previous to his death, told them that he would be killed and that one of them would betray him to the Jews. Upon this the Apostles were terrified with the feeling of suspicion as to which one of them could commit such treason. When Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was arrested by the Jews, his Apostles, who were with him, left him. That night Peter, who was the closest friend of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, denied to know Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ three times, that is, each time the rooster crowed.

During the lifetime of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’, there were chieftains, notable tribesmen, rich people among the As-hâb-i-kirâm. These people did not behave in such a manner as would risk their Islamic manners or belief. For their acceptance of Islam had not been for the sake of ephemeral worldly property. All the As-hâb-i-kirâm willfully sacrificed their property and lives for the sake of the Islamic religion. It is manifest which of them, Islam or Christianity, comprises more rectitude and spirituality. It is clearly understood from these examples we have given which of them allured those people who chased worldly power and interests.

The priest goes on, “Islam’s not distinguishing religion from State brings up several of its shortcomings. Each of these shortcomings, in comparison to Christianity, has held people in a chain of contradictions with respect to their religious needs. This sums up to mean that Islam is not an elevated religion. Now we shall begin to explain some of the dangers that may arise from mingling religion with politics.”

ANSWER: As we have stated earlier, this protesting priest is continuously in error by confusing Islam with Christianity, which is a collection of the Gospels attributed to Matthew and John and a series of epistles ascribed to Peter and Paul. The dangers he is going to explain, therefore, originate from the same source.

The priest goes on, “Christianity not only spread wider than Islam, but also it did not open wars against those who would not accept it, nor did it treat them so as to hurt their values of chastity and honour. Christianity has always guided its believers to goodness and abundance.”

ANSWER: Christians, after invading the Granada city, Christianized its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants by force, using the tribunals they named the Inquisition as a means of oppression. Even those who would change their faith were hurled into fires and burnt alive. [As those unfortunate people crackled in the furious flames and their lacerating cries and wails reached high up in the sky, the barbarous Christian Spaniards screamed and danced with joy, all of them, men and women alike.] If this priest had read about the savageries and cruelties recounted in the historical chronologies about Andalusians and the Inquisition, which were written by ecclesiastical historians, he would not have the daring to invent the false story that “Christians did not treat those who would not accept Christianity so as to hurt their values of chastity and honour.” [Actually, the priest’s statement is true in a way. For Christians did not leave any non-Christians under their administration, annihilating them after subjecting them to unthinkable, unimaginable methods of barbarism and torture. In fact, these same methods of annihilation have been applied by Protestants to Catholics, and by Catholics to Protestants. Thus, in countries under Christians’ control, no member of any other religion was left alive. In countries where no one belongs to another religion, Christians’ allegation that they “did not treat those who would not accept Christianity so as to hurt their values of chastity and honour,” is mendacity. For there was no one left for them to hurt the values of. Those who read the histories of crusades written by fanatical Christian historians will see clearly how mendacious these priests are. We asked a priest we know what his opinon was on these writings of ours. We wanted to know how come those Christians, who are alleged to belong to a religion whose main principle is to do good to everyone and “When someone slaps you on one cheek, offer him your other cheek,” did all those savageries. He could not answer.]

The priest goes on, “Islam commands to always fight against its adversaries and non-Muslims. It subjects its defeated enemies to jizya (wealth tax), which means to insult them. Now, which of these two religions is more virtuous and fitter for the human nature with respect to mercy and compassion? Wise and reasonable people will see at once which of them is superior.”

ANSWER: History is in the open. [The priest’s statements are quite contrary to facts. They are lies, slanders. Muslims fought against those enemies who assailed Islam and against tyrants and dictators who oppressed people. The Islamic jihâd is performed either as a defensive operation against disbelievers and tyrants molesting Muslims and Muslim countries, or as a rescue operation to save people ruthlessly oppressed under the tryranny and barbary of cruel dictators, or as a mission to let those unfortunate people hear about the justice and peace innate in Islam, and its principles guiding to happiness in this world and the next. In other words, it is performed in order to teach the religion of Allâhu ta’âlâ to the born slaves of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and thus to guide them to peace and happiness. In Islam, war is not a means of assailing other countries and plundering them in order to stock property. In places conquered after wars, Muslims cannot perpetrate massacres or cruelties like Christians. It is declared in many places of Qur’ân al-kerîm and in various hadîth-i-sherîfs of our Prophet that Allâhu ta’âlâ enjoins from these acts. People (in such conquered countries) cannot be forced to change their religions. Forcing them means to disobey Qur’ân al-kerîm. The two hundred and fifty-sixth âyat of Baqara sûra, which purports, “There is no compulsion in religion,” is a plain evidence of this. There have been numerous Christians in those countries where Islam has been dominant for fourteen hundred years as well as in countries that remained under the Ottoman sway for six hundred and thirty years. Most of the Christians living in Turkey today are their grandchildren. If the Ottoman Government had employed the slightest policy of compulsion, there would be no Christians left in Turkey today. When the Barbarous Christian Spaniards vanquished the Andalusian Omayyad State and invaded Spain, they perpetrated a genocide of the Muslims and Jews who fell into their hands, and then celebrated it as a day of feast, for according to them there were “no disbelievers left in Spain.” These are the cruelties exercised by Christians, who are claimed to belong to a religion of compassion and mercy that spread peacefully. When Fâtih Sultan Muhammad Khan[75]conquered Istanbul in 857 [A.D. 1453], he did not apprehend Byzantines’ property. Nor did he forbid them from practising their religion. The people, who had been fed up with the tyrannies of the Christian Byzantine Empire, helped the Ottomans, not the Byzantine forces, in order to enjoy the Ottoman justice. After the conquest of Istanbul, Fâtih Sultan Muhammad Khan, let alone demolishing the churches, helped the patriarchate of Fener (Phanar). As for the Saint Sophia, which was then in ruins; he had it restored and enlarged, and changed into a mosque because of necessity. Muslims levied (the tax called) jizya on the non-Muslim inhabitants of the places they conquered. This (tax of) jizya, which was taken in return for the tremendous expenses Muslims defrayed in order to protect their property, lives, chastity and religion, was an insignificant amount, and it had its special contingencies. It was a (religious) commandment that the money taken in the name of jizya should be spent for charitable purposes. It was not as the priest asserts. As a matter of fact, in our day every government collects various taxes from their people.] These criticisms of the priest’s are not intended to expose the truth. One must be an idiot not to apprehend that these statements of his originate from his bigotry and malevolence or are induced by his greed for money. However, since the savageries displayed during the crusades and in Andalusia are written in their own books, too, no person with reason and logic will believe these mendacities and lies of the priest’s.

The priest goes on, “In the time of Ottomans, who were the predominant Islamic nation, abusive terms were being used about the non-Muslim subjects. This went on until recently, when it was at last forbidden and the non-Muslims were granted the same rights as Muslims. This fact proves that my earlier statements are true.”

ANSWER: The rights which the non-Muslim subjects equally shared with the Muslims were valid and observed since the reign of Fâtih Sultan Muhammad Khan. What authority does he think compelled Fâtih Sultan Muhammad Khan to grant these concessions to the Byzantine church? All the Ottoman Sultans observed this justice and autonomy conceded to the church in order to obey the commandment of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ which we have cited in the initial pages of our book. What was the State’s need for employing the Byzantines, who were called Phanariots, as dîwân interpreters in the Ottoman Foreign Ministry or in the Wallachian and Moldavian princedoms? The law of equality, which was declared afterwards, was not the proclamation of something new, but the corroboration of what was already existent. As for the terms that are said to be abusive; they were being used from earlier times as rules of etiquette to label ranks and personages. As we have stated earlier, they were not intended to insult or scorn. Like any other state, the Ottoman State had its own nomenclature of protocol, and each Sultan had his personal usage of terminology in his firmans. No one ever thought of interpreting them as abusive.

The priest goes on, “The Islamic States’ improvement to equity and justice in this respect was not a commandment of Qur’ân al-kerîm, nor was it a natural outcome of being Muslims. It is a palpable fact that the latest Ottoman Sultans, who were clever and wise enough to apprehend that their country and people needed progress and reformation, executed the improvements in the wake of their Christian European counterparts.”

ANSWER: Such omnifarious equality as the censuring priest envisions does not tally with Qur’â al-kerîm, nor would it be agreeable to common sense. The Ottoman State established the equality prescribed by the (Islamic) Sharî’at not in the wake of European emperors, but by executing Islam’s commandment, and declared the principles of equality [by writing the already existing injunctions item by item]. As of today, there has not yet been a European State to grant to its own people and put into practice the same extremely vast privileges as was granted by the Ottoman State to the non-Muslims.

[The cruelties, the barbarous and diabolical persecutions which Christian states have perpetrated in the Muslim countries they have invaded recently, are astoundingly gruesome. In the First World War, the English concentrated the slaves they had captured on the eastern front in huge camps in Egypt. They forced these Muslim slaves to bathe in large ponds, which had been impured with copper sulfate before. No sooner had the slaves returned to their homes than they became blind.

Another method Christians employ for annihilating Muslims and Islam is their policy of having Muslims kill other Muslims. İn the war of Çanakkale, African and Indian Muslims were made to wear British uniforms on the fronts of Egypt, Yemen and Syria to fight against the Ottomans, who were Muslims like themselves. Those Muslims were provoked to fight by the prevarication that they were being taken to help the Islamic religion and to fight against the enemies of the Islamic Khalîfa. Another method they employ is unbearably horrid for one to relate. For even cannibals have not attempted to kill a son, cut off and cook his head, and have his parents eat it. Please reread the second answer in the seventh chapter! It depicts the real personality of Europeans, who claim to be the civilized members of a religion dictating mild and amiable behaviour. It is so consternating that they have the face to assert, after all, that the Ottomans granted equal rights to their non-Muslim compatriots in the wake of Europeans.]

The priest goes on, “The Ottoman reforms, which are generally known as the outcome of the virtuous Ottoman benevolence and wisdom, are, contrary to the prevalent supposition, due to the honour of Christianity, not of Islam.”

ANSWER: This passage is very well-written. The Ottoman transmutations, which were administered in the name of reformations by Reshîd Pasha, who was a freemason, were inculcated by Christians and masons. [For Christians, or rather, Protestants, coaxed Mustafâ Reshîd Pasha, the Ottoman Ambassador to London, to becoming a freemason by offering him brilliant advantages and money. Training him in masonic lodges, they sent him back to the Ottoman State as an adversary of Islam and Ottoman. They established masonic societies in big cities. By means of the heinous plans prepared by such perfidious people, the Muslim Turks, who were, (and are), the real owners of their country, were lowered to a secondary class of citizenship, and the non-Muslims were made privileged citizens. Whereas the Muslims were charged with too big sums of money for most of them to pay for exemption from military service, the amount demanded from their non-Muslim peers was no more than a perfunctory sample. While the pure lads of this country were suffering martyrdom for the sake of their faith, homeland and chastity, the non-Muslims and freemasons, who were the enemies of Islam, monopolized all the industries and trades of the country owing to the treacherous stratagems schemed by Mustafâ Reshîd Pasha and the freemasons trained by him in collaboration with English and Scotch masonic lodges. By levying heavy taxes for export and promoting import, Mustafâ Reshîd Pasha sabotaged the Ottoman industry and arts. He had scientific education abrogated from schools. Europeans, who were the architects of all these impairments, were not yet satisfied with them; supplying money and weapons for the non-Muslim Ottoman citizens, they instigated them to rebellion, thus sowing the seeds of discord, hostility and hatred among the people who had been living together in peace for half a century. This instigation gave birth to horrendous, stupefying cruelties, savageries and blood-baths. If the Ottomans had perpetrated a thousandth of the barbarities they were subjected to by Bulgarians, Russians, Armenians and Greeks, there would be no Bulgarians, no Armenians, no Greeks, no Russians on the earth today. The so-called reforms, which were intended to annihilate the Muslim Turks, were all realized owing to the destructive plans of Christians.]

Here again, the priest asserts, “In Islam, political laws and religious rules are not differentiated; both of the systems take their authorities from the same source. Therefore, an Islamic government has to keep the religious obligations as effective as individual rights by protecting them with powerful laws. This, in its turn, is an issue perilous and detrimental to Muslims’ credal dispositions. For performance of religious obligations will be acceptable only when it is intended to attain His love, to approach towards Him, to obey Him. Otherwise, if religious duties are done because of compulsion, they will not be real obedience or piety; they will be perfunctory simulations, which can be, in a way, interpreted as hypocrisy and ostentation.”

ANSWER: It is written both in the Taurah and in the Gospels that there will be great substantial and spiritual rewards and prizes in return for doing the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ, i.e. actions called farz, and refraining from His negative injunctions, that is, prohibitions called nahy. In the twenty-third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ warns the scribes and Pharisees about the divine torment and Hell, and reminds them of their own wrongdoings in an angry tone. At other places, he promises that those who believe in him shall be saved and attain blessings in the hereafter. Since Christians’ worships are based on such threats of Hell and the promised blessings of Paradise, Christians’ pure belief and unmodified thoughts must be in jeopardy. For such divergent intentions cannot be reconciled with worshipping only for the sake of Allâhu ta’âlâ and only in order to approach towards Him. Whatever answer the priest would give to this challenge of ours, he may retain it as our answer to him.

And yet the priest goes on, “The Islamic religion puts the apostate to death. Chastising those who violate the month of Ramadân by frankly not fasting in it, Islam compels people to remain adherent to the religion, and thus to hypocrisy.”

ANSWER: As we have stated earlier, the Islamic religion is not like Christianity, which was established by Paul and Peter. It is the most perfect religion, a sampler of all sorts of outward and spiritual virtues and superiorities. Therefore, the boundaries ordained by Allâhu ta’âlâ protect Islam’s sublime and beautiful ethic against corruption and violation. Rules of apostasy are never applied to a Muslim, unless he frankly acknowledges that he is in a state of disbelief. If a Muslim publicly violates the month of Ramadân by not fasting, he will be chastised by the (Islamic) government, that is, he will be punished for publicizing his sin. Yet if he does not publicize his sin, that is, if he conceals his not fasting, he will not be chastised by the government. Qur’ân al-kerîm prescribes a certain punishment and expiation for this sort of sin. [There are cases which necessitate qadâ only as well as those requiring keffâret (expiation) also.] The chastisement inficted by the (Islamic) government is the retribution for a Muslim’s publicizing his sin and making a mischievous example for others. Such chastisements are for Muslims. The Islamic State does not interfere with Christians’ worships. There is not any chastisement for them concerning their worships. Nor are they oppressed in any way. These chastisements protect Muslims’ morals and unity against deterioration. The two hundred and fifty-sixth âyat of Baqara sûra, which purports, “There is no compulsion in religion,” informs that a person belonging to another religion cannot be forced to become a Muslim. And the eighty-ninth âyat of Nisâ sûra, which purports. “If they turn away from tawhîd and hijrat, enslave or kill them whereever you find them,’ informs that those who, after accepting Islam, turn away from Islam and apostatize, are to be killed. The expression, “Islam compels people to remain adherent to the religion, and thus to hypocrisy,” is the priest’s personal fabrication. This statement of his indicates that he interprets Qur’ân al-kerîm as he wishes. [Perhaps he considers Qur’ân al-kerîm to be similar to the Gospels he has been reading. Yet he is wrong. A person who interprets Qur’ân al-kerîm with his own views will become a disbeliever. Qur’ân al-kerîm is not a book to be read in a state of drunkenness and then to pronounce preposterous judgements. Interpreting Qur’ân al-kerîm requires first of all being a Muslim and then being an expert in a number of branches of knowledge and then being gifted with a special kind of enlightenment, which is a blessing of Allâhu ta’âlâ.]

The priest goes on, “The following event shows that the Bible is opposed to chastising renegades or those who ignore fasting: One day a group of Jesus Christ’s followers said that they wanted to part with him because they were offended at something. Jesus Christ turned to others and said, ‘Do you wish to go, too?’ Thus he gave them freedom of choice. One of them, speaking for them all, said, ‘Who could we go to? You have the word for the eternal life.’ ”

ANSWER: All the Prophets called Ulul-azm were personally entrusted with the task of establishing and executing the ahkâm-i-shar’iyya (canonical laws) which they brought from Allâhu ta’âlâ. The task which Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was entrusted with was the perfection and consolidation of the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, in addition to some outward worships and beautiful moral qualities. Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ invited people who had been misled by the Israelites to obeying the rules in the Taurah and the Bible. The statements, “When Jesus was arrested by the Jews the Apostles left him and ran away. Peter, who was the most virtuous, denied Jesus three times in one night,” show clearly how strong the belief of the followers of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was. It would be senseless to chastise the renegades among people whose belief was already so weak.

The priest goes on, “The Islamic religion is composed of political laws and religious commandments. Therefore, many people accepted the victories and accomplishments of the earliest Islamic States as strong evidences for the rectitude of the Islamic religion. Should not the contemporary Muslims say, ‘How can we believe in the rectitude of our religion despite the fact that as a result of our policy, which is a principal tenet of our religion, most of the countries and cities which were once under our control are now in the hands of Christians, and some forty million Muslims are under their domination?’ ”

ANSWER: It is impossible for Muslims to say so. For, as we have explained earlier, Islamic States retained their power and grandeur as long as Muslims adhered fast to their religion and observed its commandments and prohibitions in the most perfect and beautiful manner possible. Later on, as they were alienated from the Islamic ethic, their national moral qualities gradually deteriorated, Islam’s injunctions were ignored, and there began an administration and execution based on personal inclinations. [This, again, was contrived by Christians and their masonic societies. Using all sorts of seduction including various promises and gratifications, they cajoled youngsters who were quite unaware of the Islamic religion, trained them as traitors hostile to their own religion and country, and then sent them forth to Islamic countries. These people, who were Muslims in name but Christians in personality, administered the Islamic States not as prescribed by Islam, but as they liked and wished. Thus, Islamic countries were broken and Muslims went under Christians’ domination. In order to achieve their ends, Christians overtly supported all the enemies of Islam, including pagans. The pagan Mongol Emperor, Jenghiz Khân, the notorious cruel demolisher of the Islamic world, was gratified by the Pope, who sent him invaluable gifts and golds. The Pope’s envoys shuttled back and forth between the Pope and Jenghiz Khân, and served him as his mentors. For Jenghiz Khân was ruthlessly slaughtering Muslims and endeavoring to annihilate Islam. Jenghiz Khân’s grandson, Hulâghu, when he captured Baghdâd, massacred more then eight hundred thousand Muslims and burned Baghdâd, which was the world’s most beautiful city and center of knowledge. All the Islamic works of art and religious books were destroyed, the Tigris River flowed in blood and ink for many days. What was the purpose of the Pope, the spiritual leader of Christians, who claim to be very merciful, for rewarding such an enemy of religion? It is blasphemy to help and encourage an unbeliever. Helping and encouraging a cruel tyrant, on the other hand, is cruelty itself. They have been striving to destroy and annihilate the Islamic civilization for thirteen hundred years. And now they are trying to put forth the stranded situation Islamic countries are in as a proof for Christianity’s meritorious superiority over Islam. Even the insane would sneer at them. So, Muslims were alienated from Islam, and Islamic states, with the deterioration of their essential principles, collapsed and perished.] Inversely, as long as Christian states remained adherent to Christianity, they remained in confusion. When these states abandoned Christianity and inclined towards atheism, they began to imitate the Islamic religion in their policies and thus became strong and powerful. Histories, which are the open testimonies of this state, will continue to show this fact to the whole world till doomsday. No matter how dexterous Islam’s enemies may be in mendacity, misrepresentation and calumniation, these equitable witnesses will refute them and publicize their lies all over the world.

The priest goes on, “The appearing of Jesus Christ is a very important turning point in God’s dominion. This dominion abrogated some rites peculiar to past religions, e.g. circumcision. Disregarding circumcision, it valued consecration of the heart and beautification of morals, that is, extermination of wicked qualities. Muslims, on the other hand, are still practising circumcision, thus trying to keep up a custom which God annulled through the Bible.”

ANSWER: The fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew quotes Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ as saying, “Do not think I have come to demolish the Sharî’at. I have come to perfect the Sharî’at, not to demolish it. For the truth I am to tell you is that not even a letter or a dot of the Sharî’at shall be annihilated unless heaven and earth perish.” On the other hand, it is stated in the Taurah that one of the most important commandments of the Sharî’at of Mûsâ’ ‘alaihis-salâm’ is circumcising the children. In fact, the Taurah quotes Allâhu ta’âlâ as commanding to Ibrâhîm (Abraham) ‘alaihis-salâm’, “Execute circumcision. For Paradise is not accessible without circumcision.” All Prophets coming between Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm’ and Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ acted upon this commandment. As a matter of fact, Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ himself was circumcised. The Gospels do not even contain a word concerning the abrogation of circumcision. When we asked this protesting priest which one of the Gospels abrogated the Sharî’at [by annulling the injunction of circumcision] despite the Biblical verse, “... not even a letter or a dot of the Sharî’at shall be annihilated...,” which we have quoted above, his answer was no more than putting forward a few passages from the Epistle to Galatians written by Paul, who had not even reached the time when Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ had lived. For sixteen years this notorious person, Paul, perpetrated various persecutions and torments to the Believers of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, including the excoriation of one of the blessed Hawârîs. Later he claimed to believe in Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ as a result of a dream, which, again, was his own fabrication. Now we ask this censuring priest: For what reason was that notorious Jew’s word preferred to the definite and open commandment of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, and why was circumcision abandoned? Muslims observe the sunnat of circumcision because our Prophet commanded them to preserve the sunnat of Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm’ and obey this commandment of Allâhu ta’âlâ in the Taurah. This performance of Muslims consists in obeying the divine will of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Christians’ abandoning circumcision, on the other hand, means disignoring the commandment of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, which is also enjoined in the Taurah, and obeying Paul, the cruel hypocrite.

[Paul says in the seventh and eighth verses of the second chapter of his Epistle to Galatians, “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of circumcision was unto Peter;” “(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” (Gal: 2-7, 8) Peter, the closest friend who was always with Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, commands circumcision and observes it himself. Then appears a Jew, who never saw Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ in his lifetime and who oppressed bitterly for sixteen years the Nazarenes who believed in Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. This Jew fabricates a lie and says, “I have been given the Bible of uncircumcision. Let those people other than Jews not be circumcised.” And this lie is observed as an injunction of the Christian religion. Supposing an ordinary person came forward and said that he had been revealed or inspired that such and such a thing should be done in such and such a manner, and a so-called religion accepted his words as an essential document. A person with discretion would not believe in the heavenliness of that religion.]

Another criticism that Christians stir up against Islam is based on the fact that Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i-sherîfs are in the Arabic language. The priest says, “Since Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i-sherîfs are in Arabic and no studies have been done to translate it into other languages, Muslims who do not understand Arabic are deprived of knowing the meaning of Qur’ân al-kerîm. All the duâs and dhikrs are in Arabic. Muslims recite prayers without being aware of what they are saying. When people of other nationalities accept Islam and attempt to penetrate the inner realities of Qur’ân al-kerîm, they are encumbered with the burden of learning Arabic. Furthermore, because every Muslim is obligated to visit Mekka and Medina at least once in his lifetime, the land of Hidjaz has gained ascendancy over other lands. The obligation of hajj has become a burden, a trouble for people living in far away countries.”

ANSWER: An observation of the Old and New Testaments would be enough to answer his first objection. The Old and New Testaments were subjected to numerous interpolations each time they were translated into another language. Allâhu ta’âlâ revealed His Qur’ân al-kerîm in the Arabic language in order to protect it against such interpolations. This will suffice as an answer to the priests’ criticism.

Their second objection, that is, their criticism about hajj, has already been answered earlier in the text. Repetition would be unnecessary. The Islamic ’Ulamâ explicate in their works the hikmats[76] in the revelations of Qur’ân al-kerîm in the Arabic language and in hajj. Yet, in order to be blessed, we shall give here one of their explanations concerning the realities in the restraint against translating Qur’ân al-kerîmand the obligation of visiting Mekka-i-mukarrama and Medîna-i-munawwara, since it has to do with our subject:

As it is known by people of wisdom and knowledge, people living in various different climates of the earth were originally born from the same father and mother. They are like different generations of a great empire who have increased in number in process of time, parted into numerous tribes, and forgotten about their original relations. The disagreements and controversies among these various tribes emanate from the ideological and credal differences among them, which in turn are the natural proceedings of linguistic and customary differences. Since love of one’s country is an inborn quality, everyone naturally loves his own country, as a result of which different people love different countries and therefore have different interests and benefits. When the objective is to remove or offset these differences, which are in the long run harmful to all the tribes and nations in general, there will be no other way than diminishing the sources of difference and assimilating these nations to one another. That is:

1 — For eliminating the harms of linguistic differences, which are the causes of disagreements, it is necessary to establish a common language among them.

2 — For alleviating the harms of customary and systematical differences among them, which are the major sources of disagreements, and for bringing them together in unity, they must be knitted together by means of the same customs and systems.

3 — Love of one’s country, which is a spiritual dormancy, must be canalized towards concentricity, that is, people must be made to love one common country. The inner essence and purpose of the principles laid by the Islamic religion is to eliminate the disagreements among people and to tie them together with common aims of happiness and benefits. Qur’ân al-kerîm was revealed in the most beautiful of all the human languages, namely the Arabic language. [‘Arab means beautiful. Hence Lisân-ul-’Arabî means the most beautiful language.] By means of the farz and other worships, all nations and tribes have been made equal. And by the obligation of hajj, Mekka-i-mukarrama and Medîna-i-munawwara have been made (Umm-ul-awtân), that is, sacred places, for all the Muslim nations. A Muslim will easily learn the Arabic language if he is drilled in reading Qur’ân al-kerîm and taught Arabic lessons at a very early age. Thus he will exchange ideas with Muslims all over the world. [For there will be a common language between them now.] On the other hand, by means of common systems of behaviour, such as azân (or adhân), namâz, fasting, zakât, hajj, especially the rukns (obligatory actions) in namâz, the namâz performed on Friday, namâz performed in jamâ’at (congregation), following the imâm (person who conducts the namâz in congregation), Islam brings tribes with different customs closer to one another and guides them to a common system of belief and worships. And Mekka-i-mukarrama, the Islamic center where Muslims come together, is their common sacred place. It is a religious duty, a debt to love it, to preserve and protect it. For hundreds of thousands of people from eastern, western, southern and northern parts of the world, who have never seen one another before, nor would it otherwise be possible for them to see one another, come together in Mekka-i-mukarrama for the performance of the farz of hajj, exchange knowledge and ideas, consolidate their religious creed and love, and are welded together. So, the real aim of Islam is to make all peoples and tribes brothers by uniting them in the same beautiful system of belief, worships and ethics. People who obey Islam, [wherever and] in whatever age they live, will attain honour, happiness and success as long as they obey it. Thus, it is doubtless, in a short time six hundred million Muslims on the earth will regain their centuries-old powerful and honourable status and, being full of brotherly affection for one another, they will fill the whole world with peace and happiness.

Amidst all the slanders directed by Christians to the Islamic religion, this priest asserts, “In Islam, jihâd-i-fî-sebîlillah (holy war only for Allah’s sake) is farz. On the other hand, there is no commandment for jihâd in Christianity. This case is an evidence for the virtue of Christianity.”

ANSWER: The commandment of jihâd is stated clearly in all the books of the Old Testament. We have already quoted the statement of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, “I have not come to demolish the Sharî’at. I have come to perfect the Sharî’at, not to demolish it.” This statement bears the meaning that he will also perfect jihâd, which exists in the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. Christians refuse this commandment of jihâd enjoined by Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. There are very many verses conveying the commandment of jihâd in the Old Testament. It is worth the time spent mentioning them here.

It is stated in the tenth and later verses of the twentieth chapter of Deuteronomy, “When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.” “And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.” “And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:” “And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:” “But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.” “Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.” “But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing alive that breatheth.” (Deut: 20-10 to 16)

The account given to this effect in the thirty-first chapter of Numbers can be summarized as follows: “Commanded by Allâhu ta’âlâ, Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ formed a twelve thousand strong army to fight against the Medians. Defeating the Medians, they killed all the men and enslaved their women and children. They took away all their animals, flocks and property as booties, and burned all their towns and sites.” (paraphrased from Num: 31-7 to 10) If you need detailed information on the facts we have summarized here, please consult the book Numbers of the Old Testament. It is stated in the Old Testament that Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ appointed Yûshâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ (Joshua) as his successor before his death. And he (Yûshâ), obeying the Taurah’s commandment, killed many millions of people. Those who are interested will find detailed information from the first chapter through the thirty-first chapter of the book Numbers.

The eighth and later verses of the twenty-seventh chapter of 1 Samuel state, “And David and his men went up, and invaded the Gesh’u-rites, and the Gez’rites, and the Am’a-lek-ites: ...” “And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to A’chish.” (1 Sam: 27-8, 9)

It is written in the eighth chapter of II Samuel that Dâwûd (David) ‘alaihis-salâm’ slaughtered twenty-two thousand Syrian soldiers, and in the tenth chapter that he killed forty thousand horsemen of the Aramaians. (2 Sam: 8-5 and 10-18)

It is written in the eighteenth chapter of I Kings that Ilya (Elijah) ‘alaihis-salâm’ had four hundred and fifty people killed because they had claimed to be Baal’s Prophets. (1 Kin: 18-1 to 40)

It is written in the fourteenth chapter of Genesis that when Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm’ received the news that the kings who had been attacking Sodom and Gomorrah had enslaved Lût ‘alaihis-salâm’ and pillaged his property, he convened his soldiers in order to save his brother and others, pursued the pillagers up to Dan, conducted a night raid, killed all the pillagers, rescued his brother, Lût ‘alaihis-salâm’, repossessed all the property pillaged, and took them all back, including the women. (Gen: 14-11 to 16)

Paul states in his epistle to the Hebrews that David, Samuel and other Prophets, who had formerly been weak people barely escaping the edge of the sword, mustered power and courage, forced the enemy armies to run away, and conquered lands. (Heb: 11-32, 33)

As it is understood from all these, past Prophets ‘alaihimus-salâm’ were also commanded to make ghazâ and jihâd against disbelievers. Yet Islam’s jihâd-i-fî-sebîlillah, unlike emperors’ wars, is not made for the satisfaction of mundane intentions and sensuous desires or for achieving fame and honour. It is performed to glorify the blessed name of Allâhu ta’âlâ, to make all people attain the right and true way, and to save people from cruelty and persecution. Now we would like to ask Protestants: Were the holy wars made by the Prophets we have mentioned above permissible, approved acts according to Allâhu ta’âlâ, or did they incur Allah’s wrath because they were forbidden? If they say they were permissible and approved, they will have rebutted their own assertion. If they say they were forbidden, this time Paul, who is sacred to them, will be a liar on account of his writings about Dâwûd ‘alaihis-salâm’. In this case, the Old Testament, which is confirmed to be true and authentic by Christians, will have also been belied. In addition, thousands of innocent people will have been slaughtered as a result of a Believer’s wrongdoing. After all, how will Dâwûd ‘alaihis-salâm’ attain salvation in the hereafter? For the fifteenth verse of the third chapter of John’s first epistle states, “... and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John: 3-15)

It is written in the eighth verse of the twenty-first chapter of the Apocalypse (Revelation), “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev: 21-8)

[WARNING: At it is seen at various places in our book, (Could Not Answer), it is written in all the Pentateuchal and Biblical books possessed by Christians that “After death people shall resurrect, be called to account, and remain eternally in the blessings of Paradise or in the fire of Hell.” Hundreds of millions of Christians in America and Europe, including all statesmen, scientists, professors, commanders, believe in these Gospels and go to church for worship every week. Some people in Turkey, because they do not read any Islamic literature and therefore know nothing of Islam, call it (modernism) to imitate Europeans and Americans, and (regression) to be a Muslim. However, these people do not work like Europeans and Americans in science, medicine, mathematics or technologies. What they imitate in them is only atrocities such as arranging mixed parties of music, gambling and drinking, spicing their voyeuristic desires in beaches, and annoying their neighbors by turning up the volume of their radio or television to the highest point. Because Islam prohibits such excesses, they call Muslims reactionaries. According to them, any boy or girl who joins them in their eccentricities, illiterate and quite unaware of science and arts as he or she may be, is modern, illuminated. On the other hand, a learned, virtuous, decent, true Muslim who is a university graduate and is therefore well-informed in arts and trade, pays his taxes, obeys the laws, and is kind to others, will be reactionary if he does not join their immoderations. These self-imposed modern and illuminated people are beguiling young people to indecency and sloth, and thus to afflictions in the world and eternal torment in the hereafter. They are causing breakage in family homes. In short, as it is seen, according to these people, only those who imitate Europeans’ dissipations and immoralities are illuminated and modern. Since those Europeans and Americans, who believe in Paradise and Hell like Muslims, are not regressive in their view, they must be calling Muslims regressive only because Muslims do not practise their immoralities. Being irreligious, these people do not imitate Europeans’ and Americans’ pious aspects, and this, in turn, makes them regressive in their own criteria. This book of ours proves that a Muslim is illuminated and always up-to-date, and a non-Muslim is retrogressive.]

As for the nonexistence of the farz of jihâd in the religion of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’; Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ invited people to his religion only for three years, which was too short a period to spare time for jihâd-i-fî-sebîlillah. Naturally, it would have been impossible to perform jihâd against the Roman Empire with five to ten men plus a few women. In fact, when Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ knew that the Jews were nursing a grudge against him, he became anxious. As is written in the thirty-sixth and later verses of the twenty-second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, during the day previous to the evening when he would be arrested, Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ said unto his companions, “... But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” (Luke: 22-36) “And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said, unto them, it is enough.” (ibid: 22-38) And those swords were no good because as he was being arrested that evening his companions left him and disappeared. All these explanations make it as clear as the sun that Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ had no intentions to surrender without self-defence, that he would have used the sword to defend himself if it had been possible, and his not making jihâd against his enemies was due to lack of physical means of fighting. Since Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ did not plainly enjoin his followers from jihâd, and inasmuch as he is the consolidator, not the abolisher, of the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, it is obvious that the commandment of jihâd existent in the previous Sharî’at must have been valid in his Sharî’at, too.

Protestants assert in this publication of theirs that, “Muslims, as a requirement of their religion, which stigmatizes non-Muslims as the enemies of God and religion, look upon them as their enemies. They wish and endeavour to make them Muslims by force or to take them under their domination and thus to levy (the tax called) jizya on them.”

ANSWER: Yes, any religion or sect contradictory to the belief of tawhîd (unity of Allah) is detestable and repulsive in Islam’s view. Owners of such misbelief are said to be the enemies of Allâhu ta’âlâ and His religion. Yet, [as we have stated earlier in the text], it is forbidden to compel them to become Muslims. The priests’ statements in this respect are merely intended to malign Muslims. Muslims hate only those non-Muslims who bear hostility against the Islamic religion. There have been hatred, animosity, hostility, conflicts and fights between Muslims and such people. But what are the grounds for the hatred and emnity and all those history-making vehement fights and bloodbaths among the Christian sects themselves? Pages of history books teem with narrations of the cruelties and barbarisms Christians inflicted on the people of the countries they captured. They try to destroy and annihilate people belonging to other religions. Approximately three hundred years before the Hegira, Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and presently began to perpetrate his barbarisms, cutting off Jews’ ears and condemning them to exile in various countries. Later, he deported the Jews out of Alexandria, demolished all their temples, carried out an extensive genocide, and seized their property. The Sephardic Jews also were subjected to innumerous types of torment by Christians. [We have already touched upon the cruelties inflicted on the Jews in Spain.] In the Tolouisse city of France, Christians took an Easter day as an occasion for smacking on the face the Jews they met on the streets. In other cities of France, Jews were pelted with stones on the same Easter day. It is a fact that most of the Jews were killed by the stones ruthlessly hurled, and the people were provoked to do all this savagery by the authorities of the city. So far, there has been seven Jewish deportations from France.

Also, the Hungarian Jews suffered various types of torment inflicted by Christians. Some of them were burned alive. Others were thrown into the sea to drown.

In England, on the other hand, the Jewish people, finding the torments inflicted on them too painful to endure, preferred killing one another lest they should fall into the hands of their torturers.

Members of a Catholic society, which had been established under the name (Oturafe) in Spain, burned alive thousands of people most of whom were Jews and the rest were some rich Christians suspected of apostasy, and the officially invited guests were kings and other high-ranking officials. It is a historically recorded fact that as these wretched people begged, cried and wailed for mercy the spectators, i.e. priests, officials and women, laughed and clapped their hands.

Throughout the period of twelve [now fourteen] hundred years since the rising of Islam there has not been a tiniest event of cruelty inflicted by Muslims on Christians or Jews similar to the cruelties perpetrated by Christians. If there is any, let them divulge it. If they mean the three or four hundred Christians killed during the events that broke out in Lebanon in 1277 [A.D. 1861], these events were provoked by the Jesuits who had come to Lebanon and Damascus from France in order to sow seeds of sedition and mischief. This fact is clearly seen in the legal proceedings that are on record in the Ottoman Archives and which were conducted on the spot in cooperation with a European committee. The Christians were slaughtered by Druses, the Lebanese mountaineers who had come to Lebanon for this purpose. The Ottoman State sentenced to death those felons legally proven to be guilty in this case. In addition. Ahmad Pasha, who had been a successful vizier before but happened to be the governor of Damascus at the time when these hapless events broke out, was found guilty for failing to carry out his military duty and was executed by shooting publicly.

[It is written in the twelfth book of (the Turkish) Türkiye Târihi (History of Turkey), “When Rushdu Pasha, an interpreter, was in office as the Sadr-i-a’zam (Grand Vizier), there was aggravated animosity between the Druses and the Catholic Maronites. Eventually, the former being provoked by the English agents and the latter by the French, they attacked each other. Hurshid Pasha, governor of Lebanon, and Ahmad Pasha, governor of Damascus, fell short of restraining the battle waged and directed by the aforesaid two States. Napoleon III was awaiting the exacerbation of the battle, in which case he fancied he would seize an opportunity to invade Lebanon. Fortunately, the Ottoman intervention prevented the problem from becoming worse.”

The greatest share in the settlement of these Damascene tumults fell to the lot of Emîr Abd-al-qaadir ibn-i-Muhyiddîn al-Hasanî,[77] a virtuous, great ’âlim, the famed hero of Algeria. This high person, a true Muslim, cooperated with the other Muslims in the defence of Christian districts. He rescued many Christians among whom was the Consul of France from the hands of Druses, gave sanctuary to a number of Christians in his government house, and financially helped the poor and needy ones. French authorities, who were formerly his arch enemies, conferred to him France’s greatest medal of honour. Thus, obeying the commandment of Allâhu ta’âlâ, he protected and helped the French and Christian people against whom he had conducted innumerable combats before. Upon this event, Fuad Pasha, the Foreign Minister, was appointed Plenipotentiary with absolute military, administrative, political and financial powers and was assigned the duty of suppressing all sorts of sedition and effecting the required reforms. Fuad Pasha presently moved to Beirut and thence to Damascus, where he punished the instigators and the Druses who joined the events. He paid seventy-five million kurush to the injured party, i.e. the Christians, in compensation for the loss incurred. When Ahmad Pasha, his most beloved friend, was sentenced to death by Dîwân-i-harb (Court Martial), Fuat Pasha said, “I have not killed any living being, not even a chicken all through my life, and now, see what Allâhu ta’âlâ has made me do.” Has there ever been a Christian State with a similar example of justice? Instead of justice, they have perpetrated and waged cruelty and supported those who waged cruelty. Details of this event are lush with illustrations of Islam’s justice, yet relating them one by one would overflow the capacity of our book. We refer those who are interested to history books.]

While the self-complacent Christians claim that they have avoided having recourse to physical media or force and that they emphasize only the spiritual aspect of the matter such as loving Allâhu ta’âlâ and showing love and compassion to one’s neighbours, the inhumane treatments, the savageries and cruelties they laid on one another stay recorded in history books. Upon reading about these savageries and cruelties committed by Christians, one may, let alone hating Christians, regret being human.

A European historian gives an estimated number of the people whom Christians massacred in the name of Christianity, and adds some historical facts pertaining to the time when those massacres were perpetrated. In order to present a memento to our Muslim brothers, we have paraphrased some passages from his book:

In 650 [A.D. 1251] a priest named Novatianus, who took office as the Pope some time later, and another clergy, Cornelius by name, had a row with each other in Rome. Meanwhile another row, namely a struggle for position, was kicked up between two Carthaginian priests, Siprin and Nevât. In the fights that consequently broke out between the supporters of both parties numerous people were killed. Although the death-toll is not precisely known, an estimated two hundred thousand would be anything but an exaggeration.

During the reign of Constantine I, as soon as Christians found an opportunity to avenge themselves on their enemies, they killed Emperor Galerius’s young son Kottidin and a seven-year-old son and a daughter of Emperor Maximinus. Abducting the Emperor’s wife and the mothers of these two children from the palace, they dragged them along the streets of Antioch. Then they threw them all into a river, where they drowned. Emperor Galerius’s wife was executed in Salonica and her corpse was thrown into a river. Many people were killed during these commotions. Their number is estimated to be around two hundred thousand.

Two priests established a sect called Donat in Africa and put up resistance against the Roman Church. During the insurrections launched by these priests an estimated four hundred thousand people were killed their heads being smashed with clubs, since the priests would not approve killing with the sword.

All history books write about the controversies and clashes that burst in Christian countries upon the Nicene Council’s decision that Father and Son, two of the persons of trinity, were in full substantial unity. The conflagrations and insurrections caused by this decision burned the whole Roman Empire, various times, and continued for some four hundred years. Hundreds of dynasties destroyed and afflicted during these confusions being excluded, solely the number of killings is about three hundred thousand.

Around sixty thousand people were destroyed during the disturbances of Anganoglest and Angolater.

During the reign of Theodora, the wife of Emperor Teokyil, one thousand Manichaeans were slaughtered because they represented good and evil as two distinct beings. The abetter of this massacre was the priest who heard Theodora’s confession. He had told her that her entering Paradise would be possible only after killing all the members of the blasphemous sect. The number of people killed by crucifixion, strangulation and impalement had reached twenty thousand already. Yet the priest had found this number insufficient for Theodora’s attaining Paradise.

The number of people killed in the fights and struggles for bishopric and patriarchate, which have taken place in every century all over the world, is twenty thousand at the least.

During the two-hundred-year crusading expeditions,[78] the number of Christians killed by Christians is estimated to be two million, yet we shall say one million for moderation’s sake. During the crusades, again, at least one hundred thousand Christians were slaughtered by the priests called (Muqallid-is-suyûf) who were plundering and pillaging the towns along the Baltic shores.

When the Pope declared war against Lanokduk, around one hundred thousand people were slaughtered, burned, and their ashes were left in the open for a long time.

The number of people killed in the wars made against emperors since the time of Pope Gregory VII is fifty thousand.

The people killed during the skirmishes caused by the matter of Western renegades in the fourteenth century are fifty thousand.

Soon after these events two priests named Johos and Cirum (Jerome) were burned alive, and the consequent combats yielded one hundred and fifty thousand Christians slaughtered.

The events of Merbondol and Gaberir may seem insignificant when compared to this important event. Yet the massacres perpetrated in these events are extremely truculent: Some people were burned alive, suckling babies were thown into burning fire, young giris were raped and then butchered into pieces, old women were blown up with gunpowder inserted into their vaginas. The number of people killed in these savageries reaches eighteen thousand.

If we put aside the number of people, priests and princes beheaded to carry out the laws put by the priestly judges within the period between the Popes Leo X and Clement IX, people who were guillotined without any apparent reasons, people who were burned alive in various countries, great numbers of people whom executioners were tired of beheading in Germany, France and England, the number of people slaughtered in the thirty insurrections issuing from the controversies upon Luther’s statements, “There is no such thing as the Eucharist or uniting with God. And Baptism is a lie,” those killed in the massacre of St. Bartholomew and in other massacres perpetrated in Ireland and elsewhere, reaches well beyond three million. In addition to the dynasties and eminent families thrown into poverty and destitution, at least two million innocent people were killed.

The number of people killed, crucified and burned by the ecclesiastical societies called inquisition are five million and two hundred thousand.

As for the aborigines killed in the name of Christianity in America; the number given by the author of this history book is five million, yet the bishop of Lascas states that it was twelve million.

As a result of the seeds of mischief sown by the ecclesiastical missionaries sent forth to Japan to promulgate Christianity there, insurrections and civil wars broke out and three million people died.

The death-toll in all these events is almost twenty-five million people.

The historian publisher of this book, after acknowledging that the numbers he has given are well below the actual numbers of the people killed, adds, “To those Europeans who read my book: If you have a record of your genealogy in your home, review it. It is for certain that you will find either victims killed or murderers who killed, in religious fights, among your ancestors. It is stated in the declaration issued by the British Parliament on the twenty-fifth day of June in 1052 [A.D. 1643] that in Ireland alone the number of Protestants slaughtered by Catholics was one hundred and fifty-four thousand.” Here we end our paraphrasing from the history book.

As Catholics inflicted these cruelties and persecutions on other people, especially on Protestants towards the end of the Middle Ages, Protestants, of course, did not offer their other cheeks. Nor did they spare any effort in their race of bloodshedding. Thomas, an Anglo-Catholic, states in the forty-first and forty-second pages of his book Mir’ât-i-sidq (The Mirror of Faith), which was printed in 1267 [A.D. 1851], “Protestants, as soon as they appeared, pillaged six hundred and forty-five hospices, ninety schools, twenty-three hundred churches, and one hundred and ten hospitals, and killed thousands of the old and poor inmates. In addition, they exhumed corpses and stole grave-clothes.” He says in the fifty-second page, “Protestants laid down more than a hundred unjust and unmerited laws against Catholics. As a requirement of these laws, members of the Catholic sect could not inherit property from Protestants. After the age of eighteen, a non-Protestant would not be given any land property. Catholics were not permitted to open schools. A Catholic priest caught while preaching would be imprisoned. Their taxes were increased. Those who performed Catholic ceremonies were fined. If they were priests, the fine would be seven hundred rupees plus imprisonment. Those who went out of England were killed there and their property was usurped. Those Catholics who did not attend certain Protestant rites were fined. In addition, no Catholic rites were permitted, and their weapons were confiscated. They were not allowed to ride horses. Priests who would not become Protestants, and also those who offered them sanctuary in their homes, were killed. Catholics would not be accepted as witnesses. England’s Queen Elizabeth I,[79] in order to spread and promote Protestantism in England and to undertake its spiritual leadership, endorsed all sorts of cruelty and injustice imposed on Catholics. [And she took the lead in these cruelties.] She had two hundred and four eminent people executed. She had ninety-five Catholic bishops killed in dungeons. Some rich Catholics were sentenced to life. Protestants would lash the Catholics they met in the streets. In fact, Estorat, the Queen of Scotland, was kept in a dungeon for a long time and then executed because she was a Catholic. Again, during the reign of Elizabeth I, Catholic scholars and clergy were forced to board ships, whence they were thrown into the sea and drowned. In order to force the Catholics in Ireland to become Protestants, the Queen sent an army against them. Their churches were burned. The notables were killed. Those who ran away into forests were hunted like wild beasts. Even the ones who accepted Protestantism did not escape the massacre. In 1643, the Parliament sent officials to seize the Catholics’ property and land. This condition continued until the time of King James II, who showed mercy to the Catholics in 1687. Angered by this, the Protestants presented a petition undersigned by forty-four thousand people to the king. Their request was the maintenance of the laws of cruelty. Yet the Parliament refused this demand of the Protestants. Upon this, one hundred thousand Protestants came together and set fire to the Catholic churches and Catholic districts in London, so that thirty-six fires were seen in one district.”

Thus, despite the admonitions of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, who enjoined, “If they slap you on the right cheek, offer them your left cheek, too. If someone asks you for your coat, give him your cloak, too. Love your enemies, and if they invoke evil on you, pronounce a benediction over them. If your brother hurts you, forgive him up to seventy times. Love your neighbour like loving yourself,” all these horrendous and savage events took place among Christians, who claim to believe in the religion of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ who was not commanded to make jihâd.

The jihâd commanded by the Islamic religion is not a cruel or savage deed like the ones mentioned above. Muslims’ preparation for jihâd is intended to prevent the cruel Christians from assailing Islamic countries and to save people from the torments of cruel governments. Jihâd is made to bring obstinate tyrants who elude justice and right to reason by means of power and force, to glorify the blessed name of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and to spread Islam’s beautiful ethics everywhere.

There are certain modes and obligations that must be observed when making jihâd:

1 — Before beginning the war the disbelievers are invited to accept Islam in a proper language. In other words, it is explained in a plain language that the Islamic religion is the most perfect and the most meritorious religion, that Allâhu ta’âlâ is One, that He does not have a likeness or a partner, and that Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ is the true Prophet sent by Him. If they accept this invitation, they will become Believers and also brothers of other Believers.

2 — If the disbelievers do not wish to attain this blessing and happiness and prefer to remain in aberration purported in the seventy-fourth âyat of Shu’arâ sûra, “We found our fathers doing so,” they are not compelled to change their religion. They are invited to stay in their motherland on condition that they will pay a very low yearly tax called jizya (1.5 or 2.5 or 3 dirhams of silver), which is a fee for staying in the (now) Islamic country and enjoying all sorts of safety such as property, chastity and lives and, above all, freedom of worship. If they concede to this alternative, they shall practise their religious rites as freely as Muslims do. And their chastity, blood, and property, exactly like those of Muslims, shall be in the protection of the State. A Muslim cannot intrude upon their privacies or even look at their women. He cannot usurp even a penny from them. He cannot abuse them, not even verbally. They shall share equal rights in the courts of justice which carry out the principles of justice prescribed in Qur’ân al-kerîm, and not a slightest amount of injustice shall be done to them. Thus they will get along well with the Believers. In the Islamic law courts a shepherd and a governor are equal.

3 — If the disbelievers refuse the second alternative, too, and attempt to fight against the Believers, then the jihâd shall be performed against them, again by observing the rules of justice and modes prescribed by Islam.

These are the principles of justice and moderation which Islam commands to observe in regard to jihâd. Now we consign it to the conscience of people of wisdom and reason to apply the above-given criteria to the histories of Muslims, and of Christians, then form a judgement.

As will be inferred from the information given above, Islam’s rapid spreading is by no means due to such substantial agencies as power and ambition for earthly property. Islam’s spreading so rapidly is rooted in its becoming a true and irrevocable religion, in its genuine and all-inclusive justice, [in its commanding knowledge, work, mercy, beautiful morals, and in its being a religion quite congruous with the human species. For those who obey and precisely adapt themselves to Islam soon attain welfare and spiritual repose; as we have stated in the initial pages of our book, this fact is admitted and acknowledged even by priests, who say, “Yes, after accepting Islam, the Arabs, who had been heathenish Bedouins formerly, ameliorated spiritually, made progress in knowledge, arts and civilization, and brought the whole world under their sway in a very short time.” Would that they had reason enough to see the fact that all these improvements of Muslims originate from their obedience to Islam, the final and the most perfect religion, and following Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, the last Prophet. This would lead them to happiness.]

Were changing one’s faith so facile a job as to be accomplished only by the threat of the sword, all those wars which took millions of lives between Catholics and Protestants would not have taken place at all. Although there was a great deal of credal similarity between them, neither did the Catholics’ compulsion and oppression make the Protestants abandon their credo, nor were the Protestants’ savage cruelties able to sever the Catholics living on the isle of Ireland from their religious doctrines.

As for the allegation that “Some people accepted Islam lest they should be forced to pay jizya”; as we have explicated earlier in the text, for many long years Protestants have been striving assiduously to convert people in Muslim countries to their religion and the amount of the salary they offer for accepting Protestantism ranges between a small bag of silvers minimum and five thousand kurushes. With all these endeavours, how many conscientious and religiously well-informed Muslims can they name they have been able to make Protestants so far? Therefore, nothing could be so idiotic, so ignorant and so contumacious as the profession, “Christians accepted Islam in order to save the five-to-ten kurushes which they were to give yearly as the tax called jizya.”

[One thing the priests forget about or try to overlook at this point is that Islam, while levying the jizya on the non-Muslim citizens, enjoins the (alms called) zakât and ’ushr on the Muslims. And the zakât and ’ushr to be paid by the Muslims, in its turn, is several times the amount to be paid in the name of jizya by the non-Muslims.

Before concluding the subject of jihâd, it will be useful to touch upon an important point: If a state or nation is too modest and unnecessarily polite, it will incur the avarice of its enemies and give the impression of an easy prey for them. Mistaking this modesty and politeness for vulnerability and cowardice, the hostile states will become aggressive. History teems with the examples of our discourse. If it were not for the commandment of making preparations for jihâd in Islam, Muslims’ enemies, who are all around them, would attack them in order to annihilate Islam. Today, also, the world’s governments allot a major part of their budget for their defence and war industry. This policy is followed even by countries stricken with famine, dearth and poverty. This policy is indispensable for the State’s permanence and the country’s defence. Christians, who put forward the nonexistence of the commandment of jihâd as a proof for the superiority of their religion, attacked Islamic countries and other weak nations, invaded them, and tyrannized and exploited them for many years. Especially England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy perpetrated these tyrannies and exploitations in the most barbarous way. Then, what is the value of the assertion that Christianity does not command jihâd? We ask the priests this question.]

Another objection which Protestant Christians raise against the Islamic religion is based on the matter of unforgivability of felonies. They make the following allegation in one of their booklets: “In matters concerning the individual’s private relations, the Bible has placed more emphasis on the necessity of love, patience with trouble, and forgiveness than did the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. Accordingly, Islam should have afforded a much more sublime merit than that of Christianity in respect of forgiving the guilty individual. In punishing the guilty, it is more relentless than, let alone the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, the laws put by Jews as a result of their misinterpretation of his Sharî’at. It not only represents lex talionis as permissible, but also tolerates vengeance. The third âyat of Sûra-i-Isrâ purports. ‘If a person is killed unjustly, we shall give power and authority of aggression to the inheriting trustee of that murdered person.’ The hundred and seventy-eighth âyat of Sûra-i-Baqara purports, ‘O Believers! Retaliation [for those who have been killed deliberately] has been enjoined as a farz upon you. Retaliation is carried out as a free person for a free person, a slave for a slave, and a woman for a woman.’ This is a noteworthy point. For Qur’ân al-kerîm, unlike the Taurah, has not made any explanations to forestall the misusage of such an important law. Therefore, people belonging to some Islamic tribes misunderstand these âyats and think that this permission of Qur’ân al-kerîm comprehends not only the murderer but also any one of the murderer’s relations, and consequently more often than not an innocent person gets killed in lieu of the murderer. The Taurah, in contrast, protects lex talionis against such wrong interpretations by openly forewarning, ‘Sons shall not be killed in lieu of fathers, and fathers shall not be killed instead of their sons. Every (murderer) shall be killed only on account of his own felony,’ in the sixteenth verse of the twenty-fourth chapter of Deuteronomy. In addition to the retaliation for murder, Qur’ân al-kerîm commands retaliation for slight woundings. The sixtieth âyat of Hajj sûra purports, ‘If a Believer responds in kind to some harm inflicted on him and then is wronged again, Allâhu ta’âlâ will help him.’ Through such commandments as these, Qur’ân al-kerîm, contrary to the Bible’s advising patience with troubles, love and forgiveness, encourages Muslims to display their grudge against one another. The Ottomans, who had realized that such things would be cruelty and infringement of others’ rights, eventually discontinued the execution of the commandment in the thirty-eighth âyat of Mâida sûra, which purports,‘To visit divine retribution on the male thief and the female thief, cut off their [right]hands.’ ”

ANSWER: Through these statements of theirs, the priests raise objections to the contrasts between the Bible and Qur’ân al-kerîm, which they exemplify as follows: “Whereas the Bible contains verses pertaining to forgiveness and love, Qur’ân al-kerîm, let alone comprising such verses, authorizes the victim’s inheritor (to revenge); the âyat about retaliation, for instance, not putting certain limitations for this authority, is vulnerable to misusage, and the sixtieth âyat of Hajj sûra is at loggerheads with the Biblical dispensation, which advises to endure hardships, to forgive those who harm you, and to love them.”

We have mentioned earlier in the text some of the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs concerning forgiveness and love. Therefore we consider it would be unnecessary to repeat them here. However, the âyat-i-kerîma about retaliation cannot be confined within the boundaries misrepresented by the priest. Its discourse continues. These priests must have been lost in a reverie of making a truth out of a legerdemain. The hundred and seventy-eighth âyat of Baqara sûra, as a whole, purtports: “O Believers! It has been enjoined as a farz on you to retaliate [for those killed deliberately]. Retaliation is to be executed as a free person for a free person, a slave for a slave, and a woman for a woman. One of the brothers, [inheritors or protectors], may waive the retaliation in return for a certain amount of blood money [diyet] that he will take from the murderer. The amount taken [diyet] should not be too much, but it should be calculated in accordance with the current customs and traditions. And the murderer should pay the diyet due to the victim’s protector in a proper manner. This forgiveness of retaliation in return for diyet is a facility and mercy conferred on you by your Rabb (Allahu ta’âlâ). If a person, after taking this diyet, carries on his hostility and struggle against the murderer’s kin, there shall be painful torment for him in the hereafter.”

As is seen, retaliation, together with its prescribed form of relinquishment in return for diyet, is one of the clearly explained commandments in Qur’ân al-kerîm. The Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ did not contain the tenet of waiving retaliation in return for blood money. Forgiving retaliation in return for diyet is a facility and a blessing for Muslims.

The priest suppresses the facility with respect to retaliation in Qur’ân al-kerîm. First of all, this âyat-i-kerîma expresses an open injunction against resumption of hostility and struggle against the murderer or his kins, and a divine intimidation which is intended to discourage the victim’s kins from doing so. Resorting to stratagem, the priest quotes only the part befitting his purpose of the âyat-i-kerîma concerning the victim’s inheritors and kin, witholding the initial and final parts. Because most Christians are unaware of the Gospels, they have resorted to this same stratagem with the presumption that Muslims, too, are ignorant in their own religion. The thirty-third âyat of Isrâ sûra purports, “Do not kill anyone, [be it a Believer or a zimmî], without any rightful reason to do so, Allâhu ta’âlâ has made this harâm for you. If a person is killed unjustly, we shall give power and authority to the killed person’s inheritor who is his protector [for the execution of the commandment of the Sharî’at. If the inheritor wishes, the murderer shall be killed as a requirement of retaliation; or he may forgive the murderer in return for diyet. He has a choice between these two alternatives.] But his protector or inheritor, who has been seconded with this permission of Allâhu ta’âlâ, must not exceed the limits of retaliation.” This âyat-i-kerîma, warning the victim’s protector or inheritor against excess, advises to choose forgiveness. The power given to the inheritor or protector is the choice between suing the murderer for retaliation and notifying the judge that he waives retaliation in return for diyet. The non-Islamic blood feuds and successive killings that were widespread among tribes who were quite oblivious of the rules of Qur’ân al-kerîm, e.g. Albanians, Circassions, some Arabic clans, cannot be ascribed to this âyat-i-kerîma. Such unjust bloodsheds are primeval customs peculiar to uncultivated tribes.

So this is the essence of retaliation and its forgiveness as prescribed in Qur’ân al-kerîm. Because the four Gospels do not have a tenet in the name of retaliation, every murderer, every thief, every felon must be pardoned according to them. If it is possible to lead a civilized social life with so lenient a law, we have no say. Yet, since we have not seen a Christian country where such a principle is in application, we would rather take no heed of these priests’ paralogisms.

As for the Pentateuchal verse mentioned; the Taurah is in agreement with Qur’ân al-kerîm not only in its rule about murder, but also in rules pertaining to all types of homicide. The hundred and sixty-fourth âyat of En’âm sûra purports, “No sinner would take on the responsibility for someone else’s sin.” The hundred and seventy-ninth âyat of A’râf sûra purports, “These people are like beasts; in fact, they are lower than beasts.” The priests’ discourses are directed to a class of people who, as is intimated in this âyat-i-kerîma, do not even have the skill to answer them. And yet the acts to be imputed to priests are not only lies and slanders. They have written books against the Islamic religion and in these books attempted to disprove open facts.

When it is known what reasons occasioned the revelation of the sixtieth âyat-i-kerîma of Hajj sûra, which advises to respond to malefaction in kind, it will become evident that its import is not as this protesting priest interprets and that this priest is totally unaware of the knowledge of Tafsîr.

Some time during the four months traditionally forbidden for the Arabs to fight, the Meccan unbelievers came to fight the Believers. Afraid to fight in the forbidden months, the Believers tried to dissuade the unbelievers from the combat; but try as the Believers would, the disbelievers would not give up fighting. So the combat began and, because Allâhu ta’âlâ helped the Believers with His Divine support, it ended in the Believers’ victory. Yet the Believers’ hearts were remorseful for having violated a forbidden month by fighting in it. Upon this, the aforementioned âyat-i-kerîma was revealed, relieving the Believers of their deep sorrow and penitence. Hence, the sixtieth âyat of Hajj sûra, contrary to the priest’s supposition, does not enjoin retaliation for minor woundings, nor does it command to answer malefaction with malefaction. It gives the Believers permission to fight back even in a forbidden month if the unbelievers purposely choose it to exploit the Believers’ credal abstention and thus debilitate them. In addition, it comprises a divine help which Allâhu ta’âlâ bestows upon Believers. For, if Qur’ân al-kerîm made virtue and superiority dependent solely on forgiveness and love and did not give such permissions, Muslims would be compelled either to abandon the rules of their holy religion or to lie and slander, as this priest is now doing. For no civilization would be possible and no nation could survive under the dispensation of a cult that comprised nothing but forgiveness and love. The most curious example of this natural fact is the Christian world, where people, quite countercurrently with the Biblical admonitions, “Be patient with troubles, love and forgive,” bear grudge against one another. History has clearly shown to us how baleful an effect these Biblical admonitions of patience with troubles, love and forgiveness have had on Christians’ general conduct. We have already related some of the cruelties Christians imposed on one another in contradiction with these Biblical commandments at various occasions in the text. Another source of astonishment in this subject is that the priest feels sorry for the innocent person who is killed only because of his kinship to the murderer as a result of some tribes’ misinterpretation of the âyat-i-kerîma mentioned above. Yet, while regretting on the one hand that such a misdeed should betide to man, he adheres to a creed on the other hand that as a result of a venial sin committed inadvertently by Âdam ‘alaihis-salâm’, millions of his descendants that came to the world for six thousand years, including all the Prophets ‘alaihimus-salâm’ of that period, will be punished on account of the ‘original sin’ committed by their first father, being tormented in Hell fire, which must be innumerous times as bad as being killed. Not only that; the creed this priest holds bears the meaning also that Allâhu ta’âlâ, who created all the universe from nothing, was unable to forgive this sin committed, had to send His only son to the world by creating him through hadrat Maryam, and had him crucified after various insults against His son’s wishes. In other words, while disapproving man’s being the agent of a deed which means punishing the murderer’s kin instead of the murderer himself, he accepts the creed which represents Allâhu ta’âlâ as the agent of the cruelties we have cited above.

Suspension of the commandment of chastening the male and female thieves by cutting off their hands was not an Ottoman policy. It had been discontinued by the previous Islamic States centuries before the Ottomans. Likewise, punishments for such guilts as drinking wine, false witness, calumniating a chaste woman and fornication were not being executed for a long time, with a few exceptions. For execution of such punishments depended on certain conditions. The punishments were impracticable in the absence of these conditions. The abovementioned acts and the conditions for the exeution of their respective punishments very seldom concurred in Islamic countries. The reasons for this are the heavy punishments Qur’ân al-kerîm prescribes for those who commit these guilts. In an Islamic regime even judges do not have the authority to forgive these guilts. These punishments, which are called (hadd), are administered publicly. Such articles have made these punishments so formidable that anyone would hardly dare to commit these sins.

[The hundred and seventy-ninth âyat of Baqara sûra purports, “O you owners of wisdom. Retaliation contains life for you.” Some people may protest this and say, “Could there ever be life in killing a man?” Being afraid to be killed in return, people will shy away from killing someone else. Fear of death will deter them from killing a human being. And when there is no killing, there will be life for a society, for a nation; this is what is meant by the âyat-i-kerîma.

As it is very well known by students of law today, execution of laws is impossible without a penal code. And this penal code, in its turn, consists of fines, imprisonments, and death penalties. While all the world’s lawyers are crying out this fact today, would it be done to be opposed to the punishments prescribed by Allâhu ta’âlâ? Communism, a regime which is repulsive to all sorts of human nature, has spread through exceedingly barbarous punishments, which are still being carried on to maintain it. By the same token, priests, men of knowledge and science have turned away from the unreasonable and illogical principles of Christianity. Some of them, who have had the chance to know Islam, have become Muslims willingly. Yet those who have not had the lucky chance to know Islam have turned atheists and Marxists, which by and by gave way to such degenerated formations as hippies, gangs and anarchists among young people. These youngsters are now being feared far and wide in Europe.

Selling of churches have been one of the news headlines in recent newspapers and periodicals. The purchasers are mostly Muslims, who change the churches they have bought into mosques. The majority of church-goers are elderly people. There is no doubt that the ecclesiastics would establish the Inquisition once again were they given the authority and power to do so. Christianity has far and away lost its impetus in Europe. Missionaries, therefore, are trying to promulgate it in Africa and other underdeveloped countries.

We would like to stress one point once again: the punishment inflicted on the convict is like the amputation of a gangrenous limb in the body. If the limb is not cut off, gangrene will infect the whole body. Likewise, if the guilty person is not punished, the entire society will suffer harm. Harm in which only one person is involved is normally preferable to harm that will permeate through the whole community, especially when deterring the latter is singularly dependent upon waging the former.

Islam’s penal discipline of cutting off (the thief’s) hand is not applied in every event of theft. There are certain conditions for it. This punishment is inflicted on a person who has stolen in one attempt ten dirhams of silver or equal value of durable property which is valuable according to all religious cults from a place where no one other than the owner has the right to enter without the owner’s permission, no matter whether the owner of the stolen property is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, and yet on condition that the country where the theft has taken place is Dâr-ul-Islâm (country under Islamic administration). Ten dirhams of silver equals 33.5 grams, which is approximately equal to one-seventh weight of gold, i.e. 5 grams of gold. A person who has stolen meat, vegetables, fruits or milk is not punished with hand-cutting. If the person is found guilty of theft upon his own confession or by the testimony of two eye-witnesses, and yet if the owner of the stolen property says, “No, this person did not steal my property. I gave it to him as a gift (or lended it to him),” or, “The witnesses are not telling the truth,” the punishment, again, lapses. It is sunnat (an action, thought or behaviour liked and commended by our Prophet) for the judge to suggest to the owner of stolen property to make a statement synonymous with the statements exemplified above. These technicalities are explained in detail in Islam’s books of fiqh. The priest, who definitely does not know Islam, must be totally unaware of the existence of books of fiqh.]

Another objection which Protestant ecclesiastics lodge against Islam is based on Islam’s permission to keep slaves. These priests say, “The Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ not only had alleviated standards for slavery, but also committed captives under the protection of law. Yet it allowed the buying and selling of captives. The essence of Christianity, on the other hand, is quite contrary to slavery, and therefore it has abrogated the institution of slavery wherever it has been dominant.”

ANSWER: This objection of the priests’ covers not only Islam, but also the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, which Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was entrusted with the task of perfecting. This makes it doubtful whether they are Christians. For the existing Gospels do not contain a single letter pertaining to prohibition of slavery. For this reason, the Mosaic rule should necessarily maintain its validity in the Sharî’at of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, too. Yet if these priests, as two Europeans educated with modern ideas, consider slavery as an inhuman institution and want it to be abrogated, then they should have based their argument on the illogicality and wickedness of slavery without mixing religion into the matter. Therefore, since this objection of theirs does not have to do with religion, it would be unnecessary to answer it. On the other hand, because what Christians know in the name of slavery is quite incommensurable to slavery as held by Islam, it will be useful to make some brief explanation:

As we all know, the institution of slavery has existed since the first appearance of mankind on earth. All nations have maltreated their slaves, and no nation has held the slave and the master equal. The Ancient Greek laws of slavery (Sklabos) are still written in books. In the Romans, on the other hand, the tyrannies, cruelties, insults and savageries inflicted on slaves have not been repeated by any other nation. Their books contain detailed laws pertaining to slaves (sclavus, servus). This tradition has also existed in Asia and Africa since very ancient times. Europeans have been the most exorbitant profiteers of slavery. This trade was first begun by the Portuguese in the fourteenth century of the Christian era. Later, when America was discovered, while Christian missionaries on the one hand vacated the American continent by annihilating the red skinned aboriginals; the Portuguese, the English and the French on the other hand abducted negroes from Africa, forced them to get on board their ships, and sold them as slaves in America, thus earning millions of dollars. In fact, ships were constructed for this specific purpose, and the poor people were crammed into their holds. It being next to impossible to breathe freely, more than half the number of slaves died on the way. Yet the remaining number would be enough for their owners to make as much money as they wished. At times, being unable to endure this humiliation, the negroes would attempt rebellion. There were loop-holes specially opened on the deck floor through which to fire and kill the rebellious negroes from above them. Queen Elizabeth of England, who was the promoter of Protestants, legitimized and buttressed trade of slaves. Louis X, King of France, caused this trade to become quite widespread. Yet in America, Pennsylvanian people tried to prohibit this trade. Twelve years after this attempt, this trade of slaves was prohibited in Denmark, and then in England by the injunctions issued in 1807, 1811 and 1823, in France in 1814 and 1818, and in Prussia and Russia in 1841. Both the sellers and the buyers of slaves being Christians, after being purchased by these Christian tradesmen the poor negroes were first christened. Then they were dispatched to fields, farms and mines, where they worked in misery day and night all the year round, summer and winter alike, to earn money for their masters. The American North – South war of 1860 was an issue of matters pertaining to slavery. As a matter of fact, hundreds of thousands of negroes were being sold and bought on the American continent, and innumerable Christians were earning millions of dollars through them. Most Europeans today, when they hear the word ‘slavery’, regretfully remember the negroes living in humility and destitution in America. [And yet it was Christians, alone, who primed all this misery and perpetrated all sorts of unimaginable tortures on these poor people.]

Europeans’ wish for the abrogation of slavery in Islamic countries originates from their wrong supposition that it is like slavery as practised in their own country and America. In actual fact, the only difference between slavery and freedom among Muslims is that slaves are transferred from one owner to another in exchange for a certain price. Slaves’ service is no different from that of an employee who works for a certain wage. The only trouble which slaves have to undergo in the Islamic system involves learning, education, and training. In an Islamic State, the captives obtained in a war are never killed. Nor are they left to die of hunger and thirst in the battlefield. After the war, as the victorious ghazâ Muslims are given their shares of the booties, they get their shares of slaves and jâriyas,[80] too. Then, they either use their slaves and jâriyas as servants, or sell them to others. As is seen, Islam’s slaves are not comparable to those free people and their children whom Christians abducted by trickery and compulsion from Africa and Asia. According to Islam, it is a grave sin to abduct free people or to use them as slaves. In the Islamic system, slaves have attained high ranks in knowledge and politics. Some of them have even become Grand Viziers. Most of the female Sultans in the gorgeous Ottoman dynasty were originally slaves. There were thousands of Muslims who had chosen slaves as their sons-in-law, or jâriyas as their wives, and thus made them their inheritors. When a Muslim bought a slave or a jâriya, he would have to undertake all sorts of responsibility pertaining to his or her food, drink, clothes and other needs, all his or her civil rights and treat him or her tenderly. He could never beat them, abuse them, or give them work that would be too heavy for them to do. According to Islam, emancipating a slave is the greatest worship. There are some extremely grave sins which will be pardoned only after emancipation of a slave. Another custom which was very widely practised among Muslims was emancipating a slave and marrying him off after seven to eight years of service. Could all these situations and facts be compared to those of the slaves in Europe and America?

[Before terminating our discourse on this subject, we would like to remind the priests of another important fact. The kith and kin of the slaves possessed by Muslims applied for the ransom of their relatives by paying the money prescribed for the exchange. Yet, as a result of the mercy, compassion and humanity which Muslims had shown to them, the slaves refused to go back home with their relatives who had ransomed them. They preferred the slavery with Muslims to the freedom with their parents and relatives. There was certainly a reason for this. The father and uncle of our Prophet’s slave, Zeyd bin Hârisa, came to take him back home and requested our Prophet to give Zeyd to them, saying that they were ready to pay any sum of money demanded in return for him. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’ did not demand any money. He said to Zeyd bin Hârisa ‘radiy-Allâhu anh’ that he was free and might go along with his father and uncle if he liked. Zeyd bin Hârisa said he would not leave our Prophet and insisted on this despite all the earnest request and beggings of his father and uncle. There are many examples of the same sort. We would like to know how the priests would answer this?]

Another objection Christians raise against the Islamic religion is based on its principles pertaining to polygamy, that is, marrying up to four women, and divorce. Christians say, “The Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ does not contain any law prohibiting the taaddud-i-zawjât (polygamy). And it gives clear permission for divorce. On the other hand, the Bible of Jesus Christ categorically prohibits both of them. As for Qur’ân al-kerîm; it gives permission to marry more than one women. The third âyat of Nisâ sûra purports. ‘Marry two, three, four of those women who are halâl for you.’ According to this âyat-i-kerîma, one can marry up to four women. In addition to this, the Islamic religion permits men to buy jâriyas whenever they wish. And this, in its turn, is incompatible with the status allotted to women by Allâhu ta’âlâ or their position as men’s copartners and assistants. This principle lowers women to servitude. Marrying a couple of women is detrimental to a happy married life. For it not only prevents husband and wife from knowing each other, but also eradicates safety and happiness in the family.”

Here again, the priests prove true to their habits of fallacy and mutilate the âyat-i-kerîma, quoting only the part that will suit their sly purposes. In its complete contextuality, the third âyat of Nisâ sûra purports, “If you fear that you may not be able to observe the rights of orphan girls [in case you marry them], then marry two, three, four of those women who are other than these (girls) and who are halâl for you (to marry). [That is, do not marry more than four women.] If you fear that you may not be able to establish justice among these women, choose one of them. Or prefer the jâriyas you have. If you are contented with this one wife or the jâriyas, you will be closer to abiding by justice.” As it will be inferred from the meaning conveyed by this âyat-i-kerîma, among the earlier tribes, [especially the Arabs], there was not a limited number of women that one could marry and therefore one man could marry five, ten, or twenty women. The Islamic religion has reduced this number to four. And this right has been restricted within certain stipulations.

When the hardships in establishing equity among one’s wives are taken into consideration, a wise person who is afraid of doing injustice will by no means marry more than one women. In other words, the Islamic religion, while expressing an outward permission of marriage up to four women on the one hand, adds the proviso of justice on the other hand, thus tacitly cautioning against marrying more than one. In fact, when asked how to manage this equity among one’s wives, our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’ answered. “If you drink a glass of water from the hands of one of them, you should drink another glass of water from the others’ hands, too.” Inasmuch as it would be extremely difficult for a person to apply this rule, the Islamic religion recommends that one should marry one woman.

The priests’ statement that “the Gospels prohibit to marry more than one woman” is contradictory with what is stated in the Gospels. Today’s Gospels do not contain any injunction saying, “Do not marry more than one woman.” Yet it is stated in the third and later verses of the nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.” “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt: 19-3, 4, 5, 6) This verse cannot be interpreted as a prohibition of marrying more than one women. Yet, because wife and husband are virtually accepted as one body, it must be taken as an admonition against excessiveness in divorce. Accordingly, these priests are challenging not only the Islamic religion but also the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ of which the task of perfection was assigned to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, which, in its turn, comes to mean their renunciation of the religion of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’.

So is the case with divorce. The Gospels enjoin against divorcing one’s wife for reasons other than fornication. Nevertheless, since we doubt the authenticity of the existing Gospels, we cannot admit that this prohibition is exactly one of the âyats of the original Bible revealed to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. We have some proofs for this:

1 — This subject is written in a curious verse seen in the Gospel of Matthew. The nineteenth chapter goes on as follows in its seventh and later verses: “They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?” “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” “His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.” “But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.” “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matt: 19-7 to 12)

In this passage, the answer to the first question explains the reason for the permission to give a written declaration of divorce, and states that Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ granted permission to give a written declaration of divorce to one’s wife because of the obduracy of hearts. This explanation implicitly imputes a misdeed to both Mûsâ and Îsâ ‘alaihimus-salâm’. For this answer comes to mean that Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ issued injunctions independently of Allâhu ta’âlâ and granted permission to divorce on account of the hardness of the hearts of Israelites though there was no such permission originally. On the other hand, because hardness of a heart could not account for a divorce, the so-called explanation lapses into the shameful position of imputing such a ludicrous answer to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. Another point of perversity is this: As Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ talks to the Pharisees, the disciples allegedly interrupt him and say, “If one cannot divorce one’s wife for reasons other than fornication, then marriage is not auspicious.” For the Apostles knew very little of the books of earlier Prophets, whereas Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was fully cognizant of them. It is astonishing for the Apostles to make such a remonstrative statement to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. For it means that the rule laid down by Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ is apparently so illogical, so unnatural and so preposterous that his own disciples, let alone enemies, raise an objection to him. Another oddity is this: When the disciples protest, Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, supposedly, likens the state of not marrying to that of emasculated people, divides them into three categories, and details that some of them are born eunuchs, some have been emasculated by people, and others have chosen emasculation in order to attain to the creation of heavens. It is natural for emasculated people not to marry, and it makes no difference whether they accept marriage or reject it. Furthermore, telling about kinds of and reasons for emasculation a propos of nothing is something that would be done in an entire delirium. Such foibles could never be attributed to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, an exalted and highly honoured Prophet. His very high position is unquestionable.

2 — It is obvious that Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, who continuously said, “I am here to perfect the Sharî’at, not to demolish it,” would not change such an important principle in the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’.

3 — This subject, which is written in the Gospel of Matthew, is also dealt with in the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark. Only, Mark does not contain such things as the disciples’ question, their remark that it would be “better not to marry,” or the detailed information on kinds of eunuchs. If this narrative given in the Gospel of Matthew were a commonly acceptable general report, Mark, who wrote the former part of this event narrated in Matthew, would have written also the latter part, i.e. the Apostles’ question, its answer, and details on emasculation.

4 — There is expressive difference between the statements in both Gospels. For the second and later verses of the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark reads as follows: “And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.” “And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?” “And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.” “And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.” “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” (Mark: 10-2 to 6)

On the other hand, it is written in the eighth verse of the nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, “... Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matt: 19-8) These two expressions differ in two ways: First, whereas the expression given in the Gospel of Matthew suggests the meaning that Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ gave permission to divorce, the statements quoted in Mark give the impression that Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ commanded divorce. Second, according to Matthew’s way of expression, there was no place for divorce in the original form of the Sharî’at of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, but Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ gave them permission to divorce because of their hard hearts. Mark, on the other hand, uses the expression ‘from the beginning of the creation’ instead of ‘from the beginning.’ Accordingly, the expression in Mark bears the meaning that Allâhu ta’âlâ created them as male and female in the beginning of the creation. And this, in its turn, is contradictory to the expression used in Matthew.

5 — [According to Biblical information], Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was proud of being a descendant of Dâwûd ‘alaihis-salâm’. Since Dâwûd ‘alaihis-salâm’ had had various wives, it runs counter to reason to admit that he prohibited to marry more than one women.

With these evidences we prove the fact that the verses cited above are not genuine Biblical âyats revealed to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ by Allâhu ta’âlâ, but they have been inserted into the Gospels later. If the priests have any evidences to prove to the contrary, let them go ahead and divulge their evidences. Another cause of consternation for our part is that this objection against Islam’s permission to divorce is raised by Protestants. For it is an historical fact that no controversy or disagreement concerning divorce took place among Christians before the fourth century of the Christian era, and they acted upon the Mosaic law up until that time. In the fourth century a bishop named Saint Augustine forbid divorce once and for all. The Catholic Church still observes this prohibition. [St. Augustine, one of the Latin Catholic Church fathers, died in the Tunisian city of Bone in A.D. 430.] From time to time, ecclesiastical authorities gave special permissions of divorce to some European Christian kings. Yet because these permissions were given for political reasons, they were not taken into account by the Church. The ecclesiastics still maintain their views that divorce is unjustifiable.

Protestants were opposed to the Catholic Church’s disapproval of divorce. Luther, who disagreed with the Catholic Church in every subject, followed the same route in this subject, too, and unleashed a free licence of divorce. Then, Protestants’ disapproval of divorce would mean to disavow Luther, the founder of their own religion.

In order to confuse and mislead Muslim women, this priest has gone to a great deal of trouble to explain in detail that polygamy and divorce, instead of being useful and beautiful at least in some cases, always cause innumerable harms. Since he leaves off traditional proofs and tries to arouse confusion by misusing mental proofs, we shall countermine his plotted slanders mentally:

As every climate has its particular nature and effects, so peoples and tribes living in a particular climate have some certain national traditions and customs peculiar to themselves. Living with these customs and traditions throughout centuries, they have become so staunchly wont to these customs and traditions that it is impossible for them to abandon them. For most of these customs are the requirements of their natural traits kneaded with the air and water of that climate. Making them abandon these customs, therefore, is like changing the nature of something. By the same token, polygamy and divorce was a long-lived traditional custom among the peoples of hot equatorial countries. Those who had the necessary assets married many women. This practice went on till the time of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’. Qur’ân al-kerîm was revealed and reduced the number of wives (to be had at the same time) to four at the most. With the stipulation of justice, this number has been implicitly reduced to one. Accordingly, it is one of the miracles of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wasallam’ to have transmuted the Arabic people, who had been used to marrying very many women, and to have accustomed them to marrying up to four women, [which means to make them abandon their deeply rooted customs]. However, because their characters and natural dispositions are unlike those of Europeans, their marrying more than one women will not cause so much of a problem as the priests expect. For marriage is entered into for three purposes:

1 — To produce offspring:

2 — To avoid committing a transgression against someone else and fornication, to lead a chaste life;

3 — To lead a well-organized family life, to protect one’s property and possessions.

When a woman cannot have children, the first reason for marriage will lapse and it will cause loss of generation. If the wife has a chronic illness or is too infirm (to carry out her conjugal duties) and the husband is strong and healthy, the second reason for marriage lapses, too. This gives birth to a very grave mischief, i.e. fornication. Finally, if the wife is extravagant, dissolute, disobedient, treacherous, bad-tempered and insolent, the third reason for marriage will become void. So the man will remain in wretchedness, torture and frustration till the end of his life. Many a rich and honest Christian has a barren, old, extravagant or ill-tempered wife, and cannot divorce her and marry another. Thus he regrets being a Christian a thousand times daily. In Islam, on the other hand, the husband has the right to divorce his wife if he finds that she is not suitable for him. If his wife is suitable for him, they will live together happily till the end of their lives. This is the case with most Muslims. In Islamic countries, therefore, no Muslim has ever regretted being a Muslim.

Another very subtle point is this: Before marriage Christian couples talk to each other and go out together. Therefore, marriage takes place only after both parties have examined each other’s character and behaviors and decided to marry each other. But during this togetherness both parties are extremely cautious, trying to look pleasant and conceal the negative aspects of their characters, thus doing their best to deceive each other. In addition, being young and inexperienced, they are misled by their feelings and sensuous desires and, as a result, knowing each other does them no good. The unpleasant events seen after marriage in most Christian families are evidences of this fact. In every country, especially in European countries, there are very few of those men who are strong and potent and yet spend all their lives with their wives without establishing relations with other women. And this is quite natural. Because their culture does not prohibit seeing and talking to other women, men take their wives out to balls, [theatres, movies and other places of music, dancing and drinking], or to visit friends and acquaintances. It being against their rules of decorum to sit with one’s wife at such places, every man delivers his wife to another and takes another’s wife. Then they begin dancing, which mostly end up in betrayal. The human nature is apt to get tired of things in process of time. No matter how pretty, how good-tempered a person’s wife might be, in the course of time there would be gradual decrease in his affection and fervour for her. At such places it would be inevitable for a husband or a wife to feel attracted to other people of opposite sex. Because women and men in Christian countries live in mixed societies, seeing and talking to one another all the time, there are very few men and women who have spent their lives without committing fornication at all. Sitting together with women, seeing and talking to one another without reserve or any feeling of shame with the pretext of respecting them and observing their rights, they are, on the contrary, pushing women into these dangers, depreciating and lowering them, and exploiting them as sources of trade. On the other hand, the chaste, honourable and bashful wives of Muslims are always respectable in the eyes of their husbands [as well as in the eyes of other people], and their husbands will never let them fall into such dangers or disesteems. As every person would reserve his favourite and most precious belongings for himself, Muslims feel they should protect their wives, who are more valuable, more respectable and dearer than anything else to them, even from birds flying high up in the sky. This feeling originates from the exuberance of affection. Europeans have already lost their feelings of morals and honesty in this respect. It is accepted as a mockery, as a ludicrous imbecility for a man to be jealous of his wife or for a woman to be jealous of her husband. When a person is said to be jealous, he will be accepted as boorish and stupid.

People who have benefited exclusively from this disgracefully inhuman state that Europe is in, are those who have become priests. It is natural, therefore, for priests to wish this state to go on being so. We know a person who had been born from Christian parents and brought up as a Protestant in Germany but, because he had enough sense of chastity not to take his sisters to balls and hand them over to others, left his home, Germany, and Christianity, and came to Istanbul, where he was honoured with Islam. Today he is working as a high-ranking official in the Ottoman State.

As it is known by people who have seen Europe, in many sophisticated families there is an outward unity and agreement between husband and wife. When they have guests in their home and when they visit their acquaintances, they are so kind to each other that you would think they were extremely affectionate and faithful to each other. But, later, as the families gradually establish closer intimacy with each other, what the husband and the wife really think of each other will become evident. That is, they are so tired of each other that they do not even want to see each other. In fact, in some families the husband and wife will enter into an agreement not to interfere with each other’s affairs. Thus both the husband and the wife will have various lovers with whom to lead a promiscuous sex life. Moreover, since none of the parties can remarry so long as the other party is alive, they look forward to each other’s death. Sometimes one of them attempts murder to get rid of the other. Prohibition of divorce has given many harms to the European nations. For this reason, in 1206 [A.D. 1792] a law was passed to sanction divorce in France where it had been forbidden. At last divorce was permissible. In 1816, after repeated efforts of priests, the permission for divorce was cancelled. In the years 1830 and 1848 [A.H. 1264], state officials, lawyers and scholars did their best for the ratification of divorce, but their efforts came to naught because of the intrigues carried on by the ecclesiastics. Europeans, who consider slavery to be incompatible with humanity and have waged praiseworthy struggles and efforts for the abrogation of slavery, have been curiously unsuccessful in their endeavours to extirpate the slavery of not being able to divorce one’s wife, though its various harms with regard to property, progeny and chastity are becoming more and more conspicuous day by day. Supposing an elderly man had a young wife who went out immodestly dressed and had relationships with other young men as she chose and this man were suspicious of the sexual indulgences but unable to prevent her; would not this man spend all his life in sorrow and affliction, with the children born from this woman running about in front of his eyes every day and causing him an everlasting feeling of inferiority and lamentation over the choking thought of having to leave his property to someone else’s offspring? What on earth could be more torturous for a person? Or supposing a chaste young woman were married off to an impotent old man against her will or to someone she did not like at all; this woman would spend all her youth in excruciation. In addition, a civilized society would be deprived of the offspring which otherwise she would have brought forth; this is something at loggerheads with ultimate divine wisdom and civilization. Now, if this woman, despairing that she ever would get out of this situation as long as her husband lived, were carried away by the thought of devising a plot to make away with her husband as soon as she had the opportunity, of if she, being tempted by the sensuous desires of her young construction and sapped by permanent suffering and sorrow, loses her chastity, would not these priests be responsible?

When men and women get together, sit and and talk freely to one another, dance with one another with women in dresses exposing their necks, bosoms and arms and all sorts of ornaments and jewels, how many men and women can help looking at each other? Because Muslim women do not go out often, talk to other men, keep company with them or become so familiar as to make jokes with them, they are not vulnerable to such dangers. Even if a Muslim’s wife is ugly and ill-tempered, he will be contented with her because he does not see another woman. Likewise, however intolerable a Muslim woman’s husband may be, she will tolerate him and get along with him because she does not see, sit and talk with another man. Thus they will not attempt anything that will incur harm and disaster. For a person who has senses of jealosy and shame it would be impossible to lead a peaceful life in any religion except Islam. As we have stated earlier, every nation has their own traditional customs, and it would be impossible for them to give them up. Therefore we would not attempt to describe the flavour in chastity and shame to the protesting priest. For this is a conscientious flavour. While a normal person will not even share with someone else a glass that he likes very much and always uses for drinking water, we can never understand how anyone could ever destroy his wife, who is a part of himself and his secret treasure where he has entrusted his offspring, by throwing her before lascivious people who are captives of their own lusts.

[In Christian countries women and girls roam around with naked heads, bosoms, arms and legs, tempting men to indecencies, to fornication. As the wife cooks, launders and does the cleaning in the house, her husband finds a naked woman at work or in the streets, enjoys himself and even commits fornication with her. In the evening he comes home, pensive and exhausted. Plunged into lewd fancies, he does not even look at his wife, whom he at one time liked, chose, loved and married. The wife, on the other hand, disillusioned to be deprived of the affection and recreation she deserves after a whole day’s housework, has neurotic fits. Thus the family home is broken apart. The man, who has been going out with a woman he found in the streets, drops her like dirty underwear and finds another woman. Consequently, thousands of women, men and children are destroyed every year. Some of them become immoral, others end up in anarchy, driving a whole nation into decline. The harm given to youngsters, to people, to the State by women who go about naked and with strong smells of perfumes and wantonly ornaments is worse and more threatening than that of alcohol or narcotics. Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded women and girls to cover themselves up lest His born slaves should fall into disasters in this world and vehement torments in the hereafter. Unfortunately, some people, because they have been captivated by their nafses and lusts, call the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ fundamentalism and the depraved and eccentric practices of Europeans modernism. Some of these so-called modern and illuminated people procured diplomas for one another and shared some critical positions among themselves. They are hooting like owls and attacking Islam at every occasion. With this easy heroism they are collecting applaud and substantial aid from Christians, Jews and Communists, who are our historical enemies, thus becoming more powerful and deceiving youngsters by using all sorts of tricks. May Allâhu ta’âlâ give these so-called modern and illuminated people common sense! May He grant them the reason enough to see clearly between right and wrong!]

Some people answer this as follows: “At one time due care and attention were paid to the education and training of women. After completely learning her duties as a wife, a woman can very well attend any sort of assembly. Thus there will be no fear of her losing her chastity. For knowledge is dominant over the nafs.” Supposing the person who makes these statements were a thirty year old, strong and decent man, and his wife an ugly but very decent woman, and they were both at a dinner given by their acquaintances. It happened so that the man, sitting beside an extremely pretty, coquettish and attractive woman, established some intimacy with her, and his wife sitting near a young man and clinking glasses with him, became too familiar with him. In this case, would it be possible for the husband and wife to protect themselves from sly, malicious thoughts? Knowledge and education will curb the natural human aspirations to a certain extent. But the sensuous desires dormant in human nature will erupt as soon as they are given the favorable milieu, pushing aside the education given. Here is a beautiful saying from Sa’dî-i-Shîrâzî:[81] “Could it ever be believed that a hungry misbeliever would imagine himself sitting alone at a meal table in Ramadân?”

Yes, if the man is a eunuch, you can trust him. But those who are eunuchs metaphorically, that is, those who claim to have freed themselves from the sensuous desires of their nafs, must be exempted from this. For there have been many priests who have emasculated themselves metaphorically and yet whose actions have belied their statements. [The whole world knows about the indecencies which those priests who have emasculated themselves metaphorically have committed when left alone with women coming to them for confession. In daily newspapers we often see pictures of dancing priests who assume monastic garbs during the day and attend parties at night.] Yes, those who have trained and curbed their nafs completely for Allah’s sake are no doubt trustworthy people. If such a physical self-sacrifice were seen on priests who make themselves seem like pious and trustworthy people, then there would be no saying against the spiritual effectiveness of Christianity.

The same priest, in one of his booklets, censures the Islamic belief that “Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was not killed but was elevated up to heaven alive,” and says, “This belief is contrary not only to all history books but also to the generally accepted narrative. For it is written in the four Gospels that Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ displayed some miracles as he was killed. How could it ever be justifiable to deny a narrative that has reached us from the Apostles, who were the eye-witnesses of the events?”

ANSWER: As everybody knows, a narrative that happened in the past can be trusted and believed confidently by the people of a later generation only if the narrators themselves saw the events and were people who could never have agreed on a lie. Now, when Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was, according to the Christian credo, arrested by Jews, all the disciples who were with him ran away, with the exception of Peter, who walked after him instead. And Peter, in his turn, told the same lie three times as the rooster crowed three times, saying that he did not know Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. When the person mistaken for Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was crucified, no one was present there, none the least of the Apostles. It is written in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark that a few women watched the event from a distance. Since John does not contain any statements to this effect, the priest must be wrong when he says, “ is written in the four Gospels,” and “...the Apostles, who were the eye-witnesses of the events.” In other words, there is not a generally accepted narrative in this respect. On the other hand, history books, which the priest puts forth as documents, are based on sources that have not been confirmed to be true by generally accepted narratives, and therefore they are not dependable. Here are the Biblical accounts of the matter:

It is stated in the fiftieth and later verses of the twenty-seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of saints which slept arose,” “And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matt: 27-50, 51, 52, 53) Norton, a Western writer, states in his book that this is an open lie, and puts forward evidences to prove his argument. In his book, which otherwise praises and defends the Bible, Norton gives the following account: “This story is a lie. The most evident proof for this fact is that Jews, who were deeply distressed by the destruction of Jerusalem, fabricated some wonderful episodes concerning Mesjîd-i-aqsâ, and this episode was one of them. Afterwards an idiot, considering that this episode would go with the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, wrote it on one of the page margins of the Hebrew version of the Gospel of Matthew only for the sake of blessing, and later on another idiotic scribe, as he made another copy of the Gospel, included it in the Gospel. And the translator of this new copy translated this passage exactly as it was.” [Consequently, this new translation became the formal religious book of the church.]

There are various evidences to prove that the story which the priest relates in the name of miracle is ungrounded:

1 — According to the writings in the Gospel of Matthew, on the second day following the crucifixion the Jews came to Pilatus, the Roman governor in Jerusalem, and said, “O sir! That mendacious person said when he was alive that he would resurrect three days after his crucifixion. So, command your men to wait on the grave lest his disciples steal him away and then say that he has resurrected. Otherwise the final heresy will be worse than the first one.” [ paraphrased from Matthew: 27-62 and on]. According to the twenty-fourth verse of the twenty-seventh chapter of Matthew, Pilatus and his wife were inwardly opposed to the killing of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. Succumbing to the Jews’ insistence, Pilatus had to give them the permission. If miracles had been seen, the Jews would possibly not go to Pilatus afterwards and make the statement quoted above. For it is stated in Matthew that the curtain of al-Aqsâ was torn apart, the rocks were split, the graves were opened, and the dead were openly going about in the city of Jerusalem. It is an easily discernible fact that the Jews could not have used such terms as ‘mendacious’ or ‘misleader’ about Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ in the presence of Pilatus after he and his wife, in addition to already being against the killing of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, had seen so many miracles, or, at least, he would have reprimanded them had they said so.