Holy war, suicide bombings, fighting for faith, and killing in the name of God—from Crusaders to terrorists, from sacred shrines to New York City, history is tainted by a grave disease afflicting humankind. While all the known religions of the world call for LOVE, PEACE, TOLERANCE, FREEDOM OF BELIEF AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING, many of the terrorists’ acts are committed in this world by people who call themselves religious, and attribute their horrendous and evil acts to the religion. However, God condemns their acts in the scripture. The true religion of Submission (Islam, in Arabic) forbids the killing of innocent people, irrespective of the cause—religious, political or social beliefs. This is stated in the Quran, the holy book of Muslims.
[Quran 6:151] “...You shall not kill — GOD has made life sacred — except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.”
The laws of the scriptures that apply to the Christians and Jews are repeated and emphasized for the Muslims also.
[Quran 5:32] “...we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. ...”
The religion of Submission (Islam) should not be confused with what these terrorists have done. The terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida who kill innocent people are actually, by the definition of the Quran, not Submitters (Muslims), but plain murderers. Who would like to describe Hitler or the likes of Ku Klux Klan as good Christians? We should not let our emotions overcome our logic and understanding. There is no religious scripture that does not condemn terrorism. Every righteous person in God's religion would condemn such actions regardless of terrorist’s race, country or religious affiliation.
What is the ideal of Submission (Islam)? The term "Submission" (i.e., Islam) is not a name that defines you as better than your neighbor or rewards you a special status with God. The name itself is an Arabic word derived from the meaning to surrender or submit. It means submission to God’s will. It is a way of life that guides your actions and forms your character. Submission is a state of awareness and appreciation of God’s boundless attributes. As your soul submits, you are able to practice the meaning of peace, compassion, love, forgiveness, and charity that are recommended by God. The shades of superiority, prejudice and judgment fade as the world comes into focus with the eyes of your soul. In Islam, the best among us in the sight of God is not the white or the black, the male or the female, a person who calls himself or herself Christian, Jew, or Muslim, but rather, the one who is the most righteous.
Submission to God alone is a way of life encouraged from the time of Abraham by Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, messengers who have followed Abraham. The one who is able to surrender the soul is called a Muslim in Arabic, or Submitter. There are Submitters to the Creator in every faith. They are those who place no limits on their belief in the Unseen and impose no judgments on the different forms of striving towards attaining God’s mercy. This common striving encourages unity within a diverse group of people who advance their personal strides by learning from one another.
Thus, the love of God is not reserved for people of religious sects or denominations that cling to an exclusive belief of guaranteed “salvation.” God’s infinite love flows to the charitable, righteous, benevolent, equitable, and the just: Those who recognize their accountability and work towards being good.
[Quran 2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who believes in GOD, and believes in the Last Day, and leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
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[This article was published in the Guest Opinion column of The Arizona Daily Star newspaper, Sunday, May 30, 2004, under “Terrorism has no basis in religion” title.]