After the Paris Attacks and the terrorist incident in San Bernardino, California, I spoke about the source of terrorism as Wahhabism at length. Since I am a spiritual teacher, I have expertise in spirituality and theology. I have also studied the difference between many dozen different denominations within Islam. I have done a comparative study in what differentiates the Wahhabi brand of Islam from the Sunni and Shiite brands of Islam.
What is happening in the world is directly linked with academic mischief that has taken place in academic scholars of the religion. Muslims have reached a stage where they have developed an uncontrollable intolerance; at the same time, they have become blind to the truth.
Academic Mischief Regarding Customs of Prophet Mohammad
The Islamic set of beliefs comes from the Quran, Traditions of the Prophet and Customs of the Prophet. Some of the Customs of the Prophet were to be imitated by the followers; however, there are certain Customs of the Prophet – which, as explained by Prophet Mohammad himself – were confined to himself; nobody from among the followers of Prophet Mohammad were allowed to practise it.
For example, Prophet Mohammad used to fast almost every single day. Some of the very close Companions of the Prophet started to do the same; as a result of this, they had gotten physically weak. When the Prophet enquired as to why they were getting weak physically, they told him they were imitating him. The Prophet replied to them, ‘Some of my customs and practices are confined to myself. You cannot imitate me. When I fast, almost every day, my Lord feeds me.’
One of the main reasons why most of the Islamic scholars have gone astray is because they are not able to differentiate between Customs of the Prophet which were allowed for the Ummah (nation) to practise and certain customs which were not good for the Muslim nation to imitate.
For example, Prophet Mohammad had more than four wives at a time. However, nobody in the Muslim nation, according to the Muslim faith and the Quran, is allowed to keep more than four wives at a time. That Custom of the Prophet is confined to himself.
After the departure of Prophet Mohammad from the world, nobody could marry Prophet Mohammad’s wives. However, according to the Islamic faith, when a husband dies, the wife goes through the period of Iddah (seclusion) for 40 days, and then Sharia permits her to exchange marriage vows with somebody else. However, that is not the case with the wives of Prophet Mohammad.
Most of the verses of Quran were directly addressed to the Prophet Mohammad. If it is not mentioned in a verse who is being addressed, then it is directly addressed to Prophet Mohammad.
The Quran, God’s word, is not easy to understand. That is why so many Islamic scholars tried to translate and interpret Quran. Even so, Quran was not fully comprehended by many Muslims. As a result, Islam has been divided into more than 73 different sects.
I pity Muslims when they are presented references from Quran – and, strangely enough, they don’t concede; they become stubborn and rigid in their misguidance. If it is established in the light of Quran that what a Muslim is saying and believing is wrong, then they should give in. They should give in to Quran, not to anybody else. However, in this day and age, everybody from the Muslim nation has his own Quran in his mind.
On paper, there are 73 sects; but practically speaking, every single person represents a different sect in the Muslim world today.
The Difference Between a Sufi Muslim and a Muslim Who Doesn’t Practise Sufism
It has been projected by anti-spirituality elements in the Islamic world that Sufi teachings are not from Quran. They alienate Quran from Sufism and Sufism from Quran. Most of the sectarian elements in Islam reject Sufism and deny any legitimate status of Sufism in Islam.
Many Sufis visited the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany in the past. They talked about Sufism, but no academic argument was laid before the public which would prove to them that Sufism is not a concocted set of beliefs and it is not human fabrication; rather, it is the gist of the Quran, Bible and Torah.
Those who say that spirituality or Sufism solely come from the Quran are wrong. When you talk about Sufism, you will find the Bible, Torah and Quran in Sufi practice.
This is because Sufism is the gist of all religions; without Sufism, religions stopped benefitting its followers.
Sufism is a way of temporal and eternal life. Sufism teaches one to become a gentleman, to become a social compassion. At the same time, Sufism connects one to the Godhead. Sufism carves your character; it brings out the best in you.
The first thing you will notice in a Sufi is that he is so sublime that he doesn’t have an ego. He doesn’t think highly of himself.
This is not because he imposes on himself that he should not think highly of himself, but it happens after a lengthy process of spiritual purgation, austerity, purification and mortification of the Self. Mortification of the Self is the process in which you cleanse your character; you root out from your character all the legitimate and illegitimate desires. You stop thinking highly of yourself. This happens when God mirrors your Self into the mirror of your heart.
According to a Prophetic Tradition (Hadith), the first thing God does to his servant, for his betterment, his spiritual welfare and his health is to give him the realisation of his own flaws. He begins to notice his flaws. Without Sufism, you find flaws with others and are blind to your own.
No matter what religion you practise, you will always find flaws in others; you will become blind to your own Self. However, if you adopt spirituality and Sufism, you would be so busy in purifying your own Self, that you would hardly have the time to find flaws in others.
As a Sufi, you go through a process of self-denial. You will begin to live under an ongoing guilt that you are filthy inside. You will think that everybody else in the world is better than you. When you don’t practise Sufism, you believe, very rigidly, that you are the best of all. When you think that, this is the first step towards becoming intolerant.
The reason why Wahhabis are so intolerant is because they think Wahhabis are pure Muslims and they practise the purest form of Islam. Because they think they are the best Muslims, they think all other Muslims are heretics and waging a war against them is legitimate. They call it Jihad.
When you ask, ‘What kind of Jihad is it in which a Muslim is killing another Muslim?’ They will not answer you. However, their belief system is that yes, it is Jihad because they themselves are pure Muslims; whereas, Sunnis, Shiites etc. are heretics. Punishment of a heretic, according to the Islamic faith, is death sentence; therefore, they are killing Muslims.
If you are a Jew and you decide to become a Christian or a Muslim, or vice versa, this is not heresy. Heresy is if you are a Jew and one day you say, ‘I quit Judaism and I do not believe in God anymore. I reject God.’ If you are a Muslim and say, ‘I don’t want to believe in Quran anymore and I don’t believe in Allah,’ this is heresy.
If you believe in God and you are only switching religions, this is not wrong.
A Jew can become a Christian or Muslims, and vice versa, at any time. God doesn’t have a problem with that. It is like Costco: all branches come from the same owner, whether you shop at Costco in Manchester, Croydon, or even in Toronto or New York. In a similar way, Christianity was established by a prophet and sent by the same God; Judaism was established by a prophet sent by the same God and Islam was established by a prophet sent by the same God. The Torah and Bible are God’s word; the Quran is also God’s word.
All three books are from the same God. You cannot say that the Torah is greater than the Bible or the Bible is greater than Torah or Quran is greater than both. The Quran, Bible and Torah are equal in respect, divinity and worthiness. If these books have been adulterated, even then you cannot say that one book is greater than the other. We are not talking about the adulteration in them, we are talking about the true word of Bible, Torah and Quran. All three religions are monotheistic religions.
Jews and Christians Are Not Enemies of Muslims
When a Muslim hates Jews and Christians, they actually deny the Quran and the basic principles of the Muslim faith.
According to the Muslim faith, you have to believe in all the prophets sent by God. Per the Muslim faith, there are four celestial books: the Torah, Psalms of David, Bible and Quran; according to the basic principles of the Muslim faith, one must believe the fact that all four celestial books are the word of God. If one doesn’t believe in all four books and all the prophets sent by God, they do not qualify to be a Muslim.
On one hand, Muslims are bound by God to respect and believe in all the prophets. They are bound by God, the Muslim faith and the principality of Islam that they must believe in all four celestial books. On the other hand, Muslims disrespect the Bible, the Torah and consider Christians as their enemies.
Today, [some] Muslims say, ‘Christians are our enemies,’ and they say, ‘This is according to the Quran.’ I ask them,‘When Prophet Mohammad started Islam in Mecca and Muslims were persecuted, why did Prophet Mohammad send his companions to seek asylum with the Christian king, Al-Najashi?’
Jews are not enemies of Muslims. There is a conflict in Jerusalem; Israelis kill Palestinians, but Palestinians also kill Israelis. Israelis don’t kill Pakistani or Malaysian Muslims; if they are enemies of Islam, why are they not hurting and harming Islam? Why are they only against Palestinians? It is because Palestinians are under the curse of Prophet Abraham. Palestine has never been at rest, historically speaking.
Messiah Foundation International and Mehdi Foundation International follows the teachings of His Divine Eminence Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi, the Awaited One. We consider Jews, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs our fellow human beings. We respect their religion, their sovereignty and their respect in the society. To us, all human beings are our friends. Jews are not our enemies and they are not enemies of Muslims according to the Quran and Islam, and according to the custom and practice of Prophet Mohammad.
According to Prophet Mohammad’s Customs, Prophet Mohammad never abused anybody. Prophet Mohammad is of sublime character.
A Jewish woman used to throw trash at Prophet Mohammad but he would just smile and walk past. He did not change his way, he continued to use that route; he wasn’t bothered by that woman throwing trash at him. One day, he was walking through that route and he noticed that the woman was not standing with the trash in her hands. He got worried and asked people about the woman. Somebody told him she is not feeling well that she is running a temperature. Prophet Mohammad went to her house and said to her, ‘I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well.’ The woman started to cry and said, ‘If this is your character, I accept your religion.’
This is the character of Prophet Mohammad. This is how you turn enemies into friends, through your character. And through characters of today’s Muslims, you turn friends into enemies.
Sunnah (Customs of the Prophet) is to align yourself in the character of Prophet Mohammad. Those who claim to practise the Customs of the Prophet must manifest and reflect the sublime character of the Prophet in their character. If they do not do this, they are not practising the Customs of the Prophet.
When I say, ‘I am not a Muslim,’ I say it because this is not the time for us to remain Muslims. It is time to become a recipient of divine love.
We are followers of love. This notion is not a man-made notion; this concept is divine. It comes from the same source which put forward Judaism, Christianity and Islam. According to the Quran, the future religion is divine love. We are living in yesterday’s future.
Now, there is no future because God’s religion is the last religion and the first religion. It is The Religion of Soul, the Religion of Love.
The Enemies Mentioned in the Quran
They say that according to the Quran, ‘Yahoodi and Nassarani (people of Nazareth) are not your friends.’ Nassarani is not a name for Christians. Nazareth (Nassara in Arabic) is the place where Jesus was born.
For example, there is a Sunni sect in Islam. In order to give people a clear distinction of their sect, they add the word, ‘Barelvi’. That sect is called Sunni Barelvi. They have nothing to do with the city of Bareli, but they believe in a person who was born there, Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi.
In a similar way, in Nazareth, where Jesus was born, some of the people were enemies of God and all prophets. Whenever a prophet came in the surrounding of the area, the people of Nazareth opposed him. They wanted to kill any prophet.
The Prophet Zachariah was running from his enemies. He stopped in front of a tree and told the tree to open up for him. He went inside the tree. The enemies were surprised and wondered where he disappeared to. Then, a Satan appeared and told his enemies, ‘He is inside the tree,’ and pointed towards the prophet’s shirt which was coming out slightly from the tree. They took a saw and wanted to cut the tree from the middle so that Prophet Zachariah could be killed. His enemies were Nassarani.
Prophet Samson was a well-built, handsome and powerful man. He was so strong that nobody was able to defeat him. His enemies wanted to know the secret behind his strength, so they bribed his wife. They said to her, ‘If you could just tell us why is your husband so strong, we will give you a lot of wealth.’ So his wife asked him, ‘You are so strong. What is the secret?’ He smiled but didn’t tell her. One day, in a special moment, it came out from his mouth that his strength lies in his body hair. She said, ‘If your hair is gone, your strength is gone?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ One night when he was sleeping, she shaved his body and his enemies killed him. His enemies were Nassarani. This was before the arrival of Lord Jesus Christ.
They are called Nassarani because they came from Nassara (Nazareth). Ignorant scholars of Islam regard Nassarani are Christians. This is why they are mistaken and say that Christians are their enemies. That is a wrong, misleading concept.
Now, ‘Yahood’ is the name of a prophet from the progeny of Prophet Abraham. His nation did not believe in him, so God cursed them. Wherever his nation went, they created mischief. This is why God said, ‘Yahoodis cannot be your friends’.
The problem is that followers of Abraham and Moses are all called Yahoodis. However, Yahoodis are only those who from the nation Prophet Yahood.
Mariah Quptiya was a concubine of Prophet Mohammad and she was a Jew. She bore one of Prophet Mohammad’s sons, Ibrahim. If she was an enemy, then why would Prophet Mohammad make her his concubine? Why would she carry Prophet Mohammad’s child? Prophet Mohammad did not ask her to become a Muslim because Prophet Mohammad knows the importance of all religions. He knew that she was a follower of Abraham, which is as good as being a Muslim. Prophet Mohammad himself comes from the progeny of Abraham. It was Abraham who used to pray for Prophet Mohammad’s arrival in this world. This is why, in Islam, Prophet Mohammad has a title, ‘Dua-e-Ibrahim (The Prayer of Abraham)’.
In the early days, when Prophet Mohammad started going to the Cave of Hira, the first time Gabriel appeared before Prophet Mohammad, Prophet Mohammad was running a temperature. He came back home and said, ‘Khadija, cover me with a blanket.’ He was shivering and sweating. He was asking his wife, Khadija, ‘What is happening to me? What is wrong? Am I about to become a Kahin (one possessed by a Jinn)?’ She comforted him and said, ‘No. You are a good man, don’t say these things. God is with you.’
This was the initial period. Prophet Mohammad, for some reason, didn’t know what was happening. In order to obtain some knowledge as to what was going on, Khadija took Prophet Mohammad to somebody she knew to be a religious man. This man was a Jewish Rabbi. They were just going to him; before they reached him or could say anything to him, he said, ‘Who is this man? He is a prophet of God. When you were coming towards me, I saw all the trees and birds prostrating to him. There was a cloud on his head.’
The first human being on Earth who said that Prophet Mohammad is a prophet was a Jewish Rabbi. How can Jews be enemies of Muslims?
In Salat (Muslim prayers), Muslims send salutations to Prophet Abraham and his progeny. After Salat, they say, ‘They are our enemies!’
According to the Quran, the Muslim faith and the teachings of Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi, Jews are not enemies of Muslims [or anyone other religion]. Messiah Foundation International, Kalki Avatar Foundation, Mehdi Foundation International are all followers of Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi. We do not consider anybody as enemies. Jews, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs are our friends and brothers. All those who love humanity and all those who want peace are our brothers and friends. We have no enmity towards anybody. Our mission is love and peace.