For an overview of all perspectives, see Muhammad.
|Apostle of God|
|Born||Monday, 12 Rabi' al-awwal c. 53 BH/ c. 570 CE|
Mecca, Hejaz, Arabian Peninsula
|Died||Monday, 12 of Rabi' al-awwal c. 11 AH/ 8 June, 632 CE (aged 62 or 63 years)|
Medina, Hejaz, Arabian Peninsula
|Resting place||Under the Green Dome in al-Masjid an-Nabawi|
|Major shrine||Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia|
Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbdul-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim (Arabic: مُـحَـمَّـد ابْـن عَـبْـد الله ابْـن عَـبْـد الْـمُـطَّـلِـب ابْـن هَـاشِـم) (c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE), in short form Muhammad, is considered to be the last Messenger and Prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam. Muslims also believe that the Quran, which is the central religious text of Islam, was revealed to Muhammad by God, and that Muhammad was sent to restore Islam, which they believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Ibrahim, Musa, 'Isa, and other Prophets. The religious, social, and political tenets that Muhammad established with the Quran became the foundation of Islam and the Muslim world.
Muslims often refer to Muhammad as Prophet Muhammad, or just The Prophet or The Messenger, and regard him as the greatest of all Prophets. He is seen by the Muslims as a possessor of all virtues. As an act of respect, most Muslims follow the name of Muhammad by the Arabic benediction sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, (meaning Peace be upon him), sometimes abbreviated as SAW or PBUH.
The deeds and sayings in the life of Muhammad – known as Sunnah – are considered a model of the life-style that Muslims are obliged to follow. Recognizing Muhammad as God's final messenger is one of the central requirements in Islam which is clearly laid down in the second part of the Shahada (شَـهـادة, "Testimony" or proclamation of faith): Lā ilāha illā l-Lāh, Muhammadun Rasūlu l-Lāh (لا إلـه إلّا الله، مـحـمّـدٌ رّسـول الله, "There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God"). The Quran, in passages such as 3:132, 48:29 and 66:1, often uses the words "messenger" and "prophet" (such as ar-Rasūl (الـرَّسـول, "The Messenger") or Rasūl Allāh (رَسـول الله, "Messenger of God") for Muhammad, and asks people to follow him, so as to become successful in this hayāt (حَـيـاة, 'life') and al-Ākhirah (الآخـرة, the Afterlife).
Born about 570 into a respected Qurayshi family of Mecca, Muhammad earned the title "al-Amin" (الامين, meaning "the Trustworthy"). At the age of 40 in 610 CE, Muhammad is said to have received his first verbal revelation in the cave called Hira, which was the beginning of the descent of the Quran that continued up to the end of his life; and Muslims hold that Muhammad was asked by God to preach the oneness of God in order to stamp out idolatry, a practice overtly present in pre-Islamic Arabia. Because of persecution of the newly converted Muslims, upon the invitation of a delegation from Medina (then known as Yathrib), Muhammad and his followers migrated to Medina in 622 CE, an event known as the Hegira. A turning point in Muhammad's life, this Hegira also marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad sketched out the Constitution of Medina specifying the rights of and relations among the various existing communities there, formed an independent community, and managed to establish the first Islamic state. Despite the ongoing hostility of the Meccans, Muhammad, along with his followers, took control of Mecca in 630 CE, and ordered the destruction of all pagan idols. In later years in Medina, Muhammad unified the different tribes of Arabia under Islam, carried out social and religious reforms. By the time he died in 632, almost all the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.
In the Quran
The Quran enumerates little about Muhammad's early life or other biographic details, but it talks about his prophetic mission, his moral excellence, and theological issues regarding Muhammad. According to the Quran, Muhammad is the last in a chain of prophets sent by God (33:40). Throughout the Quran, Muhammad is referred to as "Messenger", "Messenger of God", and "Prophet". Some of such verses are 2:101, 2:143, 2:151, 3:32, 3:81, 3:144, 3:164, 4:79-80, 5:15, 5:41, 7:157, 8:01, 9:3, 33:40, 48:29, and 66:09. Other terms are used, including "Warner", "bearer of glad tidings", and the "one who invites people to a Single God" (Quran 12:108, and 33:45-46). The Quran asserts that Muhammad was a man who possessed the highest moral excellence, and that God made him a good example or a "goodly model" for Muslims to follow (Quran 68:4, and 33:21). The Quran disclaims any superhuman characteristics for Muhammad, but describes him in terms of positive human qualities. In several verses, the Quran crystallizes Muhammad's relation to humanity. According to the Quran, God sent Muhammad with truth (God's message to humanity), and as a blessing to the whole world (Quran 39:33, and 21:107). In Islamic tradition, this means that God sent Muhammad with his message to humanity the following of which will give people salvation in the afterlife, and it is Muhammad's teachings and the purity of his personal life alone which keep alive the worship of God on this world.
The Quran also categorizes some theological issues regarding Muhammad. The most important among them is the edict to follow the teachings of Muhammad. The Quran repeatedly commands people to "follow God and his Messenger (Muhammad)" in verses including 3:31-32, 3:132, 4:59, and 4:69.
Traditional Muslim account of Muhammad
See also: Muhammad in Mecca, Mawlid, and Family tree of Muhammad
Muhammad, the son of 'Abdullah and his young wife Aminah, was born in 570 CE, approximately,[n 1] in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula. He was a member of the family of Banu Hashim, a respected branch of the prestigious and influential Quraysh tribe. It is generally said that 'Abd al-Muttalib named the child "Muhammad" (Arabic: مُـحَـمَّـد).
Muhammad was orphaned when young. Some months before the birth of Muhammad, his father died near Medina on a mercantile expedition to Syria (Arabic: اَلـشَّـام, "Ash-Shām"), When Muhammad was six, he accompanied his mother Amina on her visit to Medina, probably to visit her late husband's tomb. While returning to Mecca, Amina died at a desolate place called Abwa, about half-way to Mecca, and was buried there. Muhammad was now taken in by his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, who himself died when Muhammad was eight, leaving him in the care of his uncle Abu Talib. In Islamic tradition, Muhammad's being orphaned at an early age has been seen as a part of divine plan to enable him to "develop early the qualities of self-reliance, reflection, and steadfastness". Muslim scholar Muhammad Ali sees the tale of Muhammad as a spiritual parallel to the life of Moses, considering many aspects of their lives to be shared. The Quran said about Moses: "I cast (the garment of love) over thee from Me, so that thou might be reared under My eye. ... We saved thee from all grief, although We tried thee with various trials. ... O Moses, I have chosen thee for Mine Own service" (20:39-41). Taking into account the idea of this spiritual parallelism, together with other aspects of Muhammad's early life, it has been suggested that it was God under Whose direct care Muhammad was raised and prepared for the responsibility that was to be conferred upon him. Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan argued that Muhammad's orphan state made him dependent on God and close to the destitute – an "initiatory state for the future Messenger of God".
According to Arab custom, after his birth, infant Muhammad was sent to Banu Sa'ad clan, a neighboring Bedouin tribe, so that he could acquire the pure speech and free manners of the desert. There, Muhammad spent the first five years of his life with his foster-mother Halima. Islamic tradition holds that during this period, God sent two angels who opened his chest, took out the heart, and removed a blood-clot from it. It was then washed with Zamzam water. In Islamic tradition, this incident signifies the idea that God purified his prophet and protected him from sin.
Islamic belief holds that God protected Muhammad from involving in any disrespectful and coarse practice. Even when he verged on any such activity, God intervened. Prophetic tradition narrates one such incident in which it is said on the authority of Ibn Al-Atheer that while working as herdsman at early period of his life, young Muhammad once told his fellow-shepherd to take care of his sheep so that the former could go to the town for some recreation as the other youths used to do. But on the way, his attention was diverted to a wedding party, and he sat down to listen to the sound of music only to fall asleep soon. He was awakened by the heat of the sun. Muhammad reported that he never tried such things again.
Around the age of twelve, Muhammad accompanied his uncle Abu Talib in a mercantile journey to Syria, and gained experience in commercial enterprise. On this journey Muhammad is said to have been recognized by a Christian monk, Bahira, who prophesied about Muhammad's future career as a prophet of God.
Around the age of twenty five, Muhammad was employed as the caretaker of the mercantile activities of Khadijah, a distinguished Quraysh lady, now widowed. Attracted by his business success and honesty, she sent a marriage proposal to Muhammad through her maid-servant Meisara. As Muhammad gave his consent, the marriage was solemnized in the presence of his uncle. At that time, Muhammad was twenty-five, and Khadijah was forty years of age. Despite the apparent disparity of age between them, the union was a happy one by all accounts.
Between 580 CE and 590 CE, Mecca experienced a bloody feud between Quraysh and Bani Hawazin that lasted for four years, before a truce was reached. After the truce, an alliance named Hilf al-Fudul (The Pact of the Virtuous) was formed to check further violence and injustice; and to stand on the side of the oppressed, an oath was taken by the descendants of Hashim and the kindred families, where Muhammad was also a member. In later days of his life, Muhammad is reported to have said about this pact, "I witnessed a confederacy in the house of 'Abdullah bin Jada'an. It was more appealing to me than herds of cattle. Even now in the period of Islam I would respond positively to attending such a meeting if I were invited."
Islamic tradition credits Muhammad with settling a dispute peacefully, regarding setting the sacred Black Stone on the wall of Kaaba, where the clan leaders could not decide on which clan should have the honor of doing that. The Black stone was removed to facilitate the rebuilding of Kaaba because of its dilapidated condition. The disagreement grew tense, and bloodshed became likely. The clan leaders agreed to wait for the next man to come through the gate of Kaaba and ask him to choose. The 35-year-old Muhammad entered through that gate first, asked for a mantle which he spread on the ground, and placed the stone at its center. Muhammad had the clans' leaders lift a corner of it until the mantle reached the appropriate height, and then himself placed the stone on the proper place. Thus, an ensuing bloodshed was averted by the wisdom of Muhammad.
Main article: Muhammad's first revelation
Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last and final messenger and prophet of God who began receiving direct verbal revelations in 610 CE. The first revealed verses were the first five verses of suraAl-Alaq that the archangel Gabriel brought from God to Muhammad in the cave Mount Hira.
After his marriage with Khadijah and during his career as a merchant, although engaged in commercial activities and family affairs, Muhammad gradually became preoccupied with contemplation and reflection. and began to withdraw periodically to a cave named Mount Hira, three miles north of Mecca. According to Islamic tradition, in the year 610 CE, during one such occasion while he was in contemplation, the archangel Gabriel appeared before him and said 'Recite', upon which Muhammad replied: 'I am unable to recite'. Thereupon the angel caught hold of him and embraced him heavily. This happened two more time after which the angel commanded Muhammad to recite the following verses:
Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
Taught man that which he knew not.
— Quran, chapter 96 (Al-Alaq), verse 1-5
This was the first verbal revelation. Perplexed by this new experience, Muhammad made his way to home where he was consoled by his wife Khadijah, who also took him to her Christian cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal. Waraqah was familiar with scriptures of Torah and Gospel. Islamic tradition holds that Waraka, upon hearing the description, testified to Muhammad's prophethood. It is also reported by Aisha that Waraqah ibn Nawfal later told Muhammad that Muhammad's own people would turn him out, to which Muhammad inquired "Will they really drive me out?" Waraka replied in the affirmative and said "Anyone who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should be alive till that day, then I would support you strongly." Some Islamic scholars argue that Muhammad was foretold in the Bible.
Main article: Wahy
In Islamic belief, revelations are God's word delivered by his chosen individuals – known as Messengers—to humanity. According to Islamic scholarMuhammad Shafi Usmani, God created three media through which humans receive knowledge: men's senses, the faculty of reason, and divine revelation; and it is the third one that addresses the liturgical and eschatological issues, answers the questions regarding God's purpose behind creating humanity, and acts as a guidance for humanity in choosing the correct way. In Islamic belief, the sequence of divine revelation came to an end with Muhammad. Muslims believe these revelations to be the verbatim word of God, which were later collected together, and came to be known as Quran, the central religious text of Islam.
Early preaching and teachings
During the first three years of his ministry, Muhammad preached Islam privately, mainly among his near relatives and close acquaintances. The first to believe him was his wife Khadijah, who was followed by Ali, his cousin, and Zayd ibn Harithah. Notable among the early converts were Abu Bakr, Uthman ibn Affan, Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib, Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas, Abdullah ibn Masud, Arqam, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, Ammar ibn Yasir and Bilal ibn Rabah. In the fourth year of his prophethood, according to Islamic belief, he was ordered by God to make public his propagation of this monotheistic faith (Quran 15:94).
Muhammad's earliest teachings were marked by his insistence on the oneness of God (Quran 112:1), the denunciation of polytheism (Quran 6:19), belief in the Last judgment and its recompense (Quran 84:1–15), and social and economic justice (Quran 89:17–20). In a broader sense, Muhammad preached that he had been sent as God's messenger; that God is One who is all-powerful, creator and controller of this universe (Quran 85:8–9, Quran 6:2), and merciful towards his creations (Quran 85:14); that worship should be made only to God; that ascribing partnership to God is a major sin (Quran 4:48); that men would be accountable, for their deeds, to God on last judgment day, and would be assigned to heaven or hell (Quran 85:10–13); and that God expects man to be generous with their wealth and not miserly (Quran %3Averse%3D1 107 :1–7).
Opposition and persecution
Main articles: Persecution of Muslims by the Meccans and Migration to Abyssinia
Muhammad's early teachings invited vehement opposition from the wealthy and leading clans of Mecca who feared the loss not only of their ancestral paganism, but also of the lucrative pilgrimage business. At first, the opposition was confined to ridicule and sarcasm which proved insufficient to arrest Muhammad's faith from flourishing, and soon they resorted to active persecution. These included verbal attack, ostracism, unsuccessful boycott, and physical persecution. Biographers have presented accounts of diverse forms of persecution on the newly converted Muslims by the Quraysh. The converted slaves who had no protection were imprisoned and often exposed to scorching sun. Alarmed by mounting persecution on the newly converts, Muhammad in 615 CE directed some of his followers to migrate to neighboring Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia), a land ruled by king Aṣḥama ibn Abjar famous for his justice, and intelligence. Accordingly, eleven men and four women made their flight, and were followed by more in later time.
Back in Mecca, Muhammad was gaining new followers, including notable figures like Umar ibn Al-Khattāb and Hamza, one of Muhammad's uncles. Muhammad's position was greatly strengthened by their acceptance of Islam, and the Quraysh became much perturbed. Upset by the fear of losing the leading position, and shocked by continuous condemnation of idol-worship in the Quran, the merchants and clan-leaders tried to come to an agreement with Muhammad. They offered Muhammad the prospect of higher social status and advantageous marriage proposal in exchange of forsaking his preaching. Muhammad rejected the both, asserting his nomination as a messenger by God. Unable to deal with this status quo, the Quraysh then proposed to adopt a common form of worship, which was denounced by the Quran: 'Say: O ye the disbelievers, I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine' (109:1).
Thus frustrated from all sides, the leaders of various Quraysh clans, in 617 CE, enacted a complete boycott of Banu Hashim family to mount pressure to lift its protection on Muhammad. The Hashemites were made to retire in a quarter of Abu Talib, and were cut off from outside activities. During this period, the Hashemites suffered from various scarcities, and Muhammad's preaching confined to only the pilgrimage season. The boycott ended after three years as it failed to serve its end. This incident was shortly followed by the death of Muhammad's uncle and protector Abu Talib and his wife Khadijah. This has largely been attributed to the plight to which the Hashemites were exposed during the boycott.
Last years in Mecca
The death of his uncle Abu Talib left Muhammad somewhat unprotected, and exposed him to some mischief of Quraysh, which he endured with great steadfast. An uncle and a bitter enemy of Muhammad, Abu Lahab succeeded Abu Talib as clan chief, and soon withdrew the clan's protection from Muhammad. Around this time, Muhammad visited Ta'if, a city some sixty kilometers east of Mecca, to preach Islam, but met with severe hostility from its inhabitants who pelted him with stones causing bleeding. It is said that God sent angels of mountain to Muhammad who asked Muhammad's permission to crush the people of Ta'if in between the mountains, but Muhammad said 'No'. At the pilgrimage season of 620, Muhammad met six men of Khazraj tribe from Yathrib (later named Medina), propounded to them the doctrines of Islam, and recited portions of Quran. Impressed by this, the six embraced Islam, and at the Pilgrimage of 621, five of them brought seven others with them. These twelve informed Muhammad of the beginning of gradual development of Islam in Medina, and took a formal pledge of allegiance at Muhammad's hand, promising to accept him as a prophet, to worship none but one God, and to renounce certain sins like theft, adultery, murder and the like. This is known as the "First Pledge of al-Aqaba". At their request, Muhammad sent with them Mus‘ab ibn 'Umair to teach them the instructions of Islam. Biographers have recorded the success of Mus'ab ibn 'Umair in preaching the message of Islam and bringing people under the umbrella of Islam in Medina.
The next year, at the pilgrimage of June 622, a delegation of around 75 converted Muslims of Aws and Khazraj tribes from Yathrib came. They invited him to come to Medina as an arbitrator to reconcile among the hostile tribes. This is known as the "Second Pledge of al-'Aqaba", and was a 'politico-religious' success that paved the way for his and his followers' emigration to Medina. Following the pledges, Muhammad ordered his followers to migrate to Yathrib in small groups, and within a short period, most of the Muslims of Mecca migrated there.
Emigration to Medina
Main article: Hegira
Because of assassination attempts from the Quraysh, and prospect of success in Yathrib, a city 320 km (200 mi) north of Mecca, Muhammad emigrated there in 622 CE. According to Muslims tradition, after receiving divine direction to depart Mecca, Muhammad began taking preparation and informed Abu Bakr of his plan. On the night of his departure, Muhammad's house was besieged by men of the Quraysh who planned to kill him in the morning. At the time, Muhammad possessed various properties of the Quraysh given to him in trust; so he handed them over to 'Ali and directed him to return them to their owners. It is said that when Muhammad emerged from his house, he recited the ninth verse of surahYa Sin of the Quran and threw a handful of dust at the direction of the besiegers, rendering the besiegers unable to see him. After eight days' journey, Muhammad entered the outskirts of Medina on 28 June 622, but did not enter the city directly. He stopped at a place called Quba', a place some miles from the main city, and established a mosque there. On 2 July 622, he entered the city. Yathrib was soon renamed Madinat an-Nabi (Arabic: مَـديـنـة الـنّـبي, literally "City of the Prophet"), but an-Nabi was soon dropped, so its name is "Medina", meaning "the city".
Muhammad in Medina
Main article: Muhammad in Medina
In Medina, Muhammad's first focus was on the construction of a mosque, which, when completed, was of an austere nature. Apart from being the center of prayer service, the mosque also served as a headquarters of administrative activities. Adjacent to the mosque was built the quarters for Muhammad's family. As there was no definite arrangement for calling people to prayer, Bilal ibn Ribah was appointed to call people in a loud voice at each prayer time, a system later replaced by Adhan believed to be informed to Abdullah ibn Zayd in his dream, and liked and introduced by Muhammad.
The Emigrants of Mecca, known as Muhajirun, had left almost everything there and came to Medina empty-handed. They were cordially welcomed and helped by the Muslims of Medina, known as Ansar (the helpers). Muhammad made a formal bond of fraternity among them that went a long way in eliminating long-established enmity among various tribes, particularly Aws and Khazraj.
Establishment of a new polity
See also: Constitution of Medina
After the arrival of Muhammad in Medina, its people could be divided into four groups:
- The Muslims: emigrants from Mecca and Ansars of Medina.
- The hypocrites; they nominally embraced Islam, but actually were against it.
- Those from Aws and Khazraj who were still pagans, but were inclined to embrace Islam.
- The Jews; they were huge in number and formed an important community there.
In order to establish peaceful coexistence among this heterogeneous population, Muhammad invited the leading personalities of all the communities to reach a formal agreement which would provide a harmony among the communities and security to the city of Medina, and finally drew up the Constitution of Medina, also known as the Medina Charter, which formed "a kind of alliance or federation" among the prevailing communities. It specified the mutual rights and obligations of the Muslims and Jews of Medina, and prohibited any alliance with the outside enemies. It also declared that any dispute would be referred to Muhammad for settlement.
Persistent hostility of Quraysh
Global terrorism is spreading everywhere; it is not only concentrated in the war zone areas of the Middle East such as in Syria and Iraq. Turkey, France, and recently Belgium are suffering from the new wave of terrorism and suicide bombings. On March 22, the Belgium capital fell victim to two major terrorist attacks--at the airport and at the metro station killing at least 31 people and injuring 270 more. The following week, there was a tragic suicide bombing at a soccer stadium in Babil, Iraq, and on Easter Sunday a bloody blast killed over 70 people celebrating the Christian holiday in Lahore, Pakistan. These frequent suicide attacks are numbing our minds day after day.
Apologies, useless condemnations by world leaders, "not in our name" campaigns, illuminating world towers, and changing Facebook flags are not the solutions for this terrorism epidemic. All lives matter in this world. No human being deserves to lose his or her life in a terrorist attack, whether in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, France, Turkey, Belgium, or any Western country. We are all connected, and what happens in the war zone areas in the Middle East deeply affects us all.
The Syrian refugee crisis has created chaos in Europe. Members of ISIS have infiltrated its borders, posing as Syrian refugees fleeing from war and terrorism in their home countries. Despite the serious threat facing the world, no one is handling the issue very well--neither the Muslim community, world leaders, regressive liberal apologists, or the far rightists.
Those actors are commonly strengthening the Islamist terrorist political agenda regardless of their different approaches. The Muslim community is very reluctant to admit that there are some aspects of their religion that preach for violence and political domination. Islamists get inspired by those texts in Islam and use it to achieve their agenda. The world leaders engaged in the geopolitical games in the Middle East ally themselves for their interests, even if that means supporting countries that fund terrorism.
For instance, regressive liberal apologists block any fruitful discussion about Islamist terrorism. They deny the fact that Islam has some dangerous political teachings that preach for violence. On the other hand, the far rightists are taking things to the extreme by generalizing all Muslims. They paint Islamists and Muslims with the same brush. Those actors are maintaining this vicious cycle of terrorist activism around the world without attempting to end it.
There are two very important solutions to combat the ingredients of terrorism. The first solution is to fight the Islamist ideology. The second is to empower secular activists and secular organizations and invite them to work in the Western world to fight the radicalization of Muslim youth.
First, let's identify the cause of terrorism's cancer. Islam and Islamism are not one in the same. Islam is a monotheistic religion with basic teachings about good and evil, about good values, and about the main duties for being a good Muslim. Muslim adherents are regular people practicing their religion, who have regular lives between their jobs, families, and loved ones. On the other hand, there is the Islamism ideology, which aims to establish a political theocratic version of Islam. Islamist terrorists get inspired by some of the Koran and Hadiths that are controversial texts preaching for violence and for imposing Sharia law. Wahhabi Sheikhs and imams promote those controversial aspects in Western mosques and in social media outlets.
For instance, marginalized Muslims in the West are the first targets of terrorism brainwashing. To solve this issue, there should be honest discussions with important figures within Muslim communities about political Islam contents in the Koran and Hadiths. The sheikhs in the mosques should work alongside government officials and enforce the anti-terrorism campaign. There should be high surveillance on the social media outlets and cyberspace used by terrorist groups to monitor and prevent their agendas.
To fight this harmful ideology and its network connections and terrorist groups, intellectual speakers, secular activists, Muslims reformists, and secular organizations should be empowered and endorsed. There are so many prominent figures speaking perfectly about the issue and providing practical solutions to end the cancer of Islamism. Their perspectives and agendas are based upon their social knowledge of their societies. Some of them are Muslim reformists, identifying as Muslim while fighting the Islamist agenda funded by Saudi Arabia.
Maajid Nawaz is a British Pakistani activist, author, columnist, and politician. He is the co-founder of Quilliam, an organization focused on counter-extremism inside Britain and around the world. He has given so many brilliant speeches explaining the differentiation between Islam and Islamism, emphasizing that terrorism has something to do with Islam due to some of the political context mentioned in the Koran and Hadiths. Asra Nomani is a journalist, an activist, and a member of the Muslim Reform Movement. She is an important voice rejecting any interpretation of Islam that calls for violence, social injustice, and political Islam.
Their voices should be empowered as they attack the core of the problem without polarizing the issue. In addition, secular humanist movements and organizations with strong messages should be funded and supported such as the Global Secular Humanist Movement, Secular Student Alliance, and all secular humanist movements supporting and empowering free thinkers and humanists from the Middle East. These movements can eradicate this poisoned Islamism ideology.
Terrorist attacks are still ongoing throughout the world. The world leaders speak and condemn those horrendous acts. However, are our ignorance and our political greed part of the problem? Why are many Western countries providing weapon supplies to one of the most harmful Wahhabi countries in Saudi Arabia? Are we monitoring enough Arabic and Islamic school curriculums that might contain Wahhabi violent ideologies? Are all the sheikhs in Western mosques good preachers? Why are violent sectarian sheikhs like Ouraifi and Kurdawi given the voice to promote their hateful sectarian ideologies? Answering these questions is the first step toward a solution.
Crowdsourcing the struggle for human rights. Be part of the solution at Movements.org.