Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Does Burning the Holy Quran Solve Any Problems?
By Kourosh Ziabari
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 13, 2010
Non-Muslims might be unfamiliar with the concept of "Wudu".
It's an Islamic practice involving the washing of some parts of the body
such as the hands, arms and face in order to get prepared for saying
prayers or reciting the Holy Quran. It's is of high value in the Islamic
tradition, because it's a preface to inner purity and satisfies the
Almighty Creator who wants its creatures to be pure and clean once they
want to talk to Him. Wudu is translated into English as "ablution". One
who is in the state of Wudu, that is has washed his face, hands, arms and
feet, is obliged to adhere to some certain codes of morality, including
devotion to honesty, justice and sincerity. One who is in the state of
Wudu is supposed not to tell lie, not to judge with prejudice and
partiality and not to state or claim what is unrighteous and unfair.
Prior to setting off for writing this article, I conducted "Wudu"
and promised myself not to get out of the borders of honesty and
objectivity. I promised myself to propose what is my concern in a manner
that is justifiable and virtuous, and pose a few questions as someone who
has been entitled to ask freely, without being disrupted by projection or
It was on the news headlines that the Florida-based
Dove World Outreach Center church pastor, Terry Jones, decided to
burn copies of the Holy Quran on the advent of September 11 in an action
which is deemed to be a remonstration against what is introduced as
Regrettably, Wayne Sapp who is an associate
pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center has proclaimed that burning the
Holy Quran is a direction God wants them to go. "We are convinced this is
the direction God wants us to go. That's the only reason we're doing it in
the first place," he told the reporters.
First and foremost, it
should be noted that the announcement of such a plan, regardless of its
being done or not, is an immoral, condemnable and blameworthy action. The
immorality and unacceptability of such an action would be underscored by
the fact that an evangelical church which considers itself a propagator of
Christian religious values has decided to burn a holy book which some 1.5
billion people around the world revere and venerate.
point, one may unavoidably come across to a vital question which puts one
into an inevitable and inescapable stalemate: what happens if the Muslims
announce a plan to burn the Torah? Won't they be accused of extremism,
anti-Semitism, fanaticism, fundamentalism and radicalism? Won't they
become the subject of unending attacks by the mainstream, corporate media
of the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and their European allies?
Won't the international organizations collectively condemn the Muslim
society and won't an all-out wave of Islamophobic actions set out to
emerge around the world? Won't the high-ranking politicians and statesmen
of countries, who don't have anything to do with Judaism, condemn this
action simply because of their connection and affinity with Israel? Won't
any conscious, cognizant and decent citizen rebuff such an outrageous and
disgraceful action? Won't the international community categorically react
to the Muslims community?
The answer to all of the questions posed
above is clear. The extent of international punishments for insulting the
holy book of Jews will be so wide-ranging and across-the-board that the
Muslims will profoundly regret their action and instantaneously apologize;
however, the question which I posed contains a possibility that never
takes place. Muslims have always paid tribute to other Abrahamic religions
and treated their pillars, prophets and holy books with great reverence
and respect. Essentially, Islam has put a crucial responsibility on the
shoulders of Muslims to respect the other religions, treat with the
followers of Abrahamic religions in a brotherly manner and never make a
distinction between them.
To be just and fair, Islam has
comprehensively advised its followers to pay homage and respect to the
beliefs of those who follow other religions and avoid behaving in a way
which degrades and subdues them. In Verse 285 of Chapter 2 (Al-Baqara, The
Heifer) of the Holy Quran, we read: "The Apostle believeth in what hath
been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of
them) believeth In God, His angels, His books, and His apostles. We make
no distinction (they say) between one and another of His apostles. And
they say: we hear, and we obey: (we seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and
to Thee Is the end of all journeys."
This is a clear evidence for
the fact that Quran orders the Muslims to treat all of the prophets
equally without making any distinction between them.
In Verse 44
of Chapter 5 (Al-Maida, The Table Spread), the Almighty God stresses the
necessity and essentiality of respecting and esteeming the holy book of
Torah: "It was We who revealed The Torah (to Moses): therein was guidance
and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the Prophets Who
bowed (as in Islam) to God's Will, by the Rabbis and the Doctors of Law:
For to them was entrusted the protection of God's Book, and they were
witnesses thereto: Therefore fear not men, but fear Me, and sell not My
Signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of)
what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) unbelievers"
more substantial evidence which demonstrates that Islam is strictly
committed to the veneration of other prophets and their holy books can be
found in the Verse 136 of Chapter 2 (Al-Baqara). "Say ye: we believe In
God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismā'īl, Isaac,
Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given
to (all) Prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and
another of them: And we bow to God (in Islam)."
The Holy Quran
highlights that its teachings and values verify and complement the
teachings of previous holy books, including Torah and Bible, and this
clear statement can be found in Verse 92 of Chapter 6 (Al-Ana’am, The
Cattle): "And this is a Book which We have sent down, bringing blessings,
and confirming the revelations which came before it: that thou Mayest warn
the Mother of Cities and all around her. Those who believe In the
Hereafter believe in this Book, and they are constant In guarding their
Islam has never hesitated to verify the authenticity and
legitimacy of its predecessors and the nations which adhered to the holy
books. In Verse 62 of Chapter 2 (Al-Baqara), it's expressively stated that
those who believe in the Almighty God and do decent acts, regardless of
their religion, will be blessed and exalted rightfully: "Those who believe
in the Quran, and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the
Christians and the Sabians, - any who believe in God and the Last Day, and
work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall
be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
Burning the Holy Quran on the
anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will simply draw an end to the spiritual
life of those who have planned such a dirty trick. I'm sure that no
conscious Muslim will do any harm to the evangelical pastor who (was)
going to burn the Holy Quran on September 11, but I'm sure that his
spiritual life as a minister will come to a tragic end, because the very
Almighty God who has revealed the Holy Quran upon Prophet Muhammad will
save His book as well. "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and
We will assuredly guard it." (The Holy Quran, Chapter 15, Verse 9).