Naseem Mahdi issued a salam — a greeting — “from God, who is the source of peace and security.”
Source: nwaonline.comMahdi, an imam and national vice president and chief missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United States, spoke April 10 in a program presented by the Al-Islam Student Association at the University of Arkansas.
Recent actions by ISIS and other terrorist groups present a negative image of Islam, said Nassir Naseem, president of Al-Islam. “We want to clarify that Islam is not a message of war, but rather, peace.”
Islam is in crisis, Mahdi said, because “there is a very acute ignorance about Islam by both non-Muslims and Muslims. Islam is in crisis because Muslims don’t know what Allah has given them.”
The world holds 1.5 billion Muslims, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world or 23 percent of the world population, according to a 2010 report by the Pew Center. “So the majority are non-Muslims,” Mahdi pointed out.
The Muslim source for a righteous life comes from the Quran, a holy text delivered by Allah to the prophet Muhammad over 33 years, said Mahdi, whose understanding of the Quran was apparent. The Quran’s language is Arabic.
“From childhood, Muslims learn Arabic, but they are learning it without meaning,” Mahdi said. Naseem admitted to reading the English translation listed next to the Arabic in his personal copy of the Quran.
“Today, Muslims are very good and enthusiastic, but they don’t know what’s in the Quran — even if they could read the texts,” Mahdi continued. “The clerics have the religious responsibility to do this.”
Mahdi likened the situation to the Middle Ages, when Christians were forbidden to translate the Bible in any language but the originals — Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. “The cleric or bishop had to tell you what is right or wrong,” he said. “They told you what to follow.”
The Quran presents a “sharia” — a law or path — for believers to follow, similar to the laws God delivered to Moses as recorded in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible. “The sharia is the law of the Holy Quran,” Mahdi said.
The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians wrote that Christ as the Redeemer had delivered Christians from the curse of the law — not the law given to Moses and followed by the prophets. “Jesus saw readings of the Torah in his time had become distorted and knew this was wrong,” Mahdi shared.
“This was the God-given law, the law given to Moses, sacred law,” he continued. “But it had been misinterpreted. Wrong information was given when the Jewish leaders did not know the text. Jesus Christ came to deliver Jews from ‘the curse of the law.'”
Likewise, the… read more at nwaonline.com