And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order, and call upon Him in fear and hope. Surely, the mercy of Allah is near unto those who do good. (Al Quran 7:57)
Source/Credit: Frederick News Post
Originally published on August 8, 2011
By Aamna Bhatti
I wanted to respond to Bob Hilton’s July 26 letter, “Shocked after reading Qur’an.” From his scrutiny of the Quran, Hilton concludes that anyone who actually practices its teachings is incapable of living in a secular republic or even coexisting with non believers.
As a Muslim who follows the Quran and has studied it in its entirety, I completely disagree with Hilton. Religious freedom, nondiscrimination, tolerance, etc., that are basic elements of a secular republic are also principles celebrated by teachings of Islam. Therefore, Muslims can live perfectly well in a secular country without having to compromise their religious identity.
Muslims are instructed to obey the leaders or governments of the countries they are living in regardless of the religious affiliation of these leaders. The Holy Quran states, “Obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority over you” (4:60).
The people of authority referred to in this verse are the governments and civic leaders. Holy Quran instructs, “Allah commands you to give over the trusts to those entitled to them” (4:59). Trust in Arabic also refers to an office or position of authority. This verse instructs to elect only those as your leaders who are best qualified for the job regardless of their religious background.
The Quran instructs Muslims to live peacefully wherever they live, not to create disorder, and not to hurt fellow human beings in verses 7:57, 29:37, 28:78, 2:205-206. They are also instructed to always deal with others (including non-Muslims) with absolute justice and fairness, never letting personal biases and differences come in their way of carrying out this task (5:9, 4:59, 4:136). Prophet Muhammad says, “I enjoin you to always fear God and make obedience your way even if a slave is made your ruler.”