Despite the cancellation of Pastor Terry Jones’s “Burn a Quran Day”, there were many copycat incidents reported throughout the world. Shameful as it is, I am convinced that the publicity the Quran and Muslims have received since the incident, though negative, will benefit the religion in many ways – Allah works in mysterious ways.
Anyone who was previously oblivious to Islam and the Quran was suddenly bombarded by the media with all things Muslim and despite the current “Islamophobic” environment; the beauty and truth of Islam will always reach those whom are destined to receive it.
The 9/11-Eid Coincidence also played its part in creating awareness about the month of Ramadhan and the celebration of Eid by Muslims around the world. This year, everyone knew when Ramadhan began and ended, people learnt about the role of the lunar calendar in Islam and everyone became aware of the requirements and rules of fasting. The fact that I received more Ramadhan and Eid messages from (non-Muslim) colleagues and clients this year could not have been a mere coincidence. This awareness alone is enough to bring people to Islam and I think we should capitalise on these situations.
I remember seeing a number of blogs and Facebook groups declaring “Read a Quran Day” instead of “Burn a Quran Day” and it got me thinking, what would they find if they actually read the Quran?
They would find that the 19th chapter of the Quran is named after Jesus’ mother, Mary. They would read that the Quran has high regard for the Virgin Mary:”And [we have propounded yet another parable of God-consciousness in the story of] Mary, the daughter of Imraan…” (66:12)
They would find 73 passages in the Quran detailing the story of Moses and they would read that the Quran says that God bestowed His grace upon Moses and Aaron (37:114), that he was “specially chosen” by God (19:51) and that God bestowed on Moses “wisdom and knowledge” (28:14) as a reward for doing good. In addition, the Book of Moses in the Jewish Bible is described by the Quran as a “Light and Guide” (6:91).
In the Quran they would find a passage that states “Verily, those who have attained to faith, as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians — all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds — shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have and neither shall they grieve. (2:62)
Our faiths have so much in common, we need to use these common beliefs to bring people together and put an end to the media’s misinformation of Islam and Muslims. Though it may seem like it at times, the broader community is not out there to put Islam down; they are simply acting and reacting to what they are being fed through the media. It’s up to us to exercise discretion, tolerance and patience to allow the beauty and truth of Islam to be exposed. Sometimes the only thing stopping people from coming to Islam… are Muslims.