Book ‘Islam and Christianity in Balance’ released
Eminent writers and scholars who gathered at a book release function here on Monday expressed need to have both inter and intra-faith dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims to overcome various problems in the society.
The book—Islam and Christianity in Balance—written by educationist, academician and Islamic scholar, Dr Sheikh Mohammad Iqbal, was released on the occasion in presence of various literary figures and members of the civil society. Dr Iqbal has authored 47 books.
Speaking on the occasion, noted paediatrician and author, Dr Altaf Hussain, said the book is a great contribution at international level.
“The topic is about the dialogue between Muslim and Judo Christian civilisation. We have been misrepresented and our history has distorted and turned upside down,” he said.
Hussainsaid the misrepresentation of Muslims has come at its peak and the Muslims are being labelled as terrorists.“But nobody goes into the history of terrorism, It was nurtured and introduced by Zionists first that is how they captured Palestine and changed its demography,” he said.
“We should introspect and need an inter-faith dialogue because there is so much of ill will among us,” Hussain said, adding that apart from the interfaith dialogue the society needs to have intra-Muslim dialogue as well.
He said he is proud because Kashmir is the only place where people have never succumbed to the temptations of tearing each other’s throat.
Hussain said that all the trouble spots were in Muslim dominated countries and that these spots were not because of lack of faith or dialogue between Muslims, Christians and Jews,“but it is an inside story”.
“We have the same problem in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other places also,” he added.
“We do subscribe to inter-faith dialogue and it is being perused in the west. So we need the same because we have lots of problems here,” Hussain said.
Addressing the gathering, Justice (Retd) Bashir Ahmad Kirmani, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said the book has been released in the same month when the Balfour Declaration was issued by the British Government during World War-1 announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
“When I went through the book, I asked myself some questions like ‘Who wants an understanding among Muslims, Christians and Jews at international level?’,” he said.
“Why it did not happen till date. There is no light at the end of the tunnel and there was no representation at the international level,” Kirmani said.
He expressed resentment over the arrest of ministers in Saudi Arabia on charges of corruption, including one being in partnership with a company owned by Jews.
Kirmani said there is no doubt that dialogue was the need of the hour.
The 556-page book has fourteen chapters.
Noted author and historian, Dr Abdul Ahad,read a review of the book and said one can appreciate the “zeal, zest and missionary spirit” with which Dr Iqbal has carried his research to add to the knowledge and understanding of Islam and the Muslim World.
“There is an urgent need to reach an understanding in contemporary times when United Nations has totally and miserably failed to resolve problems of people struggling to shape their own destiny,” he said in the review.
Author of the book, Dr Iqbal, said the net outcome of the policy of the nations in the far and near west was witnessed in the second half of the last century.
“The present century has come to inherit the problems of the Arab Islamic countries and communities with no expectation of their just settlement. Not only have the issues continued unresolved but that the Euro-American symbiosis has contributed utmost to the inability of Muslim rulers in achieving just and peaceful solutions to all problems,” he said.
The author said the helpless situation among Asian Muslim states is not only due to the indecisiveness in the Afro-International statesmanship and absence of true Islamic character but that some of the leaders observe silence when they see Western Governments instigating turbulent elements within the Muslim States.
“Firstly, the theists of the world shall have to recognize the hard fact that Islam, as a pure monotheistic religion, has played constructively a distinct role towards the welfare of humanity. Further, sincerely speaking, all other religious communities need to realize that the rights of Muslims, wherever they live, are inviolate,” Dr Iqbal said.
“The Euro-American leaders will agree that their old politico-economic theories have ceased to be effective in meeting the demands of time, and, that the Islamic ideals and institutions have to be understood and appreciated dispassionately,” said Dr Iqbal, a globally acknowledged scholar on Islamic History and Arab-Islamic issues.
He said the leadership in south Asia and the Union of India must not forget the contribution of Islam and Muslims to the “enrichment of the country’s culture, civilization and the domains of art and industry”.
“The brilliance and beauty of the life pattern in the subcontinent is an outstanding proof of the productive and reproductive role of the Muslim Community since the advent of Islam in the seventh century,” he said.
The author wished the governments across the world respond to the demands of justice, equity and realism, and therefore, withhold placing impediments in the peaceful functioning of various Muslim States and organisations.
Dr Iqbal has written numerous research papers and articles published in the local, national and international journals.
He said “we need to turn to the community of Kashmiris who owe their faith to the spiritual heroes who came to witness the working of a Welfare State headed by eminent Sultans”.
“It was under them that the people, on the whole, developed the endearing virtues of tolerance, social justice, human sympathy, the spirit of sacrifice and personal piety,” Dr Iqbal said.
The author said the Kashmiri community's well-defined socio-economic order “could have survived the decline of Mughals that invited intervention of unjust rulers beginning with some of the Afghans”.
Proceedings of the event were conducted by columnist ZG Muhammad.