The Peace of Islam
The Islamic Review (UK), December 1913 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 11, p. 424–426)
I would not, could not, as a loyal supporter of the Crown and Constitution, put my hand to the plough with such confidence if I had the slightest fear that the increase in the number of those who profess Islam, which I hope to live to see, would be likely to make the subjects of His Majesty anything but loyal and law-abiding. The true believer puts his love for God, and his earnest desire to benefit everyone of God’s creatures, so far above any thoughts of worldly advancement that he is the last person in the world to advocate rebellion against properly constituted authority.
“Let there be no violence in religion” [The Holy Quran, 2:256]
are words of deep significance in the Koran [Quran], and they come immediately after one of the most sublime passages in that Holy Book, and they are followed by:
“Now is the right direction, manifestly distinguished from deceit: whoever therefore shall deny Tagut1, and believe in God, he shall surely take hold on a strong handle, which shall not be broken; God is He who heareth and seeth.” [The Holy Quran, 2:256]
The genuine follower of Islam places the delight of obeying God’s slightest behest in the foremost citadel of his heart and soul: to him obedience to his Father in Heaven means a foretaste of Paradise—that Paradise which is a reality to him. Whether his worldly possessions be small or great, the happiness coming from this inward knowledge of God’s mercy and love puts him in a position of absolute fearlessness. How can it be otherwise? His whole being is permeated by a desire that the Holy Spirit shall instruct him and keep him true to his anxiety to be at one with God. A near approach to this highest aspiration may be found in that beautiful Collect in the Christian Prayer Book:
“O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, mercifully grant that Thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts.”
Truly a worthy and becoming supplication from the created to the Creator, and breathing the same spirit as the preface, or opening chapter, of the Koran [Quran], which has been called “the Muslims’ Lord’s Prayer.”
I care not what a man’s colour may be—yellow, black, olive or white—or what his worldly position or environment—sunny south or wintry north—there is comfort in Islam, the religion of gratitude, praise and love; the religion of charity and peace.
There are not wanting indications that the time is not far distant when passive submission may become not only dangerous, but actually wicked. In dealing with devils, and those emissaries of the evil one who are to be met with in every walk of life, it does not answer to be lenient. Compassion and “turning the other cheek” are quite thrown away upon the prince of darkness and his legions. Nothing short of annihilation should be aimed at. This is a point which may be fairly advanced and pressed forward by those who believe in the continuity of God’s revelation to mankind. What we know has happened may happen again, for God is Almighty, and may yet instruct us, as He did in the old days of former prophets. There would be the similarity in the illuminating emanation from the Divine Presence, though the methods might be very different and difficult for mankind to comprehend.
For instance, it is conceivable that the recipient of a Divine message exhorting to a departure from or advance on the mild teachings of the gentle Jesus might be regarded as the anti-Christ or enemy of Christianity, whereas he would be merely another instrument chosen for the purpose of giving God’s messages, just as Moses, Christ, and Mahomet [Muhammad] gave them. He would be but a link in the chain of prophets maintaining the continuous stream of Divine revelation. There is no stagnation in Nature—no single event, or set of conditions and circumstances, can ever be exactly repeated; and it would seem unlikely that the future Revelation—whenever it pleases God to send it to us—will be anything more than similar to those which have preceded it, and of which we have tangible and convincing proofs.
The history of past ages shows how cruelly misunderstood have been the Holy Prophets, and how their plain statements of what God told them were regarded as ravings or insane imaginings. Every kind of indignity and torture has over and over again been the reward of those who have given out the messages, and, as a rule, it has taken centuries before men could or would recognise the Divine character of those inspired messages. Imagine for a moment the reception which would be accorded to a gentleman addressing a large mixed audience in the Albert Hall and declaring that he had himself experienced anything like the happenings described by St. John the Divine in the Book of Revelation! There is but very little doubt in my mind that “brain specialists” would be called in, and the gentleman would be politely but firmly removed to Hanwell. And yet his words would be true, and he would be made to suffer because sceptics were incapable of realising the fact that the power of God is infinite, and that He can suspend, alter, or adapt any of the laws of Nature, and, for the purposes of revelation, give power to any of His creatures to see into other worlds of beauty, and to receive impressions and messages which would be impossible but for His direct and special provisions.
- Literally “an idol” — anything whatever worshipped besides God, particularly the idols of the Meccans, Allat and Uzza. Also the devil or any seducer from the path to God, or any recognition of forms of religion leading to idolatry in any shape or form. ↩